Tutorial on Web-Based
Collaborative Tools
Introduction
March 1 2001
ERDC Vicksburg
Geoffrey Fox, Ahmet Uyar
Florida State University
Department of Computer Science and
CSIT (School of Computational Science and Information Technology)
400 Dirac Science Library
Tallahassee
Florida 32306-4120
[email protected]
10/3/2015
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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Topics to be Covered I
1. Introduction: What is a Collaboratory and
Collaboration Technology; Tools, Standards, Portals
2. Web Conferencing Tools (Centra, WebEx,
PlaceWare, Latitude) + demos of Centra and PlaceWare
3. Learning Management Systems (Blackboard and
WebCT) + demos of Blackboard and WebCT using
WebEx.
4. Shared display in WebEx and VNC
5 Management Tools: TMD (Training Management
Database) and Virtual Classroom Manager (“NPAC
Grading System”)
6. Learning Object standards: IMS and ADL
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Topics to be Covered II
7. Authoring and Authoring Standards from
Macromedia, Adobe, .. Flash, SVG, VML,
OpenOffice.org
8. HearMe Voice over IP including demo
9. Access Grid high end audio-video conferencing
10. Instant Messengers (Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Jabber)
11. Calendars and Schedulers
12. Palmtop Interfaces and Comments on Palmtop
Technology
13. Portals for education and computing.
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What are we Trying to do I?
Build web-based support for people to interact with each other
and with other resources: computers, documents, instruments
This was originally called a Collaboratory by Bill Wulf in a
famous Science article in volume 261, 13 Aug 1993
We must do this while technology is rapidly changing and
while we are not certain what collaborative tools, scientists
will actually use i.e. requirements are not known
We will find a set of successful capabilities where some
consensus exists as to what they do and how they look to users
– these are typically (now) commercialized
There are some clearly useful technologies and standards on
which to build – we will mention these en passant
Need to identify those areas where there is a potential
requirement and Industry will not provide (or render our
solution invalid) in next year or so
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What are we Trying to do II?
Object Web technology suggests how systems ought to
built today
– Program in Java
– Data Structures in XML
– Use multi tier architecture
There are some important internet trends which suggest
where systems will go –
– Bandwidth and latency of networks (Gilder’s law)
– growing use of Palmtop devices
Advising you as to what systems work and how to
support them
Discussing differences and similarities between support
of training, administration and research
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Collaboratory Applications
Distance Education including advanced seminars and training
Help Desk including
– Microsoft helping user debug problem on home PC (connected
to Internet)
– MSRC consulting staff interacting over distance in real time
with a user with a program bug
– Yahoo staff asking in depth questions from users browsing
either their knowledge or Shopping sites
Scientists brainstorming difficult research issues in distributed
locations
Virtual communities around the world from children chatting to
each other or integration of distributed organizations (like ARL)
Indian Nation remaining in their homeland but participating
electronically in modern economy (digital.indigineousworld.org)
Implementing next round of PET activities
Crisis Management and Command and Control for Military
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Basic Principles in Building Systems
Everything electronic is by definition an Object
– Some objects are easier to deal with than others
All (systems) software will be written in Java
– As it has best software engineering properties
All Object (meta)data and data streams will be defined in
XML
– Whether you use COM, CORBA, Jini/RMI, SOAP, HLA
Object Model
All Systems built in multi-tier fashion so front end rendering
and back end functionality are disassociated
Object 1
XML Datastream
Object 2
XML Interfaces
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Object Web Portals think of things as objects and services
System View
User View
Rendering
Engine
XML
CORBA
or Java
Broker or
Server
Browser
(HTML)
Rendering
Engine
XML Request
for service
followed by
return of XML
result
Universal Interfaces
IDL or XML
“Computing Portals”
portalML Interface
www.computingportals.org
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Objects
“Grid Forum”
resourceML Interface
www.gridforum.org
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Use of Object Technology in Computing I
 Basic Principle: Use object technology wherever possible
– This will give you a more productive development
environment which are easier to maintain
Objects can be used at different granularities
Fine and Very Fine Grain
– The computational kernel
– The linkage of different kernels as different routines
– Characterized by low latency (memory access or
subroutine call or at worst MPI invocation) -- a few
nanoseconds to a microsecond
– Object technologies are not essential here although
eventually languages like C++ and Java will be preferred
solution here
• Maybe you have a lot of legacy Fortran code in this category
• Converting to Java is probably not the best use of scientists’ time
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Use of Object Technology in Computing II
 Coarse Grain objects characterized by modest latency ( but
maybe high bandwidth) are where you use Object web
technology immediately
– All programs, sensors, datasets, simulations are objects
 There are many competing object models -- Java, COM,
CORBA, SOAP but doesn’t matter -- use XML to define all
objects -- we can convert
– Data format is not 16I5 or 8F10.4 or even a Java or C++
data structure -- it is defined in XML. This ensures
interoperability between sensors and programs
 Objects can have multiple views -- Oracle can think in rows
and columns; the user as a correlated time series -- Internet
technology filters convert very easily
Each Science field should set these XML based coarse grain
object standards for its area
– IMS and ADL are doing this for education and training.
