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Netscape gets fired up

Macromedia announces that its Shockwave plug-in and Fireworks, a Java-based application programming interface, will be incorporated into all future versions of Navigator.

Macromedia announced today that its Shockwave plug-in and Fireworks, a Java-based API (application programming interface), will be incorporated into all future versions of Netscape Communications' Navigator browser software, starting with the version code-named Galileo that Netscape is promising by year's end.

The announcement came on the first day of Macromedia's user conference in San Francisco, where company CEO Bud Colligan in his keynote speech emphasized the importance of data delivery over the Internet.

"All of us in multimedia will be judged by how well we deliver data over low bandwidth and mid-bandwidth in the next two to three years," said Colligan.

Shockwave, a streaming technology that delivers audio, graphics, and animation to Web sites via a multimedia plug-in player, is already shipping as an ActiveX control with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0.

By including Fireworks with Navigator, Macromedia is exposing its application programming interface based on Director and Shockwave. The technology provides a Java-based API that allows developers to add text, image, animation, and audio to Java and other technologies in the Netscape ONE open network environment.

Fireworks is compatible with Windows 95, 3.1, NT, Power Macintosh, Macintosh 68K, and Unix. Future versions of Shockwave and new Java-based publishing tools will be based on Fireworks.

In a speech following Colligan, Intel CEO Andrew Grove also warned the crowd of developers about living in a low-bandwidth world: "There simply isn't enough bandwidth and won't be for years to come, so we have to get clever with delivery."

Grove discussed the viability of hybrid applications that use local data, stored on hard drives, CD-ROMs, and DVDs, as well as Internet-based content for updates and interactivity.