Blog Pile

Pachyderm 2.0 (NMC Conference Session)

Start with a demo! Good move. Pachyderm project site

Wendy Shapiro (Case Western) showed a Pachyderm created “Exploring Soul Music” done with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Soul Music timeline done via Phone dial screen with screens by year. Gives world events for context, examples of music from Ray Charles and Chubby Checker. Checker is not in the Hall of Fame, but the zoom screen uses a letter written by him campaigning to be inducted. Second project from Case Western in Dental School. The school is moving to problem based learning. Pachyderm used to create scenarios, presented as video clips. The main screen presents “Questions to Answer”, a mini lecture, other media that contain clues to answer questions. ANother screen presents a menu of resources with links to web sites, Word documents, PowerPoints.

Next up is Peter Samis, SFMOMA where Pachyderm 1.0 was created.

Pachyderm brings us a set of templates to express ways we think about, experience, and make sense of fine art.

Starts as an analog process (screen shot of storyboard sketch). Exploration is surrounded by questions that lead to deeper exploration. “Idea is to cluster all media elements necessary to explain context- in a single screen.” Pachyderm reveals different facets of a subject as you move through it- not presenting a great deal of text all at once, but in segments. Slider screen- place object in context of other works (timelines). A sequence of information, not always a timeline.

Layers screen- used for multiple interpretations of a concept- each layer revealed presents a different level or mode of meaning. Comparison timelime is not yet in Pachyderm 2.0.

Holly Witchley next on user requirements. Pachyderm picture (elephant emerging from woods near road sign) found googling on “Elephants Can Read”. Know your user – lots of computer experience to none –there is not typical one!

Scenario Development – Create personas – biographical, user traits. Next is smaple scernario. Created almost 100 unique scernarios. From scenarios to requirements.

User Observations-used Philp Guston exhibit at the Met. 20 usability sessions 45 minutes each. Stopped because results converged. Showed examples of feedback gained on zoom screen on labeling of controls, button locations.

Requirements evolve- e.g. names of templates.

Tom Hapgood- University of Arizona, designed authoring screens. Demo was done in an hour this morning, demo authoring live from server at University of Calgary. Authoring interface based on web forms. Selecting images for icons on phone dial screen.

D’Arcy Norman on technical design
– Keep Flexibility everywhere
– Hosted vs Installed
– Server and Browser
– Overall Architecture: Large frameworks and Libraries (WebObjects + APOLLO + PXFoundation) plus Pachyderm 2.0 apps
APOLLO handles database, metadata. PXFoundation manages assets, publishes Flash.

Uses External Libraries: jGenerator (Flash generation), ImageMagick (image file managements, resizes uploaded files), JDOM (XML parsing)

Component Based Design

Open Source Apache licensed for Pachyderm application and APOLLO

Cross Platform Authoring- just a “modern browser on a recent operating system”

Cross- Platform Server: Mac OSX, Windows 2000 Solaris, Linux

Mavericks= History project at Calgary with 600+ screens done in Pachyderm

Pachyderm Website:

Larry Johnson (NMC) on what’s next.

Creating a Pachyderm community.

Timeline for release is October 2005. Can sign up for beta. Next beta is July 2005, first time the full features will be available.

Pachyderm can connect to content in different ways. Comes with mySQL database built in. Prompts for meta data. Meta data travels with content. Upcoming is ability to access shared assets perhaps local to a university. Down the road will be access to multiple sources via federated search.

Much in Pachyderm Document Archive.

* Sakai interoperability? After October release perhaps. APOLLO will be able to connect with OKI API

* Where is public source of code? Not yet available. Will be on SourceForge.

* Templates are extensible (defined by XML).

* Alternate presentation formats- HTML? down the road.

* Used with screen reader? Yes in authoring. Met with Macromedia on accessibility issues. Current screen readers likely will not work. Possible to generate a non flash version? Flash Player 8 should have better communication with readers.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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