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documentation

daly
ok, people, we're clearly missing a trend here...

the latest idea i've seen in documentation is movies.
we need to figure out how to make a movie that shows how to start
up an axiom session, perform a computation, and shut it down.

once we can figure out that technology we can each make movies of
our portions. i could make a movie of the steps needed to build a
system.

it would be a fast and effective way to communicate user interaction.

anybody know how to do this?

t


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Re: documentation

C Y
--- root <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ok, people, we're clearly missing a trend here...
>
> the latest idea i've seen in documentation is movies.
> we need to figure out how to make a movie that shows how to start
> up an axiom session, perform a computation, and shut it down.
>
> once we can figure out that technology we can each make movies of
> our portions. i could make a movie of the steps needed to build a
> system.
>
> it would be a fast and effective way to communicate user interaction.
>
> anybody know how to do this?

Are you thinking of the SLIME movie that's been getting rave reviews?
(it's about an hour and rather in depth)
http://bc.tech.coop/blog/050728.html

(for those without bittorrent here's the 149 meg mov file:
http://common-lisp.net/movies/slime.mov)

Or just something shorter?  In the case of the above movie I don't know
how it was made, but there is a flash demo of SLIME made using vnc here
(which I can't play on my work computer so I have no idea if it's any
good):
http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/slime.html

I've never tried the software used for this
(http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/ and
http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/edit_vnc2swf.html) so I can't
comment on it.  Apparently there also exists the program wink
(http://www.debugmode.com/wink/) which is a free download but not open
source.  Also for Linux there is xvidcap (http://xvidcap.sf.net) which
will produce mpeg files.

There are movies that have been made of the new e17 environment using
xvidcap - based on a comment from the e17 author xvidcap isn't great
for smooth motion capture but I think for what we will be using it for
it would work fine.  I think this is one of them (not sure how avi
conversion was done): http://www.rasterman.com/files/e17_movie-02.avi

Not sure how to actually use xvidcap - normally I don't do much with
video on Linux.  Also I don't know anything about recording audio.  

Cheers,
CY


       
               
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Re: documentation

daly
well i'm thinking that volume 1, the tutorial volume could come with
a CD that contains the sources and/or a DVD that contains sections,
one per topic, that we could continue to expand.

that way we can create documentation that is easy to learn.
just follow the leader kind of docs.

and other useful docs, like how to fill out a proper bug report,
how to use history files, how to write a simple input file,
how to draw a graph, etc.

i'll look at the tools you mentioned.

t


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RE: documentation

Page, Bill
In reply to this post by daly
On Tuesday, October 25, 2005 10:38 PM C Y wrote:

>
> --- root <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> > the latest idea i've seen in documentation is movies.
> > we need to figure out how to make a movie that shows how to
> > start up an axiom session, perform a computation, and shut
> > it down.
> ...
>
> There is a flash demo of SLIME made using vnc here (which I can't
> play on my work computer so I have no idea if it's any good):
> http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/slime.html

Works real nice for me on windows with both FireFox 1.0.7 with
Flash plug-in installed and Internet Explorer 6 with active X
enabled.

>
> I've never tried the software used for this
> (http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/ and
> http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/edit_vnc2swf.html) so
> I can't comment on it.

I think it works very well. It works on both Windows and Linux.
Here is my first attempt at a movie that shows how to edit a
pamphlet file on MathAction.

http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-2.html

It is also possible to do this with sound, but I didn't have
the necessary hardware last night.

> Apparently there also exists the program wink
> (http://www.debugmode.com/wink/) which is a free download but
> not open source.

This one is pretty neat too - also works on both Windows and
Linux. Here is a movie made with wink that includes some
annotations added to some of the frames.

http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-1.html

vnc2swf is harder to setup but it seems a little faster and
smoother than wink, at least on my hardware (1GHz, 512Mb.)
In general I think that if you are going to do video, that
faster the machine you use, the better.

Regards,
Bill Page.


