While it is true that no special software is required to do VTF, on the other hand we at the Performing Graphics Company have found considerable advantage in using an application designed from the ground up to support VTF activity.
We call our application "VTF Tool." The unique
feature of VTF Tool is that it was designed first and
foremost to be a text-graphic performance
instrument. That is, a visual instrument to be used in
VTF Tool has these key features:
Agile: Visual Telefacilitation can not even take place
unless the instrument is extremely agile. And like a
musical instrument, it must be a joy to use, always
enticing the performer
Text-Graphic: Graphics are often necessary to
represent a group's ideas, so any instrument for
VTF must be able to mix text and graphics
together fluently. Furthermore, it has proven very
useful to make no basic distinction between text
Computational: An instrument for Visual
Telefacilitation must also possess processing
power, and so VTF Tool can compute with the
Multiple formats: VTF Tool can write meeting maps in a variety of formats including html, PostScript, and ASCII.
Multiple hosts: VTF Tool can write meeting maps over the Internet to remote hosts, allowing a meeting map to be anywhere on the Web.
Further details about VTF Tool are inappropriate in this paper for several reasons:
1. The paper's intent is to describe the basic concepts and framework of VTF, within which VTF Tool is just one possible piece of software.
2. What the world needs is many more
applications for doing VTF, so further details are
avoided because we want others to build their
own tool unencumbered by our prejudices and the
mistakes we have made. We like to compare VTF
with sports car racing. The more competition the
better! We want to get people excited about this
new form of "motor sport" (or "media sport" in
3. Finally, more details about any tool are inappropriate because the topic here is VTF, and in VTF the tool should be invisible!
Imagine that a tour group is on a bus that has an
automatic transmission instead of a manual one.
Big difference for the driver but invisible to the
group. All they care about is that they end up at
their destination. Likewise VTF applications
should be invisible
© 1997, 1999 PGC