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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