Low Overhead, Loosely Coupled Communication Channels in Collaboration
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Communication and coupling are two central aspects of systems developed for computer-supported cooperative work. Synchronous communication usually implies tight coupling while asynchonous communication is often used with loose coupling. This paper explores the previously neglected role of loosely coupled channels in synchonous communication by providing some example channels and evaluating their tradeoffs. Such loosely coupled channels efficiently meet specialized communication needs that often arise in spontaneous, short-lived collaborations. They can also augment existing channels in specific domans. These channels impose few requirements on their host applications and hence can be easily integrated into tools familiar to most users. Our implementation is built over and inter-application communicastion framework that provides flexible high-level communication abstractions for the rapid prototyping, implementing, and experimenting with these channels.