|UFDC Home||myUFDC Home | Help|
This item has the following downloads:
ALL CONCURRENT EDITORS
VIJAYA RANGADHAM KOMARAGIRI
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Vijaya Rangadham Komaragiri
This thesis is dedicated to my parents.
I thank Dr. Richard Newman for his continued cooperation and encouragement
during the course of my thesis. I also thank Drs. Shigang Chen and Ye Xia for serving on
my committee, and for their valuable comments.
I would like to thank all the DCS group members (past and present) for their
support and ideas. I specially thank Harsha Pelimuhandiram and Vijay Manian, whose
previous work and input to the project helped me immensely.
I wish to express my thanks to my family.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ........................................ iv
LIST OF FIGURES .............. ........................viii
ABSTRACT.................. .................. ix
1 INTRODUCTION ................... .................. .............. .... ......... .......
1.1 Motivation............................. ... .... .......... 1
1.2 Conclusion ........................... ...........................3
1.3 Thesis ..................................3................................................
2 COLLABORATION AWARE SOFTWARE ............................................................4
2 .1 Introdu action ............... .. ................ ........................................... 4
2.2 Issues in Collaboration Aware Software......................................................4
2 .2 .1 P rom ptness ...................................... ............................................ 5
2.2.2 C collaboration D istance................................................5
2.2.3 Presenting and V iew ing ................................................................ ..........5
2.2.4 Seams ............................................... ........ 6
2.2.5 Social Roles of Collaboration ............ ...............................6
2.3 Concurrent Editing ........... ............ ........ .......... ....... .... .. ...............6
2.3.1 Concurrency Index and Editable Granularity .........................................7
2.3.2 Update Frequency ..............................................7
2.3.3 U pdate G ranularity............................. ................ 8
2.4 Design Issues .......................... .................. ......... 8
2.4.1 U ser Perspective............... .................. ...... ....... ..... ..............8
2.4.2 Distribution and Replication...........................................9
2.4.3 C oncurrency C ontrol................................. .................9
2.5 Issues in C oncurrency C ontrol.........................................................................9
2.5.1 Collisions .................................................... ........9
2.5.2 File Consistency ................ .. ...................................... .. .......... 10
2.5.3 Serializability ....................... .......... ........................ .............. 10
2.6 Methods of Concurrency Control ....................................10
2.7 Architecture............................................... ...................... 12
2.7.1 Centralized Architectures.................. ............................................ 12
2.7.2 Replicated Architectures.................. .................................................13
2.7.3 Hybrid Architectures................................ .......... 14
3 OTHER SHARED EDITORS .................................................17
3.1 Introduction......................................................... .... ..... ........17
3.2 GRoup Outline Viewing Editor (GROVE)............... ...............17
3.3 Collaborative Editing System (CES) .........................................19
3 .4 A sp ects ...................................... ............................................ 2 0
3 .5 Q u ilt ......................... ........ ...............2 0
3.6 Multimedia Editing Environment IRIS......................................................22
3.7 Calliope......................................................... ...... ........ ........ 22
3.8 Editor PREP ....................................... ................23
3.9 Flexible JAM M ...................................... ............. ....... .. .....................24
3.10 M ulti-User Text Editor M USE ............................. ...............25
3.11 DistEdit ................. ............ ......... ..........25
3.12 Collaborative Editor SA SSE .................................. .................. 26
3.13 Shared Books .......................................... ...... ...............26
3.14 ShrEdit ................................................27
3.15 NetEdit................ ...............................28
3.16 mpEdit.......... ......... ........ ....... .. ................. 28
3.17 Mother of All Concurrent Editors Version 1.0 ................. .................. ......... 29
3.18 Conclusion ............................... ...................... ....................29
4 REQUIREMENTS AND DESIGN......................................................... 32
4.1 Introduction .................................. ..... ...............32
4.2 Requirements ........................ ....................... ..............33
4.3 Design................................................ ........ 34
4.4 Distributed Conferencing System ........ .......................................39
4.5 Architecture...................... ................. ..........39
4.6 Conclusion ................................................39
5 IMPLEMENTATION..................... ........... ......... 41
5.1 Introduction............... ...... .................... ...........41
5.2 Platform and Programming Language.................................................42
5.3 Modules........................................ .........42
5.3.1 File Manager ......... ......... ......... ....... ................ 42
5.3.2 Edit M manager. ........ .. ................. ... ..............................43
5.3.3 Edit Window ............ .... .................. .. ................. 45
5.3.4 User Interface...................... ........ ..... ................ 46
5.4 Concurrency Control.................................... ............... 48
5.5 R eplication and R recovery .......................................................................... ........49
5.6 Conclusion ....................................................50
6 CONCLUSION.................... ..........................52
6.1 Introduction...................................... ........................................52
6.2 Conceptual Issues................................ ...............53
6.2.1 Commenting and Annotation.............................. .... ........ 53
6.2.2 A access Rights................. .... .............................................. 54
6.2.3 Usage Analysis............ .................... 54
6.3 Design Issues .................................................54
6.3.1 Decision Support............................. ...............55
6.3.2 Extra C opy E diting ........................................ ................. 55
6.3.3 R eplication Strategy ...................................................................... 55
6.4 Future of M ACE .............. .................. .......... ......... ............ 55
6.5 Conclusion ....................................................56
L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S .............................................................................. 57
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................... 60
LIST OF FIGURES
1 Centralized architecture...........................................12
2 Fully replicated architecture........ ................................ 13
3 Architecture of DCS..................... ................. 38
4 M A CE architecture ............................. ............43
5 M A C E file m manager. .............................................................44
6 M A C E edit w window .............................................................46
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
MOTHER OF ALL CONCURRENT EDITORS
Vijaya Rangadham Komaragiri
Chair: Richard E. Newman
Major Department: Computer Information Sciences and Engineering
The utility and popularity of collaborative applications has been growing in recent
years owing to geographically diverse workgroups. Collaborative concurrent text editors
are an extremely useful tool in collaborative group work. A number of concurrent text
editors have been developed in the past 2 decades. However none qualifies as a full-
fledged, synchronous, platform-independent concurrent text editor.
Mother of All Concurrent Text Editors Version 2.0 (MACE) is a platform-
independent object-oriented distributed program that supports fine-grained concurrent
text editing. MACE is a synchronous group editor that provides support for fault
tolerance with a reliable recovery mechanism to recover from crashes.
Distributed Conferencing System Version 2.0 (DCS) is being developed at the
University of Florida under the guidance of Dr. Richard Newman. DCS supports
collaborative work among users distributed over diverse geographic locations. MACE is
designed as the concurrent editing application of the DCS. MACE runs as a stand-alone
editor independent of DCS, and also as an application to DCS. MACE is implemented
using Java, RMI and the interface is designed in Swing.
MACE uses a locking-based concurrency control mechanism to avoid collisions
between collaborators editing the same document. MACE supports implicit sessions
where users editing a particular file are put into the same session automatically by the
system. The system is designed to minimize communication overhead between the
different user sites.
The first computers were designed for single users to run single jobs at a time.
Traditional single-user systems have given way to more advanced systems with multiple
users running multiple jobs on a single machine. More advances in computer networking
have enabled interconnection of multiple computers giving us access to remote resources.
With these traditional systems, communication between users has taken place in
asynchronous fashion (through computer mail, etc.,) however the work done in bringing
users together as groups has not been sufficient.
