Message/Bulletin Board for CINEMA

Gaurav Khandpur
Polytechnic University
Brooklyn, NY 10021


Columbia InterNet Extensible Multimedia Architecture (CINEMA) provides a test bed for different
multimedia and Internet telephony applications. We have implemented this project to provide CINEMA
with a module that enables interaction between users about events like seminars, conferences, meetings etc.
The means of interaction is a Message board.

A Message board is a user interface to access and update the database. It displays the data to the users
in the form of posted messages organized according to an event. Each of the 'eventgroups' has its own
message board. Users can post messages, reply to posted messages, receive messages in their e-mail
and post messages to a board through their e-mail.


CINEMA is a software that allows multiple users to login and avail services like Video conference
participation, maintain address book, use voice mails, access information regarding meetings, seminars
and other events.

A message board in this system acts as a discussion group among the users where they can share their
ideas and queries regarding a particular event. This keeps an event, that has occurred in the past, alive
and active. Another important aspect is the ease of information distribution, as a user can simply post
a message and it can be broadcasted to the registered users.

The organization of the report is as follows:

1. Introduction
2. Related Work
3. Architecture
4. Program Documentation
5. Future work
6. References

Related Work

Message board is a very common module among the internet application now. Most of the website that
allow inter-user communications provide a message board. This project is very much CINEMA specific
and can be extended to support voice messages in a similar manner.


1. The database tables used are - 'messageboard' and 'eventgroup_notify'

messageboard table -
It stores the messages that are posted. Parent field identifies the replies to a Thread message.
eventgroup field separated the messages of different eventgroups.

eventgroup_notify table -
It stores the users who register themselves to receive messages in e-mail for a particular eventgroup.

2. Screen Transition Diagram :

Program Documentation

Future Work

  1. The use of a hierarchical tree structure to display the messages.To have [+] and [-] signs to
    control the expansion of the tree. This will be achieved through JavaScript.

  2. The use of references in the mail header, when message is sent to registered users in e-mail
    so that users can reply to posted messages through their e-mail.
    Use of 'In-Reply-To : e-mail messageID', is a solution. A separate table needs to be created
    to store these unique e-mail messageID of the messages that are posted. When an email comes
    from a user that contains the message to be posted, then emailnotify.tcl needs to lookup this
    table to find out if this email is a reply to a posted message or a new post(thread).

  3. To show the user how many messages of an eventgroup are unread and the total number of
    messages. This will be achieved by keeping track of the last time the user visited the message
    area and then counting the messages younger than that.


[1] - Tcl tutorials
[2] CINEMA technical report -
[3] Tcl tutor - computer aided instruction package to learn Tcl -