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Next generation browsers will treat audio and video as easy as old browsers treated text and images.


In the previous chapter you saw Internet Explorer could display SMIL elements in HTML.

The history behind this is shortly as follows:

In June 1998 SMIL 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation.

In September 1998 Microsoft, Macromedia, Compaq/Digital and Digital Renaissance submitted HTML+TIME to W3C as a proposal for adding SMIL 1.0 timing and synchronization support to HTML.

The HTML+TIME document describes very much the support for SMIL that can be found in Internet Explorer 5.


In August 2001 SMIL 2.0 became a W3C Recommendation, and XHTML+SMIL became a separate Working Draft, based on the ideas in the HTML+TIME note.

The XHTML+SMIL document describes very much the support for SMIL that can be found in Internet Explorer 6.0.

You can read more about the SMIL activities at W3C at our W3C Tutorial.

What Is Happening Here?

SMIL is currently in a very interesting development process.

SMIL 1.0 defined a simple way to create visual media presentations and how to play them.

HTML+TIME added SMIL 1.0 abilities to nearly all HTML elements.

SMIL 2.0 added interactivity and transitions to SMIL 1.0.

XHTML+SMIL adds SMIL 2.0 abilities to nearly all XHTML elements.

XHTML+SMIL has a great potential for taking the web to the next level, and let browsers treat audio and video like "old" HTML treated text and images. Many of these features are already implemented in Internet Explorer.


Is it not obvious?

To run a SMIL presentation you need a SMIL player. If you want your audience to see your presentation, your audience will have to install a SMIL player. Would it not be nicer if your audience could display your presentation in their Internet browser?

SMIL defines a set of multimedia elements. Each of these elements can be given layout, timing, and transition attributes and rules. Would it not be nicer if you could add these attributes and rules to all your HTML elements?

At W3Schools we have created a number of examples that anyone with a simple text editor, can refine to communicate their ideas as effectively as a television commercial. Please go ahead and play with them.

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