Microsoft and Industry Leaders Cosubmit HTML+TIME Multimedia Extensions Specification to W3C

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 24, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) acknowledged its cosubmission of HTML+TIME (Timed Interactive Multimedia Extensions). Compaq Computer Corp., Macromedia Inc. and Microsoft submitted HTML+TIME to the W3C to enable the delivery of time-based media in Web browsers. Based on HTML 4.0 and related open standards, HTML+TIME defines a set of multimedia extensions that add timing, interaction and streaming media capabilities to HTML. The HTML+TIME specification is available at .

HTML+TIME allows Web developers to create more compelling HTML pages by enabling them to integrate time-based media, such as streaming audio, video and animation, directly with timed elements in HTML pages using an open framework, rather than relying on external players.

HTML+TIME is based on open standards that include HTML 4.0 for display, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 2.0 for style reuse and positioning, Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 for semantic data, and Namespaces for qualifying XML tags and HTML attributes. HTML+TIME also provides support for the Document Object Model (DOM) and ECMAScript, allowing developers to interact consistently with the elements in the HTML page.

In addition, HTML+TIME is based on many of the concepts outlined in the synchronized multimedia integration language (SMIL), a W3C recommendation that defines an XML-based interchange format for delivering standalone multimedia presentations on the Internet. SMIL also defines a new nonstandard layout language in addition to a language for synchronizing media elements. HTML+TIME is different from SMIL in that it builds on the concepts in SMIL but defines a syntax for timing and synchronization within actual HTML documents, providing a solution for developers who want to build HTML-based presentations that can integrate with other elements in the HTML page.

“HTML+TIME takes the concepts outlined in SMIL to the next logical step, providing integration of timed media within the Web browser,”
said Mark Ryland, director of standards activities at Microsoft.
“Developers can deliver streaming media as part of their timed HTML pages that can be easily delivered to standard Web browsers.”

HTML+TIME Brings Benefits to Web Developers, End Users

HTML+TIME allows developers to synchronize existing HTML elements to other time-based media elements, building on their knowledge of open standards. With HTML+TIME, developers can add rich time-based interactivity to Web pages more easily, using simple declarative statements in HTML rather than complex looping script or other code. In addition, developers can synchronize time-based media, delivered via external media players, with other HTML page elements.

End users will benefit from HTML+TIME because they will experience more dynamic Web pages. Multimedia presentations based on HTML+TIME are tightly integrated with the timed HTML elements in the page, allowing the contents of the entire Web page to exist in a

coordinated interactive environment. For example, HTML tags such as bulleted list items can be set to appear in coordination with frames of streaming video.

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