14.0099 dynamic encyclopedias? feedback on virtual lightbox?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 05:51:02 CUT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 99.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: Michael Frishkopf <michaelf@ualberta.ca> (19)
             Subject: References to dynamic encyclopedia architectures

       [2] From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (215)
             Subject: NEW PROJECT: "The Virtual Lightbox"

             Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 06:35:00 +0100
             From: Michael Frishkopf <michaelf@ualberta.ca>
             Subject: References to dynamic encyclopedia architectures sought


    Can anyone point me to research on web-based dynamic encyclopedias
    (web-accessible knowledge databases continuously updated by multiple

    Many thanks for any assistance you can provide.

         * * *
    Michael Frishkopf
    Department of Music
    Faculty of Arts
    University of Alberta
    3-82 Fine Arts Building
    Edmonton, AB T6G 2C9

    Office: 3-67 FAB
    Office tel and fax: (780) 492-0670
    Email: michaelf@ualberta.ca

    Music Department:
    Tel: (780) 492-3263
    Fax: (780) 492-9246

             Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 06:38:07 +0100
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: NEW PROJECT: "The Virtual Lightbox"

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    July 5, 2000


                            Responses sought on New Project:
           "The Virtual Lightbox: An Image-Based Whiteboard for the Web"

    I'd like to draw attention again to a particularly generative listserv,
    LOOKSEE, dedicated to "serve as a community focal point for the
    collaborative development of open source image analysis tools."

    Matt Kirschenbaum, who runs the list, recently revealed the outline of a
    project to which he would welcome feedback. It's a project to create a
    "virtual lightboard" or an "image-based whiteboard for the Web." Such an
    image tool would offer an inline browser display area for the creation and
    use of images by individuals; a space for multiple users to collaboratively
    view and use the
    same image set in realtime; and one that would allow multiple users to
    collaboratively perform a variety of image processing operations on the
    same image set in realtime.

    If you are interested please join the LOOKSEE list or reply to Matt.

