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An authoring environment for adaptive multimedia documents

Exploitable results

The major result of the Chameleon project is a set of authoring and presentation functions which allow hypermedia documents to be created by content owners and to be rendered in a 'wide' variety, presented on low cost end user platforms. The functions will allow several target encodings in a variety of industry standard formats to be generated from a single document model allowing efficient porting between platforms and allowing users to access information at various levels of detail and cost, thereby allowing information to be tailored to the needs and budgets of end users. Due to a declarative approach the accessibility threshold for authors will be lower, whilst maximum portability and reuse of created documents is provided for. The use of a declarative format externalises a document's behaviour, allowing presentation adaptability under varying presentation resource constraints. This allows a document's content to be scaled up or down, depending on the viewer's facilities and/or their ability/desire to pay for access to higher quality information. While programming-based approaches may offer some performance advantages in the short run, the authoring and presentation functions in hand provide wider access to quality information with less author effort than other systems. The authoring functions can be used to integrate several kinds of media assets produced in external authoring tools into integrated multimedia presentations. Such presentations can be created with images, text, video and other spatial media occupying space on the screen in set locations. Video and multi-channel audio can also be set in time. Databases may be accessed through an ODBC interface so that their contents can be integrated into multimedia documents. Furthermore, hyperlinks may be created between areas of the media occupying space or from text strings to other assets.

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