Network Text Editor UCL Multimedia

Network Text Editor

NTE is a shared text editor designed for use on the Mbone. It is not a word processor (it is not clear that word processing is a useful task to share) and it is not a whiteboard - if you want a whiteboard, wb from LBL is a much better whiteboard.

Using NTE can be very interactive - unless you lock a block of text, anyone else in your session can edit that text or delete it. This is intentional. Many people can (if they wish) edit the same document simultaneously. Many people can even edit the same block of text simultaneously, but if more than one person tries to edit the same line at one time, a conflict will occur, which results in only one of the changes being preserved.

In general, it is up to you how you use NTE. You must develop human protocols to be able to collaborate, even in face-to-face meetings, and NTE is no exception. It will work well if you cooperate, and not if you don't. It only provides mimimal protection against disruptive participants.

NTE tries hard to ensure you don't get confused by unexpected events caused by other users - it always tells you who did what if it can. However, it can't do the impossible, and sometimes network conditions may mean that a change arrives somewhat delayed. If this happens, NTE will reach a consistent result, but this may not be what you expected. Thus we recommend using NTE as part of a multimedia conference in which it is a support tool, rather than as the only channel of communication.

NTE was originally written by Mark Handley as part of the MICE and MERCI projects. Further contributions have been made by Jim Knowler and Kristian Hasler as part of the MECCANO and PIPVIC projects.