Re: [vmeet] Experiences with remote participation at IETF76 via unofficial webex

Joshua Bell <> Fri, 13 November 2009 18:50 UTC

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Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 10:50:30 -0800
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From: Joshua Bell <>
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Subject: Re: [vmeet] Experiences with remote participation at IETF76 via unofficial webex
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Thanks for this excellent summary.

Although the we didn't have a session at IETF76, the VWRAP (Virtual Worlds
Region Agent Protocol) WG is planning to have another go at "mixed reality"
sessions for IETF77. This was done before with some success at IET74 and
IETF75. We're planning to take the learnings from that and feedback (such as
Brian's notes here) and do some dry runs before the actual session so it
runs smoothly. Getting Jabber/Skype/WebEx/audio stream/VW and live
speakers/content cross-bridged is going to be... fun. :) And definitely a
learning experience.

>From both those efforts and non-IETF presentations, one high level
observation about mixed-reality meetings (with fancy 3D spaces and avatars,
or WebEx) is that it works best when the physical meeting is seen as an
adjunct to the virtual meeting, rather than vice-versa. As a simple example,
the projector in the room should be showing the virtual (VW, WebEx) feed and
any slide materials are "presented" there and the live audience sees them
the same way that the virtual audience sees them. This ensures everyone is
on the "same page" so to speak.

If text chatter from in-world and/or jabber is on the same screen, it's
possible for interjections to catch the attention of the audience. (The
potential for distractions requires some management, however.)

This would imply, for example, that the microphone line would be managed
primarily in the virtual setting as well; physically present speakers would
be inserted into the virtual queue but even when at the physical mic they'd
wait for their turn to be acknowledged by a moderator tracking the virtual

On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 10:34 AM, Brian Rosen <> wrote:

> I, like many, was unable to attend IETF76.  First meeting I have missed in
> a
> while.  There were three sessions I really wanted to attend, one of which
> was p2psip where I am co-chair.  That session had no Webex.  I used the
> traditional tools of streaming audio and jabber.  I felt very disconnected:
> I knew what was being said, and I could more or less follow the slides I
> downloaded, but it really was one way.
> In geopriv and ecrit, there was an attempt to provide better service.  I
> even gave a presentation remotely in ecrit.  A webex session was
> established, and slides were available to remote attendees as they were to
> attendees in the room.  Unfortunately, no coordination was made with the
> secretariat, and as a result, we had poor quality room audio from the room
> to remote participants, although the quality from the webex bridge to the
> room was reportedly okay.
> The result was much more satisfactory.  It was much more of a two way
> street.  I gave a presentation, answered questions, and "went to the
> microphone" several times in both sessions.  It's good enough that I think
> we should have Webex available in all sessions at IETF77.
> I was not able to attend any of the "official" webex sessions, so I don't
> know how much different it was.
> There are two things that we should do, one of which is obvious: we need
> phone patch connections, or some equivalent, in every room.
> I'd prefer "or equivalent", specifically an IP connection to the bridge
> with
> a wideband codec.  That takes a VoIP bridge and a VoIP patch to room audio,
> which is probably pretty hard to come by. I'll take a regular phone
> connection.  We might even try Skype.
> The other thing we need is a way to get in line for the mic that works.
> Nothing, which is what we had, doesn't work.  The best we could do was that
> I asked for the floor over the bridge, which was either annoying to the
> participants, because I was coming over someone else speaking, or I had to
> look for an opening in the audio and try to break in at a more opportune
> time.  We need something better.  I keep thinking it's an LCD screen with a
> light on a pole in the middle of the room.  Any of the tools in the webex
> or
> similar mechanisms don't seem to work: the chairs and other people in the
> room are quite naturally trying to follow the discussion, and are not
> looking at chat sessions, hand raise queues, etc.  It has to be more
> natural, and more like the line at the physical mic.
> I do want to send props to the streaming audio crew.  The quality of the
> streaming audio was quite excellent.  Its problem is delay, which they say
> is mostly in the client.  Dunno, but with every client I tried, it was
> around 10 seconds.
> Brian
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