News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus Mail Starting 2/18/98

From: hsl@larisoftware.com (Humayun S. Lari);
Sent at Thu, 19 Feb 98 16:30:22 -0500;
The future of multimedia

The future of multimedia on the Web isn't just about vector graphics (although vectors are certainly essential). We're also seeing new compression technologies for video and audio that create amazingly small files--as small as 10-20K.

This is a big deal. If web authors can use video and audio that have the same sizes as animated GIFs, coupled with good streaming capabilities, the limits become endless.

Today's holy grail is a solution that lets authors do everything, and do it well--using bitmaps, vectors, animation, video, sound, MIDI, 3-D, *and* VR. With interactivity and streaming over 28.8K modems, of course.

At the moment, QuickTime 3.0 looks closest to achieving this--one install and you get everything. It doesn't matter whether you're using Navigator or Explorer, Macintosh or Windows--it just works. And there are a ton of ways to get QuickTime--it might even be on your favorite music CD (if it's an Enhanced CD).

It doesn't help that Microsoft describes their new technologies as "Explorer" features; authors want to use Navigator too.

So, since this particular holy grail is tremendously intriguing to me, and my company creates apps, we're writing apps based on QuickTime 3.0.

From: seitz@mail.medscape.com (Bill Seitz);
Sent at Thu, 19 Feb 1998 09:54:40 -0500;
Re: Scripters get no respect

From my perspective, the problem with scripting is picking the right "platform" for long term maintainability.

The horrifying result is being forced to seriously consider Visual Basic.

From: malmrose@jetcity.com (Earl Malmrose);
Sent at Wed, 18 Feb 1998 23:28:31 -0800;
Re:LineTo MoveTo

Wow! I've never really seen flash in action. www.paulallen.com was pretty impressive. But it was very bloated compared to www.microsoft.com and www.zdnet.com. My calculations were as follows for how much data is transmitted to the browser for each site:

www.paulallen.com 177k
www.zdnet.com 97k
www.microsoft.com 43k

So although www.paulallen.com was "flashy", the content came up much quicker on the other sites. And yes, I'm using a 28.8k modem.

From: saxton@apple.com (John Saxton);
Sent at Wed, 18 Feb 98 09:13:57 -0800;
QT3 supports vector graphics

QuickTime 3.0 includes a vector graphic codec, which means that any browser with the QuickTime plug-in will support vector graphics.

I've seen demos of this used with both stills and animations, but I haven't worked with it myself.

You and your readers are welcome to check it out at


A vector image sample is at


Happy Digging! :-)

From: michaelw@microsoft.com (Michael Winser);
Sent at Wed, 18 Feb 1998 12:02:41 -0500;
Vector graphics

IE 4 actually supports vector graphics with an ActiveX control. The authoring story is a bit painful but there is a WMF (metafile) converter. For a really cheesy demo look microsoft.com

A site that makes excellent use of splash is http://www.gabocorp.com/ although I don't know how it looks on other browsers. On IE 4 I made it possible for windowless controls (ie, they don't have to be opaque rectangles) to get direct access to the rendering surface via DirectDraw. The result is that flash can antialias to the HTML behind it. Very cool.

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