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«A Confederation of Tools for Capturing and Accessing Collaborative Activity Scott Minneman Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) 3333 Coyote Hill ...»

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Acknowledgments Thanks to: Chuck Hebel and the many TAP members who have participated in the work described herein; our colleagues--Sara Bly, Dan Swinehart, Bryan Lyles, Don Kimber, Karon Weber, and members of the Collaborative Systems Area at PARC--for working with us as the ideas and systems in this paper were developed and implemented;

Tom Rodriguez and Victoria Bellotti who also provided helpful advice on the work and on earlier drafts of this paper.

We acknowledge the Collaborative Computing group at Sun Microsystems Inc., for providing their prototype digital video hardware, associated software, and support.

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Table of Contents Endnotes (1) The LiveBoard hardware currently used in this project is made by LiveWorks, Inc., a Xerox Company.

(2) Time-based records include audio, video, and those computing records where a temporal element makes sense, such as program activity logs, email, presentation slides, document versions.

(3) The LiveBoard also supports shared use among distributed sites; we do not utilize this capability in the work reported here.

(4) The video hardware employed in the work came from a collaborative research agreement with Sun Labs Inc.the so-called DIME boards use the Intel i750 chipset and produce moderate quality video at reduced frame rates.

The quality of the audio and video leaves much to be desired; improvements are underway for each regime.

(5) The intervention process and techniques will be described in a future paper.

(6) Ron's notes have undergone a progression from discussion summaries to descriptions of activity (e.g., "Jeff's comments about prior art.") as he's gained confidence in the recordings. Ironically, this has actually permitted him to focus more of his attention on the discussion itself. The utility of the tools occasionally shows up in explicit discourse (e.g., "No reason to write that downI'll pull it off the audio.") (7) The tcl ILU bindings do not currently support the construction of servers.

(8) The audio format is Sun Sparcstation 8 kHz mulaw, the video is Intel's RTV2.0 (variable resolution and frame rate, tuned for network and storage resources).

(9) The API has also been used in a number of other applications, some of which will be discussed later in this paper.

(10) It is the research version of the Windows application called "Meeting Board" that is shipped with the PC-based LiveBoard.

(11) WhereWereWe's name derives from its ability to perform this retrieval operation while the activity is still being recorded; letting groups get distracted and return to earlier points in their discussion to restart"Where were we?" (12) The user specifies the name of the Session at WEmacs startup time. This manual step will be unnecessary when we fix the Session initializer to communicate this piece of information to WEmacs directly.

(13) The clockmarks in Tivoli may be used in this way, but are limited to one user at a time and can interrupt the flow of a meeting.

(14) WhereWereWe provides a service to allow client programs to request the current absolute time from the server.

This facility is provided for clients running on platforms that are not participating in various clock synchronization protocols (such as NTP).

(15) On the other hand, participation in Coral can bring up interesting research and interface issues. Considerable effort was devoted to making the Tivoli application be an intuitive tool for scribbling and playback.

(16) Furthermore, we believe that much of the emerging multimedia infrastructure work is missing the mark on particular classes of multimedia applications, particularly those where the delay between the production and use of the multimedia streams is short (near-synchronous), those where simultaneous reading and writing of a multimedia recording is important (akin, in the analog world, to reading from and writing to different places on the tape), and systems facile enough to support using unproduced video as a conversational prop (pre-narrative) [Minneman and Harrison, 1993].

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