[vlc-devel] Re: [RFC] E-learning with VideoLAN

videolan at unplugged.com videolan at unplugged.com
Wed Jan 8 08:49:04 CET 2003

On Wed, Jan 08, 2003 at 02:10:27AM +0100, Florian G. Pflug wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:29:40AM +0100, Alexis de Lattre wrote:
> > Damien Lucas (i.e. nitrox) and I are starting a new project inside
> > VideoLAN. The idea of this project is to add an e-learning capability to
> > VideoLAN. As most of the lessons in schools or companies are now given
> > with a teacher speaking on PowerPoint or OpenOffice slides, we would
> > like to be able to reproduce this with vlc.
> > 
> > For that, we would need to be able to do live and on-demand streaming of
> > a multiplexed stream containing the slides, the video and the voice of
> > the teacher.
> Hi
> I have a few ideas concerning this project, I thought you might be
> interested.
> .) I agree with you that the "presentation-viewer-local" method is probably
> the best. By I kind of dislike the idea of such a system being built around
> two proprietary file formats, namely PowerPoint and OpenOffice. That's why I
> suggest SVG as the presentation format. But of course I don't know 
> if either PowerPoint or OpenOffice support an export to SVG...
> .) It might be quite important for understanding a lesson not only to see
> the slides, but to also see where the lector is pointing to while he is
> talking. If he uses a stick, or laserpointer this is nearly impossible, but
> if he uses a mouse, then some event-recording should do the trick. There
> again SVG would be a nice presentation format, because one could modify a
> SVG-Viewer to record the events. If different presentations are in different
> formats, than more than one viewer has to be modified. If IE or Mozilla is
> used as SVG viewer, than recording the events should come down to a little
> bit of javascript magic.
> Well, thats all that I can think of at the moment. Hope it helps...
> greetings, Florian Pflug


I agree with Florian's point, proprietary file formats are not
desireable. In addition to simple slide presentations, SVG
has the potential to offer much more.

Another idea that I would like to suggest would be to incorporate 
a facility for live whiteboarding, another very important component
of e-learning. I point to two devices of which I am aware that 
capture whiteboarding in real time:


I do not know how open these products are to the development of a GNU
style software product. And as far as I know there exists today no 
standard whiteboard communication protocol. :)

If these whiteboard products were able to generate a SVG stream, 
the VLC could receive this SVG stream and play the stream for the

One approach would be to focus development effort on implementing
support for receiving a SVG stream in VLC. There is already quite
a bit of development from the Apache Batik project 
(http://xml.apache.org/batik) that might lend itself in this

Independently, development can be work can be done to turn 
PowerPoint and OpenOffice presentation content into a SVG

Interestingly there is a news blurb about SVG support in Microsoft
Office 11 (or at least in Visio) on the following page. Quoted here:

   "2002-12-13: Microsoft Office 11 with SVG support At XML 2002
   in Baltimore, Microsoft announced and demonstrated Office 11.
   Microsoft Visio for Office 11 (nearing the end of the first 
   beta cycle) can both export and import SVG. Links to follow 
   when available."


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