[AG-TECH] AGTk Development: Can a Shared Application Run on a PC without a Venue Client?

Allan Spale aspale at evl.uic.edu
Wed Jun 4 11:01:15 CDT 2003


In my efforts to try to further understand developing AG add-ons using the
AGTk, I was wondering if it is possible to run a shared application on a
PC in the group/cluster of PCs that encompass the AG node.  For instance,
I am trying to integrate a 3-D model viewer application into AG 2 as a
shared application.  After chatting with Tom Uram on the MUD (thanks, Tom)
about all my questions about the difference between an AG service and
shared application, it seemed like writing a shared application was the
way to go.

However, there are some wrinkles in this seemingly simple application. 
First, the shared app requires access to a file in the venue (provided by
specifying URLs to the actual location of the files) that consist of the
model being viewed or a set of files for viewing a series of models at one
time and a configuration file.  This is not a problem.  When I would
choose the file from the venue, it would have a MIME type associated with
the viewer application (the MIME type would be registered during the
installation of the viewer) on the PC running the venue client.  If there
is a need to share the same view of the model, it is provided through
using an event server created specifically for this 3-D model viewer (so I
am not using an event channel for the shared application, which seems
conterintutitive...it is a shared application, but the AGTk is not used to
announce events to the viewer application).

So, it seemed like I understood what I wanted to do until I realized
something...the 3-D model viewer application needs to run on another PC,
which would not run a venue client.  This leads to my question: can a
shared application running on a PC with a venue client launch the
application being shared on a PC where the venue client is not running?
This other PC, where the 3-D model viewer must run, is connected to a
passive stereo display (GeoWall).  Now, does this new requirement
prohibit me from integrating this viewer as a shared application and
necessitate that it is now a service?  Or, is it still a shared
application where the user would install the viewer executable (being
shared) on the PC connected to the passive stereo system and somehow the
shared program running on the PC with the venue client would know to
launch that application on the other PC through some programmatic means? 

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Research Assistant

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