World Wide Web Consortium Releases SMIL 2.1 as a W3C Recommendation

Multimedia Technology Ready for Mobile Devices

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(also available in French and Japanese; see also translations in other languages)

http://www.w3.org/ -- 13 December 2005: The World Wide Web Consortium announces the publication of Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL 2.1) as a W3C Recommendation. Thanks to enhancements in SMIL 2.1, W3C is well on the way to making multimedia presentations on mobile devices a reality.

"Today with SMIL 2.1, W3C makes good on the promise of first class multimedia presentations for the mobile Web," explained Chris Lilley, Chair of W3C's Hypertext Coordination Group. "Many vendors have already voiced their support for SMIL 2.1, in addition to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project. "

SMIL Already Adopted by 3G Mobile Vendors

The new features of SMIL 2.1 are the result of strong coordination between associations of users and the Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM) Working Group. Building on the experience of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) deploying SMIL 2.0 on mobile devices, the SYMM Working Group has standardized the SMIL 2.1 Mobile Profile. The SMIL 2.1 Extended Mobile Profile has been defined to include all modules of the 3GPP2 "SMIL Language Profile, revision A" and some additional modules of SMIL 2.1. W3C looks forward to continued work with 3GPP2 to converge on a single profile in order to promote the interoperability of technologies such as the Multimedia Messaging System (MMS).

SMIL 2.1 Modularization Facilitates Profiling, Reuse, and Implementation

SMIL (pronounced "smile") is an XML application that enables simple authoring of interactive audiovisual presentations. SMIL 2.1 has been redesigned as a series of composable modules based on the framework provided by the W3C Recommendation Modularization of XHTML. A "profile" of SMIL 2.1 is a set of modules. The SMIL 2.1 Recommendation defines three new profiles, useful for a broad range of applications: SMIL 2.1 Language Profile, SMIL 2.1 Mobile Profile, and SMIL 2.1 Extended Mobile Profile. The Mobile and Extended Mobile Profiles have been created to match the capabilities of a wide range of mobile devices, with animation and enhanced layout and timing features being the primary additions to the Extended Mobile Profile.

SMIL 2.1 also explains how to define additional profiles. Dividing features into modules makes it easier for markup language designers and implementers to incorporate those features into new markup languages in a consistent and effective manner.

SMIL 2.1 Makes Authoring Easier, Enhances Transition and Layout Features

SMIL 2.1 augments the toolbox of the multimedia presentation designer, including full-screen transitions, enhanced visual layout capabilities such as background image tiling, and enhanced audio layout capabilities, including fade-in and fade-out.

The new Recommendation also allows authors to predefine sets of parameters that may be referenced multiple times in a presentation, and across presentations. This reuse not only makes it easier to author and maintain content, it also reduces the size of SMIL presentations, another factor that can improve performance on mobile devices.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/