Whiteboard is designed for a group of people to work together on the same piece of electronic paper. You can draw simple graphics, write text and do this all in every color you want. All this is sent to the other participants in a bandwidth-saving manner to reduce network load. Furthermore you can embedd OLE-objects in these documents. Only a representation of those is sent to the others, and only upon demand the (maybe very long) complete object is sent.
Moreover, as many pages as you want are supplied, so you can group your ideas and objects. For easy finding of objects, there is an additional small view where always the complete page is shown. This view can be resized to meet your requirements.
Of course, loading and saving of documents, print preview and printing is also included.
For drawing simple objects following types are supplied: rectangles, ovals, lines and text. All of these can be changed in their color and rectangles and ovals can additionally have an alternate outline-color. All these objects can be manipulated by Drag&Drop and can be resized. With the right button of your mouse you have access to all operations available on the object you selected.
As mentioned above, you can insert OLE-objects into the Whiteboard. As for simplicity and problems, when the server is not available, OLE objects can be embedded, but no linking is allowed. To avoid inconsistency, only one participant may modify an embedded object at a time. This is enforced by using a locking-mechanism. As these objects can be very large, one the icon is transferred to all the participants as a metafile. If someone wants to open and edit the object, it has to be fetched before, which is done automatically if its not done already. Upon closing the object, all copies on other computers are replaced by the iconic representation, so that inconsistencys are avoided.
The program is divided into two sections: The Exchange-Server (who stores the whole document and distributes it to the clients) and the Clients (which provide visual interpretation of the data the Server provides to them. To minimize network-load it is advisable, that the server runs on the same computer as one of the clients (which should be the logical master, who saves and loads documents). This is no necessity, but as for saving a document its data has to be local, if it must be sent in complete to some distant computer thius may take some time if OLE-objects are embedded.
To provide minimum security, you can configure the server to allow only certain computers to join the group. If a computer is not in this list, he will not receive and display the data.
The program runs under Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 and higher (Workstation or Server) and has been tested on Intel, Alpha and Mips-computers. As some required network-functions are not supported by Win95, therefor no such version is available now, but will perhaps be in future versions.
You are interested in a few technical details of the implementation? You can find an overview over the networking structure here.
This program is the result of a practica at the FIM, University of LINZ.
It was created by Michael Sonntag with support and under guidance from Gerhard Eschelbeck, Assistant at the FIM.
You can download the latest version (Shared libraries needed!):
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|Last change: 15 Dezember 1997
(c) 1997 Michael V. Sonntag