Date: Wed, 02 Feb 94 11:35:49 +0000 From: > Are you interested in the HANDSHAKE-project? Yes. I am currently working on a hyper-media project at Univercity College London. The aim is to provide a tool that would aid conference organisers to create a multi-media guide for the events. That means that the organisers would be working with a template for a guide and all that they have to do is to put the actual information into the database, along with certain dialog-tools they want to use in the application. The guide will reside on a WWW server, so that early access and remote access to the information is possible via Mosaic. Looking forward to hear more from you, melex.
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 94 15:24:17 +0000 From: Barbara: m: [...] The aim is to provide a tool that would aid conference organisers to m: create a multi-media guide for the events. [...] b: That sounds VERY interesting. Would you like to reveal some more b: details about the technical realisation of it? And does it work already? Unfortunately we don't expect to have anything publicly available until ca. June/July. As yet I'm not in the possition to give a full description of technical details, since we are still in development and have to make a lot of changes as we go along. That is partly due to the fact that we keep discovering new goodies on the net and keep finding them usefule (eg. last week we came across a new extension for tcl wich we now try to compile). Anyway I will try and give you a good idea of what exectly our aims are, by splitting the aim into o requirements for the user (conference visitor) o requirements for the author (conference organiser) I will try to keep it as short as possible :) User Requirements ----------------- The Guide will be implemented om the UCL www-server. The information will be stored in a local database. Users will be able to access this information through Mosaic and browse through URLs that will present the information in a non-sequentiell manner. Information will include information on conference specific events as well as information on the local area, ie accomodation, travel, eating-out, etc. Life time of the Guide: The life time of the Guide will have three essential periods to it: pre conference, during conference, post conference. There will be a set of core information that will be more or less the same for all the periods (restrictions apply for dynamic changes of the database, eg canceled events), whereas some information will only be useful in one or two of the periods (eg forms to submit papers). Dynamic Information Sequences: A major concern is navigation of users through the Guide. In order to enable the users of making the choice of their navigation as free as possible - without them getting lost in hyper-space, it is neccessary to create sequences dynamically. eg if a users wants to browse through hotels, which are cheaper than L50 per night, the Guide must have ways to (a) enable the users to formulate this query and (b) collect this data from the database. This is achieved by forms for browsing through categories. eg a form for accomodation which allows the users to specify criteria. The form will then make the request (ht bin) and will came back with a set of URLs that can be browsed through by the user. The user will also be allowed to browse casually through the database (wthout having to fill out forms) or make a free text search for specific terms. Dynamic Hotspots: Documents may include links to other documents. eg a document for a specific hotel description will have a link to the next and previous hotel in that sequence and might also have a link to other places of interest in that area. To create a useful notions of 'next' and 'previous', it is neccessay for URLs to 'know' from which other URL they have been called, ie URLs need to be created dynamically. This is achieved by having templates for URLs, where the links for next and previous are missing. This links are added when the URL is requested. Annotations Users will be able to comment on data entries and other users will be able to view these. (eg user Blip really dislikes the person who has written the paper on post-modern potato planting and wants everyone to know) All of the User Interface design issues will be considered with great care, so that the well thought through structure matches an intelligent interface. To give you a taste: keyboard input will be avoided where possible, so that the Guide can be used by less computer literate people. The Guide might even end up in a public place (eg. hotel foyers) Author Requirements: -------------------- The Guide will have to provide authoring tools that allow for hyper-media editing. These tools are linked to a database. The authoring tools must also find ways of implementing the above requirements themselves as opposed to let the author have to do it. The way we are going to go about solving all the related problems is basically by finding ways out of our own misery: At the moment we are implementing the Guide for the SIGCOM conference 94. But rather than going the hard way (as most Mosaic authors), ie hacking HTML code etc., we are actually writin our own authoring tools, by keeping in mind that we are going to hand them over to other people. I would rather leave it at that, because I'm not sure how bored you will get when being confronted with the nastiness of tcl/tk, HTML, binary relational databases, browsers etc. (let me know if you want to know more) BTW: "us" and "we" is myself and my partner mik ( m. ----------->my other machine is a NeXT machine:
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 94 15:53:40 +0000 From: Ooops. I got so indulged while talking about the Guide that I've forgotten the rest of your questions. b: What kind of interest do you have? New forms of user interfaces - new artefacts. The computer has provided us with a new medium that allows the creation of new media. What exactly is the potential of this media? How far can we get beyond simulation of the "real" world and how can we find new worlds instead with new means of communication? What are the sociological and psychological effects of the new medium computer? Narrative in human computer interaction. Media spaces and the communities that they form. Ethnology in media spaces. b: Just an exchange of technical ideas? Can't get too excited about techy stuff as long as it works :) b: Or active participation in an artistic or/and technical support? Creative/mental participation and inspiration. I must admit: I had a glance at your www page and was not too impressed by its potentiall - but maybe I had just missed some points. Neither did I like the questionaire - it seemed to be hyped up around the periphicial issues. I would be glad if I would get an opportunity to discuss this. m. -------------->my other machine is a NeXT machine: