MServer

DESCRIPTION

This module is part of the COVISA toolkit (version 2.0) of collaborative modules. A full description of the COVISA module suite and API is given in the IRIS Explorer Collaborative User Guide. You are strongly advised to read this guide before using the COVISA modules.

MServer facilitates access to a collaborative session by connecting to the server pointed to by the information on the "COVISAServer Machine" and "COVISAServer Port" Widgets. Pressing the start button causes the module to attempt to connect to the COVISA server. This server must be running before the MServer module is "start"ed. The MServer module must be running before using any other modules in the COVISA toolkit.

INPUTS

WIDGETS

Port: COVISAServer Machine
Type: Text
The name of the machine where the COVISA server is running, e.g., csindy12.leeds.ac.uk If the server always runs on the same machine, then the environment variable COVISA_CENTRAL_MACHINE can be set to hold this value.

Port: COVISAServer Port
Type: Text
The port number that the COVISA server is listening to. The installation procedure of IRIS Explorer sets the port number to a default value which may be changed by setting the environment variable COVISA_CENTRAL_PORT to a different value.

Port: UserName
Type: Text
The username of the collaborator should be entered into this box. This username is passed into the collaborative session for identification purposes. By default it uses the value held in the USER environment variable.

Port: Start
Type: Button
Pressing this button causes the module to attempt to connect to the COVISA server using the information contained in the above widgets.

Port: Mod_Connections
Type: Button
Only visible when using a server mode of Application, and the module has connected to a session. Used to make other collaborative modules connect/disconnect to/from the session as a group, rather than having to do it for each module individually.

Port: Conference List
Type: Scroll List
Only visible once the module has connected to a session. All the names of the current participants in the conference appear here (including your own).

Port: Group Join/Find
Type: Scroll List
Only visible once the module has connected to a session in On-the-Fly mode. It contains a list of all the shared group modules in the collaborative session. The list is held as the group number followed by the module type, e.g.,

0 MSharePointer
1 MShareGeom
where group 0 is an MSharePointer module and group 1 is an MShareGeom module.

Clicking on items in this list has varying results depending on the current state of the module within your environment:

If you have a member of that group running and it is in a connected state, then the find operation occurs where the control panel is maximised.

If you have a member of that group running and it is in a disconnected state, then a version of the join operation occurs where the module state is altered to become connected.

If you do not have a member of that group currently running, then one is launched automatically for you and connected to the session. The loss of a group member can occur if you delete it, or it dies due to some internal error.

OUTPUTS

Port: ServerMode
Type: Option Menu
Menu Item: Set mode to "On-The-Fly"
Menu Item: Set mode to "Application"
The server may be connected in two states:-

On-The-Fly - is used for sessions where users are dynamically changing the map, adding/deleting modules, etc. In this mode, any collaboratively aware modules that are used automatically cause companion modules to be launched in the Map Editor of the collaborators. This is the most common mode of use.

Application - this mode is used for pre-built applications. This is where a user has constructed a map containing shared elements and made an edited control panel. In this mode, companion modules are not automatically launched, but attempt to rejoin their original groups. When constructing a shared application, this mode should be selected when the addition of collaborative modules is complete.

A popup window appears giving the current ServerMode when the mode is altered. For more information on these modes see the section COVISA Server in the Module Suite of the IRIS Explorer Collaborative User Guide.

KNOWN PROBLEMS

None.

SEE ALSO

Other COVISA toolkit modules:

MAdvisor, MShareGeom, MShareGraph3D, MShareLat, MShareLatToGeom, MShareParam, MSharePointer, MSharePyr.

COVISAServer - This executable is required to route data between collaborators. It must be running before attempting to start a collaborative session. Under Windows NT you may start the COVISA server from the IRIS Explorer program group (available on the start menu). Alternatively, under UNIX and Windows NT, it may be started up from a command line. The executable uses the environment variable COVISA_CENTRAL_PORT to set the port number, but this can be overridden using the argument -port <number>.

The COVISA server must be running on a machine which is accessible to all collaborators.

The IRIS Explorer COVISA collaborative module suite and API was developed at the University of Leeds.


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