Group activities have come to dominate the modem workplace. The group activity
may be product development, scientific research, document preparation, administration or
just entertainment. In fact, many of the most common multi-user programs available are
games. Some of the recent research in the field has concentrated on developing several
programs with the intention of bringing users to collaborate more closely. Among these,
conferencing systems and shared text editors rank as the most useful programs for
Collaborative editing of a document is a common task nowadays. Writing groups
are often distributed over many locations, because of the globalization of the
organizations. Since many writers already use computers for their jobs, providing
computer support for the collaborative writing process has been identified as an important
goal. A concurrent shared text editor would be a very helpful tool in instructing and
demonstrating documents across remote sites. Typical examples of joint production of
documents are the co-authoring of research papers, and joint development of software
programs among other things. A great many documents are explicitly co-authored, and
even when only one author's name appears on the final version, the production of a
document is usually a collaborative task. Collaboration can take many forms. For
example, different authors of a document can edit the same section at different times,
each completing a draft before the next one begins. Alternatively co-authors could edit
different sections of a document simultaneously.
In the process of co-authoring a document, usually there is an initial meeting in
which the outline of the document is planned, and the responsibilities are assigned to
individual co-authors . Each co-author works in relative isolation to produce their
sections. These individual sections are then assembled into a single complete draft, which
is then passed for serial editing of the latest draft. To maintain the consistency of the
document, the draft can be edited by only one person at one time. A concurrent editor
helps to provide solutions to most of the problems encountered in the above process.
With a concurrent editor the authors need not necessarily work in isolation, even before
the sections are merged. Turn taking is eliminated and the effort in co-ordination in
editing the integrated draft in final stages is greatly reduced. A study conducted at the
University of Michigan  found that a concurrent editing tool helped the group keep
more focused on core issues, waste less time on less important topics, and capture what
was said as they went.
Issues in developing a concurrent shared editor are many and interesting. Designing
and implementing such a system to meet the requirements is a fair challenge. The fact
that few shared editors are readily available (despite their great utility) motivated me to
produce a good concurrent text editor.
MACE Version 1.0  was developed at the University of Florida a decade ago.
My study created an enhanced version, with support for platform independence and
Group activities and collaborative work have come to increasingly dominate the
modern workplace. There is a growing need for a concurrent editor to support such
collaborative activities. A great many documents are co-authored, and the use of
concurrent editors can eliminate many problems encountered during the process.
MACE Version 1.0 was developed at the University of Florida in 1991. My
implementation of MACE Version 2.0 is an enhancement of the concept of MACE V 1.0.
MACE V 2.0 also supports platform independence and reliable recovery from failures, as
enhanced features over Version 1.0.
My thesis presents the issues and work that were involved in producing Mother of
All Concurrent Editors Version 2.0 (MACE V 2.0). Henceforth, MACE V 2.0 is referred
to as MACE. In Chapter 2, the concept and issues of collaboration aware software are
briefly discussed. Then issues of concurrent editing are discussed in some detail. In
Chapter 3, a discussion on some of the existing shared editors is given in light of the
issues discussed in Chapter 2. Chapter 4 gives details of the requirements and design of
MACE. In Chapter 5 we look at implementation of the system. Chapter 6 has a critique of
the editor and future extensions to MACE.
COLLABORATION AWARE SOFTWARE
Software that supports multiple users in cooperative work is known as
collaboration aware software. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) is the
discipline that deals with the use of computers to support groups of people as they
cooperate to achieve their goals.
In Chapter 2 we introduce some of the issues in collaboration aware software in
general and how these issues affect the design of a collaborative application. Then we
introduce some of the terms in concurrent editing to help us analyze the issues in
concurrent editing. Issues in concurrent editing and methods of concurrency control are
discussed further. Different methods of "distribution and replication" are discussed.
Chapter 2 concludes with a discussion of pros and cons of centralized and distributed
architectures for the implementation of a concurrent editor.
2.2 Issues in Collaboration Aware Software
Collaboration takes place in real time and over a period of time. For example, a
video-conferencing system places a high-demand on real-time collaboration, while co-
authoring a document requires persistent control over the document. Therefore,
collaboration aware software should be able to control the shared material and the
Shared material mainly takes two forms: data and ideas. The distinction is made on
the basis of persistence. However ideas may be converted into stored data tangible by
computers. Requirements of collaboration aware software are the ability to communicate
ideas over a distributed environment. The ability to store ideas in the form of data, and
the ability to provide controlled shared access to data. One basic requirement of all
collaboration aware software is the ability to handle multiple users.
Some of the issues in collaboration aware software are the promptness with which
the user sites are kept consistent, the collaboration distance between users, the ways of
presentation and viewing, and the social roles of collaboration. We discuss each of these
issues in detail below.
One aim of collaboration aware software is to provide prompt real-time support for
communication. Promptness requires every user site to be consistent with the others in
the shortest time interval possible. Therefore, support for real-time updates is desired.
2.2.2 Collaboration Distance
Collaboration distance  is the distance by which two or more collaborators are
separated by hardware or software restrictions. In other words, it is the limitation on the
intimacy of collaboration permitted by the system. This distance is associated by the
issues of granularity with which control of sections of a file can be granted exclusively to
one user, by distancing others from using that section.
2.2.3 Presenting and Viewing
As the collaborators are physically removed from each other, there should be
mechanisms by which the ideas and data are presented at remote sites. The presentation
of data at remote site brings up issues in viewing paradigms. There are many paradigms
for viewing; the most important of them are What You See Is What I See (WYSIWIS) 
and What You See Is What I May See (WYSIWIMS) . WYSIWIS supports interaction
where everyone sees the same view of the shared material. A major shortcoming of this
method is the lack of privacy to the collaborator as strict WYSISIS outlaws the presence
of a private workspace. The other paradigm WYSIWIMS, allows the users to have their
own private workspaces, at the same time the viewer is given the option of seeing only
what he desires irrespective of changes at remote sites.
The coexistence of private and shared workspaces creates two environments for the
user. A seam is an obstacle in switching from one environment to the other. In this, the
WYSIWIMS paradigm allows for relatively seamless transition between shared and
private workspaces. Reducing the impact of these 'seams' is important as it reduces
confusion in users and improves the productivity of the collaboration.
2.2.5 Social Roles of Collaboration
Defining the roles and rights of the users in a collaboration is an important task in
collaboration [5, 6]. To provide support for social roles becomes an important issue in the
development of a collaborative application. There can be many different roles in a
collaborative environment to relegate the control of the document in preparation.
2.3 Concurrent Editing
Traditional text editors are not collaboration aware. They cater to a single user
editing one file at a time. These editors are not provisioned for the possibility of multiple
invocations attempting to edit the same file. In a networked file system, some
applications lock the entire file for editing in order to open them. This will not allow any
other user to open the file for editing until the application releases its lock. Microsoft
word locks the file before opening it and any other user can invoke the use of that file
only in read-only mode. Some other applications allow multiple invocations of a file but
are not collaboration aware. For example if a file is opened through two invocations
using notepad, only the changes made by one editor would affect the final version, the
choice of the editor being the most recent commit done by it. In most of the traditional
editors, sharing of a file can be achieved by passing it from user to another for edit. When
more than one user shares a file simultaneously, handling concurrency becomes an issue
to preserve the integrity of the file.
We introduce few terms that help us analyze the issues related to concurrent
2.3.1 Concurrency Index and Editable Granularity
Concurrency Index (CI)  is the maximum number of users who may use a file
concurrently. Editable Granularity (EG)  is the smallest discrete size of text by which a
file can be shared. For a file size F, the relation F
into chunks of size X and distribute among the users, then the editable granularity is X
and the concurrency index is less than or equal to F/X. Maximum concurrency is attained
when the size of the chunk is 0, which is when each user may use zero or more characters
concurrently. However, there are other issues which determine the concurrency index
(see section 4.2).
2.3.2 Update Frequency
The Update Frequency (UF) is defined as the frequency with which changes are
reflected at a remote site. The changes can be reflected at a remote site either in real-time,
periodic intervals of time or on events controlled by the users. If a user makes a change
and the changes are reflected at the remote site immediately with some network latency,
the update is propagated in real-time. If the changes are reflected at a remote site at
remote intervals of time, then the update frequency is periodic. If the updates are sent to
the remote site only when the user explicitly requests or sends the update or if there is a
commit on an event initiated by other users then the UF is user-controlled. It may seem
that a good concurrent editor should have real-time UF, but there are instances when this
should not be the case. In many instances, the writer may wish to keep his changes
private until he has composed a coherent edition of the text.
