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Tutorial: RealSystem G2 and SMIL

By Scott Clark Part 2 Iterated's Sting RealPix is perhaps the most exciting aspect of G2 technology. The way it works is this: the SMIL file (which makes you smile just saying it) is, to coin a phrase from Brian Meek of Iterated Systems, "the director of the orchestra." It lets the G2 Player know the types of media to prepare for, when and where to display them, and if they are to be displayed concurrently or sequentially. The SMIL file, written in a form of XML, points directly to the RealMedia files, which are the compressed audio files which will be streamed to the G2 client. The SMIL file also points to the RealPix files, which are also XML-based files that are actually more like scripts, and RealText files, which are simple ASCII text files that contain the actual text, and at the same time tell the G2 Player how to format that text. The RealPix file, in turn, points to the image files which have been specially processed for this use. The RealPix file "instructs" the G2 Player when to show the image, when to fade or swipe it into the next image, when to apply a background color, etc. As a team, the SMIL, RealPix and RealText files come together seamlessly, and provide you with the "presentation." To further understand how the SMIL file works, you may wish to view an image of the SMIL file which illustrates how it "points" to each of the other files. The G2 Presentation Process


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