Towards a multimedia formatting vocabulary
Time-based, media-centric Web presentations can be described declaratively in the XML world through the development of languages such as SMIL. It is difficult, however, to fully integrate them in a complete document transformation processing chain. In order to achieve the desired processing of data-driven, time-based, media-centric presentations, the text-flow based formatting vocabularies used by style languages such as XSL, CSS and DSSSL need to be extended. The paper presents a selection of use cases which are used to derive a list of requirements for a multimedia style and transformation formatting vocabulary. The boundaries of applicability of existing text-based formatting models for media-centric transformations are analyzed. The paper then discusses the advantages and disadvantages of a fully-fledged time-based multimedia formatting model. Finally, the discussion is illustrated by describing the key properties of the example multimedia formatting vocabulary currently implemented in the back-end of our Cuypers multimedia transformation engine.