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Taming the Complexity of Distributed Multimedia Applications

Frank Stajano and Rob Walker

Olivetti Research Limited
United Kingdom


The Medusa environment for networked multimedia uses Tcl to compose applications out of low-level processing blocks called modules. A medium-sized application such as a two way multistream videophone already uses around one hundred interworking modules, running in parallel on several host machines. This paper shows how we overcome the inherent complexity of such applications: to deal with parallelism we use a multi-threaded library hidden behind a single-threaded Tcl interpreter; to build higher order components than the modules we use the object oriented extension [incr Tcl]; and to exploit the variety of available input and output devices we adopt the Model-View-Controller paradigm.

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