A Brief Description of lily
What is lily?
The lily project is, in its simplest form, an attempt to create a
real-time, interactive, computer mediated communication tool (usually
abreviated in most lily documentation as a CMC) which is focused on
interpersonal communication. While there have been many approaches to
this in the past, lily attempts to borrow some key features from each
one, and avoid some of the deficiencies and problems from each:
- Various MOO and MUD systems
- The emphasis has been on role-playing and construction, not
- The "virtual world" communication is an option in lily, since it
provides a good communication method for many conversations
- MOOs are best for their flexibility
- Multiple servers are a powerful tool, since worldwide
communication is an extension of lily's goals.
- With this size - information overload is a major concern that
lily actively sought to eliminate.
- User authentication has always been a problem in IRC.
- CONNECT and Clover
- These systems provided the examples for efficient and professional
person-to-person and group communication.
- A concentration on a server to support a community (usually
- Limitations on naming and identifing people or groups has always
been a problem.
What is the goal of lily?
First and foremost, lily is designed to improve online, real-time,
communication between individuals and groups of people. This
communication can be professional or recreational - and lily must
support both without interfering with the other.
Equally important, it has the secondary goal of being flexible enough
to adapt and experiment with a wide variety of methods and formats for
How will lily acomplish these goals?
By trying to meet the communication needs of a wide variety of users,
while maintaining a professional appearance, lily works to bring itself
into the world of available production CMCs. There are several features
built-in, or that will be built-in, as the core
features of lily:
- Both private and public messages are part of the sytem. Private
messages may be to groups, and public messages are to discussions.
- People may be a memeber of one, many, or no discussions.
- Messages are the most important activity, therefore sending
messages should be the easiest action on the system.
- Signaling and notifications are available for a variety of
actions by people and discussions. Signals and notifications may be
turned off to reduce information overload.
- All messages are authenticated from an account, but that account
is always anonymous.
- Because of this authentication with anonymity, it is possible to
automatically ignore messages and actions from a particular user.
- Communicating with people on the same server is the most
important activity, therefore this should be easiest to accomplish,
but communicating with people and discussions on other servers
should be possible using the same methods as on one's default server.
- The underlying structure should be public, easy to understand,
easy to modify, and should support a wide variety of ways to accept
input and display output. The lily developers encourage extensions to
The lily CMC / email@example.com / 2 Mar 1996