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Ambulant

Ambulant Project Status Oct 2007

In 2007, the focus of the Ambulant-II project shifted from development to the standardization of SMIL 3.0. The latter activities included W3C standardization meetings and follow-ups on comments made on the public Last Call Working Draft (LCWD), which was submitted for public comment in July. Reviewers within and outside W3C were asked to study the specification and to provide detailed comments. Approximately 70 comments on the LCWD were received from various reviewers. The LCWD is available at W3C SMIL.

The W3C Structured Multimedia Working Group had a meeting in Amsterdam at CWI on September 20/21 [2007]. Hosted by the Ambulant team, all comments were discussed and each attributed with an initial response. Based on these results, the group decided to continue on its path to implementation. At present, four implementation groups have committed to working on the full or on parts of the of the SMIL 3.0 specification. It is projected that first implementation integration testing will occur in Boston, in November 2007 at the W3C Plenary meetings.

The Ambulant team worked steadily to build new SMIL features into the Ambulant 1.09 code base. At present, most new SMIL 3.0 features have an initial implementation. The following new SMIL 3.0 features have been integrated into Ambulant 1.09:

  • smilText: smilText got developed and tested on Mac OSX, Win32, WinMobile and Linux. It's our feeling that this will be core technology for SMIL;
  • SMIL Media: support for opacity control was added. Initial support for media panning and zooming is also available;
  • SMIL Layout: region-based opacity control got implemented;
  • SMIL State: an initial integration of SMIL State with Python and XForms data models was implemented;
  • Various test sets were made and will be donated to the SMIL testing infrastructure;
  • Open-source cross-platform media support was added for all versions of Ambulant;

This work will continue for the next three months.

Additionally, Ambulant was integrated into various special-purpose projects, such as Passepartout, SPICE and BRICKS. This work was exceptionally well-received by the community. In order to increase the impact of the work done the team undertook the following activities:

  • in June, meetings with two major North American telecommunication organizations, investigating possibilities to use SMIL within mobile and desktop environments;
  • working with Daisy to integrate the AMIS/Ambulant code base;
  • participating in academic activities in Canada (DocEng 2007);
  • help organizing the workshop at ISM in Taiwan, due December 2007; and
  • work with PUC-Rio on a new language which supports advanced interaction features.

Worth to note that commercial third parties in Europe have selected Ambulant as the basis of their SMIL support in next-generation settop boxes (IBC in Amsterdam, September 2007).

Plans for the near future:

  • Completing the SMIL 3.0 specification;
  • Development of new joint partnerships for the further development of Ambulant; and
  • Travelling to relevant academic conferences and meetings.