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STG's Re-Implementation of Progressive Networks' Cevents


General Description

Stg_cevents is a simple utility for compiling RealAudio event lists (example) into .rae files. Although stg_cevents can be used simply as a drop-in replacement for the original RealAudio cevents utility, it also has several useful added features.

In particular, the stg_cevents compiler offers a new output option, -h, that tells it to write its output in HTML format. What this -h option does is solve a problem: RealAudio lets you link time offsets to URLs, i.e., it lets you specify what URLs to display on the user's browser at what time offsets - in effect, letting you create a slide show. But it has no way of doing the reverse, namely of letting users go from the "slides" or URLs to the time offsets where they are discussed. The new -h option solves this problem by providing a way of printing out an HTML table linking these URLs to time offsets within the RealAudio file where they are discussed.

Consider the following scenario: A firm produces a training slideshow for its employees using RealAudio. Slideshows like this are much cheaper to produce than training videos, and are often more effective anyway. Unfortunately, not all parts of the slideshow are going to be appropriate for all employees, and not all employees are going to need to review the entire slideshow. What the stg_events compiler does is let these people look at the list of slides (or, optionally, at a list of topics covered by the slides), and then hop back to the parts of the audio program where particular slides, or topics, are discussed.

For an example of unadorned stg_cevents output, click here. For an example of a presentation in which stg_cevents was used, see our HTML outline of Ken Foote's HT&T96 talk. See also the URL list for the Bible Browser tutorial.

Obtaining and Installing Stg_cevents

Stg_cevents is available from the Brown University Scholarly Technology Group ( STG) as a souce code distribution. That means that you get the code for the program itself, rather than just an executable. To use this code, you will need to compile it for the platform you intend to use it on. This should be done by the local system administrator, or by someone local who has programming expertise.

Stg_cevents was designed to run under Linux and Solaris. Porting it to other POSIX-compliant operating systems should not be terribly difficult.

More specific information on configuring, compiling, and using the package are included with the stg_cevents source code.

Copyright, Usage Restrictions

Stg_cevents was written by Richard Goerwitz (e-mail: Richard_Goerwitz@Brown.EDU) for the Brown University Scholarly Technology Group. Brown and I retain the copyright, but don't mind if others use it. All we ask is 1) that you not use stg_cevents in a commercial setting without checking with us (under certain circumstances, Brown may ask for a royalty), and 2) that you not pretend you wrote it.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, of any kind, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Use this program at your own risk.

Note that we have only maintained stg_cevents in parallel with cevents up to version 4.0 of Progressive Networks' RealAudio server distribution. We would appreciate hearing news of other versions that it does or does not interoperate with.

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