AA Server Key Concepts

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Showcase the possibilities enabled by pulling together the best of open source technologies / projects.

Support, and pro-actively trailblaze, interesting uses of emerging open source technologies such as:

  • HTML 5 / native OGG/Theora Firefox support
  • Native SVG Firefox support
  • The wealth of open source command line media tools like ffmpeg, gstreamer, mlt
  • Integration into Apache

Active = Scriptable

Create a platform for scripting novel and suprising uses of online media.

Enable participation at a variety of levels

  • Bash script server "plugins"
  • Javascript client "plugins"

Highlight the rearview window conservatism of the presentation and use of video on sites like YouTube.

Motivation

It is literally a "one-liner" to script something like:

  • take a video and save all of it's frames as images scaled to particular size, or
  • extract the first one minute of a video and covert it to a raw audio file, or
  • take an image and add it to a multipage PDF file.

The trouble with command-line scripts however is often that scripts remain "ad hoc" solutions, and typically used in a chain of operations that ultimately is never stored away, or documented, and thus not available for use again (certainly not others, and often not even the one who scripted them in the first place).

(This is a general problem with command-line centric programming that makes the learning curve quite high, but also for experienced users, can slow use down enough in iterations of "how did I do that again?"... to actually prevent (full) use.)

What we imagine is a kind of enveloping platform, and a means of pulling together the capabilities of "loose scripts" to enabling different users (with varying familiarity to the command line) access to these tools, and enable novel uses to emerge, be shared, and ultimately reused and repurposed again and again.

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