Network Access to Multimedia Information
RFC 1614

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 1994; No errata)
Author Chris Adie 
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                            C. Adie
Request for Comments: 1614        Edinburgh University Computing Service
RARE Technical Report: 8                                        May 1994
Category: Informational

                Network Access to Multimedia Information

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.


   This report summarises the requirements of research and academic
   network users for network access to multimedia information.  It does
   this by investigating some of the projects planned or currently
   underway in the community.  Existing information systems such as
   Gopher, WAIS and World-Wide Web are examined from the point of view
   of multimedia support, and some interesting hypermedia systems
   emerging from the research community are also studied.  Relevant
   existing and developing standards in this area are discussed.  The
   report identifies the gaps between the capabilities of
   currentlydeployed systems and the user requirements, and proposes
   further work centred on the World-Wide Web system to rectify this.

   The report is in some places very detailed, so it is preceded by an
   extended summary, which outlines the findings of the report.

Publication History

   The first edition was released on 29 June 1993.  This second edition
   contains minor changes, corrections and updates.

Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements                                                2
    Disclaimer                                                      2
    Availability                                                    3
    0. Extended Summary                                             3
    1. Introduction                                                10
      1.1. Background                                              10
      1.2. Terminology                                             11
    2. User Requirements                                           13
      2.1. Applications                                            13
      2.2. Data Characteristics                                    18

Adie                                                            [Page 1]
RFC 1614        Network Access to Multimedia Information        May 1994

      2.3. Requirements Definition                                 19
    3. Existing Systems                                            24
      3.1. Gopher                                                  24
      3.2. Wide Area Information Server                            30
      3.3. World-Wide Web                                          34
      3.4. Evaluating Existing Tools                               42
    4. Research                                                    47
      4.1. Hyper-G                                                 47
      4.2. Microcosm                                               48
      4.3. AthenaMuse 2                                            50
      4.4. CEC Research Programmes                                 51
      4.5. Other                                                   53
    5. Standards                                                   55
      5.1. Structuring Standards                                   55
      5.2. Access Mechanisms                                       62
      5.3. Other Standards                                         63
      5.4. Trade Associations                                      66
    6. Future Directions                                           68
      6.1. General Comments on the State-of-the-Art                68
      6.2. Quality of Service                                      70
      6.3. Recommended Further Work                                71
    7. References                                                  76
    8. Security Considerations                                     79
    9. Author's Address                                            79


   The following people have (knowingly or unknowingly) helped in the
   preparation of this report: Tim Berners-Lee, John Dyer, Aydin Edguer,
   Anton Eliens, Tony Gibbons, Stewart Granger, Wendy Hall, Gary Hill,
   Brian Marquardt, Gunnar Moan, Michael Neuman, Ari Ollikainen, David
   Pullinger, John Smith, Edward Vielmetti, and Jane Williams.  The
   useful role which NCSA's XMosaic information browser tool played in
   assembling the information on which this report was based should also
   be acknowledged - many thanks to its developers.

   All trademarks are hereby acknowledged as being the property of their
   respective owners.


   This report is based on information supplied to or obtained by
   Edinburgh University Computing Service (EUCS) in good faith.  Neither
   EUCS nor RARE nor any of their staff may be held liable for any
   inaccuracies or omissions, or any loss or damage arising from or out
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