Towards Second and Third Generation Web-Based Multimedia

Jacco van Ossenbruggen, Joost Geurts, Frank Cornelissen, Lloyd Rutledge, and Lynda Hardman

Towards Second and Third Generation Web-Based Multimedia
In: The Tenth International World Wide Web Conference
Hong Kong pp. 479-488
ACM Press, May 1-5, 2001
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First generation Web-content encodes information in handwritten (HTML) Web pages. Second generation Web content generates HTML pages on demand, e.g. by filling in templates with content retrieved dynamically from a database or transformation of structured documents using style sheets (e.g. XSLT). Third generation Web pages will make use of rich markup (e.g. XML) along with metadata (e.g. RDF) schemes to make the content not only machine readable but also machine processable --- a necessary pre-requisite to the Semantic Web.

While text-based content on the Web is already rapidly approaching the third generation, multimedia content is still trying to catch up with second generation techniques. Multimedia document processing has a number of fundamentally different requirements from text which make it more difficult to incorporate within the document processing chain. In particular, multimedia transformation uses different document and presentation abstractions, its formatting rules cannot be based on text-flow, it requires feedback from the formatting back-end and is hard to describe in the functional style of current style languages.

We state the requirements for second generation processing of multimedia and describe how these have been incorporated in our prototype multimedia document transformation environment, Cuypers. The system overcomes a number of the restrictions of the text-flow based tool sets by integrating a number of conceptually distinct processing steps in a single runtime execution environment. We describe the need for these different processing steps and describe them in turn (semantic structure, communicative device, qualitative constraints, quantitative constraints, final form presentation), and illustrate our approach by means of an example. We conclude by discussing the models and techniques required for the creation of third generation multimedia content.

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