Thousands of other efforts
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Example of XML Specifying a
Program as an Object
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE application SYSTEM "ApplDescV2.dtd">
<application id=”Casc2d" installable="No">
selected application
<target id="aga.npac.syr.edu">
selected host
<status installed="Yes"/>
how to run it
<installed>
<CmdLine command="/npac/home/haupt/CASC2D/casc2d" /> it expects this input file
<input>
<inFile Path="/npac/home/haupt/CASC2D/lms/" Name="sand.map"/>
<source Host="maine.npac.syr.edu" Path="C:\LMS\fromEdys\" Name="S.map" >
</input>
it generates this output file
Actual location of the file
<output>
<outFile Path="/npac/home/haupt/CASC2D/lms/" Name="sed.out"/>
<dest Host="maine.npac.syr.edu" Path="C:\LMS\toEdys\" Name="sed.out" >
store it permanently here
</output>
<stdout Host="aga.npac.syr.edu" Path="/npac/home/haupt/CASC2D/history/" Name="job2001.out" >
<stderr Host="aga.npac.syr.edu" Path="/tmp/" Name="haupt_job2001.err" >
</installed>
</target>
and stderr
</application>
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save stdout
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Aspects of Collaboration
Collaboration means Sharing and we identify three classes of
capability
– Share the people: Audio/Video Conferencing
– Basic Tools: email, Instant Messenger, Bulletin Boards, White board
– Shared resources i.e. shared objects (Basic tools are special case where
object is a text message or simple drawing)
Objects can be shared in several ways
– Shared display
– Shared export
– Shared event
Which trade off ease of use versus flexibility versus ease of
implementation
If we share objects and we have a lot of them, then we must have
management capabilities so we can store and retrieve them
– Management issues have special needs in some areas e.g. store grades and
homework in learning systems
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Collaborative Visualization
Object
Filter
Map
Transform
Broker
Shared “events”
Object
Filter
Map
Transform
Broker
Event
Adapter
Custom
Output
A
Input
W3C
Event
Adapter
Input
B
Output
 Consider a computer program (object
Shared
above) and then its output and input
Display Output C
wend their way through multiple filters
(tiers) until they are finally rendered on
some sort of device: CAVE through PDA.
