RealTime IT News

W3C Releases SMIL as Proposed Recommendation

The World Wide Web Consortium today announced that the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) specification has been released as a W3C Proposed Recommendation.

The SMIL specification is an XML-based language that is used for writing "TV-like" multimedia presentations for the Web. SMIL enables multimedia synchronization over time, and reduces the bandwidth of TV-like content, eliminating the need to convert low-bandwidth media types (text and images) into high-bandwidth video. Additionally, SMIL documents can be created using a text editor, much like HTML.

Today's announcement indicates that the W3C Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM) Working Group has determined that the SMIL specification is stable, contributes to interoperability on the Web, is supported for industry-wide adoption, and is ready to enter the review and voting process by the W3C Membership.

A consensus is reached about a specification after it has proceeded through several review stages, including Working Draft, Proposed Recommendation, and Recommendation.

First, stable working drafts are submitted to the W3C Director for consideration as a Proposed Recommendation. With the Director's approval, the document then becomes a "Proposed Recommendation." At this point, it is forwarded to the W3C Membership, which takes a vote on whether it should become an official W3C Recommendation.

The W3C SYMM Working Group that developed SMIL includes key industry players including Digital Equipment Corporation, Lucent/Bell Labs, Microsoft, Philips N.V., RealNetworks, and The Productivity Works.

Research and government organizations such as CWI (Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) are also members of the SYMM Working Group.

The SMIL specification may be seen in its entirety on the W3C Synchronized Multimedia Activity page.

For additional information on the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, or the W3C Process, visit the W3C's Web site.