ground rules on Internet multimedia

Paul Burchard (burchard@CS.Princeton.EDU)
Thu, 5 Sep 96 03:05:53 -0400

I'm really glad to see a discussion starting here on how to use the
DREI material in actual teaching---and I'd like to make sure
everyone can participate in the discussion. For this to work, it's
important for us to conscientiously stick to Internet-standard file
formats and communication mechanisms, which work with all types of

To take a specific example that seems to have discouraged some
people (sorry to pick on you, Duncan!), it seems that quite a few
people were not able to make heads or tails of the attachment in
Duncan's email on voronoi diagrams. One reason is that it was a
Microsoft Word document, and many people on this list can't or don't
run MSWord on their computers. Another reason is that the
attachment, while made in the Internet-standard way, was not
properly labelled as an MSWord file (this is a matter of configuring
your mail program).

Here are some specific formats that should be accessible to everyone:

Rich Text:
TeX (the best way to write math; however most people on
this list probably don't have the viewer installed)
GIF (actually patented, but viewers are widely available)
E-Mail Attachments:
MIME (Eudora, Netscape, elm, etc. do this automatically; but
older versions of MS Mail, cc:Mail, etc., probably don't).

If you have any questions about this topic. I'd like to encourage
you to post your question here -- don't assume you're the only one