Appendix C: Log of Meetings

Minutes for Meetings

Group Meeting

11/10/1999 17:30 - 18:11 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

Agreed that it is important to investigate the two available hardware options:

Friday lunchtime agreed as generally available slot from future meetings.

Supervisor Meeting

13/10/1999 10:00 - 11:05 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, ih

General introduction by ih.

Notable points:

Group Meeting

15/10/1999 14:02 - 15:45 Present: tc, tf, jb, nh, ak

Group Meeting

18/10/1999 11:04 - 11:53 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

Supervisor Meeting

20/10/1999 10:00-11:05 Present: ih, nh, ak

1. Proposed Specification

ih stated that he expects more in the basic specification, particularly from a MEng group of six people. noted that the keyword search facility was not on the extended list. nh assured that this was an oversight, rather than a deliberate omission.

There was discussion of: Action: Agreed to extend the basic specification to include intelligent handling of clickable page numbers, together with clickable emails and URLs. The group should also find another significant feature from extended list, to be included in the basic specification.

2. Proposed CSG Equipment list

3. Information on hardware

4. Any Other Business

Group Meeting

22/10/1999 14:02 - 15:00 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

Group Meeting

26/10/1999 11:02 - 11:41 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

Supervisor Meeting

27/10/1999 10:00-11:00 Present: ih, nh, ak

1. Specification

2. CSG Requirements

3. Looking like TV?

4. Other Business

Group Meeting

29/10/1999 13:05-13:46 Present: nh, ak, jb, gkw, tc, tf

nh: Congratulations to ak for fulfilling ih's requirements in putting the minutes, etc. on the web.


Action: ak to send out simple HTML format for documentation.

nh: We need to start writing up our investigations, as this will be needed for the project report anyway. There are four reports to be done currently:

  1. Explaining the choice for storing the server cache. Action: jb for Tuesday
  2. Explaining the choices made in coming to the proposed architecture Action: tc/ak for Friday
  3. Complete investigation into characters and the use of Java's GraphicFont Action: tf/nh for Friday
  4. Detailing the User Interface design, e.g. what choices on remote control, what elsewhere. Action: gkw for Friday
Action: nh to look at capturing keypresses from the browser when the applet does not have focus.

Investigation of WinTV/video4linux

tc reported looking up documentation on VTX (which video4linux implements for teletext support). Assuming it can be made to work, it should offer significant new functionality to make everyone a 'happy bunny'.


As brought up by ih at the last supervisor meeting, possibility of making the final presentation a marketing pitch.

Means we will need to identify the potential market, and come u pwith an appropriate name.

ak spoke for some time about how we could deliver to handheld devices using AvantGo, a WAP gateway or similar. Given the focussing of efforts of companies like Palm presently this could be shown as appealing to the enterprise market.

Short brainstorm resulted in some potential names: Netext, Jeletext, Ethertext, webText, iText, eText, Web Interface Teletext (WIT).

Action: all to come to next meeting bearing possible names.

Group Meeting

2/11/1999 11:17-11:57 Present: tf, gkw, nh, ak, jb, tc

nh: Timekeeping. it is important that we start meetings on time, since we are all very busy. The agreed start of meeting should not be seen as a five minute window.

Action: ak to send out details for documentation formatting in HTML.


  1. jb has put on web.
  2. ak/tc reported that this is on track to be ready for Friday as agreed.
  3. tf reported that GraphicFont seems faster than previously reported (with graphs to show the speed). More research is to be done.
  4. Started and on the way. gkw spoke about ideas for UI.
See previous minutes for a more rich description of each report.


tc reported that after spending a considerable effort over the weekend the problem is being cracked. Also explained that there are two possible interfaces:

Tom is now essentially waiting on CSG for access to resources to continue investigations further.

Action: nh to chase CSG for resources.


Action: ak to split the minutes by month and add a drafts section to the website.

tc reported that there is a very nice code -> HTML generator (LXR) which produces very nice hyperlinked web pages from source files, including references to where functions are used and more. tc believes it would be a very good way to make the source code for the project available and easily read.

ak raised issue of having the most complete version of the documentation on the web at the end of the project, with a reasonable, but less fully featured version to be printed out. Action: nh to put on the agenda for next Supervisor Meeting.

Action: nh to also put discussion of accessing the live stream, using VBI, rather than a request-based system on the agenda for next Supervisor Meeting.

Supervisor Meeting

3/11/1999 10:02-10:36 Present: ih, nh, ak

1. Progress Report

nh reported that we are making good progress.

On availability of resources, ih said we should be able to use the machine in the Real-Time lab immediately. Action: nh to talk to Geoff Bruce in CSG about access to Real-Time lab.

2. Final Report

Can we have the authoritative version of our report as a set of web pages? The short answer from ih is 'no' - a printed report is essential in terms of the moderation of marks, examiners meetings and so forth.

That said there should be nothing stopping us producing a web version of the report which is fully featured, which we might use in the demonstration of the project, the more technical forum, or even in the final presentation, although ih warned that this might impede the flow of the presentation.

3. Accessing Data Stream

ak talked of a possibility uncovered by tc that we may be able to access the data stream directly through the VBI interface in video4linux. This would offer considerable advantage in terms of filling the cache effectively, rather than using a request-response system.

Should this option be viable, it would involve a modification to the proposed architecture, which was discussed briefly.

There is, of course, the possibility that we will not be able to get it working in good time, and may need to have a fall-back position.

