Design issues and model for a distributed multi-user editor
The collaborative editing of documents is a very common task nowadays. Writing groups are often distributed over many locations because of the globalization of organizations and the increasing interdisciplinarity of tasks. Since many writers already use computers for their jobs, providing computer support for the collaborative writing process has been identified as an important goal. Numerous tools for computer supported collaborative writing have already emerged but in most cases have not come into widespread usage. In this article the requirements of users for a collaborative editor are analyzed. Providing as much flexibility as possible to the users is identified as a basic need. According to the requirements summary a model for a group editing environment is presented. The model covers cooperative work in local and wide area networks using synchronous and asynchronous cooperation. Finally, an application of the model is presented in the form of the multi-user editing environment Iris .