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About LimSee3

Presentation

The LimSee3 project aims at developping a new-generation open source template-based multimedia authoring tool relying on the SMIL standard. The project is carried out by the INRIA WAM team, as part of a european research project, Palette. LimSee3 development benefits from the team's experience acquired with LimSee2, an already established SMIL editor.

In the sequel, we breifly present the actors and their motivations in order to set up the context of LimSee3:

Palette
The Palette project "aims at facilitating and augmenting individual and organisational learning in Communities of Practice (CoPs)". In plain words, a community of practice is a group of people brought together by some common interest: it might be a local group of amateur astronomers, a national association of algebra teachers or a world-wide network of UFO hunters. Inside such a group, people need to share information, so to learn from each other's practical experience. Since these groups (or communities) are rather informal ones, they share information in rather an informal way. The objective of Palette is to understand the ways of communication of the communities of practice, to explicit their structure and dynamics, to determine their needs and to provide them with adapted tools. This is why the Palette consortium is formed by computer scientists as well as teachers and courseware designers.
WAM
The Web-Adaptation-Multimedia team at INRIA is one of the partners of the project. Our participation consists in providing two template-based authoring tools for the web: the one is Amaya, addressing the discrete media domain, and the other is LimSee3, positioned in the field of continuous (multi-)media authoring.
LimSee3
The W3C standard for synchronized multimedia agregation is SMIL, a language that is to multimedia what HTML is to the world-wide web. The WAM team has already developped an authoring tool for SMIL - LimSee2. However, as SMIL is rather a complex format, LimSee2 - which is purposedly SMIL-centric - is not easily usable by non-experts. Hence the LimSee3 project which brings multimedia authoring at the reach of its potential users, such as the communities of practice. LimSee3 can produce standard SMIL documents, but its internal model is not dependent on SMIL - it is based more on the semantics of the objects than on their actual presentation. An important point is the integration of templates that allow even unexperienced users to produce sensible multimedia documents in a guided way.

LimSee3 vs. LimSee2

Although the names would suggest otherwise, LimSee3 is not a direct continuation or a new version of LimSee2. LimSee2 is a SMIL editor and, as such, is dependent on the underlying language. SMIL expertise is necessary to use LimSee2.

LimSee3 targets language-independent authoring, based on logical structuring of multimedia documents. This approach, leveraged by the use of templates, addresses a large class of users, not necessarily experts in anything.

Current state

LimSee3 has reached its version 1.0, which is available for tests in the Software section.

Since the initial (0.5) version, we have redesigned the user interface, provided several new authoring functions, integrated new media formats, made it possible to export to several external formats,... We have also modified our plans regarding document templates - following the expectations of our users, instead of implementing very general (generic) templating functions, we implemented a few specific templates with interesting automation in document treatment.

Our future plans include more investigation of real-world scenarios (so, more specific templates) and generalization of these results (genericity in templates, finally).

Documentation

LimSee3 Proper Resources

Other Resources