Common Desktop Environment: ToolTalk Messaging Overview

Using the ToolTalk Document and Media Exchange Message Set

The ToolTalk Document and Media Exchange Message Set is very flexible and robust. This section illustrates three uses of the ToolTalk Document and Media Exchange Message Set:

Integrating Multimedia Functionality

Integrating multimedia functionality into an application allows end-users of the application to embed various media types in their documents.

Typically, an icon that represents the media object is embedded in the document. Upon selection of an embedded object, the ToolTalk service automatically invokes an appropriate external media application and the object is played as illustrated in the following scenario.

  1. Daniel opens a document that contains multimedia objects.

  2. The window shows the document with several icons representing various media types (such as sound, video, and graphics).

  3. Daniel double-clicks on the sound icon.

    A sound application (called a player) is launched and the embedded recording is played.

  4. To edit the recording, Daniel clicks once on the icon to select it and uses the third mouse button to display an Edit menu.

    An editing application is launched, and Daniel edits the media object.

Adding Multimedia Extensions to Existing Applications

The ToolTalk Document and Media Exchange Message Set also allows an application to use other multimedia applications to extend its features or capabilities. For example, a Calendar Manager can be extended to use the Audio Tool to play a sound file as a reminder of an appointment, as illustrated in the following scenario:

  1. Shelby opens her Calendar Manager and sets an appointment.

  2. Shelby clicks on an Audio Response button, which causes the Audio Tool to start.

  3. Shelby records her message; for example, "Bring the report."

When Shelby's appointment reminder is executed, the Calendar Manager will start the Audio Tool and play Shelby's recorded reminder.

Extending the X Cut-and-Paste Facility

The ToolTalk Document and Media Exchange Message Set can support an extensible, open-ended translation facility. The following scenario illustrates how an extensible multimedia cut and paste facility could work:

  1. Maria opens two documents that are different media types.

  2. Maria selects a portion of Document A and cuts the portion using the standard X-windowing cut facility.

  3. Maria then pastes the cut portion into Document B.


    Document B negotiates the transfer of the cut data with Document A.


    If Document B does not understand any of the types offered by Document A, it requests that Document A sends it a tagged media type. Document B uses the tagged media type to broadcast a ToolTalk message requesting a translation of the media type to a media type it understands.


    A registered translation utility accepts the request and returns the translated version of the media type to Document B.


    The paste of the translated data into Document B is performed.