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Workspace awareness has emerged as a new coordination paradigm in configuration management, enabling early detection of potential conflicts by providing developers with information of relevant, parallel activities. The focus of our work is on detecting and mitigating direct and indirect conflicts by sharing information about ongoing code changes. In this paper, we discuss the results of user experiments designed as a broad and formative evaluation of workspace awareness, specifically focusing on whether users detect conflicts as they arise and act to mitigate potential problems. Our results confirm that workspace awareness promotes active self-coordination among users and can lead to an improved end-product in terms of the number of unresolved conflicts remaining in the code.
Date of Conference: 23-27 Sept. 2007