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Development

So you ask, “What’s going on here then?”

Well, this is not your standard design a system and build a piece of software project. There’s no company behind the project, no sponsor, no grants…just open collaboration between creative people.
There’s no project plan, detailed use cases, documentation or business requirements.

To read about why the project came about, including details about copyright infringement of media use, read the About section and the Media Producers pages.

The basic concept of datama is described in this diagram.


There are 5 core parts to the project:

1. The Aggregator – used to collect media from the Internet

2. The Sequencer – used to order the collected media in a way that the user wants to experience it.

3. The Renderer – used to present the sequence of various media assets.

4. Useage API – used to send out what media is being used and how it’s being sequenced.

5. Broadcast API – used to send out what you are watching.

Starting with API design would be the sensible option, but we’ve yet to get a handle on what the user experience will be. Once we have a feel for ‘what will be cool’ we’ll tackle the APIs. They are very important to the project…

Datama is an exploration into what can be done with the media we have on the web. How can we benefit from reworking the video, text, images and audio data streams and at what point does an application mix with ‘content’.

To lead us through this, there is a 4 phase plan, not timetabled, just milestones so that we know we how to make progress.

The project is open to anyone, so if you want to participate, click here to see how to get involved. If you are working along these lines as a designer or programmer you can play a major role in the prototyping phases. Datama needs to realised via stills, moving image and small applications that demonstrate some of the principles on this blog.

Phases

1. Visualisation

Datama needs designers and artists to lead the way, showing how media can be reworked to create new meaning. If you want to play with some ideas, post them to Flickr and tag them ‘datama‘. This way, the contributions build up a library, with the newest appearing on this blog.

Please remember to attach a Creative Commons licence, namely ShareAlike-Attribution so that others can build upon your work. Flickr has this built into it’s upload system.

Equally, short videos can be posted to YouTube in a similar way.

2. Prototyping

Once the visualisation show the way forward, we’ll be looking for toys to play with. Jitter, VVVV, Processing, Flash and Director are suitable environments to work up ideas at this stage, as all of them can work with http requests and now support video mixing. There is a SourceForge repository for your applications so other developers can work with you.

If you want to take a stab at building a datama prototype, register with SourceForge and to the datama project and just upload. There is a mailing list system for the project, so we’ll know when something has been uploaded. We’ll then blog the development here for everyone to see and discuss.

3. Exhibit

Feedback is essential, so there is a plan to exhibit the project on and off the Internet.

4. Build

Once we have some working models ,oodles of feedback, we’ll move to building applications, all open, under a gpl licence.

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