These are efforts engaged in the production of
software to assist the process of remote collaboration
to define a problem, investigate alternatives, make
decisions, and design a solution. The many entries here
point to the fact that this an idea whose time has come
-- the technology has matured to the point that solutions
are feasible, while the need has never been greater.
The corrolary is that the development of a new industry
is imminent -- either haphazardly as a result of
individual efforts, or via common standards. (Perhaps this
September's Collaborative Virtual Environments Conference
have an impact on that: http://www.ai.sri.com/cve2000/.)
If nothing else, one or more of these systems should
be pressed into use to replace email as a discussion tool.
[Many thanks to Paul Fernhout, who supplied the large
number of entries that make up the second half of this
list, as well as the other unrev-II contributors.]
A forming startup currently meeting at SRI.
Intermediary backlink-managment system (Crit) for HTML
pages. Currently investigating follow-on opportunities.
Graduate student project on email-based system. (Ping
was one of the primary developers of Crit.)
A collaborative journaling and thought-organizing tool.
Part of Berkeley's Wireless Reseach Center (BWRC). An open-source
project for web-based collaboration and datasharing tools. [Jack Park]
Began an effort in this direction, realized it was outside their
area of expertise, but have motivation, experience, and insights
into the organizational impediments to adoption.
For-profit enterprise, but totally oriented to facilitation of
open-source software. Very ineresting business plan. [Doug Englebart]
Collaborative Virtual Workspace
An office automation environment that enables people to converse,
collaborate, and interact regardless of their geographic location.
(Couldn't find an entry for this... [Bob Weiner]
Founded in the past five months, by Brian Behlendorf with
O'Reilly and Associates. Apparently has very explicit and direct
endorsement by hp. [Doug Englebart]
Three efforts underway in this space: [John Deneen]
* XEROX KNOWLEDGE SHARING SOLUTION: AskOnce
* Coordination Technologies
* Multilingual Document Management Process
Collaborative email/HTML (Berekely startup)
This link gets redirected to a form that wants a lot of
information before you can get anywhere.
Something fairly interesting...
By the National Computational Science Alliance (NCSA).
Freely downloadable from
--"The Habanero framework or API is designed to give developers
the tools they need to create collaborative Java applications.
The framework provides the necessary methods to create or
transition existing applications and applets into collaborative
--"...provides the necessary environment to create collaborative
work environments and virtual communities. The environment
includes a server that hosts sessions and a client that
interacts with sessions..."
--From the tools page:
"Habanero applications or Hablets ... can be built from scratch or
transitioned from existing Java applications and applets. We ... have
created a reposotory for the tools with a dynamic installation tool."
--Existing tools include a whiteboard, a web browser, a voting tool,
chat, audio chat, and something called mpEdit, in addition to their
"clip-N-ship" bit that downloads and installs a tool.
Web-based, integrated-mail, meeting/proj mgt tool [John Deneen]
Paul Fernhout's List of Open Source Candidates
(The notes in this section are Paul's slightly condensed.)
A web application server with support for collaboration
(newsgroups, chat, portal, weblog, document storage, etc.).
ArsDigita Community System -- here now and works well (w/ TCL,
AOLServer, Oracle) ArsDigita is a growing consulting company
funded by itself.
Zope web application server -- here now and works well (w/Python)
Has a great security model for multiple users developing in
browsers. Zope's creator (DigiCool) is vaguely venture capital
supported (I don't know how much) and will provide consulting
services on Zope.
Collaborative Virtual Workspace -- here now (w/Java and TK, MOO,
Enhydra -- Java/XML based web application server
Being buzzword compliant, these people just got a total of
$15 million as investments.
Midgard -- PHP based web application server
(PHP's syntax is C/Perl-ish)
Wikis (user editable web pages) and some remote screen collaboration.
Squeak -- almost here now i.e. bleeding edge (w/Smalltalk). This is
the system I am at the moment strongly considering for my own work,
with Zope as a second choice for content that needs to be up today.
Other Sources of Information
These are the organizers of the Collaborative Virtual Environments
* Elizabeth F. Churchill
FX Palo Alto Lab
3400 Hillview Ave., Bldg. 4
Palo Alto, CA 94304
tel: +1 650-813-7024
* Martin Reddy
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025.
tel: +1 650-859-6468
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