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Macromedia meets Marimba

Macromedia will adapt its Shockwave multimedia software so that it can be delivered by Marimba's Castanet technology.

In a boost for upstart Java software developer Marimba, multimedia tools maker Macromedia (MACR) said today that it will adapt its Shockwave software so that it can be delivered by Marimba's Castanet technology.

The announcement means that Shockwave animation and audio created with Macromedia Director tools can be distributed on a Castanet "channel." Marimba's channels are a form of "push" technology that sends software over a network to users who request that content or application.

"This means content developers can use off-the-shelf tools and immediately start cranking out Marimba channels without writing Java code," said Kim Polese, Marimba's CEO. As a result, the 300,000-plus developers who use Macromedia Director can create channels as plug-ins to Marimba.

For security reasons, Marimba until now has required that developers use Sun Microsystems' Java to create channels. In its next version, Marimba says its software will be secure enough to deliver applications written in other programming languages.

"This gives content providers a very efficient way to distribute information over the Internet," said Jim Funk, Macromedia vice president of corporate development. Most Web browsers can receive Shockwave content over the Net, but Marimba's technology means Shockwave applications can be delivered over other networks as well.

When Macromedia finishes adapting its Director tools to Marimba early next year, Shockwave animation will be able to be distributed without modification on a Castanet channel.

Castanet, currently in beta testing, runs on any platform that supports the Java Virtual Machine, including Windows NT, Windows 95, and Solaris 2.5. Marimba expects to deliver the 1.1 version of Castanet by midyear, allowing other non-Java code to be distributed as channels.