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Assuming you belong to the right group and that the necessary environment variables have been set CASCADE is started by typing the command:


at the operating system prompt. There are a number of things that need to be done for you by the system administrator. Should things not work correctly for you, you might wish to review the appendix on ``Getting Started in CASCADE'' which may be found on page gif. Also, CASCADE works a little differently than PC and Mac software you may have used. For more information of some of the differences between CASCADE and common software applications see page gif

You will note after your first session is done that two things have happened:

  1. A directory called ``CASCADE'' was created in your home directory. This directory is used to store information about your preferences as well as to store personal data generated by CASCADE over which you will keep control.
  2. The file ``Cascade'' was created in your home directory. This is the Motif resource file for CASCADE and contains the default labels, colors, and widget preferences for CASCADE.

For now, you can ignore both the ``Cascade'' file and the ``CASCADE'' directory. Later we will tell you more about their importance and use.

As shown in Figure 1, starting CASCADE results in one to three windows appearing on your screen. At start up, CASCADE will always show the large main window which is the primary CASCADE interface. Most of the time there will also be a small dialog window which will open in the middle of the main window alerting you to what has happened since your last use of CASCADE. If nothing has happened since your last use, this window will not appear. Instead the message window in the lower right corner of the main screen will have a message indicating ``ACTIVITY: None''. In addition, if you have specified agents you wish to run in your CASCADE directory, a smaller agent window will appear below the main window.

Figure 1: CASCADE Startup

The ``CASCADE Agent Bar'' can have a variety of buttons depending on user preferences. At the current time, the buttons that will appear are in an inactive state - i.e. you must press them to activate them. In future releases, the buttons may indicate that some of the agents are already in a working state. (This will happen when the user has set that as a preference. When CASCADE is started, the agents will start their work.) At the current time, three agents are included, a communication agent, a chalkboard agent and an awareness agent. See page gif for more details.

Before looking at the main window in detail, consider what the small message window is telling you. Whenever you use CASCADE, it checks to see what has happened - i.e., what other members of the group have done since you last used CASCADE. In the example shown, the message box indicates that five things have happened since the user last used CASCADE. These kinds of events reported in this window include document creations, comment creations, document edits, comment classifications, and comment deletions. By pressing the continue button, you will proceed with your CASCADE session without looking at the activity. (There are other options for viewing activity and they will be discussed later.) If you choose the view activity button, you will be taken to the activity screen right away - see page gif but we will talk more about that later.

The main window has six different areas as shown in Figure 1. These are:

The Document area
which displays the document and related comments. It is the large gray area the makes up most of the screen. When a document is selected, it will be displayed in this area. You may note that there is a light gray bar running vertically down the left of the document area. This is called the mural and will display an abstraction of the contents of an entire document when it is visible. More on this is provided below.

The Command bar
goes across the top of the screen and contains buttons and pop down menus that access tools and agents to facilitate work including user information, document information, user preferences, document navigation, history, development, help, and CASCADE exit.

The File/Directory bar
on the left of the screen displays the directory of documents and provides access to individual documents or subdirectories. The top button of the first bar always takes you up one level. If you are not on the first bar, this will be a scroll bar on the right of the file/directory area to move you to the file/directory you are looking for.

The Options Panel
on the left of the screen below the file/directory bar allows you to turn selected options on and off without having to open a preferences dialog.

The Location Panel
on the bottom left of the screen shows the current directory and the current document (if one is open).

The Status Panel
on the bottom right of the screen displays message or error reporting and context sensitive information. You will see the words ``Activity: NONE'' in the Status bar area when there has been no activity since your last login. This message will appear instead of a message window indicating the number of things that have occurred since your last use.

In section 5, beginning on page gif we discuss the various command options that are available in CASCADE. In the next section, some of the basic CASCADE functionality is discussed. Keep in mind, CASCADE is intended for use in situations where groups of people need to work together on rather complex documents that are the critical component of the work effort. It is not meant as a personal word processor, nor is it a project management tool - a tool for managing a process where the document is simply an incidental afterthought of some other central effort - such as software engineering. Thus CASCADE targets document-centric projects. In section 4 beginning on page gif we talk a little bit about the tracking and data gathering capabilities of CASCADE.

next up previous contents
Next: Manipulating Documents and Comments Up: Users Guide Introduction to Previous: Introduction to CASCADE

Michael Spring
Fri Jun 27 17:00:29 EDT 1997