Context Toolkit User's Guide

This document is a user's guide for the Context Toolkit. The main web page for the Context Toolkit is: It is assumed that you are somewhat familiar with the ideas behind the Context Toolkit. If that is not the case, I suggest you look at the publications on the toolkit. This will provide a basic level of understanding on what we are trying to do.

Basically, the Context Toolkit is a platform that is aimed at simplifying the process of building context-aware applications. It is based on the concept of widgets, that allow you to separate the details of how things are done from actually doing them. Applying this to context, we have context widgets that allow us to separate the details of sensing context from actually using the context. The Context Toolkit is a platform that supports the use of context widgets to enable designers to rapidly prototype context-aware applications.

Along with context widgets, we provide context servers, that aggregate context about particular entities: people, places, and objects, and context interpreters, that interpret context into other forms of context. Widgets, servers, interpreteters and applications are allowed to run on different computers, communicating over a network. Support for distributed communications is provided in the toolkit. The toolkit, while designed in Java, is aimed to be used in combination with multiple programming languages on multiple computing platforms.

The user's guide has 3 parts, a tutorial, installation guide and source code javadoc documentation.

If you are going to be using the Context Toolkit, I suggest that you join our mailing list, as it will be the best place to get questions answered (other people who have been using the toolkit for awhile are on the list) and the latest updates on the toolkit. To join, send an email to with a line in the body saying: subscribe ctk.

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Last Modified: February 11, 2000
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