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2 The technology layer

This section is not exhaustive and does not cover exhaustively advanced research. Also it is sometimes hard to separate technical from non-technical research.

2.1 Major currently available CMC and Information Systems


Text-based social virtual reality (Muds) is almost Cyberspace:

MUDs (and specially the MOO variant [Curtis, 1993]) can be be characterized by:

Asynchronous Collaboration Tools

CSCW Tools

Internet Classics

Email, News, Ftp and such

Voice and Video Conferencing Tools

There exist several kinds:

2.2 Interesting Technical Research Areas


Artificial Agents on the Net

2D and 3D VEs

Immersive VR Systems

Advanced MUDs

Multi-User CSCW Tools

2.3 Internet Trends


To sum it up: The World-Wide Web is breaking a part somewhat and there is an explosion of available tools for providers.

WWW - Mobile Code:

WWW - HTML embedded scripts:

WWW - Diversification of Formats:

WWW - All-in-One WWW browsers

Look at what Netscape

WWW - Embedded WWW browsers

WWW - HTTP-based Collaboration Tools:

WWW - Gateway and DB Technology:

Both ``light'' and ``heavy'' (interfaces to industrial strength DBs) versions exist:

WWW - Specialized WWW service packages


VRML/ is the 3-D extensions to the WWW. Right now rendering is very slow, but the VRML standard and VRML clients integrate well the Web. In addition VRML 2 has animation and communication extensions.

WWW - Smart Indexing and Smart searching

You don't need all the crap Alta Vista spits out :)

CSCW Tools:

Voice Talk and low-bandwidth Video:

WWW - Specialized HTTP Servers:

2.4 The software situation at TECFA


Here a short list of some software available and some information about availability, installation and use. Note that ``use'' does not include ``use'' in publications or for tests or demos.

Tools at TECFA
Type Source Hardware Installed Used
MOO free ok yes yes
WWW Server free ok yes yes
WWW Upload ?? ok - -
WWW HyperNews free ok yes no
WWW Mail Gates free ok yes no
News UniGe yes yes no
Lotus Notes UniGE yes no no
MailingLists free no no yes
CUSEME free 4 cam no no
Whiteboards UniGe/free yes yes (y)
3D (VRML) - no yes no
Table 1: Some Software at Tecfa and UniGE

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Next: 3 Issues for Research Up: Interactive Cyberspace - TECFA Previous: 1 What is Cyberspace?

Daniel K. Schneider
Wed Apr 24 02:00:59 MET DST 1996