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Design and Use of a Group Editor. Clarence A. Ellis, Simon J. Gibbs and Gail L. Rein 1990. Grove (GRoup Outline Viewing Editor). A simple outline-only editor for small groups, either distributed or local

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design and use of a group editor

Design and Use of a Group Editor

Clarence A. Ellis, Simon J. Gibbs and Gail L. Rein


grove group outline viewing editor
Grove(GRoup Outline Viewing Editor)
  • A simple outline-only editor for small groups, either distributed or local
  • Based on the work on Listmaker Tool, Cognoter and various asynchronous outline editors(MIT CES and Bellcore Quilt)
  • Works as a tightly-coupled synchronous editor
  • Almost WYSWIS, slight difference in cursor position and permissions only
more on grove
More on GROVE
  • All current users have an identical view of the text of the outline and see all changes in real time(vs. Cognoter)
  • Users can create three types views, public(visible by all) private(only visible locally) and shared(by invitation only)
  • Text indicates by color and number the status of an element
  • All text begins as world readable/writable to encourage group work, must be locked explicitly
experience in using grove
Experience in using GROVE
  • (during all sessions, collaborators had access to voice communications as well as GROVE)
  • Positive
    • Increase access to personal reference material, as workers were in offices
    • Encouraged workers to divide and conquer
    • Less off topic discussion
negative grove experience
Negative GROVE Experience
  • Less focus amoung group, requires more concentration to communicate when distributed, but face-to-face meetings feel shorter
  • Vocal discussions are more difficult in distributed sessions(partly technological).
  • Accidental deletion occures enough that Undo necessary
commentary on grove testing
Commentary on GROVE testing
  • Collisions are less frequent than imagined, even without consciously reading all comments
  • Parallel tasks are taken on during work(such as moving a subtree).
  • Tool works far better during early stages of a project(most ideas are short and fit well with the outline)
current work
Current Work
  • Commercial programs such as Microsoft NetMeeting, Lotus Notes and Netscape Cooltalk
  • Research test program

Upper Atmosphere

Research Collaboratory


current findings
Current findings
  • Both synchronous and asynchronous communication(ie. participate in one group while another progresses and then contributing to the second)
  • Information Overload, methods to preven unnecessary information and preserve screen space
  • Robust and fault tolerant(both to bandwidth and client failure)
more current findings
More current findings
  • Programs seem to fall into two groups, the general CSCW(NetMeeting, Notes…) with only basic tools: video and audio communication, file and whiteboard sharing(NetMeeting) or limited to group scheduling and communication(Notes)
  • Highly specialized: UARC, more tools but tailored to one field of work