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Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC digital curriculum service in England

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC digital curriculum service in England
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 10:24:35 +0100

On 2004-10-12 13:14:15 +0100 Alex Hudson <address@hidden> wrote:

[...] streaming and scripting are the two
main features that you might reasonably need in an online course that
these tools don't support.

How are these carried out? Are they both Flash-specific methods, or do they pull in better-known standards?

How does SMIL http://www.w3.org/AudioVideo/ compare to Flash for e-learning?
Flash is installed on 99% of home machines (Flash 5+, IIRC); SMIL is
installed on a lower base, isn't as capable and doesn't have the same

Is that "99%" a figure from a study, or your estimate?

I'm aware SMIL is a few years behind in terms of installations and applications, but they're not show-stoppers for a long-term direction. How isn't it as capable?

The main thing lacking is scriptability (I think SMIL doesn't have it;
only sequences, etc.). That would limit interactivity; or at least
increase round-trips to pick up new files and things.

Maybe I've not understood SMIL: can one link to other fragments of a SMIL file, jumping around between parts of a presentation which need not be used otherwise? Not full scripting, but what typical Flash tasks cannot be done declaratively in combined SMIL, XHTML and SVG today? Examples like the lip-synced animation seem theoretically possible already, although probably not easy with current tools.


That will have to wait until a non-free system is nearby or some kind soul records a suitable demo video of it.

MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know
 Creative copyleft computing - http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
Speaking at ESF on Sat 16 Oct - http://www.affs.org.uk/

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