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The Impact of Collaborative Authoring Software on the Standardization Process

Emile L. Morsegif - Swantje Willmsgif - William Pollak gif - Craig Meyersgif - Michael B. Springgif

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Tue Apr 23 13:24:12 EDT 1996


This paper describes the use of specialized software to assist editors in the conduct of an IEEE mock ballot. Specifically, the CASCADE (Computer Augmented Support of Collaborative Authoring and Document Editing) system was configured to support a mock ballot for IEEE 1003.21 (POSIX: Real Time Distributed System Communication). CASCADE is an experimental system for the development and exploration of agents to support the authoring and editing processes. The mock ballot of IEEE 1003.21 presented an opportunity to examine the applicability of real time collaborative systems as an assist to the document editing process

This study describes the development and testing of functions to assist editors in the management and disposition of comments that are normally made during the refinement and balloting of a standard. The results of the field test were disappointing due in large part to delayed software delivery. Cultural expectations and technological limitations also had negative impacts. While CASCADE was ultimately successful in parsing and placing comments in the reviseable form of the document, early software failures undermined the editors' faith in the system. The current state of firewalls for most participants were such that it was virtually impossible to mount a real-time, shared system for the participants. We are confident that the evolution of CASCADE into an RPC-compliant client server system and the development of secure shells bridging trusted systems will eliminate many of the barriers to use.

Michael Spring
Tue Apr 23 13:23:13 EDT 1996