[XPOST] [REQ] open source multimedia authoring tools? In python maybe?

Discussion in 'Python' started by stefanogaburri, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. This is crossposted to comp.lang.python & comp.multimedia; if there is a
    better place to go please tell me :)

    I've been asked to build a quick-and-dirty prototype of a simple
    computer-based training application. You know, those multimedia thingies
    with text, some videos, a bit of speech and quizzes at the end of the
    unit...

    I've been proposed to build a new reusable architecture using Macromedia
    Director: the reason being, Macromedia Authorware costs too much.
    Well, I found on the web a lot of tools that cost $100-200 and probably
    allow me to build such a simple app with a wizard or something like
    that; but what surprised me is the lack of an open source toolkit or a
    set of classes to help in the definition of a task that has become very
    trivial (at least in simple cases like mine). I know the varios GUI
    toolkits, but they're too low-level; I would have to build the system
    more or less from scratch.

    So, what i'm asking is: Am I missing something? Is there a fabled "Zope
    for CD authoring" I never heard about? If it's indeed missing, i could
    start building some simple classes and share them with, like, anyone
    interested :)

    I could use something like, say, PythonCard and ZODB, trying to define
    clearly an high-level framework to allow the rapid construction of
    simple multimedia e-learning apps. That is, if you don't point me to the
    guys that already did it, of course...

    thanks a lot to everyone reading so far,
    Stefano
     
    stefanogaburri, Nov 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. > So, what i'm asking is: Am I missing something? Is there a fabled "Zope
    > for CD authoring" I never heard about? If it's indeed missing, i could
    > start building some simple classes and share them with, like, anyone
    > interested :)
    >
    > I could use something like, say, PythonCard and ZODB, trying to define
    > clearly an high-level framework to allow the rapid construction of
    > simple multimedia e-learning apps. That is, if you don't point me to the
    > guys that already did it, of course...


    First of all PyGame comes to my mind. There are several high-level
    gui-toolkits based on or built on top of PyGame. Alltough using different
    media formats is mostly trivial. You're right there isn't such tool as
    director (or at least afaik). Building such on top of PyGame should not be
    nevertheless too hard.

    I just wanted to raise this opportunity :)

    --
    Miika
     
    Miika Keskinen, Nov 6, 2003
    #2
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  3. stefanogaburri

    Guest

    stefanogaburri <> wrote in message news:<bobusm$1bv5gd$-berlin.de>...
    > I've been asked to build a quick-and-dirty prototype of a simple
    > computer-based training application. You know, those multimedia thingies
    > with text, some videos, a bit of speech and quizzes at the end of the
    > unit...


    Your cheapest/simplest option would be to make it web-based. Use HTML
    for the text, with embedded mpeg or quicktime (not free) videos and
    wav sound files. For the quiz, use PHP scripting. See Moodle or
    Tiki, or search for PHP-based quiz engine.

    If you absolutely have to have it run off a CD, there are some
    non-free tools to make PHP applications run from a CD:
    http://circle.ch/blog/p661.html

    Otherwise, another free option would be to use java and the java media
    framework to play videos.

    Or, you can use python for the app/quiz tool, and to play videos just
    launch the video file so that it opens in the user's movie player or
    browser, but you cannot play the video inside your python app.
     
    , Nov 6, 2003
    #3
  4. Re: [XPOST] [REQ] open source multimedia authoring tools? In pythonmaybe?

    Miika Keskinen wrote:

    > First of all PyGame comes to my mind.


    Very right, I actually thought of pygame - not much for the GUI (it's
    pretty trivial anyway) but to facilitate multimedia playback via the SDL
    layer. I had just forgotten to mention it... thanks!

    ciao
    S
     
    stefanogaburri, Nov 6, 2003
    #4
  5. Re: [XPOST] [REQ] open source multimedia authoring tools? In pythonmaybe?

    wrote:

    > Your cheapest/simplest option would be to make it web-based. Use HTML
    > for the text, with embedded mpeg or quicktime (not free) videos and
    > wav sound files. For the quiz, use PHP scripting. See Moodle or
    > Tiki, or search for PHP-based quiz engine.


    yeah, I had considered making it browser-based, but it absultely has to
    run off a CD - besides, I'm afraid of incompatibilities... the final
    product never seems to run right on different browsers/systems, and
    making sure the plugins are right is a pain.

    > If you absolutely have to have it run off a CD, there are some
    > non-free tools to make PHP applications run from a CD:
    > http://circle.ch/blog/p661.html


    mmmh, interesting. With Apache and mySQL auto-runnable I could even try
    to dump an intere Zope thingie on a CD... but for now I'm gonna stick to
    the other solution, my client wants a more-or-less reusable platform and
    I think he'll feel better with a more "standard" app.

    > Otherwise, another free option would be to use java and the java media
    > framework to play videos.


    that's another idea...

