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SeeThroughTalk - a collaborative image space
There have been many team-programming tools considered both in the academic and industrial fields.
However, their paradigms are mainly based on the integrity of source codes. They do not cope with the real factor essential in the success of team development - the dynamic interaction among members.
Therefore, we would like to propose a true collaborative working space in Smalltalk. It focuses on human interactions, and supports 'Ma' (Japanese word) in the collaboration. It encourages dynamic interactions while not preventing each member's intensive work ('Ma' means a comfortable distance between people).
SeeThroughTalk extends a popular desktop metaphor to team working. It introduces a new overlapping desktop system to the existing Morphic GUI. Through the half-transparent desktop, members can see their partners as live objects (avatars, and related windows). SeeThroughTalk enables us to develop shared work collaboratively while not disturbing each individual's concentration. It is useful for programming in a distributed team, or other activities such as tile-scripting by children in remote sites. It can also serve as a dynamic collaboration wall when it is used with the Croquet environment.
This is a new approach to shared spaces that also have easy privacy. The central idea is that various kinds of translucencies can allow private work to be done while also being aware of the public activities of other collaborators. This has some interesting possible intersections with the past work of Hiroshi Ishii on "translucent collaboration" before he went to MIT. Though there have been many attempts to do workable collaborative environments in the past, especially for programming, we don't yet know of a really good one -- and we need better efforts in this area. This proposal has several ideas that will be quite worthwhile to be explored.
Copyright(c) Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan. All rights reserved 2004
Umezawa Masashi$B!JG__7!!??;K!K(B(Mamezou, Inc., Business Solution Division)