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Re: documentation

daly
Bill,

excellent!

pamphlet-1 played well on my windows machine without problems.
pamphlet-2 never starts.

the edit example you show is perfect...exactly what i was thinking.
these could easily make up a volume in the tutorial.

how long did it take to create?
how large is it?

t


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RE: documentation

Page, Bill
In reply to this post by daly
Tim,

On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 8:05 AM you wrote:
>
> pamphlet-1 played well on my windows machine without
> problems. pamphlet-2 never starts.
>

I am sorry. I had a typo in the html coding for pamphlet-2.
It should work fine now.
 
> the edit example you show is perfect...exactly what i was
> thinking. these could easily make up a volume in the
> tutorial.

You mean like on CDrom, right? We could stream them too
as MPEG or other format, but they would take up quite a
lot of disk space if we were to get ambitious.

>
> how long did it take to create?

About 10 minutes, after I downloaded and installed the
software. I took about 10 minutes to install Wink and
maybe about 1/2 hour to install vnc2swf because of the
dependency on RealVNC and less than turn-key packaging.

Both packages are very easy to use once installed.
vnc2swf is more command-line oriented and has a some
associated editing, mixing and conversion utilities.  

> how large is it?
>

The shockwave file (SWF) for pamphlet-1 is 1.5 Mbyte and
pamphlet-2 is 2 Mbyte. They are both about 2 minutes long
so very roughly you can figure about 1 Mbyte/minute. I
think there may be some compression options available that
I am not using yet.

Regards,
Bill Page.


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RE: documentation

Page, Bill
In reply to this post by daly
Tim,

On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 7:47 AM I wrote:
> ...
> >
> > (http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf
>
> I think it works very well. It works on both Windows and Linux.

Here is my second attempt at a movie that shows how to edit a
pamphlet file on MathAction - with sound!
 
 http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-3.html

(music just to keep people from being bored while they watch :)

Of course it is also possible to do this with a recorded voice,
but I didn't have a microphone on this old machine.

Regards,
Bill Page.


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Re: documentation

daly
cool, man, panther cool.

i'm off to try wink. i like the idea of adding comment balloons
to draw attention to important points.

t


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RE: documentation

Page, Bill
In reply to this post by daly
Tim,

On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 9:25 PM you wrote:

> > http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-3.html
>
> cool, man, panther cool.
>

It turns out that there is a way to do audio with Wink as
well. See:

http://www.debugmode.com/userforums/viewtopic.php?t=2080

SWFtools http://www.swftools.org and Audacity (way cool!)
http://audacity.sourceforge.net are also, like Wink,
available on both linux and windows.

> i'm off to try wink. i like the idea of adding comment
> balloons to draw attention to important points.
>

How is Wink working on linux?

Here's my entertainment for tonight. :) It's a demonstration
of installing Axiom on Windows:

http://page.axiom-developer.org/AxiomIn5.html

I created the screen video and balloon markup with Wink
(on a faster workstation than before) and then added the
sound track with Audacity and SWFtools.

Fun.

So, do you have any ideas for other "productions" and
about how we should package these things?

Regards,
Bill Page.


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RE: documentation

Page, Bill
In reply to this post by daly
On Thursday, October 27, 2005 1:17 AM I wrote:

> ...
> http://page.axiom-developer.org/AxiomIn5.html
>
> I created the screen video and balloon markup with Wink
> (on a faster workstation than before) and then added the
> sound track with Audacity and SWFtools.

Just for the record, the soundtrack is a little re-mixed from
the version of "On The Trail" here:

http://class-midi.com/canyon.htm

The midi sequences are by Robert C. Goodyear and of course
the music is by Ferde Grofé.

http://www.sbgmusic.com/html/teacher/reference/composers/grofe.html

So far as I can tell there are no copyright restrictions.

Regards,
Bill Page.


