JASMINE: A Java Tool for Multimedia Collaboration on the Internet


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Abstract

Although collaboration tools have existed for a long time [8], Internet-based multimedia collaboration has recently received a lot of attention mainly due to easy accessibility of the Internet by ordinary users. The Java platform and programming language has also introduced yet another level of easy access: platform-independent computing. As a result, it is very attractive to use Java to design multimedia collaboration systems for the Internet. Today there are many systems, which use Java for multimedia collaboration. However, most of these systems require the shared Java application to be re-written according to the collaboration system's Application Programming Interface (API)—a task which is sometimes difficult or even impossible. In this paper, we describe a practical approach for transparent collaboration with Java. Our approach is transparent in that the Java application can be shared as is with no modifications. The main idea behind our system is that user events occurring through the interactions with the application can be caught, distributed, and reconstructed, hence allowing Java applications to be shared transparently. Our architecture allows us to make the huge installed base of Java applications collaborative, without any modification to their original code. We also prove the feasibility of our architecture by implementation of the JASMINE1 prototype.

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