Inquires on the CASCADE system may be directed to: e-mail: spring+@pitt.edu

Department of Information Science, University of Pittsburgh

Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

CASCADE is designed to support real-time interactive commenting.

CASCADE exists as both a unix-based application serving X-Windows to clients and as a full client-server application exchanging document information via RPC calls. It was decided that the unix version should be used for this experiment. The primary reason for this decision was the relative stability of the unix version.

CASCADE keeps track of where the user has been in a given document and attempts to provide intelligent location of the viewing window on a document in accord with the users history of action and viewing.

Any text contained in a mailnote prior to comments is considered non-comment material and was accumulated in a separate file.

A ``safe'' character offset is a location that will not generate an error in subsequent processing of the source file by software, i.e., if a comment were inserted in the middle of a command it would cause an error in subsequent processing of the file by formatting software. The ``safe'' character offsets need to be continually updated as the comments are placed in the various source files.

It should be noted that considerable pre-processing of mailnotes was necessary during testing to produce notes suitable for auto-parsing. Many, if not most, of the problems were related to two facts: 1. the parser was delivered with insufficient time to debug it in the actual environment in which it was to be used; 2. the parser was unable to cope with the great variety of mailers that generated the original submissions. In the last analysis, all of these difficulties were oversome, but the time-critical nature of the review was such that the editors lost confidence in the reliability dur to early failures. Since the purpose of CASCADE is to support interactive comment placement rather than to develop a state-of-the-art mail parser, there is no plan at this time to make the mail parser more sophisticated. We are confident that reliable parsing at the 99+ level is now in place.

CASCADE assigns a unique and complex identifier to each comment that includes the identity of the commenter, the date of the comment, and the focus of the comment. The editor expressed a desire for a simpler ID to be used to refer to comments

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