SWOF – an open framework for shared workspaces to support different cooperation tasks
Computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) allows people to cooperate by computers from different places and at different times. To enable an easier integration of such collaborative components into web-based communities and portals, a Shared Workspace Open Framework (SWOF) was developed. This framework provides the basic features of shared workspaces and can be customized to different cooperation cases. High usability is an important aspect of the implementation. To achieve these aims SWOF focuses on an information space with more task-suited item-types that can help to pre-structure the information. Thus, on the one hand the system can help the users to write down the needed information in a consistent way and, on the other, could reduce the arguments between the group members on how to structure their workspace. As a use case for SWOF the development of a Web-based portal for the community of man-machine interaction was chosen. In the project MMI-Interaktiv, a portal is built with a SWOF-based shared workspace component. An evaluation for this use case is presented.