“Let's See Your Search-Tool!”—Collaborative Use of Tailored Artifacts in Groupware

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Association for Computing Machinery
Groupware applications should be tailorable to fit the requirements of dynamically evolving and differentiated fields of application. To encourage individual and collaborative tailoring activities, applications should be tailorable on different levels of complexity. A search tool has been developed which offers different levels of tailoring complexity by means of hierarchically organized component languages. Users can create alternative search tools and compound components by themselves. Search tool alternatives and compound components can also be shared among the users. When introducing this tool into an organization of the political administration, it turned out that the users had considerable problems in understanding the functioning of artifacts created by someone else. To ease cooperative tailoring activities, we have implemented features, which allow users to structure, describe, and explore shared components and search tool alternatives. Also we provided means to store and exchange examples for components' use.