2.3.3 Update Granularity
Update Granularity (UG) is the amount of text updated at the remote site with each
local update. UG can take a range of values from one character to the whole file, and this
value can be pre-determined or user-controlled.
2.4 Design Issues
Having looked at the terms we now look at some of the design issues of concurrent
editing, concurrency and User Perspective.
A good concurrent editor minimizes the EG to achieve a maximum CI. Minimizing
EG also reduces the collaboration distance. For example, a fine-grained editor with EG of
one word separates collaborators only by a word.
2.4.1 User Perspective
A good concurrent editor should have the features that provide the user with the
ease of use, accessibility and ability to filter remote information. Information on other
collaborators such as their identification and their roles or modes of participation, e.g.,
"editing", "viewing", "inactive" modes should be readily available. Users should be able
to filter their usage to others. One wishing to see the work of another should be allowed
to do so with the consent of the former. The user should not be hindered by the fact that
the file is being shared unless necessary. The user should be made aware of the
collaboration but should not be taxed by its existence.
2.4.2 Distribution and Replication
Collaborative software is generally distributed over a network of computers. The
shared file could be in one site, partitioned, partially or fully replicated. Partitioning
provides a section of the file to each site. One approach of replication is known as
master-slave strategy where the master copy is changed and the updates are propagated to
the slave copies. Another approach is the distributed update control strategy where no
specific copy is treated as the master. Here, control is provided such that any changes to a
copy are reflected consistently in all other copies.
2.4.3 Concurrency Control
Concurrency control is the mechanism that ensures the consistency of a text file in
a distributed shared edit environment. There are different methods and issues involved in
2.5 Issues in Concurrency Control
Some of the basic requirements of any concurrency control mechanism are the
avoidance of collisions, maintaining file consistency and ensuring serializability. We look
at each of these issues in detail below.
Control of a concurrent text editor is based on avoidance or resolution of collisions
that happen when two or more users try to edit the same portion of the file. Collisions can
be resolved by ordering the text that result from concurrent editing, in a coherent manner.
The text can be ordered on the basis of time, but this may result in losing the syntactic
and semantic validity of the text. Collision avoidance is a more plausible solution in
handling concurrent text editing and is generally followed. To avoid collisions, we need
to exclude the concurrent updates on the same section of the file.
2.5.2 File Consistency
When a distributed editing system has the property of consistency, all sites of the
system have identical copies of the text. The system can be temporarily inconsistent
during the execution of a transaction. Once the transaction terminates, the system should
return to a consistent state . Distributed concurrency control algorithms must ensure
that the system is consistent in a concurrent multi-transaction environment.
Serializability is the most widely accepted correctness criterion for concurrency
control algorithms . If each transaction by itself keeps a distributed system consistent,
then the simplest way to achieve a consistent system over multiple transactions is to
execute them in a serial manner. This method severely minimizes the concurrency index
of the system and hence we need to find control mechanisms that serialize only the
transactions that collide.
2.6 Methods of Concurrency Control
There are three common methods used for concurrency control of shared files:
locking, timestamping and optimistic concurrency control . Locking ensures exclusive
access to parts of the file to maintain consistency, while timestamping and optimistic
concurrency control allow concurrent access to the same part of a file and consistency is
ensured at the time of commit to exclude collisions.
Locking ensures the serialization of transactions that collide. In locking based
concurrency control systems, a file update transaction is enveloped by a lock acquisition
and a lock release. No updates by other users are allowed on the same section until the
lock is released. This method serializes the colliding transactions in a mutually exclusive
manner. The transactions that do not collide may concurrently execute on the same file.
Locking restricts access to a section of the text file to a single user. This guarantees
Unlike locking based algorithms, timestamping algorithms do not maintain
serializability by mutual exclusion. They select a priori serialization order and execute
transactions accordingly . New transactions are checked for conflicts and the
transaction with the most recent timestamp is rejected. To maintain the order, each
transaction and the sections of the file are timestamped. For this to be possible, the text
file has to be identified by sections. This method imposes restrictions on the editable
granularity, as the complexity of timestamping operations increase as the size of
timestamped section decreases and number of sections increase.
Optimistic concurrency control is based on the assumption that the number of
collisions is low. Transactions proceed at remote sites with no regard to collisions. Once
the edit is performed, the changes are sent to the remote sites. The changes are committed
only if there are no collisions. A major disadvantage with this method is the chance of
losing changes. Hence, this method is not suitable for concurrent editing of text files.
Another method of concurrency control is to maintain a list of multiple versions.
Each update generates a new version leaving the earlier as a history version. This method
has binding problem . Each operation has to be bound to a version to ensure multi-
We have seen that unlike other methods of concurrency control locking ensures that
changes made to the file are committed by guaranteeing collision avoidance. The user
may lose changes with the timestamping, optimistic concurrency control and multi-
versioning mechanisms. The above reason combined with the relative simplicity and
accuracy, with which a locking mechanism can be implemented, made us chose the
locking based concurrency control for MACE.
Distributed systems can be broadly categorized on the basis of process distribution
or on the basis of data distribution. Architecture for distributed systems can be centralized
architecture or a replicated architecture. As the name implies centralized architectures
have a central process controlling access to resources and maintaining the consistency of
the file. In distributed architectures on the other hand, the process is distributed across a
number of sites. We look at each of these in detail below.
2.7.1 Centralized Architectures
Centralized architectures have a single instance of an application running on one
machine. This machine is like the server that manages the application and smaller clients
at each site to handle the I/O.
DISPLAY PROCESS DISPLAY PROCESS DISPLAY PROCESS
Figure 1. Centralized architecture
The input from all sites is sent to the server. The output is then broadcast by the
application to all the clients. Synchronization of the processes is not an issue with this
architecture. There are significant disadvantages of this kind of approach. Since all the
input and output is directed towards one machine it may become a bottleneck in the
network. These architectures may use up heavy bandwidth and may not be suitable for
Wide Area Networks (WANs), where the network bandwidth is usually unpredictable
and not always available.
2.7.2 Replicated Architectures
The fully replicated architecture runs an instance of the application at each client
site. The local input is processed at each site and the output is produced for the user. In
most cases the local changes are of no importance to the remote sites. Only the necessary
input is multicast to remote sites.
Figure 2. Fully replicated architecture
The problem of network saturation at one point is greatly reduced with this method.
A significant disadvantage of fully replicated architectures is their inability to run on
different hardware architectures. The main disadvantage of replicated architectures is the
process synchronization. This imposes a high amount of communication overhead on
each of the processes in the system.
2.7.3 Hybrid Architectures
Partially replicated architectures can help solve the synchronization problem. While
most of the application is replicated as clients at remote sites, a part is centralized as
server. By channeling the input through the centralized process, it is possible to solve
synchronization by reserving the input order. In the design of such a server, we have to be
careful not to inundate the central process with unnecessary time-consuming duties. It is
possible to customize the clients to be able to execute on different hardware or software
architectures. Another conceivable hybrid architecture is a local cluster of users sharing a
centralized server and the collection of clusters together use a replicated architecture .
2.7.4 Open Systems
An open system is a system whose processes are modularized and are loosely
bound. Hybrid architectures can be built as open systems. Each type of process should
consist of a set of layers, modules, or objects that could be replaced by others with little
or no resulting effect to the rest of the system. This concept makes it easy to customize
the system to user and hardware needs.
The goals of MACE design include reduction of the dependence on the network
speed. MACE uses hybrid architecture with distributed processes at each client site
synchronized by a central process.
Collaboration takes place in real-time as well as over a period of time.