Master User B
Collaborators
 One can share “object” at any stage in pipeline
A and C
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Architecture of Collaboration I
 The web is full of objects – web pages sitting on web
servers – and these support asynchronous collaboration
– You post a web page and I later look at it in my own time
 Replacing web document by a “CGI script” or servlet
(web interface to program, database etc.) gives general
multi-tier object sharing
 This is Publish/Subscribe mechanism
– If add some mechanism (automatic email or word of mouth) to
tell viewing client when new information is posted
– We use JMS (Java Message Service) as Industry standard for
publish/subscribe systems
 Synchronous Collaboration provides “real-time”
notification and automatic update of changed objects
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Architecture of Collaboration II
 All forms of Collaboration are Event based
– Different modes: Display, Export, “Event” correspond to
events generated at different places in object rendering
pipeline
 Shared Display – Events contain updates to frame
buffer
 Shared “Event” – Events contain updates to state of
either original or transformed object
 Shared Export – Convert (rendering of) object to some
standard form that is more flexible than bitmap of
Shared Display. Build a custom sharing for this exported
form
– WebeX uses “patented sharing of virtual printer” which is
equivalent to sharing export to PDF
– I like shared HTML (web pages) or SVG described later
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Architecture of Collaboration III
Post
Events
Pub/Sub
Server
Receive events
on subscribed
channels
Subscribe
Exported
Object
Subscribing
Object I
Subscribing
Object II
 Objects are all “copies” of each other with events maintaining
state
 Result can be identical or different renderings – e.g. one can
choose on subscribing client to resize rendering to a larger (so
can see) or smaller (as PDA) size
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Architecture of Collaboration IV
Exported
Object
Export
Original
Object
Render
This is replicated between
each collaborating client.
It is “frame buffer”,
“original object”,
Web/SVG/PDF/.. Export
for Shared display, event
and export models
 For each collaborative model, we are sharing and
replicating an object
 We just need to choose which version of original object
to use
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Requirements of Collaboration I
 We have learnt a lot from our own experiments
(systems called Tango (synchronous) and
WebWisdom/Virtual Classroom Manager
(asynchronous))
 and from study of commercial models
– WebeX Centra and Placeware (and others) have evolved to
more or less identical synchronous models
– Yahoo, Excite, NetCenter are asynchronous information
portals
– WebCT and Blackboard are asynchronous education portals
 There are technology trends of importance
 Abstract some lessons and requirements for (future)
systems
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Technology Trends and Principles
 All performance and capability measures of infrastructure
continue to improve
 Gilder’s law says that network bandwidth increases 3 times faster
than CPU Performance (Moore’s Law)
The Telecosm eclipses the Microcosm ….
George Gilder
Telecosm : How Infinite
Bandwidth Will
Revolutionize Our
World
(September 2000, Free
Press; ISBN:
0684809303, #146 in
Amazon Sales Jan 15
2001)
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Small Devices Increasing in Importance
There is growing
interest in wireless
portable displays in
the confluence of cell
phone and personal
digital assistant
markets
By 2005, 60 million
internet ready cell
phones sold each
year
65% of all
Broadband Internet
accesses via non
desktop appliances
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CM5
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Palm Tops help define Client Model
One needs to design web
systems so they can be
accessed from either a PDA
or a PC or a Powerwall
This implies that only code in
browser should be that
immediately needed to relay
events between user and web
system – all “logic” (state)
should be outside browser.
 Supports Server based
Computing model with
clients “just” for rendering
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Requirements of Collaboration II
 Need to support both synchronous and asynchronous models in
an integrated fashion
– Some think asynchronous web based education will replace conventional
methods
– Maybe role of synchronous (teacher-student interaction) shifts from
lecturing to mentoring
– Implies need to archive synchronous sessions for later replay
– Implies build collaborative portals
 Need to support PDA and PC seamlessly
– Define content in XML and use style-sheets or other transformation tools
to map into HTML (PC) or WML (PDA)
– This is part of portalML
 Collaboration implies sharing objects – the better object structure
exposed, the better sharing is possible
– So define everything you can in XML (ResourceML)
– We can share Word/PowerPoint best in Web or SVG form as this is
universal export. Could build a custom office sharing tool but hard
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Requirements of Collaboration III
 Predict that future will see higher quality web pages as Web
allows more competition (e.g. between education providers)
– So need to understand how to share pages written with Macromedia Flash
and other high end authoring tools
 Need to migrate to evolving standards whether “sure things” like
SMIL (multimedia) or W3C Universal Access or possibles like
OpenOffice or WML
 Must assume all commercial and indeed academic products will
evolve (rapidly) and so generic collaboration framework strongly
preferred
 Special requirements of Science and HPCC
– Share Mathematics (MathML) and other science symbols (e.g. molecules)
in scientific whiteboard etc.
