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Meeting Information


October 16, 2008



Attending: JB McGee, co-chair; Mike Hagen, Jorn Heid, Susan Albright, Valerie Smothers, Dan Walker

Agenda Items

1. Review minutes*of last call*

JB reviewed that Rachel is traveling.  Valerie made a last min change to agenda online. She apologized that the minutes of the last meeting were not yet available and offered to provide a review. JB, Rachel, Valerie, and Frank attended the last call. On that call the group discussed the need to move forward in finalizing the specification and decided to put out a final call for functionality changes. That final call resulted in some suggestions from Jörn, which were put to the committee via a survey. The changes recommended by the majority of for sponsors to the survey have now been implemented in the specification. That includes the use of the XHTML modularization to include a media element in XHTML as well as adding div to the list of XHTML elements approved.

JB asked the group about their opinion the survey results. The group accepted the results and approved of the direction of the specification. JB asked Susan if they had implemented or had a preference for media representation. Dan commented that they were happy with the solution that Jörn had put forward. Mike agreed. Jörn added that for anyone using XHTML, it should not be a problem.

JB commented that some people had voted for representing media only through the DAM. That maintains separation between presentation and data, while the other approach provides flexibility in display. The problems will come and if there is increased incompatibility as results of having these two approaches.

Dan commented that their system allows authors to do both. For those that don't want to both approaches, the import mechanism can change the way media is referenced. JB agreed that there were many decisions to make upon import.

Jörn commented that the eViP group meets next week in Romania to discuss problems in importing and exporting. In his system, they use VPDText and media files. The media tag is easier to import than object tag. And XHTML modularization is much better because it can define exactly which tags are allowed.

Valerie asked Michael if the board had started working on implementation. He commented that they had not, but that they are revising the interface for their simulator and will likely implement the spec after the first of the year.

2. Review changes to specification* (player spec)*

3. Attribute decisions

Jörn commented that in the eViP group they found out that attributes don't have default values defined. For example, the display attribute of DAMNodeItem, which allows for data triggering, had no attribute.  It is important to use attributes correctly, and setting appropriate requirements and default values will help that. The spreadsheet that Valerie prepared shows all of the attributes in the specification and makes recommendations as to whether they should be required, whether there should be default values, etc. Then if an attribute is not present in the XML, you can still see the default value.

JB asked if setting default values was out of the realm of what MedBiquitous should be doing. Jörn replied that display attribute is optional; if it is omitted, it is up to player to decide what to do - display immediately, on trigger, etc. Each player can behave differently. If we define immediately as default, the player knows what to do.  Valerie agreed that it would further clarify how the players should behave.

JB asked if Tufts plans to implement the specification soon. Dan replied that he has a few other projects to complete before returning to this one. He may return to working on the player around the holidays. Susan added that they are now in a planning phase for how to move forward.

The group agreed that the changes specified in the attribute spreadsheet were fine and that Valerie should proceed in making those changes.

4. Discuss plan for moving forward

Valerie commented that to move forward toward standardization, the next step was to make a technical edit of the document for consistency. She added that that if there were any major requirements or issues coming out of the Friday eViP meeting that those should be addressed. Laird added that they would publish the results of the meeting on the eViP wiki. JB asked if others could access the eViP wiki. Jörn recommended asking Chara for access. Three systems have sample exports. There were many mistakes in documents from other systems. Most systems have problems writing XHTML correctly. So far there have been no media files in the exports.

5. Open discussion

JB commented that as we start implement the specification, it may become complicated to accommodate the different types of virtual patients that are possible. Jörn commented that their system uses vocabularies for medical history questions, unlike other systems. They are testing import and export to all systems. He fears that at the end they will have nearly empty XML files.


If technical edits are not ready for the November 20 call and there are no major issues to discuss, the group will reschedule the call.

Action Items

Valerie and Jorn will communicate any issues from the upcoming eViP meeting.

Valerie will begin a technical edit in preparation for the November 20 call.

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