Collaboration aware software should be able to control the shared material as well as the
environment. Promptness in responding to user requests and minimal collaboration
distance are desirable characteristics of collaboration aware software. Collaborative
software should provide effective ways for collaborators to present ideas to each other.
The impact of "seams" in switching between shared and private workspaces should be
reduced. Collaborative software should also devise ways to provide support to mimic the
social roles of the collaborators to the extent possible.
A good concurrent editor should ideally have a high concurrency index with a low
editable granularity. The update frequency and update granularity of a concurrent editing
system should be designed for optimal performance on the network. Concurrency control
ensures the consistency of a file being edited in a distributed environment. To ensure the
consistency, the concurrency control mechanism should have a way to avoid collisions
between the actions of different users and the transactions of individual should be
serializable. A locking based concurrency control mechanism ensures that changes made
by user are not rolled back as there cannot be any collisions between users.
Timestamping and optimistic concurrency mechanisms ensure consistency by rolling
back colliding transactions and this may cause users to lose their edits at the time of
Centralized architectures have a single instance of application running on one
machine. This instance processes the inputs from all sites and broadcasts the output.
While this may be advantageous for synchronizing all the processes, it uses heavy
network bandwidth in excessive communication. A fully replicated architecture reduces
the amount of network communication but imposes a high amount of communication
overhead on each of the individual processes to synchronize. Hybrid architecture can help
solve the synchronization problem at the same time distributing the process load across
Chapter 3 discusses a few of the existing shared text editors in light of the above
issues and evolves a set of desired features for the implementation of MACE.
OTHER SHARED EDITORS
In Chapter 3 we look at some of the existing collaborative editors and analyze each
of them. We look at the advantages and disadvantages of some of the popular group
A brief discussion of the features and architecture of these editors helps us to define
our requirements in Chapter 4. We look at some of the synchronous editors like GROVE,
ShrEdit, CES, SASSE, Shared Books, Flexible JAMM, MUSE and Calliope. We also
look at some of the asynchronous systems such as PREP, DistEdit and Quilt.
In the following sections each of the editors is individually discussed and desirable
features are identified.
3.2 GRoup Outline Viewing Editor (GROVE)
GROVE  is an outline editor that supports real-time concurrent editing.
GROVE supports fine-grained access control and allows private items within the context
of public information. GROVE was developed at the Microelectronics and Computer
Technology Corporation, Austin.
A GROVE outline is a recursive structure consisting of structured items. Each item
has its own text and can contain sub-items of its own. Each item can be private, public or
shared. A user makes an item shared by choosing users who form a sub-group that will be
given access rights. Each user displays a view of the outline in a viewport. A view is a
subset of the outline to which the user has access and a viewer is a window that displays
an outline view. This distinction allows users to share views without sharing the viewers
displaying them. Users having write access can do the editing of a shared or public item
concurrently. Each user has his non-replicated cursor and is able to edit freely. Updates
appear in real-time on views that contain the item. GROVE employs a replicated
architecture. Concurrency control within items is achieved through the dOPT algorithm
that ensures consistency through out the shared views. dOPT is a totally distributed
algorithm that requires no locking of items.
The main limitation of GROVE is that each item is constrained to a single line of
text. Sharing in GROVE is done at two levels. The outline is first shared item by item
through the concept of views. If a user needs privacy to make the changes, he needs to
make the item private before editing, which will result in denying read access to others
while the item is being edited. The sequence of actions: making an item private, editing
and releasing it to public view, is equivalent to locking and releasing. Grove allows
multiple users to change an item simultaneously and ensures that they see these changes
in the same logical order. It does not use centralization or aborts to ensure global order,
optimistically expecting few inconsistent concurrent operations. The viewing paradigm of
similar shared views is a relaxed version of WYSIWIS as each user has his own cursor
and scroll bar. Update frequency of shared views is real-time and this is a desirable
feature in specific circumstances. GROVE is an outline editor and not a concurrent
The replicated architecture of GROVE ensures a high-degree of fault tolerance. The
dOPT algorithm does not require connection-oriented communication. Therefore
GROVE can be implemented over a network supporting datagrams. The totally replicated
architecture relies on broadcasting each change to all the sites putting a high demand on
3.3 Collaborative Editing System (CES)
CES [12, 13] is another group outlining system that supports fine-grained locks,
delayed transmission of changes to other users and distributed versions of the document.
CES was developed at MIT Cambridge.
CES supports collaborative editing of a structured outline whose leaf level nodes
are variable length text segments. Each text node in the document is owned by a
particular user, who is considered the primary author of the node and resides on the
machine of the owner. Secondary copies of the node are cached on other authors' nodes
and are kept consistent with the primary copy. Changes made by a user are transmitted to
other users only when they are committed. To reduce user overhead, CES supports
implicit commit. This option for the user is a useful feature.
CES supports 'tickle locks' to ensure that two users do not write to the same node
simultaneously. A user locks a node when he first edits it and retains the lock as long as
some editing activity occurs. Some other user can take the lock away from the holder if
the latter is idle for a certain amount of time. At this point, all changes made by the
holder are automatically committed. While this is convenient and useful in case one
forgets to release the lock, there may be times when the writer is in the middle trying to
compose his edit. Taking the lock away from him limits the ability of the writer by not
letting him to compose his edit into a coherent form. Since the file is statically partitioned
in CES, the editable granularity of CES is equal to the size of a section. CES does not
support real-time updates, its update frequency is periodic.
Aspects is a commercial multi-user editing application, which provides multiple
modes of editing and a special user interface for explicitly requesting and releasing locks.
In Aspects, a special user called moderator creates a conference. Moderator has special
Aspects supports three modes of concurrency control and the moderator determines
the one used dynamically. In the 'free for all' mediation mode, locking is at the paragraph
level. A user editing a paragraph sees a black bar on the side of it and other users see a
grey bar. In the 'medium mediation' mode, access to the complete document is serialized
and users use a pen passing mechanism to pass control. A user can be writing, waiting for
a pen, or just observing. Pen icons are used to pass control. A user can click on his closed
pen icon to request the pen. The user's icon starts blinking and turns into a raised hand
and the writer's open icon also starts blinking. The writer can click on the 'pen in hand'
icon to pass control to the first person waiting. Clicking on a black arrow shows the pen
status of the different participants. In the 'full mediation' mode, access to the document is
again serialized, but this time the moderator determines who gets the pen next after it has
In Aspects, up to 16 people can be present in a conference simultaneously. When
the moderator closes the conference, everyone is sent a message informing about the
Quilt  is a tool for collaborative document production. Quilt is developed at the
Bell Labs by Fish and Leland.
Quilt provides annotation, messaging, computer conferencing and notification
facilities to support communication and information sharing among the collaborators on a
document. Views of a document tailored to individual collaborators or to other of the
document's users are provided by Quilt. These views are based on the user's position in
the permission hierarchy that represents an extensible set of social roles and
Documents in Quilt consist of a base and nodes linked to it using a hypertext
methodology. The nodes are of three types: the base document, which is publicly visible,
suggested revisions that may be swapped with paragraphs of the base and text and voice
comments. Quilt grants access to the document through a notion of social roles. Users
with proper rights may modify the document. Annotations may be attached to the
document for commenting the text. Quilt also keeps an activity log that is generated by
the system, which helps authors keep track of activities.
The text in Quilt is stored independent of any editor format. Therefore standard text
editors and other tools can be used in text manipulation. Quilt uses Orion as the
underlying system for object storage.
Quilt's annotation and messaging system makes it a powerful tool for collaborative
co-authoring over a period of time. Annotations help the authors know what the others
have done and to scrutinize and comment the document while proof reading another's
work. The interaction through Quilt is asynchronous. It does not support real-time
updates or communication. The update frequency is writer controlled. The editable
granularity is equal to a node or a paragraph of the base node.
