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Networking Multimedia Applications

Document Charter Networking Multimedia Applications WG (multiapp)
Title Networking Multimedia Applications
Last updated 1993-08-01
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

Draft Charter 6/2/93 - mdw 

The ready availability of user-friendly multimedia authoring tools such
as Authorware Professional, Asymmetrix Multimedia Toolbook, Macromind
Director and many more, has stimulated much interest in multimedia
within the user community.  Sophisticated interactive multimedia
applications are being developed in many disparate subjects and for a
wide range of purposes.  Users are now beginning to ask us, as network
technologists, ``how can I make my multimedia application available to
others across the network?''.

In a parallel development, existing client-server network information
retrieval tools are being enhanced with multimedia handling features. 
Gopher+ for instance has been designed with multimedia data firmly in
mind.  The World Wide Web project is currently defining a new version of
its hypertext markup language, to be called HMML - HyperMedia Markup
Language - which includes multimedia support.

A third strand of activity is the emergence of network technologies
capable of carrying audio and video data across the network, initially
driven by multimedia conferencing applications.  Network technologies
such as ATM and protocols such as RTP are potentially capable of
handling isochronous multimedia data in an effective way. 

This BOF session will focus on issues which link these three strands. 
Particular questions to be addressed are:

* What are user requirements in terms of responsiveness, and what 
  this places on the network and server system, and how these might
  be mitigated.

* The prospects for making existing interactive multimedia applications
  available over the network - e.g., by writing conversion tools from
  proprietary formats to a suitable open format.

* To what extent can existing network information retrieval tools such 
  Gopher, WWW, WAIS be used for sophisticated multimedia applications?
  What about the tools emerging from the research community such as
  AthenaMuse 2 (MIT), Microcosm (U of Southampton), HyperG (U of Graz)?
  Do we need another tool, or can we build on what we have?

* How can such tools be enhanced to take advantage of isochronous
  data streams?

* What relevance do standards such as HyTime and MHEG have?

The BOF is intended to test interest in the subject, to define issues
that need resolving, and to see whether a working group can be formed to 
work on
those issues.