– Share Computing (submit jobs, visualization etc.)
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Summary of Architecture
 Multi-tier with resourceML to define Objects and portalML to
define client server interface and dissociate Object and its
rendering
 Server side logic to allow range of clients and exploit increasing
network bandwidth
– Automatically gives universal archiving
 Publish/Subscribe can be used as universal mechanism for
synchronous and asynchronous collaboration
– “only” need latencies of fractions of a second as this built
already due to browser update time, long distance transmission
time etc. (JMS latencies around 0.1 second for modest size
message going from publisher to subscriber)
– Will need multicast (not in JMS) to scale to lots of clients
 Naturally supported by event based model of computing with all
transactions expressed as time stamped messages (events) which
are archived and forwarded by middle tier
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myPET Portal Interface
 Yahoo Messenger is an interesting
model for the myPET or more
generally myProfessor (Education) or
myHPCC (general computing)
interface
 “Small” Application that invokes
browser
 Runs on PC or Palmtop and “only”
contains summary information
suitable for Palms – can we use Java
(J2ME)
 Has services like file manipulation,
send a message and set of custom
buttons
– Access News, Weather, Stocks etc.
 Develop myPET with computers,
papers, programs and sensors instead
of news and stocks
 Develop myProfessor with school
events, classes etc.
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Typical Virtual Class(Meeting)room
Invoke this from myACES or myProfessor
See Centra, Placeware, WebEx….
Control buttons for Audio/Video/Floor Control etc.
T u torial on W eb -B ased
C ollab orative T ools
In trod u ction
18 Jan u ary 2001
H E A T C en ter A b erd een M d .
index
G eoffrey F o x , A h m et U y a r
F lo rid a S tate U n iversity
D epartm en t of C om pu ter S cien ce an d
Alert/
Raise Hands
Invoke Quiz
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C S IT (S ch ool of C om pu tation al S cien ce an d In form ation T ech n ology )
4 0 0 D irac S cien ce L ibrary
T allah assee
F lorida 32306 -4 1 3 0
Lecture Page
Annotations
(student, teacher)
Pointers etc.
fox@ csit.fsu .edu
1/15/2001
h ttp ://asp en .csit.fsu .ed u /p roject/cctu torialjan 01
1
Chat Room
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Typical MyProfessor Interface
Messages will give you
access to email, instant
messenger, voice
messages, alerts etc.
 Agents scan for useful
resources you
requested e.g. news
about Enterprise
Javabeans
Calendar and
Scheduler supports
CDIS, CAP and CIP
data Interchange,
access and
Interoperability
standards (see iPlanet
Calendar Server 2.1)
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Synchronous Virtual Environments
 Several similar systems offering shared display and
shared export (for PowerPoint)
– Commercial: WebeX Centra Placeware Latitude NetMeeting
– Public Domain: VNC shared display
 Limited functionality in areas of archiving, export
models, management and PDA support
 VNC designed for “different problem” – client doing
administration on multiple remote machines and not
optimized for one master and lots of clients
 Audio-Video Support limited – Centra has built in
Windows audio (with Java front end). WebeX using
Lipstream and perhaps HearMe
 Have built in shared annotation of display and
chat/whiteboard tools
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Commercial Collaboration and Training Systems I
 October 19 2000: WebEx Communications, Inc. the leader in communications
infrastructure for Web meetings, today announced record results for its third quarter,
ending September 2000. WebEx added more than 700 new customers this quarter,
bringing the total number of customers to more than 1800.
