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Re: [Texmacs-dev] TeXmacs server

From: Joris van der Hoeven
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] TeXmacs server
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 18:31:18 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

On Mon, Jun 05, 2006 at 05:51:10PM +0200, David MENTRE wrote:
> > 1) A chatting facility, like IRC channels (already implemented,
> >    although a few improvements can still be made).
> > 2) A conferencing utility: an extension of 1 with voice (and maybe video).
> >    This is what would be really useful for me. Currently, it is already
> >    possible to use 1 in combination with Skype (for instance),
> >    but I would like something free and a bit more automatic.
> >    It seems that GNU gatekeepter might help us, but this needs checking.
> In both cases, wouldn't it be more reasonnable to implement those
> functionalities as plugin to existing software, like Ekiga
> (http://www.ekiga.org/) or an IRC client? It took years with many people
> to make those software working, I doubt TeXmacs could do the same.

Just textual chatting is easy to implement and already done.
The more difficult part is voice IP and video conferencing.

> But maybe this is what you want to do after all, Joris, with your
> "TeXmacs server": a kind of component system where one could control the
> TeXmacs core (typesetting and handling of document's parts) from a
> standard interface?

Yes, I do not want to reimplement voice IP and video conferencing.
We should rather search for exsiting software with the following 
  1) The software has no compulsary GUI and can be commanded in the background,
     for instance from the command line over a pipe or socket, or using a 
  2) The software has a protocol such that we can maintain a table with
     user IDs on the TeXmacs server and user ID for the chatting protocol
     of the plug-in. This avoids any unnecessary questions for the user.
  3) For Video applications, it would be nice if they could directly
     display in the TeXmacs window. However, I fear that this is asking
     too much. I investigated this matter for playing videos and no software
     currently allows to do so.

> In that case, which kind of API are you considering?

It is a very easy scheme API. You may declare a new service as follows:

        (request-handler (print-message message)
          (display* "Message: " message "\n")

>From the client side you may just do something like

        (send-message server '(print-message "Hallo"))

I already implemented a system to manage user accounts. After logging in,
all communications are secure (well, almost: I am discussing with
a specialist on security issues and I still have to make a few changes).

> Footnotes: 
> [1]  http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1831.txt
> [2]  http://www.beepcore.org/

Thanks for the pointers. In any case, the precise choice is not that important:
at any stage, it is possible to add another protocol as a new service.

What would be a nice contribution from other developers is
to add a facility for voice IP. That should not be hard if
you can find the right software and is a nice exercise.

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