Multimedia has become a very large and diverse field of activity. Its fuzzy boundaries merge into Information Technology. Disk storage, creative aspects like authoring, transmission protocols, standards, politics, and networks called superhighways are examples of activities where technical matters, creative work, applications, politics, and marketing hype are intermingled.
Two particular problems have been encountered in trying to arrange this book.
First, technical explanations may be unwanted. For example, a reader interested in the effectiveness of multimedia systems for teaching may not want to wade through technical data. Accordingly, technology is mainly confined toseparate chapters. However, it is not possible to explain, for instance, certain CDI applications without constant reference to the technology.
Second, not all of the information about a particular subject can be covered in one place—some aspects of it may be more appropriately covered in another chapter. On the other hand, a subject becomes fragmented if separate aspects of it are made to fit the ‘right’ chapter. In this book an attempt has been made to put major aspects of a subject in the chapter where a reader would expect to find it. The ambiguity of its different aspects sometimes makes this a difficult choice, but the book has a comprehensive index.
In those parts of the book where technical explanations are required I have tried to keep them simple. If jargon or acronyms are used, their meaning will be found in the glossary. I hope that the large collection of references will be useful.