Making movies of models

Simon Andrews simon.andrews at
Tue Feb 20 06:40:00 EST 2001

Mike Clark wrote:

> One of the things I dislike about CHIME is that as a plug-in it is only
> available for some OSs and and not for others. This generates two classes
> of people accessing your website.
> [1] Those that have access to your information.
> [2] Those that don't!
> Thus CHIME works well for a controlled teaching environment where you can
> ensure that everyone has access to the required OS and plug-in. I wouldn't
> agree that it is a good piece of software if your intention is to make the
> information as widely available as possible.

I think a greater problem is the problems Chime has with different
browsers.  I have been developing a Chime teaching aid and will live
with the fact that only PCs and Macs will be able to access it (MDLs
blunt refusal to release a version for Linux is disconcerting though). 
The major problem I have is trying to write something which will work
under Netscape and IE.

Writing Chime pages for Netscape 4.x is fine, but the support for IE 5.x
is terrible - there are really basic errors in the plug-in which mean
that some core functionality doesn't work (and often crashes the entire
browser).  Trying to juggle this alongside the differences between
Netscape and IE javascript makes the whole project less enjoyable than
it should be.  As a final kick Chime now also doesn't work properly with
Netscape 6, so anyone using the newest version of either of the two
major browsers can't use Chime.

We are persevering with Chime because it has the potential to offer us
what we need, but MDL really aren't giving any reassurance. Their web
site offers only minimal support (very few positive responses in their
FAQ), and their comments box, the only way of reporting bugs, is about
the size of a postage stamp.  On top of that they haven't actually
responded to the bugs I have reported, other than to send an automated
bug tracker number, which takes me to a page telling me that MDL have
yet to respond (1 month + later!).

Most of the large Chime sites have simply specified that you have to use
Netscape 4.x but that really isn't an option we want to consider.  Many
schools simply don't use Netscape and are reluctant to install it.  I'm
living with the hope that there will be another Chime release which will
fix all these bugs - but I suspect I'm being overly optimistic ....



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