The ability to use any editor is a favorable aspect of Quilt. The Quilt-Orion server
is the central point of coordination. Therefore, the system is prone to single point of
failure. The modular design of Quilt's architecture should facilitate its enhancement by
replacing existing modules with more powerful ones.
3.6 Multimedia Editing Environment IRIS
IRIS [15, 16, 17] is a collaborative multi-user multimedia-editing environment. A
document in IRIS is a collection of objects (text, graphics, video, bibliographic
references, etc.,) with relations between them. The relationships can be seen as a structure
on the objects. IRIS supports hierarchical structure trees.
The manner in which an IRIS document can be partitioned into content objects is
not regulated. The only restriction is that data of different media types have to be stored
in different objects. The 'storage layer' of IRIS provides document access and has
common interface for applications and is extensible for new content media types.
IRIS does not impose any access restrictions for concurrency control but follows
optimistic concurrency by following the social protocols instead. Any user can edit any
part of the document displayed.
Calliope  is a shared editor developed at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Calliope has six major features that facilitate collaboration: access control, public
annotations, private text, external annotations, and unstructured text space and awareness
Calliope uses multi-level locking to maintain access control. Calliope allows users
to privately edit their text before making the changes public. Calliope provides awareness
tools to support awareness of other users' actions. Color-coded text reveals which author
wrote which sections of a document while a tele-pointer shows the location of a user's
mouse. There is a shared scroll bar which allows a person to follow another user's view.
Calliope uses an unstructured text space away from the main document to allow the
users to experiment while writing. For this purpose, Calliope provides a shared
Calliope is written in Tcl/Tk, and its main text window is a Tk text widget.
3.8 Editor PREP
The PREP editor  aids in collaborative document preparation with
communication, planning and organized annotation. PREP was developed at the Carnegie
The system defines chunks that may contain text, ideas or trees that are linked as in
hypermedia systems. Chunks are shared among collaborators. PREP allows authors to
define 'drafts' that they may intend others to access. The visual interface uses visual cues
such as different font sizes and spatial relationships to show the interconnections among
chunks. In co-authoring, one author edits a draft and gives a copy to another for
reviewing it while the first author incorporates new changes. The PREP editor aids this
process by allowing revisions to exist as distinct versions of the draft. It is presently
implemented only on MAC.
PREP is not a fine-grained editor since the editable granularity is at the chunk level.
It does not support any form of real-time viewing of updates. PREP supports
asynchronous collaboration over time. The versioning process of the drafts is a desirable
feature of PREP.
3.9 Flexible JAMM
Flexible JAMM (Java Applets Made Multi-User)  is a replicated architecture
collaboration-transparency system that incorporates the approach of dynamically
replacing single-user objects with collaboration aware versions. It is developed at the
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University by Begole et al. Flexible JAMM's
replicated architecture is based on an earlier replicated collaboration-transparency
system, called JAMM developed by Begole et al. at JavaSoft in 1996.
Flexible JAMM uses an image-copy scheme provided by the Java Object
Serialization (JOS) to send the current state of a shared object to newcomers. JOS
provides the basic capability needed to migrate applets to new participants.
Flexible JAMM was used to dynamically convert Notepad; a java based single user
editor, to allow multiple users to collaborate on the document. The converted system
allowed users to edit different parts of the file simultaneously. Flexible JAMM uses an
operational transformation algorithm to enable concurrent editing without locking. In this
algorithm, potentially conflicting operations may be aborted. Changes to the document
are made through two atomic operations insert and remove. Each operation is called an
edit. When an edit is performed at one site, the edit is broadcast to shared sites (ex: insert
(4,'abc'). Each replica updates its copy of the document by transforming a remote to be
consistent with its own set of local operations.
This approach differs from the other in that remotely generated operations are not
transformed directly. Instead, the local replica maintains a queue of previously applied
operations (both local and remote) and their inverses. An operation is only kept in the
queue until it is clear that all the sites have received and applied that operation.
3.10 Multi-User Text Editor MUSE
MUSE  was developed at the University of Kentucky in Tcl/Tk. It is a multi-
user text editor that provides support for collaborating teams of users. A central server
accepts connections from clients, each of which is a text editor.
The server keeps track of which files are being used by more than one editor.
Regions of files are locked while they are being edited. The granularity is one line.
MUSE does not have any awareness distribution mechanism. MUSE depends on one
point of central communication and there is no reliability mechanism in case of a crash.
DistEdit  is a distributed toolkit for supporting multiple group editors for
collaboration in real-time. It is developed at the University of Michigan by Knister M and
Different front-ends can be incorporated into DistEdit to let users collaborate with
heterogeneous editors. Only one user known as master can edit the file text. All other
users called as observers can just read the text and updates. Once the master relinquishes
his status, any one observer can become the master and edit the text. The DistEdit system
is designed as a modular toolkit that can easily be applied to existing visual editors.
DistEdit provides a set of primitives for communication between different editors. The
text update calls are mapped to DistEdit primitives that are broadcast to other sites that
re-convert the primitives to their own update primitives. Each editor at distributed sites
keeps an updated copy of the text.
DistEdit's replicated architecture provides high degree of fault tolerance. It treats
crash at one site as an editor exit from session. Since every site keeps its own copy of the
file and an editor, the performance at the local sites is good. However, the total
replication puts a high demand on broadcasting. The main drawback of DistEdit is the
inability to edit a file concurrently. Its strict floor passing mechanism makes the editable
granularity equal to the whole file. The ability to collaborate using heterogeneous editors
is the most desirable aspect of DistEdit system.
3.12 Collaborative Editor SASSE
SASSE is a second prototype after SASE, which was an interactive synchronous
writing tool. This version also supports asynchronous editing an annotation mechanism
is provided that allows authors to exchange notes and comments. It uses a replicated
architecture with the shared document residing on each collaborator's workstation. It has
a centralized communication server on Unix box that communicates with the clients
using TCP/IP protocol. The clients are Macintosh workstations.
3.13 Shared Books
Shared Books  is a commercial collaborative management tool for an office
information system. It is developed as part of the Xerox Viewpoint document processing
A Shared Book helps the users of an office information system create a multi-part
publication and manage it throughout its life cycle. It supports collaboration both by
allowing different parts of the publication to be modified by different workers
simultaneously and by ensuring that workers use the current revision of each part. It
protects publication information by providing lock and access control. The Shared Book
communicates the current status of the publication to each worker through a WYSIWIS
Shared Books suffers from the limitation of fixed Editable Granularity. While this
may be useful in the publication environment of Xerox, where parts of a publication are
clearly defined, this may become a deficit in co-authoring of documents. However this
application amply demonstrates how a concurrent editor can be effectively used for
ShrEdit  is a synchronous multi-user text editor developed at the University of
Michigan. ShrEdit runs on a network of Apple Macintoshes and is developed as a tool to
explore the support of design meetings.
ShrEdit allows multiple users to edit a set of documents collaboratively. Each user
can have a number of shared and private windows open at any time. Shared window
presents a view on the shared documents, each user having an edit cursor within the
shared window allowing them to edit the document concurrently. Private windows
contain documents which only one user can see and edit. ShrEdit uses locking
mechanism to avoid collisions between the edits of different users. Other users edit
actions are displayed in all shared windows with a low latency.
A control window associated with each edit window displays the names of all the
participants in the session. Through this a user can track other users and see what they are
editing. ShrEdit does not have a strong model of the collaborative editing process behind
its design. All users have equal access to the shared document.
Awareness support in ShrEdit is rudimentary. Users have very little information
about other users' actions in the shared workspace. ShrEdit is designed to be run on
Macintoshes and cannot run on other platforms. That becomes a major drawback
considering that other platforms are more popularly used.
NetEdit  is developed at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
by Zafer et al. NetEdit is a collaborative editor that allows communication between
collaborators with a chat facility. The editor provides awareness about who else is
participating in the same session.