    > Or, you can use python for the app/quiz tool, and to play videos just
    > launch the video file so that it opens in the user's movie player or
    > browser, but you cannot play the video inside your python app.


    this is quite ugly, although effective; I'd do it but the final client
    (an university) would find it undoubtely "too cheap" - also, it's bound
    to give installation/portability problems unless you install every
    possibile used tool, and I'd rather have something like SDL/pygame take
    care of that layer...

    thanks a lot,
    Stefano
     
    stefanogaburri, Nov 6, 2003
    #5
  6. Hi,

    I'm working on just what you are asking for. =) It's called
    EClass.Builder and it basically is for creating HTML-based e-learning
    modules for delivery via Internet/CD-ROM. It's built using wxPython,
    and while it currently does the basic stuff (lets you add
    audio/video/etc. into web pages), it has some nice features like
    full-text indexing and basic auto-grading quiz support. In the future
    I want to move more into Internet-enabled courses that leverage
    PHP/MySQL.

    Best of all, it's extensible - if you wanted to add a 'plugin' for
    building photo albums (or maybe a 'slide builder'), you could. If you
    wanted to build a theme for your courses, you could - all without
    editing the main program. I'd love to hear from the techies about the
    program - currently I am working on it myself for the most part. (My
    end users are currently mostly professors, no Python programmers!) It
    is a work in progress, but the core is there - mostly it needs more
    plugins, better HTML editing support (it uses Mozilla/wxMozilla as a
    rich text editor using the Web Page plugin) and support for more
    advanced templating.

    Check it out at:

    http://www.eclass.net

    BTW, if you don't mind playing with the latest and greatest software,
    you can get the latest beta at:

    http://www.eclass.net/Downloads/eclass-builder2.5b3.exe

    The documentation is a bit sparse and outdated, so I'd encourage you
    to explore the program and try some things. =) Please let me know what
    you think! I'm working on a redesign of the site and documentation
    which I will post in the next couple weeks or so. You can sign up on
    the mailing list if you're
    interested in being kept up to date.

    Thanks,

    Kevin

    On Wed, 05 Nov 2003 23:50:58 +0100, stefanogaburri
    <> wrote:

    >This is crossposted to comp.lang.python & comp.multimedia; if there is a
    >better place to go please tell me :)
    >
    >I've been asked to build a quick-and-dirty prototype of a simple
    >computer-based training application. You know, those multimedia thingies
    >with text, some videos, a bit of speech and quizzes at the end of the
    >unit...
    >
    >I've been proposed to build a new reusable architecture using Macromedia
    > Director: the reason being, Macromedia Authorware costs too much.
    >Well, I found on the web a lot of tools that cost $100-200 and probably
    >allow me to build such a simple app with a wizard or something like
    >that; but what surprised me is the lack of an open source toolkit or a
    >set of classes to help in the definition of a task that has become very
    >trivial (at least in simple cases like mine). I know the varios GUI
    >toolkits, but they're too low-level; I would have to build the system
    >more or less from scratch.
    >
    >So, what i'm asking is: Am I missing something? Is there a fabled "Zope
    >for CD authoring" I never heard about? If it's indeed missing, i could
    >start building some simple classes and share them with, like, anyone
    >interested :)
    >
    >I could use something like, say, PythonCard and ZODB, trying to define
    >clearly an high-level framework to allow the rapid construction of
    >simple multimedia e-learning apps. That is, if you don't point me to the
    >guys that already did it, of course...
    >
    >thanks a lot to everyone reading so far,
    >Stefano
     
    Kevin Ollivier, Nov 6, 2003
    #6
  7. stefanogaburri

    Guest

    > > Or, you can use python for the app/quiz tool, and to play videos just
    > > launch the video file so that it opens in the user's movie player or
    > > browser, but you cannot play the video inside your python app.

    >
    > this is quite ugly, although effective; I'd do it but the final client
    > (an university) would find it undoubtely "too cheap" - also, it's bound
    > to give installation/portability problems unless you install every
    > possibile used tool, and I'd rather have something like SDL/pygame take
    > care of that layer...


    I forgot to mention, if it can be Windows-only, you can embed Internet
    Explorer in your wxPython app and play the videos with it. See
    ActiveXWrapper_IE in the wxpython demo.

    David Woods also figured out a way to play video in wxPython using an
    ActiveX interface to ActiveMovie on the Windows side and a
    Carbon/Quicktime wrapper for the Mac side:
    http://www2.wcer.wisc.edu/Transana/Develop
    See the video_mac.py and video_msw.py files here:
    http://cvs.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.py/transana/transana/transana/src/
     
    , Nov 6, 2003
    #7
  8. Re: [XPOST] [REQ] open source multimedia authoring tools? In pythonmaybe?

    Kevin Ollivier wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm working on just what you are asking for. =) It's called
    > EClass.Builder and it basically is for creating HTML-based e-learning
    > modules for delivery via Internet/CD-ROM.


    Yay! It'll save me some hand-coding :)
    Seriously, I'd love to check it out and maybe contribute; I'm gonna
    subscribe now to the mailing list; I'll see you there...

