WWW-based Collaboration Environments with Distributed Tool Services

Gail E. Kaiser; Stephen E. Dossick; Wenyu Jiang; Jack Jingshuang Yang; Sonny Xi Ye

WWW-based Collaboration Environments with Distributed Tool Services
Kaiser, Gail E.
Dossick, Stephen E.
Jiang, Wenyu
Yang, Jack Jingshuang
Ye, Sonny Xi
Computer Science
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Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports
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Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
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New York
We have developed an architecture and realization of a framework for hypermedia collaboration environments that support purposeful work by orchestrated teams. The hypermedia represents all plausible multimedia artifacts concerned with the collaborative task(s) at hand that can be placed or generated on-line, from application-specific materials (e.g., source code, chip layouts,blueprints) to formal documentation to digital library resources to informal email and chat transcripts. The environment capabilities include both internal (hypertext) and external (link server) links among these artifacts, which can be added incrementally as useful connections are discovered; project-specific hypermedia search and browsing; automated construction of artifacts and hyperlinks according to the semantics of the group and individual tasks and the overall process workflow; application of tools to the artifacts; and collaborative work for geographically dispersed teams. We present a general architecture for what we call hypermedia subwebs, and imposition of {\em group space} services operating on shared subwebs, based on World Wide Web technology --- which could be applied over the Internet and/or within an organizational intranet.We describe our realization in OzWeb, which reuses object-oriented data management for application-specific subweb organization, and workflow enactment and cooperative transactions as built-in group space services, which were originally developed for the Oz process-centered software development environment framework. Further, we present a general architecture for a WWW-based distributed tool launching service. This service is implemented by the generic Rivendell component, which could be employed in a stand-alone manner, but has been integrated into OzWeb as an example "foreign" (i.e., add-on) group space service.
Computer science
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Gail E. Kaiser, Stephen E. Dossick, Wenyu Jiang, Jack Jingshuang Yang, Sonny Xi Ye, , WWW-based Collaboration Environments with Distributed Tool Services, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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