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"Digital Media and Electronic Publishing"

6-8 December 1994
University of Leeds

Pre-Conference Tutorial: "Electronic Publishing on CD-ROM"

Prof Steve Cunningham (California State University, USA) ACM SIGGRAPH Director for Publications Steve Cunningham outlined his experiences of creating electronic publications for CD-ROM distribution for the ACM SIGGRAPH Conferences and Course Notes. He outlined what was easy and what was difficult, what is inexpensive and what is costly. The stages in the production of a CD-ROM were also detailed from developing the concept to manufacturing and distributing the disks. Some are areas common to all disk projects but some are unique to each project or application. The Tutorial notes were 131 pages and are due to be published as a book later this year. The model used for SIGGRAPH CD-ROM's was as follows:

54 papers and 24 panels for SIGGRAPH Proceedings took 1 month to do. Using volunteer effort enabled a disc to be produced at affordable cost. It should be noted that development costs for full professional CD-ROM's can be substantial. These include staff (manager, director, editor, designer) estimated at 175K, production (manager, programmer, artists, integrator) estimated at 185K. Overheads are estimated at 150K. Obtaining rights for the reproduction of materials (eg sound, video) estimated at 65K. Thus the total development cost will be around 575K.


The keynote speakers were Prof Steve Cunningham and Dr Richard L Phillips (Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA). Prof Steve Cunningham outlined the publisher's point of view in electronic publishing by summarising current opportunities and issues in the field. SIGGRAPH produce 7,000 to 18,000 discs and costs can be got down to under 2 pounds per disc. This can be compared to the book costs of 7-9 pounds per conference proceedings. Current issues include standards for the components of electronic documents, compound documents, usability, intellectual property, and copyright.

Dr Richard Phillips described a network-based, distributed, media- rich computing and information environment - Sunrise. This project started in October 1993 and was intended to be a prototype National Information Infrastructure development in the USA. One focus was to tie together enabling technologies (networking, object-oriented distributed computing, graphical interfaces, security, multi-media technologies and data-mining technologies) with several specific applications. Applications areas selected were materials modelling, medical records and image analysis, transportation simulations, and education.

Figure: Sunrise components

Further objectives of Sunrise were to develop common information-enabling tools for advanced scientific research and its applications to industry, and to define a new way of collaborating between computer science and industrially-relevant research. The user interface supports embedded applications, multimedia video/voice fragments, and links to a wide information space. Data mining technology will include the ability to quickly browse large complex image databases with various extraction capabilities, provide advanced, selective, compression algorithms, and the ability to merge and purge large complex datasets. "The Figure" summarises the activities and relationships of Sunrise. Further information can be obtained from the following World Wide Web URL's: and

Professor David Brailsford (University of Nottingham) described the CAJUN Project (CD-ROM Acrobat Journals Using Networks). Sponsors of the project include Wiley, and Chapman and Hall (Thomson). Adobe Systems had provided beta releases of their software. The journals utilised in the project were as follows:

Adobe Acrobat was used for this work.

In April 1994 the CAJUN project released a CD-ROM containing the first 6 volumes of the Electronic Publishing journal in electronic form with Acrobat viewers (release 1.0 version) for the Macintosh, MS-DOS, and MS-Windows operating systems. An experimental service has also just been set up for network dissemination by having a journal server at Nottingham which is accessible over the Internet. Seven files in PDF form are currently available from the EP journal, including one which describes the automated hyperlink techniques developed in the CAJUN project. To make use of this service the user needs an Acrobat viewer of some sort, access to the Internet, and a copy of either Gopher or FTP or World Wide Web (WWW) software. The details for access over Internet are:

FTP: (files are in /ep/pub/pdf)
Gopher: (

Acrobat seems set to become a de facto standard in the world of page-based electronic documents. Its very closeness to PostScript, and the modular design of the API in release 2.0, means that aspects of Acrobat such as font rendering and device-independent colour, can be used as components in a variety of electronic document viewers.

Further topics covered in the Conference included books, electronic journals, CD-ROM journals, interactive multimedia, hypertext authoring, data and image capture, interactive learning environments, graphics in documents, personal information appliances, teleservices, digital libraries, and copyright protection.

Copies of the Conference Proceedings are available for 40 pounds on application to:
Ms Donna Walker
Conference Office
University of Leeds
Leeds, LS2 9JT
Tel: +44 1 32 336100
Fax: +44 1 32 336107

Rae Earnshaw