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Java Web Whiteboard

 
   

Objectives

The Web Whiteboard is a kind of a graphical chat: a lot of users see the Whiteboard on which the user who holds "a piece of chalk" is drawing. Initially, the Web Whiteboard had already been implemented as a Java applet. However, the existing implementation did not satisfy the Customer, as it contained some bugs, and the applet generated too heavy traffic. Our task was to correct the mistakes in source code and reduce the traffic.

 

Results

The Customer supplied us with the source code of the applet which implemented functions of the Whiteboard drawing, as well as with the listed bugs to be corrected, and the requirements for the generated traffic reduction.

The demand was to fix all these issues and implement the measures that would reduce the traffic.

   

Technical peculiarities

This project had a number of peculiarities. First, it was necessary to provide compatibility with the Netscape Navigator (NN) and Internet Explorer (IE) browsers by means of JDK 1.1 only. These requirements are rather strict, since running the same code on the NN and IE virtual machines used to lead to different results, and JDK 1.1 is short of capabilities. Second, we were supplied only with the part of the Whiteboard code in which the drawing was implemented, and with limited access to the module of the data transfer between the clients. We could upload the drawing module to the Customer's server and check how it would work. Thus, it was impossible to perform the complete local debugging. Third, we had to work with the source code absolutely unfamiliar to us, without any documentation for it.