All the files that the user can edit through NetEdit are shared at the server. These
files are organized hierarchically in directories and subdirectories. When a person logs
into the system, he is provided with this hierarchical view of the files. A session consists
of one or more users editing a particular file. He can either join an existing session or
create a new session.
A replicated architecture is used with a copy of the document residing at all sites.
NetEdit does not use locking for concurrency control. It also uses a distributed
operational transformation algorithm similar to the JAMM system.
NetEdit like most of the other systems we have seen suffers from the drawback of
single point of failure at the server. There is no reliability mechanism in case of a crash at
mpEdit  is a collaborative editor developed at NCSA (National Center for
Supercomputing Applications) using the Habanero collaborative framework. mpEdit uses
a centralized approach with tightly coupled collaboration.
There is a coarse-grained lock for the entire document and one has to acquire the
lock to edit the file. Hence it allows only one participant to edit at one time. There is no
provision for passing awareness information to other users.
3.17 Mother of All Concurrent Editors Version 1.0
MACE [1, 25] Version 1.0 is a fine-grained concurrent text editor. It was
developed at the University of Florida in 1991. MACE V 1.0 is a synchronous shared
editor developed in C using Unix 4.3 BSD sockets for communication.
MACE V 1.0 was developed as a stand-alone program as well as an application for
DCS Version 1.0. MACE V 1.0 uses locking for concurrency control. The level of
sharing is controlled by mutual consent, so that users may collaborate to the degree
desired, including the option to view updates in real-time. The EG of MACE V 1.0 is
effectively zero bytes and this is a desirable feature incorporated into MACE V 2.0.
MACE V 1.0 has many useful features like character level locking, real-time and
user controlled update frequency. MACE V 1.0 runs only on the X Window System and
is not platform independent. Also there is no reliable recovery mechanism in this system.
If the 'Editor Manager' crashes for any reason, the whole session is terminated. This
hinders the performance of persistent editing of files. MACE V 1.0 was a prototypical
There are two other editors InterText InterMedia (Brown University) and ITeach
(University of Virginia), which were developed. InterText was developed to run only
Apple Mac environment. ITeach has the drawback of only user allowed to edit the file at
one point of time.
Each of the editors discussed in Chapter 3 have their own positive and negative
points. However, none of the systems fully qualify as a fine-grained, platform
independent concurrent text editor for close collaboration.
GROVE with its fully replicated architecture provides a degree of fault-tolerance
and reliability desirable for a collaborative system. This fully replicated architecture,
however, puts a strain on the network bandwidth as it increases the communication
overhead. GROVE does not fully qualify as a text editor as it is an outline viewing editor
only. The 'tickle locks' feature provided by CES is useful when the users forget to release
their locks. However the editable granularity of CES is predefined and is equivalent to
one section of text. CES does not support real-time updates. Aspects uses a moderated
concurrent text editor, where a moderator who has special access rights creates and
controls the conference.
Quilt provides annotation, messaging and notification facilities. Quilt uses a
hypertext methodology to link the base and nodes in a Quilt document. Quilt grants
access to the document through the notion of social roles. Quilt too like CES does not
support real-time updates and the EG is equal to one paragraph or a node. IRIS is a
collaborative multi-user multimedia editing environment. IRIS does not impose any
access restrictions for concurrency control and follows optimistic concurrency by
following the social protocols instead. PREP Editor aids in collaborative document
preparation with communication, planning and organized annotation. It is not a fine-
grained editor as the EG is at the chunk level. The versioning process of the drafts is a
desirable feature of PREP. It is presently implemented only on MAC.
DistEdit is a distributed toolkit for supporting multiple group editors for
collaboration in real-time. The ability to support heterogeneous editors is the most
desirable aspect of DistEdit. The main drawback of DistEdit is the inability to allow users
to edit a file concurrently. Calliope provides novel features such as public and external
annotation, color coded text to reveal which author wrote which sections of a text.
Another interesting feature is a tele pointer which shows a small dot at the location where
another user's mouse points to. Flexible JAMM is the only platform independent
concurrent editor we have seen so far. Flexible JAMM does not use any access control
mechanism for concurrency control. It uses operations transformation algorithm for
ensuring consistency. Though the consistency is ensured with edits, users may lose some
of the changes they make to the text.
Shared Books is one of the commercial collaborative editors we looked at. It has a
fixed editable granularity. The structure of the editable document in Shared Books is
decided before a session for concurrent editing can ensue. ShrEdit is a synchronous
multi-user editor but it is developed only to be used on Macintoshes.
NetEdit uses a chat facility to allow communication between collaborators. NetEdit
uses a fully replicated architecture to store documents. NetEdit suffers from the
inadequacy of fault tolerant computing. MACE version 1 has the desirable features of
fine-grained concurrent editing, locking based concurrency control and an option for
choosing real-time updates. However this editor can only be run on Unix X-Windows
system and has no reliable recovery mechanism. There is a central editor manager which
controls a session and a crash for any reason would leave the system in an inconsistent
We have looked at most of the existing editors in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4 we
discuss the requirements and design of MACE.
REQUIREMENTS AND DESIGN
In Chapter 4 we look at the requirements and design of MACE. MACE is the
designed as the shared text editor of DCS and should also be capable of functioning as an
independent collaborative text editor. MACE is designed with a minimum editable
granularity with a friendly user-interface. The details of collaboration should not alter the
way a user edits a file unless absolutely necessary.
MACE ensures that the amount of network communication is kept to the minimal
for efficient functioning of the system. One primary requirement of MACE is that it
should be platform independent. MACE is designed as a modular concurrent editor with
the ability to add in features with relative ease. MACE provides awareness information
with respect to the actions of the other users editing the same file.
MACE supports different modes of editing a file. The user can use MACE in read
mode, edit mode or in a snapshot mode viewing a snapshot of another user's screen. The
EG of MACE has to be minimal and the UG should be kept to the minimum necessary to
reduce network communication. MACE has a design feature to retrieve only the
necessary updates from remote sites without clogging the network with unnecessary
updates. The update frequency of a user's updates can either be controlled by a user or
can be periodic.
After looking at the requirements and design we have a brief discussion on how
MACE enhances the Distributed Conferencing System (DCS) in close collaboration.
MACE is primarily designed to be the shared text editor of DCS. However it is also
required that MACE is capable of functioning as a shared text editor independent of
MACE is designed as a tool for close and synchronous collaboration requiring
minimum editable granularity. The interface of MACE is required to be user-friendly
with the users being aware of the shared editing and at the same time not unduly bothered
by the details of collaboration. MACE uses a locking system to prevent collision between
the edited areas of different users accessing the file.
One of the primary requirements of a group editor is that it has to be usable by a
single user. Authors working with a group editor want to have at least the facilities and
the accessibility they have working with their single user editor. One of the factors
satisfying this requirement is low response time of the editor. Most of the processing in
MACE is performed at the user's workstation. The amount of network communication
required for collaboration is kept to the minimum required. The design used to achieve
collaboration with minimum communication between remote sites is discussed in detail
in design features.
MACE is designed to be fault-tolerant with the capability to handle unexpected
events like system crashes. MACE utilizes the history versioning capability of DCS for
maintaining versions of the file. This helps authors keep track of the changes to the
document overtime. One other requirement of MACE is the provision for implicit
sessions. Users need not explicitly start a session to edit a file, the session should be
dynamic with users entering and leaving the session at their choice.
MACE makes use of the Secure Communication Services (SCS)  of DCS for
secure encrypted communication between different users editing a file. This enables
MACE to be used for applications with high security requirements.
Group work involves people working on different hardware and software
platforms, collaborative applications should be designed to operate on different
platforms. MACE is designed to be platform-independent as is the DCS system.
