The TimeLine Protocol

The TimeLine protocol provides the means of distributing multimedia information (including MPEG-2 encoded video clips) to the clients in the MediCAL project. The server protocol executes on SUN workstations, and clients are provided for PCs under NT and SUN workstations.

The protocol is designed to optimise transfer when a group of students in a classrroom view one from a number of CAL sessions. A typical multimedia session will consist of a sequence of video clips (each of approx. 10 minutes duration), separated by audio commentries (often accompanied by a still image). Each student is free to choose their own path through the presented material - but all syudents are encouraged to view all the material at least once.

The Timeline protocol provides the following benefits, when compared to traditional file transfer protocols:

Brief Description of Protocol

The protocol has two components:

The client part of the timeline system executes under either NT on a PC platform or under Solaris on a SUN platform.

The server part of the timeline system executes under only Solaris on a SUN platform.

The operation of the protocols is summarised in the following diagram, which shows a single file being sent to a single client.