Representing Change in Persistent Groupware Environments

McCaffrey, L. (1998)
Representing Change in Persistent Groupware Environments. Research report GroupLab, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, January.

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This project deals with the display of change information in object-oriented, graphical groupware. A review of current literature was performed, and important ideas incorporated into a conceptual framework. The framework highlighted specific questions that a groupware user may ask from a change management system. It was used to develop three change display mechanisms that went through several design and testing iterations. These include a symbolic approach following a sand trails metaphor, a literal replay mechanism, and a separately displayed change index. Successes and shortcomings of these mechanisms, as revealed by testing them with a simple testbed application, are discussed. In particular, the symbolic sandtrails scheme gave the best overview of changes, but only when the total number of changes was small and when the order of changes was not important. The replay and change index schemes were found to work best when coupled together, thereby allowing the sorting of change information on several attributes, and literal replay of the past user's actions. Users of this scheme, however, had some trouble associating index entries (presented in a separate change index window) with associated objects in the main application screen.

Bibtex entry

@TECHREPORT { 1998-McCaffrey.502,
AUTHOR = { McCaffrey, L. },
TITLE = { Representing Change in Persistent Groupware Environments },
INSTITUTION = { Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary },
ADDRESS = { Calgary, Alberta, Canada },
YEAR = { 1998 },
MONTH = { January },
NUMBER = { GroupLab },