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RE: documentation

C Y
In reply to this post by Page, Bill


--- "Page, Bill" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Tim,
>
> On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 9:25 PM you wrote:
>
> > > http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-3.html
> >
> > cool, man, panther cool.
> >
>
> It turns out that there is a way to do audio with Wink as
> well. See:
>
> http://www.debugmode.com/userforums/viewtopic.php?t=2080
>
> SWFtools http://www.swftools.org and Audacity (way cool!)
> http://audacity.sourceforge.net are also, like Wink,
> available on both linux and windows.

Neat!  Too bad f4l seems to be stalled - we could have an entirely open
source toolchain for this process.  I guess for this particular
activity it doesn't matter too much though.

> > i'm off to try wink. i like the idea of adding comment
> > balloons to draw attention to important points.
>
> How is Wink working on linux?
>
> Here's my entertainment for tonight. :) It's a demonstration
> of installing Axiom on Windows:
>
> http://page.axiom-developer.org/AxiomIn5.html

Hmm - I'm getting the initial screen, but then when I press next I get
a black screen.  Maybe my work machine's flash install is too old?

> I created the screen video and balloon markup with Wink
> (on a faster workstation than before) and then added the
> sound track with Audacity and SWFtools.
>
> Fun.
>
> So, do you have any ideas for other "productions" and
> about how we should package these things?

The first idea that comes to mind for this format is a demonstration of
the draw command and interactive tools it pops up, but that would
require wink on Linux.

Out of curosity, what hardware are you using to record your voice?
Voice recording was one thing I've never set up - never had the
hardware.  Can one get decent sound quality with inexpensive hardware?

Cheers,
CY


               
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RE: documentation

Page, Bill
In reply to this post by daly
On Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:07 AM C Y wrote:

> ...
> Hmm - I'm getting the initial screen, but then when I press
> next I get a black screen.  Maybe my work machine's flash
> install is too old?

According to the Wink web site: http://www.debugmode.com/wink

"Generated flash file plays in Flash players from version 3
and above ... "

Which of the other screencasts work for you?

http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-1.html

  This one is silent, with just balloon markup.

http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-2.html

  This one is silent, made using pyvnc2swf. No markup. I think
  it is in SWF "video" format. This might be a problem. From

  http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/pyvnc2swf.html

  "The second encoding method, "video" provides a smaller SWF
  movie. This is, however, not recommended to use within vnc2swf.py
  for two reasons: This type of encoding is only supported by
  Flash Player version 7 or newer."

http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-3.html

  This is the same as pamphlet-2 (vncswf) but with a soundtrack
  added using pyvnc2swf/edit.py

http://page.axiom-developer.org/AxiomIn5.html

  The latest one was made using Wink but with a soundtrack
  added using SWFtools

I am not sure whether adding the soundtracks affects what
version of SWF is needed.

> ...
> >
> > So, do you have any ideas for other "productions" and
> > about how we should package these things?
>
> The first idea that comes to mind for this format is a
> demonstration of the draw command and interactive tools it
> pops up, but that would require wink on Linux.

Unless Tim gets to it first, I could try something like
that this weekend.

>
> Out of curiosity, what hardware are you using to record your
> voice?

So far none of my SWF screencasts are using voice. The
soundtrack has been derived from pre-recorded sources. But
on other hardware (not available where I am now) I have used
voice recognition software. But after some intense experiments
experiments I don't use it much anymore - I found that I
"think better" when I am typing rather than speaking. Must
be the way my brain is wired or something. :) But in that
case I started with the usual duplex CreativeLabs SoundBlaster
card with a cheap quality headset with mic.

> Voice recording was one thing I've never set up - never had
> the hardware.

It's easy and cheap on Windows. On up-to-date Linux distributions
its now also pretty easy. Windows still has the widest range of
audio/visual software but recently the software on Linux seems
to have made some major advances.

