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Second-Generation Hypermedia Application Project Environment


The market for multimedia applications is expected to grow steadily with the diffusion of new storage and transmission technologies such as CD-ROM, integrated broadband communications like IBCN and ISDN, and video communications. Information storage and retrieval techniques that allow the user to be "guided" will become increasingly necessary, due to the massive volumes of information involved. There is also a strong need for CASE tools to support design and implementation of multimedia applications for CD-ROM and on the new broadband networks.

SHAPE is a portable software environment comparable to a CASE tool that will greatly facilitate the realisation of complex CD-ROM based multimedia applications for large organisations, both private and public. The project addresses important issues now constraining the implementation of professional multimedia applications:

- first-generation hypermedia provide poor embedded semantic information for links and objects
- current multimedia systems show limitations concerning portability openness to other environments and flexibility with respect to user requirements
- manual operations in application building are not supported, resulting in high implementation costs.

Hypermedia links provide powerful and user-friendly navigation through multimedia databases. However, the design and the implementation of hypermedia is presently constrained by the type of link, the fact that links must be introduced manually, and the fact that links are software-dependent and therefore not portable.

The project will demonstrate to what extent the use of object-oriented tools, along with tags in text files and graphic files, can:

- diversify the type of links
- optimise the process by using classes of links for specific classes of objects
- provide standardised hypermedia links that are made software-independent by using standard tags.

The use of object-oriented tools allow the construction of navigation tools not only for navigation through the actual information units (ie data), but also through semantic networks of reference information, such as concept descriptors or key words. Those networks could be called "hyperthesauri", and will be used for information retrieval by end-users.


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Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

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Alcatel ISR
34 Cours Blaise Pascal
91025 Evry

Participants (4)

Avenue Louise /Bte 14, 250, 14
1050 Bruxelles
Datamont Feruzzi Group SpA
Via Taramelli 26 10782
20124 Milano
Rue Saarinen 20, Silic 270
94578 Rungis
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom
8-17 Lilybank Gardens
G12 8RZ Glasgow