    I wonder why I didn't find it on sourceforge? I tried every possible
    keyword from "authoring" to "CBT" to "e-learning" but Eclass didn't come
    out. Oh well, that's what USenet is for I guess (besides flame wars, of
    course)

    thanks,
    S
     
    stefanogaburri, Nov 6, 2003
    #8
  9. Re: [XPOST] [REQ] open source multimedia authoring tools? In pythonmaybe?

    wrote:

    > I forgot to mention, if it can be Windows-only, you can embed Internet
    > Explorer in your wxPython app and play the videos with it. See
    > ActiveXWrapper_IE in the wxpython demo.


    interesting - besides the fact that this and the Acrobat wrapper don't
    seem to work on my machine :)

    > David Woods also figured out a way to play video in wxPython using an
    > ActiveX interface to ActiveMovie on the Windows side and a
    > Carbon/Quicktime wrapper for the Mac side:


    ok, I'll try to find the time to check them out, although Kevin's
    E.Class Builder above seems more promising right now... thanks again,

    SG
     
    stefanogaburri, Nov 6, 2003
    #9
  10. On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 19:45:16 +0100, stefanogaburri
    <> wrote:

    >
    >
    >Kevin Ollivier wrote:
    >
    >> Hi,
    >>
    >> I'm working on just what you are asking for. =) It's called
    >> EClass.Builder and it basically is for creating HTML-based e-learning
    >> modules for delivery via Internet/CD-ROM.

    >
    >Yay! It'll save me some hand-coding :)
    >Seriously, I'd love to check it out and maybe contribute; I'm gonna
    >subscribe now to the mailing list; I'll see you there...
    >
    >I wonder why I didn't find it on sourceforge? I tried every possible
    >keyword from "authoring" to "CBT" to "e-learning" but Eclass didn't come
    >out. Oh well, that's what USenet is for I guess (besides flame wars, of
    >course)


    Bad choice of keywords on my part, I guess. =) I realized I used
    "learning" instead of "e-learning" and "building" (since it's called
    EClass.Builder) instead of "authoring". I wish SF would let you
    specify keywords separately, because it's hard to write a short
    description that includes a majority of the keywords users would
    search for. But it was categorized under "Computer Assisted
    Instruction". :)

    Seriously, I'm glad that I found another Python programmer with the
    same area of interest - I think it's an area that badly needs an open
    source alternative to what is out there. Educators aren't really the
    types to have bundles of cash to spend on development!

    Thanks,

    Kevin
     
    Kevin Ollivier, Nov 6, 2003
    #10
  11. Re: [XPOST] [REQ] open source multimedia authoring tools? In pythonmaybe?

    Kevin Ollivier wrote:

    > Seriously, I'm glad that I found another Python programmer with the
    > same area of interest - I think it's an area that badly needs an open
    > source alternative to what is out there. Educators aren't really the
    > types to have bundles of cash to spend on development!


    heh, you tell me :)

    BTW, I see you're using a free web-server-on-a-CD solution, Karrigell:
    another thing I've been looking for and didn't find, and I'm not the
    only one, since in this same thread people is pointing out proprietary,
    commercial solutions. Glad to know one is available, and with an
    integrated DB to boot (via gadfly).

    later,
    S
     
    stefanogaburri, Nov 6, 2003
    #11
  12. On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 20:41:18 +0100, stefanogaburri
    <> wrote:

    >Kevin Ollivier wrote:
    >
    >> Seriously, I'm glad that I found another Python programmer with the
    >> same area of interest - I think it's an area that badly needs an open
    >> source alternative to what is out there. Educators aren't really the
    >> types to have bundles of cash to spend on development!

    >
    >heh, you tell me :)
    >
    >BTW, I see you're using a free web-server-on-a-CD solution, Karrigell:
    >another thing I've been looking for and didn't find, and I'm not the
    >only one, since in this same thread people is pointing out proprietary,
    >commercial solutions. Glad to know one is available, and with an
    >integrated DB to boot (via gadfly).


    Yeah, another thing I really like about Karrigell is its ability to
    run .py files without treating it like a CGI. This is a big deal on
    Windows, because when I freeze the web server, I can't fork()/exec()
    CGI scripts unless there is an interpreter on the user's machine, not
    to mention command line support on Windows isn't as robust as *nix or
    Mac. Karrigell lets me get around this with very little overhead. It
    is what makes the search engine runnable from CD-ROM.

    I haven't been following this thread too closely, or I would have
    mentioned Karrigell before! It is an excellent program and I recommend
    anyone looking for a web server on a CD check it out. I've added a wx
    GUI to it, although one could add a Tkinter one too to shave some of
    the size.

    Kevin
     
    Kevin Ollivier, Nov 6, 2003
    #12
  13. Hi Kevin,

    I am on the look out for an open source multimedia authoring tool written in Python that is comparable to javanti (www.javanti.org). Please let me know if you are aware of any.

    cheers,
    jay
     
    jsimha_makineni, Feb 8, 2004
    #13
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