There are three main authoring tools: There are three main authoring tools

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There are three main authoring tools:

  • There are three main authoring tools:

  • Card or page based tools

  • Icon-based or event driven tools

  • Time-based and presentation tools


Good if the project consists of elements that can be viewed individually

  • Good if the project consists of elements that can be viewed individually

  • Media elements grouped onto screens like pages in a book

  • Pages contain buttons, text fields, graphic objects, backgrounds

  • Buttons may contain scripts to perform specific functions or go to a specific page. If a user selects the wrong answer to a question, a script will direct him to a prior page for review.

  • HyperCard, ToolBook



Programming done visually, without scripting

  • Programming done visually, without scripting

  • AuthorWare



Best used when message has a beginning, middle & end

  • Best used when message has a beginning, middle & end

  • Uses “movie” metaphor

  • Macromedia Director (See example)



Each MM project will have its own structure and purpose thus requires different features and functions such as:

  • Each MM project will have its own structure and purpose thus requires different features and functions such as:

    • Editing tools
    • Organizing tools
    • Programming tools


Editing features

  • Editing features

  • MM elements are created, edited, and converted to standard format using special editors

    • sound editor,
    • text editor,
    • image editor,
    • ….


Designing the interactive & navigation flow of the MM project requires a lot of programming thus

  • Designing the interactive & navigation flow of the MM project requires a lot of programming thus

  • needs flowcharting & storyboarding illustrating the structure of the MM project at the macro level



MM authoring systems offer one or more of the following:

  • MM authoring systems offer one or more of the following:

    • Visual programming with icons & objects. This is the simplest & easiest
    • Programming with a scripting language for navigation and interacting with the end user
    • Programming with traditional languages for direct access to the computer’s Operating system (in windows using DLLs)
    • Document development tool for providing online help using indexing, hyperlink and searching mechanisms


Interactivity feature

  • Interactivity feature

  • Authoring systems should provide one or more levels of interactivity:

    • Simple branching offers the ability to other sections via activities such as: mouse over, mouse click, mouse leave
    • Conditional branching if-then else
    • Complex branching using structured programming features such as subroutines, event tracking, and message passing


Performance tuning feature. For example

  • Performance tuning feature. For example

    • In many cases one needs to synchronize events such as animation with sound.
  • This is difficult because performance varies from platform to another.

  • Authoring system must allow precise timing events and controlling presentation speed



Playback feature

  • Playback feature

  • Playback of the presentation or parts of it during development for testing purposes

  • Delivery features

  • Most of the times you need to distribute the product as a run time version that does not require the authoring system.

    • This will prevent the user from altering the project content.


Macintosh machine is the most widely used authoring system, however

  • Macintosh machine is the most widely used authoring system, however

  • most people use Window operating systems. It is important to develop on one machine and run on another

    • If Cross-Platform Is used it must support color and font….
  • Internet playability

  • The Web is an important delivery medium, thus it is important to be able to output to the Web using Plug-ins or embedding scripts




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