LimSee2 is an open source authoring tool for multimedia documents using the SMIL 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1 formats. It features a powerful graphical user interface designed to ease the manipulation of time-based scenarios in SMIL multimedia presentations. SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) is an XML language, so LimSee2 is an application that constantly deals with common XML issues: parsing, validation, namespaces, DTD-driven editing, encoding, etc.
The aim of LimSee2 is to keep most of the XML aspects hidden from the user, so that there is no need to manipulate raw data: everything can be done graphically. The main specificity of the SMIL language is that it clearly separates the two main areas of a multimedia presentation:
Spatial layout specifies where and how multimedia objects should be displayed on a screen.
Media synchronization specifies how multimedia objects should be synchronized over time.
The development of LimSee2 started in October 2002. The first public release was made in June 2003. Version 1.0 was released in September 2004. The current version is 1.8 and was published in early 2006.
In 2004, a collaboration started with NRCD (National Research Center for Persons with Disabilities, Japan) to make progress in the areas of internationalization, accessibility and ease of use. Joint effort directly resulted in new internationalization features (a Japanese version is now available). Improving usability and adding support for a powerful template mechanism required deeper refactoring. These objectives are the root of a totally new version, LimSee3, based on a new document model (see section 3.3.1 ). This new activity is being developed in the context of the European Project Palette (see section 7.1 ).