Suggested HTML extensions (tvml)

Rick Collins (rcollins@mirror.det.mun.ca)
Thu, 4 Jan 1996 20:16:08 -0330


Message-Id: <01BADAE1.7E28A680@antic.det.mun.ca>
From: Rick Collins <rcollins@mirror.det.mun.ca>
To: "'HTML-list'" <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: Suggested HTML extensions (tvml)
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 20:16:08 -0330


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Expanding the Format


I've checked the archive of this list and haven't found any "particular" =
reason why the following suggestions would not be appropriate.  Please =
let me know if there is a better place to discuss the following ideas???


OK. So I got this idea see? What if?
TVML (The TV stands for television)
A set of HTML extensions that exploits the complete viewing screen in =
it's 3x4 format. A page tag would begin with?
<VIEW FULL ESC> This would force the full-screen view with no visible =
boundries. The ESC would be the key used to bail from this view and back =
to the browser (page-layout) scheme.
<REGION "name1", H30%;V40%, W20%;Ht20%> This would define (as "name1") a =
rectangular area of the screen beginning 30% of the screen (left to =
right), 40% of the screen down that would be 20% of the screen wide and =
high. Get it? In a screen of 640x480 This would create a rectangle =
beginning at pixel H192,V192 that would be 128 pixels by 96.  In order =
that a browser developer wished to maintain a "signature" on the screen =
it would be acceptable to have a thin button/status bar at the top or =
bottom of the screen accessed by the addition of a CONTROL (CTRL) key =
although it takes away from the original concept.  There would be no =
limit to the number of possible regions on the screen and they could =
overlap for effect. Text or graphics could be placed in here (URL) with =
the next statement:
<REGION "name1" URL(gimme.gif)> Ideally, for graphic elements such as =
gifs and jpgs a scaling option could be engineered to fit the region.
This is to be designed on the principle that we eliminate all traces of =
the page-like format of present browsing. That especially means getting =
rid of scrollbars. That would make this a solution to all those now =
trying to create wireless controls for set-top boxes.
The TAB (or arrow) key would create a lighted border around each region =
as numbered. If there is more textual information for a particular =
region that cannot fit within it's designated region a paging button =
(rev/fwd) could equate with the PGUP/DOWN buttons on a PC.
Incorporating image map technology, any region with an imap when =
selected would tab through the various map areas with the colored =
highlite. When the last area is finished the next region is selected.
Calls for a change in another region would work the same as Netscape's =
frame statements.
The ENTER key would play a prominent role in making a selection of a =
particular button (imap) or link in an active window.
Why do this? Well, no one is exploiting our love for the TV screen. The =
computer literate may think scroll bars are self explanatory but they =
are certainly not for beginners. This also integrates well with whatever =
resolution you have your screen at because it works by percentages of =
the residing screen. It also makes a view similar to the best of CD-Rom =
software that has developed and evolved over the past number of years. =
The browser people seem to be ignoring the lessons learned in the =
graphic presentation.  Once bandwidth presents itself, most of the =
content produced for graphical CD's could be easily adapted via the WEB. =
 Lastly, no one should ignore the advantage this would be to the =
artist/publisher. Right now you can't be sure if your long row of cute =
buttons is going to be seen as a single row of 8 buttons or 4 rows of 2. =
Worse yet, how about odd numbers. What if they only have the window open =
three inches wide. The effects are lost. Deal with the medium to the =
best of it's ability. It's a TV screen for God's sake! This puts a =
little more "show" into online material with less work. That's just fine =
for us couch potatoes. More importantly it would not be difficult to =
link fixed regions to such applications as video conferencing (cuseeme) =
or video broadcasting (streamworks). Because only fixed regions of the =
screen update the layout of information would be more stable. A nice =
java-applet volume control in another window??? This is a =
"show/broadcast" type presentation where you can sit and enjoy. Maybe =
even learn.=20
I apologize if the powers of the WEB have already made arrangements for =
such TV type presentation.  From the programs I've been beta testing and =
using I find we're extending our use of page-format rather than adapt =
the "full-screen" concept.  As an instructor of computer applications I =
think I have a handle on what basic users really want and this is it.  =
With powerful tools such as JAVA and realtime applications such as =
Realaudio=D3, Cuseeme=D3, Mbone=D3, Internet phone=D3 and Streamworks=D3 =
we have to redesign our use of the interface (browser) to suit the =
application without losing the flexibility.


Rick Collins
=20
Systems Analyst
Educational Technology
Memorial University
St. John's, NF


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