Integration of UK VRE Tools into Sakai
In this section we describe a number of tools which have been
discussed during the evaluation and which we believe would form useful
components of a Sakai-based VRE.
- CopperCore - portlet interface to the IMS Learning Design
player from the Open University of the Netherlands.
- e-Learning Tools - as appropriate
- IRC Chat Tool. IRC is a widely used protocol for on-line
chat sessions including group or 1 on 1. Users can choose between
several threads. A Chat portlet is already present in the Sakai
framework but work is needed to integrate chat sessions from project
worksites into a user's personal worksite and to link to external IRC
channels. [Jabber is an alternative.]
- Blog. A candidate exists, Blojsom at
- Programmable Scientific Calculator.
- Active Spreadsheet.
- Personal Address Book.
- Personal Information Guide (PIG). Office Assistant and help
tool in the form of a flying pig.
- Helpdesk Interface
- Distributed Word Processor. A distributed word processing
tool to facilitate collaborative document editing.
- Shopping Cart. Adaptation of the personal resource tool
designed to package data and executable programs for processing,
e.g. via the Grid.
- Distributed Presentation Tool. A distributed presentation
tool for multicasting slide shows to co-researchers.
- Wiki. Java-based portlet interface to popular collaborative
Web editing tool. A prototype exists from Michael Fischer's
computational anthropology group, University of Kent.
- Research Scheduling Tool. This package will involve the
development of software adapters intended to query potential
co-researcher's Exchange (or any iCalendar compliant mail server)
calendars. A software module will be produced designed to query
potential co-researcher's calendars and list potential research time
- Cross Search Tool. An appropriate tool for cross searching
digital resource collections is available as a portlet from the
Subject Portal Project. This currently searches the RDN, Resource
Discovery Network, collections.
- Relevant Information Retrieval Tool. This work package will
focus on the delivery of a WSRP portlet based tool enabling lookup of
resources relevant to the research being undertaken in the VRE at the
current time. This focusses on context based content aggregation using
the output of the grammar extension deliverable. It will be used in
that the subject matter portion of the VRE session description to help
generate the information search criteria. Each researcher involved in
a project will be able to manage content and publish it for other
researchers who can retrieve it from other portal instances. Recent
work has shown how WSRP services can be published via UDDI [FPB
subgroup of WSRP OASIS technical group]. There are relevant Web-based
UDDI clients which could form the basis of this tool.
- Personal and Project Notebooks. This will be an adaptation
of the e-Notebook tool from ???. Database backed 'blog' style tools
will be produced to enable the making of research notes. [An american
project has one...]
- Personal Information Manager. e.g. for sharing schedules
with other software. Example, Chandler.
- Project Bibliography Construction. Tool to enable
collaborators to upload bibliographies from their work machine into a
shared project bibliography. A BibTeX tool exists in OGCE which can be
adapted to produce output in different formats.
- A Statistical Computing Web Service (SABRE and R). Work
package 2 is concerned with creating a resource producer, in the form
of a web service version of the R and Sabre statistical tools. The
Sabre routines will be made available via R calls, and these in turn
will be made available as a multiple message web service. A prototype
of this has been demonstrated in the GROWL project at , see
http://esc.dl.ac.uk/GROWL. This service will be able to run
on the National Grid Service (JCSR nodes at Manchester, Leeds, , RAL)
and will require grid authentication via Sakai's Grid logon
facilities, as enhanced in the grammar. Initially, a dataset will be
uploaded from a collaborator's computer to the service for processing,
although the possibility of remote dataset specification will be
investigated. GridFTP or SRB client calls would be used for this.
- Video Conferencing and AGN Participation. This work package
will build on the work done by Geoffrey Fox from Indiana on the Narada
Brokering based GlobalMMCS video conferencing system. It is
anticipated that the bulk of the work will involve configuring
GlobalMMCS, devising an elegant deployment solution and coding the
conference instantiation facilities into CHEF. GlobalMMCS uses a
message exchange protocol based on SOAP for setting up
conferences. Communications are then carried out using message
packets, which can be shunted over a self-organising network overlay
of Narada Brokering nodes. A browser borne video conferencing tool
tool, for use by VRE research project members will be delivered.
- Scientific Data Management. We will port CCLRC's DataPortal
JSPs to portlets to provide cross-search access to a range of
scientific data via a common metadata model. The ``shopping cart''
portlet will connect a list of identified datasets to a GridFTP
facility or other functions.
- Visualisation. (/ RAL) Visualisation tools will be imported
from other projects, for instance the e-Science Visualisation Group at
CCLRC Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory and Ken Brodlie, University of
Leeds, which provides tools for the GODIVA, GViz and Integrative
Biology projects and University of Manchester's SVE Group.
- Distributed Whiteboard. Input will be taken from the CCF,
Collaborative Computing Frameworks joint project between University of
Reading and Emory, USA which includes a multicast-enabled
``clearboard'' and other collaboration tools. A distributed
``whiteboard'' tool is required, to facilitate collaborative
discussion and annotation of research materials such as images and
- Distributed Flowchart Editor. A distributed flowcharting
tool to assist in the planning of research activities.
- Text Editor Emacs style editor
- XHTML Editor
- Distributed Display. A distributed display tool for
multicasting live data from HPC.
- Bugzilla. Collect bug reports and feedback to
- CVS. A Web front end for CVS exists.
- TeX/ LaTeX Processor Back-end text processing and rendering
linking to the BibTeX tool.
- Simple Interactive Plotting. e.g. GNUplot for uploading and
graphing 2D datasets.
- Portal Statistics. Extension of portal group collaboration
tools to support gathering of usage statistics. Similar tools exist in
PHP-Nuke and are very popular.
- Graphing/ charting Web service Takes a dataset and graphs
it. Could use the graphing functionality of R behind the scenes.
- Extended presence tool Shows co-researcher's location on a
map. Hover over the point and you get metadata about that individual
(like contact details).
- Grid Information
- Network Information
- Grid Computing
- Data and Metadata Upload and Harvesting
- Project Publishing
- Application Publishing
- Portal Workspace Manager
- Authorisation Policy Manager
- Documentation Policy Manager