Re: MIME Transfer Format (was Re: Protocol Benchmarking...)

Vinay Kumar (vinay@eit.COM)
Thu, 3 Feb 1994 21:33:04 --100

Few months ago, I experimented with this idea by writing a WYSIWYG MIME
multipart player client called "StoryBoard".

This client program lets users generate/view MIME multipart/parallel msg's.
The Multipart consists of:

Content-type: image/x-xwd
Content-Description: original MIME document

This is where the original document consisting of images ("bitmaps") and
text goes.

Content-Type: image/x-xwd
Content-Description: transparent annotation overlay

This is where all the personal annotations for above document go, it's
almost like laying a celluloid transparency on a document and making
annotations on it.

Content-Type: audio/basic

This is where recorded audio annotations go.

Content-Type: application/x-gesture

This is a cute animation feature that lets users use mouse to point to
different parts of above mentioned documents, and then play back the mouse
gestures synchronously with recorded voice. ("sort of like a multimedia slide


This client has been integrated as an external viewer into Mosaic using
CGI and ".mailcap". For those of you who would like to take a peek at some
of the StoryBoard generated msg's using metamail and your Sun-Mosaic client,
add the following line to your ".mailcap":

application/x-sb; metamail %s

and access

Again, this is just a small proof of concept. Incorporation of MIME multipart into
W3 servers/clients will require deeper investigation into special Content-Type's for
spatial (1d/2d/3d layout) and time-based layouts for differnt MIME multipart objects.

In StoryBoard, the two Content-type's for handling the original MIME document, and the
transparent annotation layer go on top of each other inside the client. That is, the
spatial layout (x,y) for both MIME Content-Type's inside the viewer is (0, 0), by
default ofcourse.

A Content-Type like "application/x-gesture" that describes time-based relationships
(say, for playing animations) between the different MIME Content-type's would be
desirable as well.

So much for now on this www-stratosphere-talk...Rest later !

  Vinay Kumar