MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet

Creating an Event with SDR

Assuming that you have something to share with the MBONE-watching world, you can create an event using SDR. This is similar to the process of creating an event with SD, except that SDR provides stronger functionality and more features to the session creator. To create an event using SDR, follow these steps:

  1. Start SDR. From the main window, select the New button to get the event creation window, as shown in Figure 5-11.

  2. Enter the session name in the field at the top of the window. This name appears in the scrollable list of the SDR main window.

  3. In the next field, enter the session description. You may be as verbose as you want here.

  4. Now enter a URL. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It represents a document address in a form that the Web browser understands.

    If you have a WWW server at your site, you may want to create a Web page for your event so that when users see the session in the SDR list, they can go to that Web page and learn more about the session you created. Next to the URL field is a button for testing the URL to make sure that it works.

  5. Next, decide if your conference will be open to anyone or restricted to a select group of people. If you select Public, anyone can join the session. If you select Private, only those who possess the correct encryption key are able to join the session.

  6. Now choose the distribution scheme, either one group per conference or one group per media.

    One group per conference gives you all the media, audio, video, and text. Choose this option if all your participants are on fast network links. Because all participants won't have the luxury of choosing which media they want, they will receive everything.

    Figure 5-11: The SDR session creation window.

    One group per media allows your participants to choose to receive only the media they desire, be it audio, video, or text. Choose this option if your event will be worldwide, because not everyone on the Internet has access to fast, non-congested links.

  7. The next option to set is the scope mechanism, either TLL or Administrative Scopes. See Chapter 10 for a discussion on administrative scopes. Depending on which mechanism you choose, the box to the right changes so that you can choose the correct value for the chosen mechanism. Since Mycompany is not necessarily in Canada, choosing McGill, Montreal, or even Canada is not appropriate here.

  8. Now select the media you want to use, along with their protocol, format, address, and port. The address and the port are assigned by SDR, but you can change them if you need to do so. For the protocol, there is only one choice except for audio, for which you can choose either rtp (Real Time Protocol) or vat. For the format, the choice really depends on the medium. For example, for sound you can choose PCM, DVI, PCM, and so on, which are all sound formats with different qualities.

  9. Finally, set the date, the time the event will be active, and the contact information as people will see it. If the session will not be a continuous event but will be on and off, you can specify up to three active periods. Specifying active periods is useful when your participants don't want to remain joined in the event, but they want to know in advance when to join.

Notice that SDR supports a new MBONE medium: text. The application that handles this new medium is called mumble. Mumble implements textual conversations using the MBONE. It works on a principle similar to IRC in that when you create an event with text as a medium, the event has a group assigned to it (on IRC they are called channels). Users join your event, their own SDR starts mumble, and they are able to enter text that you receive and vice-versa. The fun part is that icreating your event with other media adds a great deal of power to the conversation. Users also can join your event using mumble's internal set of commands. The best advantage of using MBONE text over electronic mail is that it is real-time communication and takes up a very small amount of bandwidth.

Last but not least, SDR supports extensive hypertext help. When you select help from the main SDR window, shown in Figure 5-12, the help window appears with a menu inside. You can select items in that list that are dark blue to get to a new help section (or submenu). The help in SDR uses the same built-in Web browser that is used for getting to a session URL for more information about the session.

Figure 5-12: The SDR help window.

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