4. Other business

ak returned to the issue of off-air, in-vision teletext, noting that BBC 2, when broadcasting teletext pages late at night use a different (serif) font to the standard sans-serif one. ih commented that this may be because they are using a more advanced teletext specification with additional font support.

Action: ak to investigate what the BBC are up to.

Group Meeting

5/11/1999 13:05-13:50 Present: nh, tc, tf, gkw, ak. Apologies for absence: jb

Supervisor Meeting

nh explained the proceedings of the last supervisor meeting.


tf/nh: GraphicFont investigations look promiosing & continue. tf to write report for rendering scheme for next meeting.

ak/tc: The draft architecture report is in place. More work is needed to incorporate further changes to the architecture depending on progress with VBI.

gkw: Will produce a mock up of the UI over the next week.

Other Business

Working Title: ITX was agreed as a name for the project, which could potentially stand for many things (InfoTeXt, InternetTeXt...).

Group Meeting

9/11/1999 11:20 - 11:40 Present: nh, tc, tf, gkw, jb, ak.

Progress Reports

Action: nh to supply gif to ak for teletext font.

Action: All to read through minutes so far & give corrections to content, grammar, style, etc.

Group Meeting

12/11/1999 16:03-16:55 Present: nh, tf, gkw, ak. Apologies for absence: tc

nh stated that the next report was due in less than a fortnight. It needs to state what we have done, our final design decisions, etc. We should be getting this written work together now, as it must be done at some point anyway.


nh showed the teletext font working in Java using a modified GraphicFont. Action: nh to have working in GraphicFont, using three fonts (for text, contiguous graphics and separated graphics). nh to pass font image to ak for Javaless version. After working, nh to rewrite the underlying GraphicFont code to work more effectively for our task.

tf discussed progress made with the parser. Action: tf (to send) by Monday a detailed description of the information he needs to the server group.

gkw has fixed assorted configuration problems with the WinTV card, he reported that we now have a sensible picture. There is still some interference, which may cause problems with teletext reception.

gkw reported that for the UI it is likely that we will drop Swing, as the DoC installation may cause problems with running it within lab. Action: gkw to give list of buttons for the toolbar to ak.

jb reported that the database is now up and running on teign. Some config still to be done.

ak reported on PHP progress. Has some PHP written for displaying teletext, but needs to put font in place before proceeding further. nh supplied the appropriate graphic.

Group Meeting

16/11/1999 11:19-11:50 Present: nh, tf, gkw, ak. Apologies for absence: tc

nh reminded the group that the basic report is due next week, and pointed out where we were on our proposed schedule.

gkw showed a version of the UI, written in Swing, with dockable toolbar and context-sensitive menus. Some work still to do to make work for DoC lab machines. Action: gkw to talk to CSG to discuss the peculiarities of Java within DoC.

tf has sent the interface he needs (in Java). The group must yet determine the lower level structure which the server group will deliver.

jb reported that there have been various problems with teign, now resolved, which have set back configuration of the database.

ak reported that the PHP code for Javaless functionality is coming along nicely. There have been some issues with getting the font into the appropriate internal format.

Supervisor Meeting

17/11/1999 10:04-10:50 Present: ih, nh, ak.

nh discussed the recent progress made:

Action: ak to get more documentation online, including agendas and potentially screendumps of progress.

ih responded positively to the idea of using an HTTP connection from client to web server which would run a proxy which would speak UDP to the ITX server. ih said this was the sort of thing that he wanted to see more of in the documentation. ak assured ih that this was in hand.

Group Meeting

18/11/1999 12:00-12:50 Present: nh, jb, tc, tf, gkw, ak.

Progress Reports

Report 2: Project Design & Implementation

ak suggested that we all get our relevent parts written, to the agreed format* by Tuesday's meeting, leaving a little time for discussion before ak integrates everything.
*(Headings cascading down from <h2>; paragraphs enclosed in <p></p> pairs beneath that; any images to be in an images subdirectory).

Group Meeting

23/11/1999 17:30 - 18:11 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

ak: Thanked group for getting documentation to him, Report 2 went well. Apologies also for the new, more terse style of minutes; for reasons of practical expediency, implementation has become more important than lengthy minutes.

Group Meeting

25/11/1999 11:15 - 12:20 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

Server Group discussed their progress in working with the live VBI stream. There are some difficulties, and if efforts do not yield more results, the group may turn to using a piece of Open Source software to access the stream.

Group Meeting

30/11/1999 17:00 - 17:50 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

Server and client groups to meet immediately after meeting to clarify plans. ak discussed the needs of the client group with a full format for the server-side scripting to deliver data to be decided very shortly.

Due to present a demonstration to ih by the end of term, which will require much work.

Group Meeting

2/12/1999 12:10 - 12:20 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

In a short meeting to discuss progress and the plan of action it was suggested by ak that in future we should generally only hold smaller, less formal, ad-hoc, meetings. This will make progress more swift in the final stages of implementation, although it will increase the load on nh who will need to facilitate good communication. We should review progress at the start of the new term, after breaking for MEng tests and Christmas. All agreed.

Group Meeting

10/1/2000 14:30 - 16:30 Present: jb, tc, tf, nh, ak, gkw

All members explained where they were in the course of their implementation, with work still required in most areas, but the interfaces well drawn up.

Supervisor Meeting

12/1/2000 9:00 - 9:50 Present: ih, nh, ak

The group's progress over Christmas was described, we have a fuctioning parts of the system, but without all the connecting parts yet in place. Apologies were given for not demonstrating at the end of the previouis term, but progress over the holidays was good.

ih expressed his desire to see User Testing in the final report and asked what goals were laid down to ensure that the final deadline was met.