 During the third quarter, AT&T and Global Crossing announced the integration of
WebEx services into their communications solutions, and Commerce One
announced that WebEx services have been integrated into their next generation
Commerce One.netTM. WebEx's list of new customers this quarter contains industry
leaders in aerospace, automotive, computer software, computer hardware, consulting
services, financial services, healthcare, real estate and legal services. New customers
include 3-M, Aberdeen Group, Ace Hardware, Altera, Associated General
Contractors (ACG), BancTec Inc., Blue Martini, Briggs & Stratton, Brown Brothers
Harriman & Co., CheckFree Corp., Cosine Communications, Emory University,
Enron Energy Info Solutions, Fiserve, Inc., FleetBoston Financial, Forrester
Research, Grubb & Ellis, Hewlett-Packard, Keystone Solutions, Kyocera Wireless
Corp., Medtronic, Motorola, NEC America, Nexprise, Proxicom, Razorfish,
Sunguard, Toyota Motors, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, ZDNet and ZiffDavis among others.
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Commercial Collaboration and Training Systems II
 Oct. 12, 2000-- Centra the world's leading provider of software infrastructure and
ASP services for live eLearning and Internet business collaboration, today
announced results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2000.
 Centra added 73 new customers in the third quarter, bringing the total customer base
to 350 accounts. Some highlights include:
 Centra continues to grow its extensive customer base, serving more than one million
users across all industry sectors and geographies. Contributions to this rapid growth
in the third quarter were highlighted by:
 The selection of Centra by Andersen Consulting, one of the world's largest
professional services firms, as the company's standard infrastructure for the delivery
of live eLearning to the company's 65,000 employees.
 A significant initial deployment at Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest soft
drink provider with over 35,000 employees, to provide eLearning delivery
infrastructure for global SAP end user training and ongoing change management
initiatives.
 Siemens AG selected Centra as the corporate eLearning and collaboration standard
to support communications and planning among the company's top 1,500 global
operations executives. In addition, Siemens, which operates in over 190 countries,
will use Centra to support their extensive SAP rollout through hands-on end user
training over the Internet.
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Learning Management Systems
 Learning Object standards ADL and IMS from DoD
and education community
 Most education and training stresses asynchronous or
web support for conventional delivery
 WebCT Blackboard Lotus(IBM) and others offer LMS
systems with limited synchronous capability
– Support typical educational needs like grading, quizzes,
homework, glossaries, group email
– Varying database backend and
– Varying authoring support
 Popular with colleges as supports not so expert faculty
 DoD use less clear as don’t need homework etc.
 No built in support for areas like “programming labs”
(VPL from NPAC did this)
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Learning Management Tools
 “Integrated solutions” have problem that cannot
compete well in any one area
– E.g. Blackboard (initially) did not support Java applets in
curriculum pages
– Quizzes do not support (yet) CAPA capabilities to personalize
them (http://capa4.lite.msu.edu/capa-bin/class.html)
 We mention two projects built at NPAC with focused
capabilities
– TMD supports training at ASC
– Virtual Classroom Manager (Mehmet Sen Thesis) which was
used for several years in PET to support classes for homework
and grading with very simple quizzes
 Instant Messenger and Calendar/Schedulers are other
generic tools which can be used if you adopt modular
approach
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Learning Objects
Given changing technology, need standards to protect
investment in authoring and administrative data generated
and stored in databases
Educational Environment Educause set up IMS –
http://www.imsproject.org Instructional Management
System with selection of companies and universities
– IMS focus was changed to drop implementation work and
is now “Global Learning Consortium” Inc.
Department of Defense (which has huge training needs) set
up ADL Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative
– www.adlnet.org whose links section includes all other
useful URL’s
IEEE (Computing Community) set up P1484 Learning
Technology Standards Committee LTSC
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LMS Model used by ADL
“Learning
Management
System”
LMS
Content
Server(s)
External systems:
HR, E-Commerce, ERP...
