User guide

The LivingTalks conference management tool is designed to be used in an intuitive way without the need for a lengthy manual. However, some points may still be worth being illustrated...

Getting started

You start by adding the data of authors (and of other people such as speakers and session chairs) into the database. You may do this here. You may always come back and change or delete data you or somebody else has entered.

Over time, you will subsequently gather data of all authors and talks. You are now ready to define blocks: Blocks are logical units wrapping zero, one, or several talks. Examples for each block are coffee break, keynote, or session, correspondingly.

Blocks are the items you will then be able to schedule (ie. you must wrap a talk into a block to put it into the scheduled program). Blocks are scheduled by simply defining a track and time for them.

Now, that the program is logically defined you may publish the program (if you have the permission). Publishing means generating the program as a set of logical XML-documents (using layout information provided as part of the track properties), then rendering each of them into an output format using a customizable XSL stylesheet, and finally storing the resulting documents into the web site. Import and export are supported using an XML-document adhering to the proper DTD.

The general workflow is depicted as follows:

Enter or manage all authors and speakers -- START HERE! Manage the categories any talk must belong to Click if you take warm showers too...
Enter or manage the talks
Create or manage blocks such as sessions, keynotes, single talks, coffee breaks etc. Import data which was exported previously
Create or manage tracks which typically are rooms for a day Schedule blocks into tracks thereby making up the logical program Export all data typically for the purpose of backup or migration
Publish any changes to the program making them visible to the grand audience out there Apply for a user ID or added privileges Login -- You may do this later on as well

You will be asked to login when the system thinks you should...


A number of features shall help increase your productivity:

Access and permissions

You are asked to login when you try to change any data. Your permissions may depend on the username you use for login.

Talks are grouped into categories which also may represent a rating of their content. Each category does therefore contain a list of users who will be allowed to enter or modify talks of the given category. E.g., a user may be able to enter product talks but may at the same time be unable to enter accepted scientific papers (the user may still enter the talk into some category and then ask the maintainer of the target category to move it over...). This is the "editors in duty" property of a category. Consequently, only few people may modify the properties of a category.

Sessions time out after 30 minutes. Log off when you leave your PC unattended.

Read access is granted through which requires a global password. Any other URL must not be published.


Internet Explorer 5.x is recommended, Netscape 4.x is as ugly as usual.

Javascript must be enabled, Cookies preferrably as well.


Look and see...

Technically speaking, we talk about an implementation using the Java 2 enterprise edition (J2EE) platform, more specifically Sun's reference implementation "J2EE 1.2.2 RI". The majority of enterprise beans are entity beans with container-managed persistence. We have broken the model-view-controller paradigm since we believe that a central controller inhibits software modularity and reusability...


The LivingTalks conference management tool is Copyright © 2000 Living Pages Research GmbH, Munich, Germany. This tool is licensed to the Net.ObjectDays 2000 conference to provide for an online facility to enter, update, administer and display the conference program's contents.

Additionally, an evaluation license is granted to all registered visitors of the Net.ObjectDays 2000 conference who obtain the tool with source code on their conference CD. A talk given during the conference explains the tool. Watch out for session slides.


We will be gad to receive your bug report.

Mail us if you need additional permissions.