[standards-jig] RE: LAST CALL: MUC (JEP-0045)

M.Eisenstadt M.Eisenstadt at open.ac.uk
Sat Nov 2 00:21:04 UTC 2002

I have two MUC user/moderator cases that I'd like to raise as 'food for
thought': they arise surprisingly often in my educational context (e.g.,
virtual classrooms), and although they can be handled with existing presence
or even plain text message/bot tricks, there may be more elegant solutions
lurking out there, hence this email...

In a nutshell, the two specific cases are (i) synchronized countdown-timers
and (ii) (nearly)simultaneous voting in a multi-user chat. The more generic
issues concern, in case (i), timing, syncopating, or what I prefer to think
of as 'metronoming' of group behaviours, e.g. 'Quiz 29 (or breakout session
3, or Battleship Game 9, etc.) will begin in 3:00 minutes, starting....
NOW'.  In case (ii), although of course users can vote by typing 'Y' or
toggle their presence states to indicate (say) 'agreement', the generic
issue has to do with conveyance of an expressive state that does not
strictly belong to the domains of either 'presence' or 'text', and may
therefore warrant some kind of 'channel' of its own to open up other
comparable possibilities-- especially true if one wants a degree of
parallelism in the 'votes', let alone the ability of (only) a moderator to
'clear' prior 'votes'.  Voting is only one example: future possibilities
will no doubt arise, and it would be nice to have less overloading of the
text and presence capabilities by allowing this 'foot in the door', without
opening up the floodgates!

On the other hand rather than opening up kludge-y new channels and tricks,
you may feel these cases are already catered for... yet I could only deal
with these in my mind after looking at JEP 0045 by a bit of 'creative
bending of the rules', so I thought it would be worth raising them before
the Nov 11th 2002 deadline.

Many thanks...
 Marc Eisenstadt
 Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK
 HOME OF OPEN SOURCE BUDDYSPACE = http://buddyspace.sourceforge.net

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