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MISTC will launch any application program, using a data file prestored in the MISTCDATA/APPDATA directory, on all desktops participating in the same session. This function is coordinated through the Floor Control panel of those users having "controller" status. Typically, this is the instructor teaching a class or the leader of a conference.

The data files used for this purpose are downloaded in the form of a single zipfile from the MISTCDATA/APPDATA directory. The function is enabled in the MISTC client configuration (.nwm) file. The application data must not be larger than 10 MB (zipped). The zipfile name is either OFFLINE or the MoodleShortname of the course, for example S11-CS658. The capability works only over higher capacity network links (100 kb/s or greater in the .nwm configuration).

Content files for the zipfile must be available at start of the class or conference in the controller's MISTCDATA/APPDATA/* where * is the directory holding the application datafiles. The MISTC client will create a zipfile containing all files in that directory. It will first check to see if a previous zipfile exists in MISTCDATA/APPDATA that has already been uploaded to the MISTC server. If so it bypasses the upload process.

After upload, the zipfile will be downloaded and unzipped automatically by MISTC in the background while the class or conference session is ongoing, metered so as to not interfere with the session's voice/whiteboard/video. If the zipfile already exists in the user's MISTCDATA/APPDATA directory with length and last-modified date identical to that on the server, it will be used without download. This allows the same zipfile to be used for multiple MISTC sessions within the course. If the zipfile contains files that exist in MISTC/APPDATA/*, those files will be overwritten. Other files in NEW/APPDATA* will remain unchanged.

The application to be launched must already exist in a standard place on each participating desktop (this is critical). Normally this is achieved by installing the application software under default install settings. The instructor then adds the default path and filename in file APPDATA*/APPLOCS.txt, along with the file extension associated with the application (such as ".mov" for QuickTime). APPLOCS.txt is downloaded with the rest of the APPDATA, so it can be updated as often as every session if needed.

APPDATA/*/APPLOCS.txt can have up to 100 applications as desired but must at least contain the locations of all applications to be launched in a given session, when that session starts. The maximum file size for APPDATA*/APPLOCS.txt is 4095 bytes. For each application to be available to MISTC, add a line with its extension, its program name name with full path for Windows, its program name with full path for Linux, and its program name with full path for MacOSX. If there are blanks in the pathname, use double quotes around the file-pathname. On Windows, you can copy this from the Shortcut properties panel. Use "" as a placeholder if an application is not available. Example for Firefox:

.html "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" /usr/bin/firefox

The files in APPDATA/* also may be Java classes; these do not need an entry in APPDATA*/APPLOCS.txt. When a java .class is selected in the launcher, the default java on the host computer will be invoked with that class as input. Multiple Java classes may be included in APPDATA/*. If you want to add to the classpath used in launching, you can put the additional file in APPDATA/*/APPLOCS.txt under .class and use it to refer to jarfiles, with an identical entry for each platform, like this:

.class mystuff.jar mystuff.jar mystuff.jar

Last updated: 12/06/2012