MACE is designed in modules with clearly defined layers of interfaces between
modules, making it easier to extend its capabilities beyond the present requirements to
suit the changing needs of the users. The MACE user interface is clearly separated from
the underlying collaboration processes. This user interface can be easily modified and
customized to the needs of a group of users without affecting the structure of the system.
The files editable by MACE are required to be saved in plain ASCII text format, making
them accessible by the user's favorite editor when the file is not shared.
The users should be able to get information on which user is accessing which
sections of the document. Users should be able to access the updates of other users, while
allowing for private edits by authors as an option. There should be different modes of
editing/viewing a file in MACE to cater to the specific needs of the users using the
system. These modes are discussed in detail in the design features section of Chapter 4.
We have briefly seen the requirements of the shared concurrent editor developed.
Now we discuss the design features of MACE in detail, which meet our requirements
The MACE window appears as another resizable window on the user's screen,
which can be minimized or maximized. The user is free to move between his private
areas and his MACE window. The usernames of the people currently editing the file is
accessible by the user. The user to edit the same or different files can invoke multiple
MACE windows. The editor commands can be accessed by mouse click operations on
command buttons and menu items.
MACE has four modes of editing a file. The user can operate on a file in one of
following four modes. The four modes are shared read mode, snapshot mode, shared edit
mode and private edit mode. In addition to these a user can edit a file in the extra copy
editing mode which is discussed shortly.
In the shared 'Read' mode, the user can view the contents of the file without being
able to edit the file. In this mode the user's screen is refreshed with the committed updates
by other users periodically. All the users start in this mode initially. In the shared edit
mode, the user will first acquire a lock over a part of the file specified by the start and end
Once the user acquires a lock, he will be able to edit that part of the file. The user
has the option of making the edits private or shared. When the user makes his edit
private, updates will not be sent to the remote sites. In shared mode the updates are
automatically sent to the remote sites periodically. The user can lock only one section.
However, if the user desires to edit more than one section, multiple MACE windows can
be invoked on the same file.
In the snapshot mode, the user can request to see the snapshot of the screen of
another user. For this to be possible, the latter has to accept the request for snapshots. The
snapshot will be shown in a pop up window and the user cannot edit in this window.
Extra copy editing mode is used when the user wants to edit a section of the text
already locked by another user. The user invokes extra copy of the file and starts editing
the section of the file he wants to. The DCS voting mechanism Decision Support System
(DSS)  will be used to decide on which edit to finalize. Essentially two copies of the
file are created and the voting mechanism will help in resolving the copy to be used
further. If a user wants to synchronize with an extra copy being edited, the user can
invoke multiple MACE windows to keep track of all the different copies.
The EG of MACE is equivalent to zero bytes. The user can request a lock between
any two bytes of text in the file. If the user specifies the same byte as start and end
location, the lock area will be zero bytes initially. The size of a locked area can be
anything between zero bytes and the length of the file. In this case the CI can be infinity.
However there are other limitations on the number of users who can concurrently edit a
file. The prominent among the reasons is the network speed. We know that any network
is only as fast as its slowest link. It applies to MACE also. If there is a user editing a file
with a relatively slow network connection, the communication among all the edit
windows slows down considerably. To provide a considerable speed in updates, the
number of users editing that file should be minimal. Also some individual workstations
can have a limited number of open network connections. The number of users will also
be limited by this number. Theoretically any number of users will be able to edit a file
The UG of MACE is equivalent to one section of the text and that particular section
can be of any size, depending on the user's locked area. Updates are always sent as a
section of text. The locked section UG is the minimum granularity possible as the user
can change the text anywhere in the locked section.
The UF of MACE can be controlled by the user. MACE has a default periodic
frequency. The user can disable the default and make the updates user controlled. MACE
can potentially have a real-time frequency by making the frequency minimum. This will
make difference between periodic update frequency and real-time update frequency
The updates in MACE are completely controlled by the user's site. The updates of
remote sites are not automatically sent to the user's local MACE window. The updates
are requested by the user's site periodically. The contents of update will depend on the
portion of the screen the user is viewing at that time. The user site keeps track of which
parts of the file are being viewed by the user. As each section of a MACE file is no more
than a finite small size (further discussed in Chapter 5), the active section combined with
two or three contiguous sections will not be more than a finite amount in size. Hence the
set of active sections on a user's screen is limited. These active sections are continuously
changed as the user scrolls through the text.
When the user requests updates from a remote site, only the updates to active
sections are sought. This feature reduces the amount of data being transmitted between
remote sites. Consider the case of a number of users editing a very large file. If the whole
file is transmitted for every update, then there is high probability of increased network
latency. MACE ensures that transfer of complete text of huge files across network is
eliminated to a large extent.
MACE provides user awareness information in two forms. A user can request to
see a pointer to the location where another user is editing. This is called a tele-pointer. A
user can also point his mouse over a locked area to see who is editing that section. This
will help collaborators to communicate more effectively.
MACE, AN sharing, Wh iteboard
NTF ACS DSS CCS DFS
------_--------- -- 9
TCP UDP DBMS
Figure 3. Architecture of DCS
4.4 Distributed Conferencing System
MACE is the concurrent text editor of DCS. It makes use of many features of DCS.
First the users in the MACE session are the users in the DCS conference. DCS provides
the access control facilities . The DCS file system is used for the pool of MACE
editable files. The SCS  module ofDCS is used for secure communication among its
local and remote sites. MACE makes use of the DCS  voting mechanism. The DCS
discussion window can be used for asynchronous communication between the users
sharing a file. MACE provides a good application for session and artifact based
collaboration for joint authoring of text documents.
The architecture of a collaboration aware application can take two forms. An
existing single-user application can be modified and enhanced to make it collaboration
aware. A number of systems used this process for the design of concurrent editors. This
method suffers from severe limitations, as the developer is constrained with the existing
system in many ways. Most editors are specific to one platform or the other. This is an
issue in developing a platform independent editor. We have opted to design the MACE as
an open system as it is easier and also can provide better base for later improvements and
The MACE uses process distribution among user's workstations minimizing the
workload on any one site. This architecture helps in minimizing network overhead.
MACE is designed as a platform independent concurrent editor with a minimum
editable granularity. MACE is the collaborative editing application for DCS and also
functions as an independent concurrent text editor.
The MACE editor should have minimum response time possible. MACE is
designed to ensure minimum communication over the network and is designed as a
modular concurrent editor to provide for further enhancements when needed.
Users need not explicitly start a session for concurrent editing, all the users editing
a file will be put in the same session by the application. MACE is designed to handle
unexpected system crashes and recover to the last committed state smoothly without user
intervention. The application provides awareness information of other users' actions in
the session through the use of tele-pointers and tooltip text on parts of the file.
MACE supports a number of editing modes for the user to chose. A user always
starts a session in a shared read mode. A user can chose to enter the edit mode by
acquiring a pair of locks. A user can also choose to view a snapshot of another user's
screen with the consent of the latter. The UG of MACE is equivalent to one section of the
text which is the part of the file editable by the user. MACE retrieves only the remote
updates which have a higher probability of being viewed by the user. The updates made
to the file which are not on user's screen are not retrieved, thus reducing the amount of
data transferred from remote site. MACE provides awareness information by displaying
users in the session along with tele-pointers of other users on request.
We have discussed the requirements and design for MACE in Chapter 4. In
Chapter 5 we look at the implementation details of MACE to achieve the described
We have seen the requirements of MACE and its design features in the Chapter 4.
In Chapter 5, the implementation details to meet the design features are discussed.
MACE uses Java and RMI for implementing the system. Swing is used to design
the user interface of the editor. MACE is designed in four modules. The file manager acts
as the interface between the MACE editor and the file system. The edit manager acts as
the central coordinator for all the edit windows editing a particular file. There can only be
one edit manager per file with a number of edit windows for simultaneous editing. The
user interface module is the interface used for display and editing of a file.
