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Component Description CMU Note-Taker Tools Human Computer Interaction Institute Carnegie Mellon University Prepared by: Bill Scherlis <> March 26, 1999. 1 - Overview. Note-Taker tools will:

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Component Description

CMU Note-Taker Tools

Human Computer Interaction InstituteCarnegie Mellon University

Prepared by: Bill Scherlis <>

March 26, 1999

1 overview
1 - Overview
  • Note-Taker tools will:
    • Support structured synchronous and asynchronous collaborative note-taking by multiple people.
    • Directly integrate with presentation tools (PowerPoint), email (IMAP-based systems), shared file areas, sensor inputs, etc.
    • Provide a range of asynchronous collaborative services:
      • Information awareness and update
      • Messaging and annotation
      • Task-specific shared information structures
      • Structural differencing
      • Coordination and concurrency control
    • Use multimedia inputs for annotation, messaging, and control
      • Point, speak, request

The Note-Taker technology baseline was initially developed in the CSpace project in the ITO/IC&V program.

2 architecture overview
Note-Taker builds on two ideas:

Fabric: Representation for organizing collaborative information and linking it with external user-app objects.

Fine-grain versioning

Collaborative services


Situated Events: Event architecture for linking object versions and replicas, and for maintaining consistency and awareness.

Aggregation and filtering

Logging and checkpoints

2 - Architecture Overview


Client Hosts



MM designator

Client-side controls&models




Client-side controls&models




Client-side controls&


COA table

MM designator

3 component description
3 - Component Description
  • Asset — An information source/sink.
      • Examples: MS Office tools, task-specific note taking tools, email archives, shared file areas, sensor information streams, etc.
      • Generate situated events as state changes (e.g., in response to direct interaction by users)
      • Respond to request events from Note-Taker.
  • Client-Host — Maintain fabric models
      • Maintain local shadows/replicas of shared collaborative information.
      • Provide user-level interaction for Note-Taker services.
      • Provide view-maintenance services for visualization of models.
  • Server — Multicase event dispatch
      • Failure-robust
4 external interfaces
Asset API

Assets manage complex structured objects

Common event hierarchy

Change, update, request, administrative, etc.

Event API

Transmission / wrapping beans-based events

Event aggregation and filtering

Messaging and annotation API

Integrate with conventional IMAP-based email

Integrate with multimedia sources/sinks

Other message viewing mechanisms (e.g., map-situated)

Model API

Interact with versioned fabric model

4 - External Interfaces
5 existing software bridges
5 - Existing Software “Bridges”
  • Part 1 (Existing) - Assets include conventional commercial tools (MS Office, NTFS).
  • Part 2 (Functionality) - Asynchronous collaborative services for single-user commercial tools. Objects with memory of past states.
  • Part 3 (Protocol) - An event-based interaction using sites within assets to locate updates/changes and requests. Sites are named hierarchically (relative or absolute or with tags).
6 information flow
Part 1 (with other CPOF components) -

LEIF: We expect that Note-Taker will interact directly with both LEIF Infobuses. We also intend to experiment with replacing the LEIF display model with a more semantically-rich model.

MultiModal: We will use multi-modal inputs both to situate messages/annotations/commands in the information space and to provide their contents. Situating enables terseness, prioritization, structural browsing, etc.

Part 2 (inputs) -

Inputs are in the Note-Taker event format. The hierarchy of Note-Taker events can evolve according to needs.

Part 3 (outputs) -

Outputs can be either Note-Taker events or views of model structures. The API to the model structure can be evolved according to the needs of visualization components.

6 - Information Flow
7 plug n play
Part 1 (interacting with other CPOF components) -

Initial: CMU multi-modal components


Viewers: Visualization tools, directly or via LEIF.

Assets: CPOF document types, directly or via LEIF.

Parts 2, 3 (similarities and complementarities) -

Note-Taker and LEIF:

LEIF handles protocols and APIs in a way that can support Note-Taker.

Note-Taker provides a wide range of services not present in LEIF:

Collaborative services.

Messaging and annotation.

Structural differencing, versioning, and history.

Semantically rich models.

Persistence and name mgt.

Distributed event processing

7 - Plug-n-play
8 operating environments and cots
8 - Operating Environments and COTS










Any Java platform





Sun Java SDK.

Win NT.

Client Host

Win NT device

Windows NT


Sun Java SDK.

Win NT.


Win NT device

Windows NT


Asset: PowerPoint

MS Java &

Sun Java

Win NT, Office97, J++, Sun Java SDK

Win NT device

Windows NT

Asset: Win NTFS

C++, MS Java,

Sun Java

Win NT, Vis C++, J++, Sun Java SDK

Win NT device

Windows NT

Asset: IMAP email


Sun Java SDK

Win NT device

Windows NT

Note: This applies to current and evolving Note-Taker components, not new multimedia components to be developed in CPOF/CMU or interfaces with components from other CPOF projects.

9 hardware platform requirement
9 - Hardware Platform Requirement
  • Windows NT device
    • 256 MB ram, 100MB disk (estimate, not including Office97)