Learning
Server
Migration
Adapter
Course
Interchange:
Course
Structure
Format (CSF),
Metadata
Services or Adapter
Learning Server
Server
Adapter
Server Side
Client Side
Client
Browser
API
Adapter
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Application
Critical
Interchange
Capability
Runtime
Environment:
Launch, API,
Data Model
HTML+
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Areas (Object Properties) Covered
 Metadata from IEEE and IMS
– Roughly Properties of educational objects thought of as
“documents” (author, title …)
 Course Packaging from SCORM and IMS
– How to form bigger units of instruction from smaller units
– Called Content Packaging by IMS and Course Structure
Format (CSF) by SCORM which goes in greater depth than
IMS
 Tests and Quizzes from IMS
 Specialized CSF descriptors from SCORM (via CMI)
– Such as objectives, prerequisites, completion requirements
 LMS Runtime API from SCORM – I am doubtful about value
 Enterprise Properties from IMS
– Link to people and organization databases (rather incomplete at
present but must be important as probably can agree)
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Audio-Video Conferencing
In Tango training, audio-video conferencing was
always problematical
– Video may or may not be necessary – Internet only supports
“postage stamp” talking heads
– Audio only requires a few kilobits per second but quality of
service critical and not likely to be supported on current
Internet
HearMe desktop audio: Support general mix of
internet and “ordinary” phone lines which have:
– Quality of service and good echo canceling etc. on high-end
phones
– Should work with modem (28.8 kilobits per second)
Access-Grid community audio/video: Supports
multiple high-quality audio and video streams
– Each client client needs 20 megabits per second
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Authoring
 Authoring on the Web can include
– Basic HTML
– Macromedia/Adobe/etc. packages like Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Illustrator
– PowerPoint and Word exported
 Also can include RealNetworks or Microsoft or .. Format
Multimedia
– Note Streaming multimedia formats have larger buffers than A/V
conferencing formats
 Pressure to improve web quality
 Training and Education need a lot of material and so custom
editing of each page not practical
 Using XML to specify content and include this in beautiful
framework seems best
 SVG and SMIL are 2D vector graphics and multimedia standards
– HTML does not give reproducible pages
– Flash can be thought of as “proprietary SVG”
10/3/2015
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Hand Held Internet
So we will have convenient hand-held devices linked to the
“wireless internet”
Wireless Internet is basically the same as conventional
Internet except that content is optimized for size and
communication limitations of wireless systems
– Current bandwidth is around 14.4 kbaud – “poor
modem”
– Maybe WAN Cellphone bandwidth will be limited for
near future
– “Bluetooth” standard should give hand-held devices
megabit per second communication bandwidth for LAN
Two positives for the wireless hand-held device
– Cheaper than a PC (relevant for students)
– More portable and more pervasively useable than a PC
 Grid on the Go Meeting April 2001
10/3/2015
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Collaborative Palm Tops
Shared Display: Share pixels between clients
Shared Event: Share URL between clients – in
general have different versions (WAP for Palmtop, HTML/HTTP for PC’s) of display
controlled by same XML content
Collaboration Server
URL or (scaled)
frame buffer
……………..
HTTP-HTML
WAP
10/3/2015
Web Server
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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Hand Held devices and Wireless
Ubiquitous access to resources from palm-top
devices will new access modes from simple job
submission through visualization of results
– Control large screen
displays – Banks
and Erlebacher
– Control active walls of
Flat Panel screens (Sunray)
– Support in Gateway for
job submittal
– Collaborative client in
research or training
– Shared display or Shared
web-page with different
modes for each type of device
10/3/2015
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Two Hand Held Prototypes
 Latest release of VNC (public domain shared display) for Palm
tops is quite impressive – fast and includes server side resizing for
reducing “shared display” for smaller hand held display
 We have a prototype of a Java client in a Palm controlling 3D
object on PowerWall through a wireless connection
PalmVNC
10/3/2015
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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Real Time Collaborative Systems
Real time situations demand immediate response from
anywhere expert
– spacecraft reports unexpected problem
– IMT test surprise
– Commanders or field personnel in Crisis
Management
– Scientific analysis during aftershocks of Earthquake
Collaboration (must bring in special expert) and
support of diverse displays – maybe critical person only
has Palmtop – are particularly important in these
application
– Synchronous and asynchronous
10/3/2015
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Caltech
ALARM
WAKE UP!
page
quake location, size --
disp
JPL
WAKE UP!
page
disloc
sorted station potential -Dial Stations(and database)
USGS
modem
station raw files -page
GIPSY/auto_p
station motions --
JPL
JPL
disloc
simplex
multi-fault
model
Boulder
(University of
Colorado)
WAKE UP!
