Re: Arena / Amaya (was: Re: <math>, <fig>, ...)

Steve Heaney (
14 Jun 96 11:55:31 +0000

Date: 14 Jun 96 11:55:31 +0000
Subject: Re: Arena / Amaya (was: Re: <math>, <fig>, ...)
From: "Steve Heaney" <>
Cc: "Jonathan L Neuenschwander" <>,
Message-Id: <ADE703DC-8F46F7@>

A little while ago I promised to post my notes from the W3C session 
regarding browser development (amongst other things) in response to 
a thread about W3C support of Arena and HTML 3.0/3.2.

I apologise for the delay but here they are - unedited and without 
any guarantee of accuracy.

You'll notice that there is now a link to Amaya information on although at this point in time it seems to 
be is access controlled.


+ Objectives
 - build a testbed for experimenting and demonstration 
    - extensions of existing Web protocols and standards
    - new proposals
 - Provide a general purpose client
    - seamless integration of browsing and editing
    active client with read and write.

+ Requirements
To achieve these objectives needs to be
 - extensible: provide framework for implementing new features
 - customisable: experiments in various environments
 - ease of use: for different categories of users

+ Background
Arena: a testbed browser for HTML extensions and style sheets
Amaya builds on previous work at INRIA in project Opera
 - Research on structured documents and hypertext
 - Thot, a library for structured documents
 - prototypes of HTML editors

  Easier to create browser from editor than visa versa.
  Consortium involvement is only two months old.
  Amaya is third generation HTML editor from the development team.

+ Main features
 - Native HTML editor and browser - not an add-on or filter
    It is not SGML editor detuned, because too much non-conformant 
    HTML around.
 - Multi-view: wysiwyg, structure, line browser, source, links, etc.
    wysiwyg as in HTML browser
    Structure view has proved very useful.  More so as HTML becomes 
    more complex.
 - Cascading Style Sheet support
    Not completely finished - not all properties supported.
 - Access to servers through the W3C reference library
    Using 4.1
 - publishing using the PUT method
    Using 4.1

+ User Interface
 - wysiwyg editing and strucutre manipulation in separate windows
 - direct manipulation, like in word processors
 - strucutre manipulation: ordering, hierarchy, element types,
 - link manipulation: names and URL
 - style sheet editing: generation of CSS syntax

+ Document Structure
 - Document structure is defined by a DTD: extensibility
 - The HTML parser accepts invalid documents
 - full HTML 2 plus extensions from HTML 3 (tables, figures, divisions
 - Usual structure manipulation commands (split, merge, surround,
change type)
 - Sophisticated structure transformations (.e.g. nested lists ->
(Paper presented about it earlier)
 - Several graphics formats: pixmap, tiff, gif, jpeg, png

+ Document presentation
 - default presentation specified externally: extensibility
Simple to support extensions to HTML
 - formatting according to style sheets (CSS)
 - Printing: generation of PostScript files

+ Cascading Style Sheets
CSS parser for handling incoming documents and style sheets
Style can be defined
 - for a single element
 - in the document head for the whole document
 - in local or remote style sheets, for several documents.

+ Editing style sheets
Amaya allows style sheets to be created and edited
Creation and editing of style sheets:
 - direct manuipulation with automatic generation of CSS syntax.
 - Input of CSS syntax
 - Copy and Move between style sheets

+ Plug in API
 - Amaya includes standard editing commands based on the DTD
 - an API allows 
   - add new functions to the editor/browser
   - modify existing functions
 - the API handles the document logical structure

 - access to remote servers bu the reference library v4.1
 - PUT method to write documents on remote servers
 - links are updated according to the document location
 - additional functions for document/link management

+ Future Developments
 - Integration of Java (applets)
 - HTML extensions: objects, automated form entry, math etc.
    (HTML 3.2 draft has been published today)
 - Implementation of new proposal: PICS, payment
 - Templates for specific document types
 - Support for CSCW
 - e.t.c.

+ Conclusion

Amaya is a testbed client for experimenting with new Web features.
Amaya will be available soon to W3C members and the Web community one 
month after.
Amaya runs on Unix workstation and is being ported to PC/Windows.

(Members of consortium will decide release schedule - hopefully in