Vol. 2. No. 2 INT September 1996
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Shockwave Rules

Jim Duber

UC Berkeley


In this column last issue, the focus was on the release of Netscape 2.0 and its new plug-in architecture -- which was going to allow third party developers to create powerful extensions (called "plug-ins") to the Netscape browser. And create they have. Last February 1996, I reported a total of 17 available plug-ins, and most of those were beta, or pre-release   versions. As of this writing, a mere four months later, Netscape's index of final release plug-ins contains over 80 different entries, including those which allow for the playback of digital video (QuickTime, AVI, MPEG, etc.); the exploration of 3D space and objects; the display of and interaction with documents created with, for example, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, Microsoft Word, Power Point, etc., all within the Netscape browser.

By and large, plug-ins are offered as freeware, and the majority of them have something to offer in the way of creating or viewing interactive CALL modules over the web. Yet it is the Shockwave plug-ins and authoring utilities from Macromedia that continue to impress me the most. Here's why:

It is clear that the interest in developing and using the power of Shockwave in CALL activities delivered over the web will continue to grow. As a result, ESL/EFL teachers and learners can look forward to benefitting from a list of resources that is virtually guaranteed to grow quickly both in scope and quality.

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