    To subscribe, send the message subscribe LOOKSEE yourfirstname yourlastname

    He requests this notice not be further broadcast without asking his

    David Green

    >Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 12:09:21 -0400
    >>From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mgk@POP.UKY.EDU>
    >Dear all,
    >I am about to embark on a 12-month research project entitled "The
    >Virtual Lightbox: An Image-Based Whiteboard for the Web" with Amit
    >Kumar, a graduate student in the computer science department here. Our
    >collaboration is generously sponsored by the University of Kentucky's
    >Center for Computational Sciences.
    >The project arises from the LOOKSEE discussions last fall, in
    >particular the divide that a number of us noted between image tools
    >for the desktop (these are plentiful) and image-based applications for
    >networked environments (these are much scarcer). The Lightbox as we've
    >conceived it seems to me a preliminary step towards bridging that gap.
    >The closest corollaries I'm aware of are some of the Java applets
    >developed at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
    >at Virginia, the impressive (but alas, desktop-bound) PhotoFinder
    >package being developed at Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction lab,
    >and some existing whiteboards (the drawing tool at www.groupware.com
    >probably comes closest to the functionality I imagine). The Virtual
    >Lightbox will, I hope, take inspiration from the most desirable
    >features of all of these.
    >I expect to post periodic updates to the LOOKSEE list, and eventually
    >to enlist interested persons as beta testers. In the meantime, I'd be
    >grateful for feedback and commentary on the edited version of our
    >initial set of specs (appended below). Given that I'd like to see the
    >Lightbox broadly utilized in the community, I'm _very_ interested in
    >gathering as much input as I can along the way; comments posted here
    >may well shape our intentions and design as the project unfolds.
    >Best, Matt
    >The Virtual Lightbox:
    >An Image-Based Whiteboard for the Web
    >The Virtual Lightbox may be imagined as an image-based whiteboard for
    >the Web. It has three principle functions:
    >-- To offer an inline browser display area (the "surface" of the
    >Lightbox) where individual users may create an image set and then
    >manipulate the images for comparison and study.
    >--To allow multiple users of the Lightbox (who may be geographically
    >distant from each other) to collaboratively view and manipulate the
    >same image set in realtime.
    >--To allow multiple users of the Lightbox (who may be geographically
    >distant from each other) to collaboratively perform a variety of
    >image processing operations on the same image set in realtime.
    >Each of these functions is explained in more detail below.
    >The initial audience for the Virtual Lightbox will be in the digital
    >library and humanities computing communities. This encompasses
    >academic researchers working with a wide array of digital visual
    >materials: paintings, photographs, manuscript facsimiles, prints,
    >drawings, engravings, and so forth. Initial implementation will likely
    >be in the William Blake Archive. The Virtual Lightbox could
    >potentially find an audience in a field as far removed as medical
    >Basic Behavior and Display
    >-- The Lightbox should be presented to users as an inline display area
    >supported by either of the major Web browsers.
    >-- Images may be imported into the Lightbox in one of three ways:
    > -- Users may manually select images to populate the Lightbox by
    > specifying (using a menu-driven interface) either local file
    > paths or
    > remote URLs.
    > -- Users may gather images for the Lightbox
    > (using a "shopping cart" metaphor) as they browse a Web site
    > (this may
    > require appropriate server-side scripting by the owner of the Web
    > site).
    > -- Users may populate the Lightbox with images retrieved from a
    > search result (assuming, of course, that the search engine is set up
    > to work in conjunction with the Lightbox).
    >-- Users should be able move and arrange images on the surface of the
    >Lightbox in any configuration simply by clicking and dragging them.
    >-- Users should be able to zoom (or shrink) a selected image, or
    >multiple selected images.
    >-- Users should be able to display the textual content of the JPEG
    >-- Users should be able to attach textual annotations (notes,
    >comments, etc.) to a selected image and/or a selected region of an
    >-- Users should be able to save their image sets so that they may
    >later be restored to the Lightbox.
    >Realtime Collaboration
    >All of the above features should be simultaneously available to
    >multiple users of the Lightbox, who may be geographically distant from
    >each other. (This is what makes it a collaborative whiteboard . . .)
    >We will, of course, have to do some thinking about authority and
    >control; for example, all participants in a Lightbox session may have
    >to sign in before they can work with one another. One user may have to
    >serve as the privileged user whose actions with the image set override
    >the actions of others when those actions would be contradictory. We
    >may have to distinguish between features that are available to all
    >session participants and features that are available only to the
    >privileged user. It is crucial, however, that all users be able to
    >observe one another's actions in the Lightbox in realtime (or as close
    >to realtime as bandwidth permits).
    >If one user adds (or subtracts) an image from the image set, it
    >should be added (or subtracted) from the display of all participants
    >in the session.
    >Users participating in the same Lightbox session should be able to
    >communicate with each other in realtime using a simple text-based chat
    >Distributed Image Processing
    >A suite of basic image processing operations (brighten/contrast,
    >sharpen, smooth, grayscale and color manipulation, crop, rotate, etc.)
    >should be available to all users of the Lightbox. (The Java Advanced
    >Imaging API should prove adequate for this.) It is crucial that when
    >one user of the Lightbox initiates an image processing operation, all
    >users of the Lightbox should be able to observe the result in realtime
    >(or as close to realtime as bandwidth permits).
    >Data Standards
    >It is crucial that the Virtual Lightbox be constructed in such a way
    >that it may be easily installed and utilized by persons without any
    >advanced technical knowledge. Given that the native environment for
    >the Lightbox will be the Web's browser interface, this would suggest
    >Java as an appropriate solution. The Lightbox should be compatible
    >with current releases of both Netscape Communicator and Internet
    >Explorer. It should support at least the JPEG image format and ideally
    >TIFF, GIF, and PNG. The Lightbox should also eventually support XML
    >(for such features as notes and image annotations) and JPEG 2000.
    >Selected References
    >-- JPEG 2000
    >-- Java Advanced Imaging API
    >-- Inote and the ImageSizer
    >-- PhotoFinder
    >The LOOKSEE Web pages are located at:
    >LOOKSEE is hosted by the collaboratory for Research in Computing for
    >(RCH, or "arch") at the University of Kentucky:

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