Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Computer Science


Dr. Stephen M. Watt


With the widespread availability of Tablet PCs and hand-held pen-based devices, digital ink applications are becoming increasingly popular across a variety of domains. These applications typically use Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and proprietary ink formats that are restricted to single platforms and consequently lack portability. In this thesis we explore the dimension of portability of both digital ink and digital ink handling programs. We examine how various APIs and data formats may be used to provide both low-level and high-level support for platform independence. We present a framework that collects digital ink on different operating systems and provides a platform-independent, consistent interface for digital ink applications. For data portability, we choose InkML to be the data representation as it provides platform-independent support for both data transmission and higher-level semantic representation for digital ink. For program portability we have developed a Java framwork that isolates applications from vendor APIs. To test our ideas, we have developed two concrete problems. We present InkChat, a whiteboard application, which allows conducting and archiving portable collaborative sessions that involve synchronized voice and digital ink on a shared canvas. We also present Calligraphic Board along with two virtual brush models. The Calligraphic Board collects digital ink from a variety of platforms and renders it with calligraphic properties. Both the InkChat and Calligraphy Board implementations use our Java framework and use InkML as the medium to represent the digital ink, both for rendering it in real time and archiving it for later reference.



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