agora n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Agora PowerPoint Presentation
play fullscreen
1 / 39
Download Presentation

Agora - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

eli
167 Views
Download Presentation

Agora

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. Agora Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science Miguel Gonzalez Losa Adrian Fish E-Collaboration tool/framework

  2. Who we are • We work for the Centre for e-Science (LUCeS) at Lancaster University in the UK • We are currently funded, by the JISC, to develop an e-Research environment for UK scientists using Sakai • We have been focusing on developing advanced collaboration tools that extend and complement the standard ‘out of the box’ tool set that comes with Sakai Lancaster Manchester London Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  3. E-Collaboration • Definition • “Electronic collaboration (e-collaboration): collaboration using electronic technologies among different individuals to accomplish a common task” • “Any activity performed by means of/supported by electronic tools or infrastructure, aimed at reaching a goal and possibly involving human iteration” • “Working together using electronic means: collaboration among people or organizations made possible by means of electronic technologies such as the Internet, video conferencing and wireless devices” • Audio/video conferencing • Instant messaging • Whiteboard • Shared-desktop • Movie-casting • Recording People  Collaboration  Communication Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  4. What is Agora • Software application • Ready to use software with basic e-Collaboration features • Software framework • Software like Agora is not easy to develop • Existing software frameworks are not easy to use • Agora provides high abstraction level for developing new applications or developing new features • Agora makes it possible to develop specific solutions for your institution. Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  5. What is Agora (II) • The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity, the religious and cultural centre, and the seat of justice. Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  6. Agora as application Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  7. A powerful ……… • The most complete ....... Aims • Useful: we want to provide tools which enhance the communication experience between people covering the most common cases. • Simple: we want to provide simple tools ready to be used by non technical people. • Use • Requirements • Configuration • Installation & updates • Extendable Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  8. Inside Agora: General view • Agora Server. Sakai service: • Light weight multicasting and messaging broker • Agora Applet: • Conference room. Agora tools • Agora Web site. Sakai Tool: • Login, Sites and Users admin • Agora Web Site Conference Management Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  9. Inside Agora: General view (II) Agora Web Site (Sakai tool) Agora Server (Sakai service) Agora Applet Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  10. Agora Web Site Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  11. Agora Web Site • Currently: • Create conferences • View existing conferences where I am invited • Join a conference where I am invited • Destroy conferences created by me • Coming soon: • Managing exiting conferences • Different conference configurations • Scheduling • Floor control • Etc. Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  12. Agora Web Site. Main page Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  13. Agora Web Site. Creating a conference Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  14. Agora Applet Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  15. Agora Applet • Conference room - This is where everything happens. • The Agora Applet gives access to the tools: • Audio/video conferencing • Instant messaging • Whiteboard • Shared-desktop • Movie-casting • Recording • Playback. Also in off-line mode! Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  16. Agora Applet (II) • Menu • Status bar • Multiscreen panel with individuals screens Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  17. Agora Applet. Automatic layout Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  18. Agora Applet. Individual screen • Detach button • Icon • Context menu button • Status panel • Projection area Audio/video Whiteboard Shared Desktop Chat Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  19. Video-audio conference Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  20. Video-audio conference (II) • Many to many. The number of concurrent participants depends of the bandwidth and the capacity of processing of the computers. • If one participant does not have webcam he/she will be able to transmit audio and watch others. • As reference, a user with a normal PC (Pentium IV, 2 GHz, 512 Mb) with ADSL (512kb/s) will be able to participate in conferences with 4 participants. Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  21. Video-audio conference. Technical Notes  • RTP Protocol • Video • H.263 • Frames per second: Not all cameras allow you to change it. • Video quality = compression rate. More compression implies worse quality but less bandwidth use • Video size: 176x144 or 352x288 • TIP: Not all webcams are the same. Colour, sharpness, performance in low light environment. Frame rate and Resolution is not the most important feature! • Audio • DVI at 8000, 11025 or 22050 Hz, 4 bits and 1 channel (mono) • TIP: To avoid echo it is highly recommended to use headphones with integrated microphone Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  22. Video-audio conference. Technical Note (II)  The echo problem Hello! Hello! • The echo is one of the biggest audio problems for users • Echo cancelling hardware for video conference is very expensive (thousands of dollars) • Some webcams have echo cancelling software • Note: normal telephones and freehand telephones have very cheap echo cancelling hardware! The sound from the speakers goes through the microphone Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  23. Shared Desktop Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  24. Shared Desktop (II) • Allows broadcast images of one participant’s desktop to the rest of participants. • Network friendly. Only the area of screen has changed is sent. • Allows collaborative document editing or guidance in software use. • A participant can broadcast an Word document and the rest of participants can give opinions. • A participant can explain how to use a program broadcasting images of it. • Only the participant that is transmitting needs to have the shown software installed. The rest are receiving an image. Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  25. Chat & Whiteboard • The whiteboard allows participants to collaboratively draw and manipulate shapes on a canvas. • The whiteboard used with a digital tablet is the perfect medium to communicate mathematical formulas • The Chat is a very simple Instant messaging tool. It is perfect to pass information like URL, numbers, foreign words, names… Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  26. Movie casting • Movie casting allows broadcast movie files to the participants in a conference. • So far, few formats supported. • Synchronization when paused, forwarding and rewinding is an issue. Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  27. Recording / Playing back • Agora is able to record all the information in a conference keeping the sequence and times • Agora Applet can work off-line, so you can reproduce any recorded conference Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  28. Requirements Installation & UpdatingConfiguration Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  29. Requirements • Agora Server • No special requirements in the equipment • The most important requirement is the Network connection • Agora Client • Java & JMF: Windows, Linux and Mac OS (*) • Webcam and microphone: $35 • Graphic tablet (Optional): $70 • Broadband In UK the most of the Internet Providers offer only 256 Kb/s in Upload bandwidth. Download bandwidth varies between 2 and 8 Mb/s (12-24 participants max ) Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  30. Technical Note . P2P vs. Multicasting Upload:256 Kb/s, 512 Kb/s if you are lucky Download: 2Mb/s - 8 Mb/s Any number of users 100 Mb/s ≈ 300 users Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  31. Technical Note . P2P vs. Multicasting (II) • Performance & Load balancing Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  32. ? Java Media Framework (Sun Microsystems) Quick Time For Java (Apple) • Windows • Linux • Mac (Limited) • Nice extensible architecture • RTP • Only maintenance • Windows • Mac • New formats Technical Note . Java, JMF & Webcams Platform independent client Webcams Java Drivers (Platform specific) Bridge Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  33. Installation & updating • Agora Client • Install webcam • Install base software. Simple Windows Installer (JMF or JRE+JMF). • Automatic and transparent updating. It is a web page and an Applet! • Agora Server • Sakai tool • Sakai service Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  34. Configuration • Agora Client Checklist • Audio and video working • Firewall • Pop-up blockers! • Allow applets! • Agora Server • Firewall (5 UDP ports in the current version) • Agora is NAT friendly Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  35. Agora vs. Other applications * Microsoft has a tool called Live Meeting with e-collaboration tools. Also there is a product called ConferenceXP, open source, with a very complete set of e-collaboration tools. Developed in .Net ** Access Grid works with multiples cameras Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  36. Future of Agora • New Features • Conference managing • Conference configurations (Floor control, time control, scheduling…) • Whispering mode • Interaction between existing tools • Whiteboard – Shared desktop • Whiteboard – Movie caster • Tray system alert application • Full Mac Support • Performance & Load balancing • Security and encryption • Agora available in more open source projects (Moodle, JSR-168,…) • SIP compliant (Compatible with other applications, Telephone calls,…) Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  37. Agora as Framework Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  38. Agora as Framework • Not all the institutions have the same necessities • Developing an application like Agora is not easy • JMF and QTJ don’t have good documentation • JMF is tricky • Agora has high level abstractions that makes much easier to develop new features • JMF: DataSource, Processor, Player, RTPManager, RTPConfig… • Agora: Camera, Microphone, Participant, Conference… • Agora framework: Skeleton, classes, solutions and DOCUMENTATION Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)

  39. QUESTIONS & COMMENTS Please, be clear and… patient, I am Spanish!!!  Lancaster Agora (Athens) My City (Aviles) Lancaster University (UK). Centre for e-Science. Miguel Gonzalez Losa & Adrian Fish. Agora (2006)