Research Log of Web Science Students

Computer Science is not simply programming

RRLs (6-10)

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Each of us was tasked to gather ten RRLs.  We presented this to Dr. Caro last July 14, 2009. The last five I have reported are the following:

6. English Proficiency Declining in the Philippines (April 19, 2006)

According to this news article, English proficiency in the Philippines has dropped significantly in more than a decade.  About 65 percent said they read English, a drop from 76 percent in 2000 and 73 percent in 1993, while those who write in English shrunk to 48 percent from 61 percent (year 2000) and 59 percent (year 1993)

English proficiency is perceived as one of the Philippines’ key advantages in the global market as it tries to compete with India in the multi-billion-dollar business process outsourcing industry. It even claims to be the third largest English-speaking country in the world after United States and Britain.

Another alarming state is the survey conducted by the Department of Education (year 2003) in which only 7 percent of graduating high school students had a mastery of English, scoring at least 75 percent in nationwide tests. Thus, the reason why President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo directed the Department of Education to return English as the medium of instruction, citing demands of global competitiveness.

The facts we’ve gathered about this declining trend of English proficiency in our country give us more encouragement to pursue our thesis that promote the English Language to elementary students in intermediate level.

Source:

TMC News. “English Proficiency Declining in the Philippines: Survey+ .” http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/04/19/1586313.htm

Retrieved on: July 7, 2009

7. Java 3D for Game Development

The Java 3D API, a scene graph API developed by Sun Microsystems, provides a collection of high level constructs for creating, rendering, and manipulating a 3D scene graph. A scene graph makes 3D programming much easier for novices (and even for experienced programmers) because it emphasizes scene design rather than rendering, by hiding the graphics pipeline. The scene graph supports graphical elements such as 3D geometries, lighting modes, picking and collision detection.

Java 3D is Java so it offers object orientation (classes, inheritance, polymorphism), threads, exception handling and more. It can easily make use of other Java APIs, such as Java Media Framework (JMF) and Java Advanced Imaging (JAI). The JMF includes mechanisms for playing audio and video segments and can be extended to support new forms or audio and video.

We are still not sure though how far this Java 3D could go, and if this is the suitable technology for us to use in designing a web cam game. Further in the text, it enumerates the criticisms of Java 3D for Games Programming: It is too high level, No one uses this to write real games and there is actually a lack of support for Java 3D. However, the text continues to prove its reliability and effectiveness throughout the end of the chapter (which we have not yet read or even skimmed.) But we saw in the near introduction that Java 3D Games have been employed in relatively few games which turned out to be best sellers and award winners. Title of the games with the sites available for downloading those games and short descriptions were then enumerated in the book.

Source:

Davison, Andrew. “Chapter 1:  Introduction to Java 3D.”  Pro Java 6 3D Game Development.

Retrieve from: http://books.google.com/ Retrieved on: July 7, 2009

8. Java Media Framework API and Capturing Images from Webcams

Sun Technology Evangelist Simon Ritter discusses Java Media Framework API combined with the Java 2D API and servlet APIs to deliver pictures from a Webcam to a Web browser in his to EvangCentral tech articles.

In his first article, he explains that Java Media Framework API 1.0 was intended to enable the playback of audio, video and other time-based media from Java Technology applets and applications. Later version added the ability to capture, stream and transcode multiple media formats.

In his second article however where he discussed how to use the basic functionality of JMF combined with Java 2D and servlet APIs to deliver pictures from a Webcam to a Web browser, he addresses the problem that the frame-grabbing code created in JMF provides image buffers via a PushBufferDataSource.  As Ritter stated, “The consequence of this is that when we ask for a frame, we get the first frame in the buffer, not the frame from the device at that point in time. In order to get a frame in real time, we would ideally like PullBufferDataSource. Unfortunately, the design of the video system and the JMF API makes this impossible.” The only way to solve this problem is to use a multi-threaded environment for the frame grabber.

Java Media Framework API combined with the Java 2D API and servlet APIs could be a great help for developing web cam games but we are still not sure though how hard it is to use since what’s being discussed here is capturing images from webcams and not how to implement this in a web cam game which involves more complex processes.

Source:

Ritter, Simon. “Java Media Framework API and Capturing Images from Webcams.” http://sun.systemnews.com/articles/54/3/ja/7437

Retrieved on: July 8, 2009

9. Motion Detection in Flash (AS2 and AS3) and C#

This webpage informs that most motion detection is based on snapshots and finding brightness of a pixel with all combined colors, then comparing that to previous snapshots to detect enough variance and thus movement. It gives links to how Flash AS3 (and also Flash AS2) was able to do it which in addition has an indicator to the amount of movement due to much brightness. Motion detection algorithms are implemented in C# where the site also shows some code snippets of it. In the code, you can compare each pixel and change in the brightness for each pixel.

Motion Detection in Flash is much easier to implement. But from the review we have read, you can’t reliably perform image recognition and motion tracking in Flash which are also important factors in developing a game.

Source:

*DrawLogic. “Motion Detection in Flash (AS2 and AS3) and C#.” http://drawlogic.com/2007/10/17/motion-detection-in-flash-as2-and-as3-and-c/

Retrieved on: July 07, 2009

10. Touchless – A Webcam Multi-touch SDK

Touchless is an SDK that allows users to create and experience multi-touch applications. It started as Mike Wasserman’s college project at Columbia University. The good thing about this application is that it offers users a new and cheap way of experiencing multi-touch capabilities, without the need of expensive hardware or software. What one needs is only a camera which will track colored markers defined by the user.

Touchless SDK is implemented in .NET applications and XNA games. It is free and it’s open source under the Microsoft Office License. We think that this application could greatly help us in developing our game, because aside from the fact that it is open source, we could ask help from people also using this application in forums primarily in CodePlex OpenSource Community.

Source:

Microsoft Office Labs. “Touchless – A Webcam Multi-touch SDK” http://www.officelabs.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=61#Comments

Retrieved on: July 13, 2009

– Inah V.

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Written by inah

July 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Posted in EEG

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