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Seybold still crazy about Web

How designers give Web pages some of the multimedia sizzle of CD-ROMs is one of the topics to be discussed at the Seybold trade show.

How do designers give Web pages some of the multimedia sizzle of CD-ROMs?

That's one of the questions software companies such as Macromedia (MACR), NetObjects, and PaceWorks will try to answer at this week's Seybold Seminars trade show in New York. All three of these companies are unveiling design tools intended to electrify the look and feel of otherwise static Web sites.

Whether they're being held in New York or San Francisco, Seybold events typically draw the creative sides of the multimedia and print worlds, rather than hard-core programmers. Still, the shows have become a meeting place for both "content providers" and technical wizards.

For example, Kim Polese, chief executive of "push" software company Marimba, will share a keynote speech tomorrow with executives from New York Times Electronic Media and computer publishing giant Ziff-Davis.

The show will be highlighted by the unveiling of Adobe Systems' PostScript 3, a new version of its printing language designed to handle the new demands of business networks including Web printing and management capabilities and better graphics performance.

Other announcements at the Seybold show include the following:

  • Macromedia today introduced Authorware 4 Interactive Studio, a suite of tools for creating CD-ROM and Web-based multimedia applications. The core tool in the $2,999 suite is Authorware 4, which allows designers to create "interactive learning" applications such as a Web site for training employees. The rest of the suite includes Director 6, Backstage Internet Studio 2: Enterprise Edition, xRes 3, and other tools.

    The entire suite of tools also lets designers build "hybrid" applications that use CD-ROMs to store hefty multimedia video and sound clips and the Internet to download timely information.

    Authorware 4 Interactive Studio will be available for Windows 95, NT, and Macintosh platforms in the second quarter.

  • For designers who want to animate their Web sites, PaceWorks announced ObjectDancer 1.1. The drag-and-drop tool allows users to add movement to text, graphics, and video and then output the results as a QuickTime video, Java applet, or GIF89.

    The new features in ObjectDancer 1.1 include speedier rendering of animations and smoother, more lifelike animations through a capability called "subpixel sampling." The product is in beta testing now and will ship within a month.

  • NetObjects tried to improve its support for the Macintosh, a platform that still dominates the arts and graphic design fields. As reported by CNET NEWS.COM, the company unveiled the beta version of Fusion 2.0 for the Mac, a tool aimed at builders of entire Web sites rather than individual Web pages.

  • Inso unveiled DynaBase Dynamic Web Publishing System, a solution for managing and publishing interactive Web sites. The $47,000 product includes DynaBase Data Server, an object-oriented database for storing HTML, graphics, scripts, applets, and other media.
  • Live Picture has shipped its RealSpace Image Server, which allows users to view, distribute, and print photo-quality digital images across the Internet.