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Computer

Issue 5 • Date May 1994

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Displaying Results 1 - 10 of 10
  • Public Windows Interface supporters aim to standardize leading desktop API

    Page(s): 92 - 93
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (240 KB)  

    Public Windows Interface (PWI) is an effort by several computer industry leaders to ensure that the Microsoft Windows application programming interface (API) moves into the world of open systems. By formalizing the existing API as a standard, PWI will provide a snapshot to which developers can refer and upon which they can build their applications. By making PWI an open standard, all parties will have an equal opportunity to compete and to propose future changes. PWI supporters have encouraged Microsoft to submit its complete API to a neutral standards body and to agree to abide by changes and extensions approved by that body. So far, Microsoft has declined to do so. Certain of the technology companies who see the value of creating a formal standard have committed resources to the laborious task of fully and formally documenting the API. These companies will submit the resulting specification to the appropriate neutral standards body upon its completion, where it will be available for all to use at no cost. With PWI as a new standard, users will be able to choose among multiple implementations, leverage their prior investments, and use familiar applications on a host of new devices. Independent software vendors will benefit from a more stable, open API, and will be able to funnel their resources into new development. Systems vendors will broaden the range of applications available for their platforms. In short, PWI will bring the benefits of open systems to the PC world.<> View full abstract»

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  • When client/server isn't enough: coordinating multiple distributed tasks

    Page(s): 73 - 79
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (799 KB)  

    Computing in a distributed environment for multitasked cooperative work is a promising area that presents many coordination issues. Our prototype system implements a three-layer architecture to provide greater control and flexibility in the distributed multitasking environment. The architecture includes a groupware server, application servers, and clients. The architecture can be further refined to provide more flexible control of activities. More applications, such as group calendaring and participative design can also be studied to find their idiosyncratic coordination needs and to elaborate the division of labor among different servers and clients.<> View full abstract»

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  • Multigroup decision-support systems in CSCW

    Page(s): 67 - 72
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (609 KB)  

    Research in computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) has concentrated on developing techniques and support systems for groups of tightly coupled individuals focused on activities such as group writing and design development. A natural extension involves group decision-support systems (GDSS) that can assist multiple groups working in different places at different times. Our work extends the GDSS approach to a multigroup decision-support system (MGDSS) and uses the advanced integrated requirements engineering system (AIRES) for support. Two case studies, including data from user questionnaires, indicate a high level of user satisfaction with the support the system provides. The MGDSS process and AIRES software support idea elicitation to solve complex problems. The system automatically organizes and assesses these ideas to help large groups build consensus.<> View full abstract»

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  • Collaborative systems: solving the vocabulary problem

    Page(s): 58 - 66
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    Vocabulary differences have created difficulties for on-line information retrieval systems and are even more of a problem in computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), where collaborators with different backgrounds engage in the exchange of ideas and information. We have investigated two questions related to the vocabulary problem in CSCW. First, what are the nature and characteristics of the vocabulary problem in collaboration, and are they different from those observed in information retrieval or in human-computer interactions research? Second, how can computer technologies and information systems be designed to help alleviate the vocabulary problem and foster seamless collaboration? We examine the vocabulary problem in CSCW and suggest a robust algorithmic solution to the problem.<> View full abstract»

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  • Prototyping synchronous group applications

    Page(s): 48 - 56
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (930 KB)  

    Cooperative team-based activities are changing the nature of work. Current frameworks provide the necessary base communication and coordination tools but require application designers to handle low-level details such as defining a communication protocol. They also provide limited support for prototyping such applications and experimenting with alternative designs. We introduce a sharing style called strong sharing. Its implementation in Object World insulates application designer from low-level communication details. CoSARA, a system built on Object World, lets application designers prototype synchronous group applications by graphically specifying the multiuser interactions. After we describe strong sharing, we describe Object World and how it facilitates building synchronous group applications. Then we describe the CoSARA design methodology for prototyping synchronous group applications and show how we used it to build a multiuser block diagram editor.<> View full abstract»

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  • Architectural support for cooperative multiuser interfaces

    Page(s): 37 - 46
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    Computer support for cooperative work requires the construction of applications that support interaction by multiple users. The highly dynamic and flexible nature of cooperative work makes the need for rapid user-interface prototyping a central concern. We have designed and developed a software architecture that provides mechanisms to support rapid multiuser-interface construction and distributed user-interface management. Rapid prototyping requires mechanisms that make the information determining interface configuration visible, accessible, and tailorable. We developed the architecture as part of a project investigating support for the cooperative work of air traffic controllers. Extensive use of prolonged ethnographic investigation helped to uncover the nature of cooperation in air traffic control. The aim of the architecture is to support an environment in which a multidisciplinary team can experiment with a wide range of alternate user-interface designs for air traffic controllers. Thus, we use examples from this domain to illustrate the architecture.<> View full abstract»

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  • CSCW tools: concepts and architectures

    Page(s): 28 - 36
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    Building efficient frameworks for computer-supported cooperative work requires different approaches. The combination of CSCW transparency and awareness produces an advanced environment adaptable to specific applications. The authors provide a CSCW taxonomy that defines and describes criteria for identifying CSCW systems and serves as a basis for defining CSCW system requirements. They consider how the psychological, social, and cultural processes active within groups of collaborators are the real keys to the acceptance and success of CSCW systems.<> View full abstract»

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  • Computer-supported cooperative work: history and focus

    Page(s): 19 - 26
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    CSCW and groupware emerged in the 1980s from shared interests among product developers and researchers in diverse fields. Today, it must overcome the difficulties of multidisciplinary interaction. This article describes the people and the work found under the CSCW umbrella. Issues considered include: research and design areas, software development, office automation, small-group versus systems approach, US and European differences; and the history of groupware.<> View full abstract»

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  • Computer supported cooperative work

    Page(s): 15 - 17
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (317 KB)  

    As the information highway becomes a reality and appropriate hardware and software become readily available, anyone using a computer will be able to engage in some form of computer-supported cooperative work within the next few years. However, much work remains to be done to bring computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) into everyday use, including: developing user-friendly software; addressing the social dynamics of group activities; standardizing various terms; and handling the difficult interactions between multiple tasks performed by multiple groups. The paper considers some of the difficult problems relating to the technological developments that will enable people to work in any mode.<> View full abstract»

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  • Software challenges: the weakest link in the software engineering chain

    Page(s): 10 - 11
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (315 KB)  

    The author compares the performance of software project managers and software technical personnel for five basic activities. Automation does not guarantee success in performing project management functions, but the absence of any automation often correlates with missed or delayed schedules, poor or marginal quality, cost overruns, cancelled projects and the other classical trauma situations of the software industry. The author presents a table of results from a study which gives the percentage of projects applying automation to software management tasks.<> View full abstract»

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Computer, the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society, publishes highly acclaimed peer-reviewed articles written for and by professionals representing the full spectrum of computing technology from hardware to software and from current research to new applications.

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Editor-in-Chief
Ron Vetter
University of North Carolina
Wilmington