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Thomas writes about a system that uses a server on a Unix host, or
whatever, and a client on a Mac, PC, Amiga or something like that. He
continues to talk about a protocol being spoken between these two that
lets the user interact with the local program in a familiar way, and
that program then takes care of the actual communication with the Unix
host program. Mr. Newman then asks why such programs hasn't been
developed.
 
Does no-one pay attention on this list? How long have you been on,
Thomas? I don't know how many times I've written about the system I'm
developing right now that uses a (buzzword warning: beep!)
client-server model. I develop a client for Unix systems, but the
protocol spoken between the server and the client is so generic that
it doesn't need any underlying protocol, like TCP/IP, what so ever. It
can therefore be run through any ordinary telephone line if the user
has a client running on his or her local machine.
 
I've also written before about the family of conferencing systems
known as KOM systems that was developed at QZ, Stockholm University,
Sweden way back in 1978. Since the original KOM things has evolved ot
include a whole family of KOM systems working on the same principals.
A lot of these KOM systems are now running on PCs and Amigas
throughout the country. Some, like LysKOM at Lysator, runs as a
client-server where anyone can develop a client after their
preferences, not necessarily following the original KOM interface.
 
The system I'm working on right now, is also a KOM system, with a lot
of ideas taken from the LysKOM system at Lysator. However, I've also
stolen the sense of presence from MUDs, the directness of IRC, and
made my KOM an interface to FTP sites. So, basically, in my system,
the other users *present* in a conference is made visible; you see
what they're up to and can even "speak" to them as you would in an IRC
channel or in a MUD room. You can do this without leaving the
conference, which, for example, could be the imported mailing list
COMMUNET.
 
If anyone else wants information on KOM systems in general, or my own
KOM system, please feel free to send mail to me...
 
miekael <[log in to unmask]>
 
void *mind; /* We're all void pointers... */