Discussions and online conferencing in the MOO can often be confusing. When many people talk in the same room it is difficult to keep track of the discussion. This is true especially for newcomers to this medium, but also for more experienced users. One solution to this problem is moderated conference rooms.
The auditorium in Lingua MOO was designed specifically with the above problem in mind. It was built for Dr. Dene Grigar's doctoral defense which was held in Lingua in the summer of 95, and can accommodate both moderated and unmoderated discussions. The room itself has an audience section and a panel section, and can be set up in either panel format (moderated) or open format. When the room is in panel mode, people seated in the panel can address the whole room. What they say or emote will carry the prefix [PANEL] so people can see clearly where the speech is coming from. People in the audience can talk among themselves, but they cannot be heard by the speakers in the panel. If a person in the audience wants to listen to what is being said from the panel only, he or she can put on a headset that will screen out comments from the audience.
In panel format, the audience may use the command 'ask' to send questions to the panelists. The questions are sent to a queue, from which the moderator may retrieve them and field them to the panel as he or she see fit. The ask command may be used at any time during a panel session.
When the auditorium is formatted in open format, people in the audience may address the panel freely without having to use the ask command.
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