In WWWeasel, we use a single media-browser panel displayed at the bottom of
the WWWeasel HTML buffer; the media browser has a number of panels, each
panel representing a different media type and media selection. The
currently displayed media panel and media selection is the current
selection for insertion (via the ``
<insert> key'') into the editor
(at the insertion cursor point).
If the HTML element corresponding to the ``cursor'' in the editor is an HTML markup, then a panel appears in the ``media browser'' area showing the selected HTML markup and its attributes (if any). In this way both ``insert'' and ``show selection'' editor commands work consistently for both media and markups in all editing operations.
The selection in the media browser is set either by a successful drag-and-drop of a desktop file, a successful file browse, or via the ``show selection'' editor command. Note that any kind of data can be a WWW anchor (the technical name for a hypermedia link in HTML), and therefore WWWeasel will allow any kind of file to be set as a media selection (which we will also called the act of ``browsing'' in this paper). WWWeasel has a number of specific local media-types that it can handle internally:
Some media types are recognized and automatically converted to the appropriate de-facto standard formats used on the web. Specifically, we attempt to automatically convert proprietary media types that are well supported on the given deployment platform to types widely used on the web. For example, most SGI tools handle only SGI's proprietary ``.rgb'' format for images, therefore WWWeasel will automatically convert these to GIF for easier and more direct inclusion into a web-based design document. Similarly, since SGI's audio tools support SGI's ``.aifc'' format and Apple's ``.aiff'' format, WWWeasel automatically converts these audio formats to Sun/NeXT ``.au'' format since that is a de-facto standard for audio on the web.
For unrecognized media types, e.g. application, implementation, or site-specific media types (e.g. Adobe Postscript files, Adobe PDF files, Framemaker, or Microsoft Word documents) WWWeasel will allow these files to be selected, browsed, drag-and-dropped or inserted, but it doesn't attempt to interpret these proprietary formats in any way other than showing the name/path of the selected media file and some information on the size, last modification time and ownership of the file.