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The 39 Works
As aforementioned, The Progressive Dinner Party contains 39 digital works by female artists, which were chosen from Carolyn Guertin's site Assemblage: The Women's Hypertext Gallery. These works can be accessed through their place settings, and are listed below in alphabetical order by title. Also included here are tags describing the work, which include descriptions in the previous page. These tags serve to provide a brief overview regarding the nature of each piece for the reader's convenience.
The majority of the works have been run through the Webrecorder for preservation purposes. Many can still be found in their original states on the web, though the updated version of The Progressive Dinner Party uses the URLS generated by the Webrecorder whenever possible.
Frames, High Interactivity, Image Rich
Tags: Macro Hypertext
Tags: Tables, Slideshows
Tags: Page Refresh, GIFs, Video, Audio
Tags: Macro Hypertext, Tables, Collaboration
Tags: Hypertext, Frames, Java Applets
Tags: Hypertext, Proprietary Software (Adobe PageMill)
Tags: Shockwave, Flash, Audio, Broken
Tags: Proprietary Software (Adobe GoLive 4), Frames
Tags: Hypertext, Frames, Page Refresh, Collaboration
Tags: Micro Hypertext, Frames, Tables
Tags: Micro Hypertext, Page Refresh, Video
Tags: Frames, Image Rich, Audio
Tags: Hypertext, Collaboration
Tags: Micro Hypertext, Frames
Tags: Hypertext, Area Maps, Tables
Tags: Hypertext, Shockwave, Tables
Tags: Tables, Image Rich, Missing
Tags: Micro Hypertext
Tags: Hypertext, Tables
Tags: Hypertext, Frames
Tags: Frames, Missing
Tags: Shockwave, Audio, High Interactivity
Tags: Hypertext, Page Refresh, Audio
Tags: Hypertext, Shockwave, Audio
Tags: Flash, Missing
39 Works Key
To present the 39 restored works, a system was devised involving tags and organizing them alphabetically by title. The works themselves can be viewed in alphabetical order in the next page, and the tag descriptions can be found here. These tags serve to provide a brief overview regarding the key features of each piece for the reader's convenience.
Area maps are used to create images with clickable areas. They are usually presented as a <map> tag towards the end of an <img> tag, followed by a list of screen coordinates. Though rarer, area maps is included as a tag because of the unique functionality it introduces, allowing users to hover over various spots on an image to access different hyperlinks.
This is for works that include auditory components.
Broken or Missing works
Unfortunately, not all of the local files for the works within The Progressive Dinner Party could be obtained. This was either because the work no longer existed (such as Slattery’s Glide) or because contact could not be made with the author for missing files. When possible, an external link to the most complete version of the work was provided in the website.
This tag is applied to works that were produced by multiple artists.
Works that used Adobe Flash to produce animations or sounds were given this tag. Unfortunately, all support for Adobe Flash in modern web browsers will be dropped in December 2020; thus it was imperative that these works were restored within the Webrecorder to ensure their survival.
Frame sets are used in HTML to divide the screen into sections, or "frames", that coexist while simultaneously remaining separate from each other. These are works that use frames as main components for separating menus, images, buttons, and more.
GIFs (Graphic Interchange Format) are still or animated images used by works to introduce animations with technology other than software such as Adobe Flash or Shockwave.
High Level Interactivity
On occasion, a work will demand greater participation on the users part than average to experience the work.
This tag specifies works that focus on hyperlinking text as a way of communicating messages.
Though many of the works featured in The Progressive Dinner Party include images, some of them cannot be easily navigated without them. Such works may be using images as the main way of presenting the piece. Others may include images to provide critical visual cues, such as written cues (like Home, Back and Next), or non-written cues (like arrows and other icons.)
For works that are presented in a linear fashion.
This includes hypertexts that are unusually large, usually as a result of collaboration from one or more artists.
Refreshing the page to redirect users to another is a fairly common practice among these web artists.
Many of the works relied on software produced by companies. Though Adobe Flash and Shockwave are considered proprietary, they were unique and used often enough to justify separate tags.
Artists on the web have many different methods of presentation at their disposal, which includes featuring their work as a slideshow.
This tag is given to works that utilize tables in an important way, such as for images or overlaying content.
This is for works that include video components.
This tag is applied to works utilizing Adobe Shockwave. Though support for Shockwave was dropped in April 2019, Shockwave plugins are still available for certain browsers. Thus, it was imperative that these works were restored with the Webrecorder to ensure their survival.
Shockwave and Flash
As of 2019, Adobe discontinued its support for Shockwave, while support for Flash will end in 2020. This means that any digital works that used these software programs will soon become obsolete. There are at least eight works within The Progressive Dinner Party that utilize these software programs, and though the Flash works could be easily viewed the Shockwave files would not play in most modern browsers. Fortunately, the Pale Moon web browser offers a downloadable Shockwave extension that allows files such as these to be viewed. At present, the Webrecorder can emulate browsers that support Flash but has yet to support Shockwave, but can record these files nonetheless. Thus, these works require browsers that support Shockwave in order to view them.
The Flash and Shockwave works are generally visual in nature, though some works use the software to play background music (such as *water always writes in *plural by Linda Carroli and Josephine Wilson.) Many of them are also highly interactive, such as The Intruder and Illusions, Philosophical Toy World. Still, the majority of them simply played videos or included moving imagery.
Animations created in CSS were not common until around the 2010s, so Flash and Shockwave were used to fill this niche during the explosion of the World Wide Web. But because Flash and Shockwave were so similar, the two competed for dominance (with Flash eventually winning.) Flash was released in 1996 as FurtureSplash by FutureWave Software, but was soon purchased by Macromedia and renamed Macromedia Flash. Macromedia also owned Director at this time, a software authoring system used for creating interactive CD-ROMs that predated the web. However, before it had purchased Flash Macromedia began outputting Director Files as Shockwave for the web, which meant Flash and Shockwave were fighting for the same audience drawn to interactive media. Eventually, Flash’s ability to play content quickly and its ease of use gave it an edge over Shockwave, despite the software program offering more robust features than Flash did. During this period of success Macromedia sold its products to Adobe, who in 2013 announced it was dropping support of Director, Shockwave in 2019, and Flash by the end of 2020.
Below are the works containing Flash and/or Shockwave files.
"Pronounciation: 'fut' or: A Tool and its Means" by Claire Dinsmore