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PHP and SMIL: A Happy Combination

SMIL gives you control of multimedia and text elements in a browser over a timeline, while PHP lets you write dynamic SMIL code. The combination produces nicely-timed presentations.

n this article you will see how to use the Synchronized Multimedia Integration language (SMIL) and PHP to add great slideshow presentations to your web sites. If you're not already familiar with SMIL, you'll discover that it's extremely agile and simple to use. PHP is compatible with SMIL, makes it dynamic, and provides server-side support. Together, they can do a great job.

A Brief Introduction to SMIL
SMIL is a W3C standard. You write SMIL in XML, using a vocabulary similar to HTML to create slideshow-like presentations, displaying and controlling multiple multimedia files. SMIL has methods for defining element sequences, duration, position, and visibility, etc.

How to Play a SMIL File
To play a SMIL presentation, you need a SMIL player. Here are some SMIL players on the web:

In addition, Internet Explorer 5.5 (or later) can play SMIL presentations natively. For a more complete list of player options, see the SMIL player page.

Editing SMIL Presentations
While you can write SMIL presentations manually, it's much easier to use a SMIL editor. Some of the most popular are:

Again, you can find a more complete list of editing and authoring tools on the main SMIL site.

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