Object Oriented Programming and Computerised Shared Material
Computer supported cooperative work currently receives much attention. There are many aspects of cooperative work. One of these is the use of shared material. Much cooperation is based on silent coordination mediated by the shared material used in the work process. The properties of the shared material are, however, often ignored when work is computerised. Instead the emphasis has been on automating frequent work procedures. This has resulted in very inflexible systems.
A fundamental idea in object oriented programming is to model the phenomena in the part of reality the system addresses. These modelling techniques can be used to implement shared material on computers. The result is a raw system providing the material and the essential primitive operations on this material. Such a system can be seen as a specialised programming environment which can be tailored to the needs of individual users or be modified for future needs.
This use of object oriented programming requires persistent and shared objects. Some objects may be active and execute as parallel processes. Incremental change of a running system will be needed to allow evolution.
It is non-trivial to decide which properties of the material to model. An example demonstrates that this decision may depend on the kind of technology being considered.
Key words and phrasescomputer supported cooperative work object oriented programming shared material persistent objects
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