JPL
--maps for
civil authorities
single-fault
model
Virtual_California
JPL
web simplex
--graphics
--refined fault model
collaboration
--graphics
10/3/2015--hazard model
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Shared
Browser
of
Simulation
Results
Will become
myACES
Chatroom
Shared map of faults/sensors
Conferencing
10/3/2015
SCEC Demo (Sept 99)Collaboration in GEM
Earthquake Analysis System
44
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
Persistent Store of Earthquake Data
Data
base
Data
base
Collaborative Portal
Real Time control
And sensor data
Simulations
ResourceML
Asynchronous
Access
Store
Real time Share
Collaborative
myACES
Personal
Server
Web
Page
10/3/2015
“Client”
Synchronous Distributed Science
PortalML
HTML WML/WAP
Rendering Standards
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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What is a Web Portal?
It is a “just” a web-based application
Commodity Portal is Web-based Information
Source (Yahoo) or Shop (Amazon)
Enterprise Information Portal is “Lotus Notes done
right”
Education Portal is a Web-based University
Computing Portal is a “Problem Solving
Environment”
Well defined Interfaces based on
– Grid Forum -- Computing
– IMS/ADL/IEEE LTSC -- Education
And a set of Services and Tools
10/3/2015
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Commodity Portals are Web Interfaces
for Consumers
Yahoo, NetCenter, Amazon.com, Ebay.com etc. are portals for
e-commerce, news etc.
10/3/2015
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Portals in Computing and Education
Merrill Lynch predicts that
Enterprise Information portal
market will be $15B by 2002
Unfortunately it is not trivial
to re-use some key commodity
systems as they do not provide
the right level of interfaces to
add capabilities like
collaboration and security
We must adopt architecture Hardest Problem
that maximizes chance that
can use new commercial
Wish to re-use
capabilities when they become
components
available
– Multi-media, Handheld
infrastructure are areas where
industry ahead of academia
10/3/2015
between
Education and
Computing
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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Hierarchy of Portals and Their Technology
Generic Portals
Collaboration
Universal Access Generic Services
Security …….
Portal Building Tools and
Frameworks (XUL, Ninja,
iPlanet, E-Speak, Portlets,
WebSphere, www.desktop.com)
User customization,
component libraries,
fixed channels
Information Services
Databases …….
Enterprise Portals
Quizzes Grading ...
www.computingportals.org
Education Services
Compute Services
Grid Services
Visualization ...
MathML etc
Education and
Training Portals
Science Portals
……...
……...
K-12
University
10/3/2015
Biology
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
GEM
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Seismic Sensors
Field Data
Geophysical
“Web” Info
Backend Services
Databases
Middleware
Bunch of
Web Servers
and Object
Brokers
Clients
(HPCC) Computers
Collaboration
Security
Lookup
Registration
Agents/Brokers
General
“Web” Info
Application Integration
Visualization Server
Seamless Access
(Java) Interactive Analysis
Client Visualization
GEM Computational Environment Multi-Tier
Architecture
10/3/2015
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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PET Computing Portal: Driving Requirements
Goal is to maximize productivity of
(Super)computer center user
 Provide in a single web interface “myPET”, all
resources needed for HPCMO and DoD Research
and Computing
– Display Sensor results
– Initiate and visualize simulations
– Necessary information -- from program documentation to
latest technical reports
– Contact colleagues in real-time (audio/video conferencing)
or asynchronously (email etc.)