> Can one get decent sound quality with inexpensive hardware?
>

Short answer: "No." :(  But of course it depends on what you
want to do and what you mean by "inexpensive". If you want to
do reliable voice recognition, the most expensive part would be
the microphone (maybe $200?). You really need something with good
ambient noise cancellation and frequency range - more or less
studio quality. A headset mic (e.g. the kind you get on a hands
free cell phone) is not likely to give good results. But if all
you want to do is add a voice over soundtrack to a SWF screencast,
then probably just about anything will do. A $25 audio card
and a $15 headset with mic should be fine.

Regards,
Bill Page.


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RE: documentation

C Y
--- "Page, Bill" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:07 AM C Y wrote:
>
> > ...
> > Hmm - I'm getting the initial screen, but then when I press
> > next I get a black screen.  Maybe my work machine's flash
> > install is too old?
>
> According to the Wink web site: http://www.debugmode.com/wink
>
> "Generated flash file plays in Flash players from version 3
> and above ... "
>
> Which of the other screencasts work for you?
>
> http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-1.html
>
>   This one is silent, with just balloon markup.

Get initial screen, but when I click next everything goes white.
 

> http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-2.html
>
>   This one is silent, made using pyvnc2swf. No markup. I think
>   it is in SWF "video" format. This might be a problem. From
>
>   http://www.unixuser.org/~euske/vnc2swf/pyvnc2swf.html
>
>   "The second encoding method, "video" provides a smaller SWF
>   movie. This is, however, not recommended to use within vnc2swf.py
>   for two reasons: This type of encoding is only supported by
>   Flash Player version 7 or newer."

Actually, that one works perfectly.  

> http://page.axiom-developer.org/pamphlet-3.html
>
>   This is the same as pamphlet-2 (vncswf) but with a soundtrack
>   added using pyvnc2swf/edit.py

I get a prompt asking if I want to install Flash 8.

> http://page.axiom-developer.org/AxiomIn5.html
>
>   The latest one was made using Wink but with a soundtrack
>   added using SWFtools
>
> I am not sure whether adding the soundtracks affects what
> version of SWF is needed.

Screen goes black when I click next.

> > ...
> > >
> > > So, do you have any ideas for other "productions" and
> > > about how we should package these things?
> >
> > The first idea that comes to mind for this format is a
> > demonstration of the draw command and interactive tools it
> > pops up, but that would require wink on Linux.
>
> Unless Tim gets to it first, I could try something like
> that this weekend.

Cool :-).

> > Out of curiosity, what hardware are you using to record your
> > voice?
>
> So far none of my SWF screencasts are using voice. The
> soundtrack has been derived from pre-recorded sources. But
> on other hardware (not available where I am now) I have used
> voice recognition software. But after some intense experiments
> experiments I don't use it much anymore - I found that I
> "think better" when I am typing rather than speaking. Must
> be the way my brain is wired or something. :) But in that
> case I started with the usual duplex CreativeLabs SoundBlaster
> card with a cheap quality headset with mic.

I usually don't worry about voice recognition - I was thinking more
about voice overs for movies :-).

> > Voice recording was one thing I've never set up - never had
> > the hardware.
>
> It's easy and cheap on Windows. On up-to-date Linux distributions
> its now also pretty easy. Windows still has the widest range of
> audio/visual software but recently the software on Linux seems
> to have made some major advances.

Ah, good.  Definitely don't plan on installing Windows anytime soon.

> > Can one get decent sound quality with inexpensive hardware?
>
> Short answer: "No." :(  But of course it depends on what you
> want to do and what you mean by "inexpensive". If you want to
> do reliable voice recognition, the most expensive part would be
> the microphone (maybe $200?). You really need something with good
> ambient noise cancellation and frequency range - more or less
> studio quality. A headset mic (e.g. the kind you get on a hands
> free cell phone) is not likely to give good results. But if all
> you want to do is add a voice over soundtrack to a SWF screencast,
> then probably just about anything will do. A $25 audio card
> and a $15 headset with mic should be fine.

Cool.  Voiceover would be all I'm after.  Don't know if I'll ever be
making any movies, but it would be nice to be able to do voice on them.

Cheers,
CY


               
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