MAVA Multimedia Suite

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MMP: MAVA Multimedia Player
MMEd: MAVA Multimedia Editor
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Last change: 10.06.2004 (jh)

Customizing the Mava Multimedia Suite

Most multimedia systems provide a scripting language that can be used to customize or even program the presentation. In the Mava Multimedia Suite, there is no special scripting language because the Mava Multimedia Suite provides a different concept for customizing.

The Mava Multimedia Suite provides the concept of extensibility of the specification language. This means that basically everyone can add new media items (including containers) and operators (including effect operators). If a certain application area is so far not supported by the suite, you can start by defining media items and operators that can be used to describe the missing application area. After the definition of the language elements, they have to be implemented using Java.

The first language element is the so-called media item. It represents information that has to be presented to the consumer of a presentation. The amount of functionality a media item provides is up to its creator. A media item can have a lot of functionality, e.g. using an applet as a media item. Then, the document will consist of only a few language elements. On the other hand, a media item can be very simple like an image. In this case most of the functionality is described using language elements like operators.

The second element is the so-called operator. They are used to specify relations or dependencies between media items. Therefore, operators are connected with media items. For example, there is an operator to describe that one media item is presented right before a second media item (i.e. the so-called "before" operator).

Both, media items and operators can have parameters. They are used to parameterize the relationship an operator represents. Examples therefore are distances on the screen in pixels, durations in thousands of a second, colors or anything else that is needed. Media items have properties too. They describe for example the size of the media item in the presentation area or a URL that points to the media data, that is displayed by the media item.

If you want to extend the suite, it forces you to think in terms of the language elements to enforce reusability based on the simple language concept. This ensures that there is only one way how documents are authored, independently of the application area. This evaluation version provides different kinds of specification languages, low-level languages to specify the temporal and spatial layout and high-level languages for computer-based trainings and tourist guides.

This short article gave you an overview why there is no scripting in the Mava Suite and what the suite provides instead. Besides the extensibility of the specification language, MMEd is also extensible by tools and views. This will be covered in a different article.