– Support access from hand-held (Palm) devices
– Allow customization of choice and arrangement of
material
10/3/2015
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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Services in Computing Portals
 Security
 Fault Tolerance
 Object Lookup and Registration
Any
 Object Persistence and Database support (as in EIP’s)
Portal
 Event and Transaction Services
 Collaboration among scientists around world
 Job Status as in HotPage (NPACI) and myGrid (NCSA)
 File Services (as in NPACI Storage Resource Broker)
– Support (XML based) computational science specific metadata like
MathML, XSIL
 Visualization
 Programming
 Application Integration (chaining services viewed as backend compute
filters)
 “Seamless Access” and integration of resources between different
users/application domains
 Parameter Specification Service (get data from Web form into Fortran
program wrapped as backend object)
10/3/2015
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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Gateway Portal
Supports Kerberos Security for DoD
Supported by DoD HPCMO: ASC and ARL
Involves work by Furmanski (Syracuse) and Haupt (MSU)
PortalML
ResourceML
Apache
Tomcat
Browser
PSE
HPC
Resources,
Mass
Storage,
DBs
ORB
HTTP
WebFlow
Servers
Charon
ORB
ORB
SECIOP
ORB
SECIOP
10/3/2015
krsh, krcp
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Current Generic Gateway Interface
Select Code to Run
“Wrapped Codes”
Use Caltech XSIL
for XML specification
One could interface via Globus.
Sufficient to submit to ASC Job scheduler
Review Previous Runs
A Sample Collaboratory
 Here is a sample collaboratory designed for “HallD”
– a proposed experiment at DoE’s Jefferson
Laboratory
 HallD produces 1015 data or simulation objects per
year
 HallD involves hundreds of scientists around the
country collaborating in taking data, processing it
and analyzing it to find nifty science breakthroughs
 One first would establish HallD Digital Object
Standard covering everything from LED on
experimental apparatus, data produced in each part
of apparatus, plots and other analysis artifacts,
presentations and papers
10/3/2015
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MyHallD Collaborative Portal
MyHallD is the portal door to the
–
–
–
–
–
–
Virtual HallD Experiment Control Room
Virtual HallD Monte Carlo Farm
Virtual HallD DST Factory
Virtual HallD Physics Engine
Virtual HallD Board Room
HallD Education and Outreach Area
These share access to HallD digital objects but
access (and make) them in different ways and are
optimized in different ways
They share certain features and services
– All actions are logged (in XML) and archived
– Common security infrastructure
– Access can be from PC or Hand Held device
10/3/2015
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Features of MyHallD and it’s HallD
Virtual Places
MyHallD would have:
– “Handles” to open 6 Community Virtual Places as well
as ability to open private virtual rooms
– HallD/Jefferson/HEP Calendar, Phone lists etc.
– News Items with browser links
– Experiment Status etc.
– Invoke basic Collaboration Tools – Internet Phone;
Local and remote cameras; Chat; Whiteboard
– Automatic Update (to myHallD) Feature
– Indicator as to which places you are in and who else is
active there.
– To do list for you in HallD
– Gentle and Crass ways of getting people’s attention
10/3/2015
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Features of Virtual MyHallD Places
HallD Board room can be done today for some capabilities
using WebEx Placeware or Centra
DST Factory and Monte Carlo Farm do not require
significant synchronous collaboration; build computing
portals for standard Physics packages
– Need strong management functions
HallD Physics Engine could benefit from innovative user
interfaces and collaboration in analysis of results
– Here is where difficult decisions made (how to run
Minuit optimization program) and distributed experts
could be useful
– Share analysis results and choice of parameters for
future large analysis (which partial waves to include)
HallD Education and Outreach can use Virtual
Classroom model being developed by several
vendors
10/3/2015
http://aspen.csit.fsu.edu/project/cctutorialjan01
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Features of Virtual MyHallD Places
Virtual Experiment Control Room could be a big
win as (unexpected) real-time decisions need
“experts-on-demand”
– Similar model with DoD and IMT experiments or
NASA for remote spacecraft mission control and realtime scientific analysis of earthquakes
– Needs to evaluate collaborative decision making (vote?)
and planning tools
– Needs to allow shared streaming data as well as shared
read-outs of experimental monitors (output of all
devices must be distributed objects which can be
shared)
– Needs to support experts caught on their sailboat with
poor connectivity or in their car with just a cell phone
and a PDA
10/3/2015
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Collaborative Tools for Education and Computing