Animating the Web -- an SGML-based approach

Anton Eliëns & Jacco van Ossenbruggen & Bastiaan Schönhage
Vrije Universiteit, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science,
De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
email:,,, fax: +31.20.4447653


The DejaVu framework offers access to the Web as one of the facilities in a collection of software components for developing multimedia user interfaces and hypermedia applications. It provides a vehicle for experimenting with true hypermedia extensions to the Web. Our approach, which is essentially object-oriented, allows for integrating the Web in applications and vice versa, for composing a Web browser with support for sound synthesis, digital video, 3D graphics and virtual reality. On a software level this is realized by extending HTML to allow for embedded scripts, written in a script language that is extensible with application-defined functionality. However, in addition to this rather low-level provision for active documents, our Web browser component allows for SGML-defined document types capturing the syntax and semantics of multimedia extensions. This paper gives a brief overview of the various components constituting the DejaVu framework and discusses briefly the architectural notions underlying our framework. We will show how to employ these components to develop a Web browser with (client-side) support for animation, multimedia and virtual reality. By giving some examples, we will illustrate our solution to defining the (browsing) semantics of arbitrary document types by means of script-based style sheets. As a conclusion we will discuss the requirements that must be met for developing a HyTime compliant browser for the Web.