MACE uses locking based concurrency control for concurrently editing a file. A
user has to acquire a pair of locks before he can start to make changes to the file. The edit
manager controls access to the parts of the file by granting locks to each user after
checking for conflicts.
The files in MACE are located in a distributed manner. Users can have files located
on their site or at remote sites. MACE has an inbuilt reliability and recovery mechanism
in case the edit manager crashes. The MACE uses a hierarchical order to decide the site
to start edit manager in the case of the original site crash. However, a crash at an edit
window site is treated as the user leaving the session.
MACE is connected to the DCS history versioning system to keep track of the
versions. This provides reliability to the MACE file system.
In the coming sections we look at the implementation features in detail.
5.2 Platform and Programming Language
The platform for the implementation has been chosen on the criteria of availability,
portability and ease of implementation. The DCS system is implemented in Java 
using RMI and Swing. MACE is also implemented in Java with the interface designed in
Java Swing. MACE uses RMI for communication between different sites. MACE uses
the SCS  module of DCS for secure communication between its remote sites.
The MACE implementation consists mainly of four packages: the File Manager
(FM), the Edit Manager (EM), Edit Window (EW) and the User Interface (UI). The FM
is the start up module to run when the MACE application is used. The EM and EW are
related to a particular session of a particular file. The UI is the MACE user interface
implemented in Swing. The design of MACE is based on MACE V 1.0 . MACE V 2.0
is an enhancement of MACE V 1.0. The four modules are discussed in detail below.
5.3.1 File Manager
The FM in MACE is the file services daemon. FM is the interface for DCS file
system and is responsible for acquiring the file lists, both local and remote, available for
editing in MACE.
When a user selects a file to edit, FM searches its tables to verify if an EM for that
file is active. If an EM is already active then a new EW is created at user's site.
Otherwise both an EM and an EW are created at the user's site. This EM now becomes
the central point of communication for all EWs created for editing the particular file.
When the file is to be saved the EM communicates the contents of the file to FM.
FM is designed to interact with file system and save the file system. The FM is also
designed to retrieve different versions of a file from DCS history versioning system. This
may be done when a user requests to view a previous version of the file.
EW EW EW EW
EW EW EW EW
UI UI UI UI
UI UI UI UI
Figure 4. MACE architecture
The FM runs as a background daemon. The FM is displayed to the user with
another interface, an object of which is instantiated at the start of MACE application. The
interface helps the user in selecting a file for edit. The figure below shows the interface
for MACE File Manager.
5.3.2 Edit Manager
Each file that is edited is associated with an EM. EM acts as the central agent of
communication for all the EWs on a file. The EM ensures process synchronization and
consistency through serialization. It handles two forms of serialization: spatial and
temporal. Spatial serialization is performed with the use of locking mechanism. No two
users are allowed to edit the same portion of the file, thus ensuring spatial separation
between users' transactions. Temporal serialization is performed by maintaining FCFS
order of processing requests. The integrity of the file is maintained with the use of these
forms of serialization.
* !J i llg
M4 CE: A fine-grained Concurrent Tet Editor
- Sveth Lcaionan nmeofyou M 4-I1C
Figure 5. MACE file manager.
As MACE is a distributed program, EM is not designed to permanently reside at
any one pre-determined site. EM will run on the site from where the first user invoked the
use of a file. The site hosting EM on a file can change for each session. When the user
site holding EM leaves the session, a new user site still using the file, will start running
The EM controls the session. As the EM is the central point of communication, it is
designed to carry minimum load. EM is designed to carry what are called "administrative
Sm In 1|i i-l vi
i13 V.I 1 %li
I RulM.l P1'fl
FIli e11 .1- +: |
tlip q*. IVIIw: I. l-lipq
s~z c 1IIEII I
responsibilities", like granting locks, granting entry to new users and maintaining the
most recent copy of the file. EM is also responsible for sending notifications to all EW
sites when an event occurs. The EM is not involved in actual text edit in anyway. The
user performs the actual updates on a file at the EW.
5.3.3 Edit Window
The EW runs at the user's site. Each user editing a file will have one EW running
on his machine. The user can invoke more than one EW if one is editing different parts of
As the EW runs on the local machine, it is designed to accept the maximum
processing load of editing and maintaining updates on the file. It is responsible for
communication between the user's interface and EM of the file. It is responsible for
sending and receiving updates on the file with the EM and processing lock requests. EW
daemon receives event notifications from EM and takes appropriate action. The
notifications include events; lock granted, lock release, new user and user exit.
The UI and EW are tightly coupled. If the user has chosen private edit, the EW
sends the update on the section being edited by the user to EM when the user chooses to
commit. If the user is in auto-commit mode, the EW periodically sends the latest updates
on the section to the EM. The EW keeps track of the text updates of the user, the active
sections on user screen and the edit mode of the user. EW periodically retrieves the most
recent version of text of sections active on user's screen from the EM. To reduce the
amount of data retrieved, EW retrieves only the sections that are being edited by some
Different sites have different network bandwidths. It is inappropriate to impose the
same communication overhead on all sites irrespective of their network speeds. MACE
provides a facility for user to specify the periods of time one wants to send an update and
receive updates. EW retrieves these settings from user preferences and sets the update
frequency accordingly. This will help in reduction of excessive communication for users
with slow network speeds. In other instances users with very good broadband
connections can set the update frequency to a negligible amount of time. This will allow
them to have a virtual real-time connection to the other users.
package EM AIo C,
in'rt FM* ;
public class editManager extends UnicastRemoteObject
int version ;
fmlnterface thisManager ;
Timer fileSaveTimer = new Timer ;
public editManager 0 throws RemoteException
/" This method is the constructor of Edit Manager
*@param String String fileManager int
public eminterface constructor(String FileName, String fileContents, fmlnterface FileManager, int serial
Figure 6. MACE edit window
5.3.4 User Interface
The UI module is the face of MACE. The UI communicates only with the EW in
the user's site. The UI is designed to be user-friendly. The user can find which sections of
the text are locked and by whom. The text of the file is displayed in three different colors
to the user. Each color represents different access rights on that section of that text. One
color represents sections of text locked by other users. A second color represents sections
of text locked by this particular user, which is editable. The third color represents sections
of text, which are not locked by any one.
To request a lock the user specifies the start location by clicking his mouse over
that location. Then he clicks the start of edit area button. The same is done to specify the
end location. Once the lock is granted the locked area is displayed in a different color and
user can start editing in that section.
Periodically the EW refreshes the user's screen with the latest updates received.
When the user scrolls his mouse on the section of text locked by others, the information
of the user locking that section is displayed as a tool tip. This enables the user to
interactively find the user editing a particular section.
The UI is designed to keep track of the active sections on the user's screen. As the
user scrolls through the file, the sections are updated to active or inactive, as may be the
case. Whenever there is a change in the text of a section, the new text is displayed to the
user's screen without causing any hindrance to the work the user is doing.
A user can, upon request see the pointer to the location where the other user is
editing. This is done in two steps. First the user initiates a request for the tele-pointer
from another user; the latter user's screen displays the request. On approval a real-time
connection is established between the two users. The first user can then see the changes
to the mouse and key cursor movements of the second user when he wishes. If there has
to be two way displays of tele-pointers, the second user follows the same process as first
user and gets his approval for tele-pointers. All this communication is performed directly
between the users' sites without the involvement of EM. This reduces any
communication that may have additionally gone through the EM.
5.4 Concurrency Control
MACE uses locking as the means for collision control. The user has to acquire a
lock before he can start editing a file. The serialization is maintained in two forms:
temporal and spatial as discussed previously.
Initially the user is in the read mode. The user has to select start and end locations
of the area he wants to edit before he can request a lock. The EW verifies if any one else
locked the area. If not, the request is sent to the EM. If the lock request is granted, the
EM increments its version number and then notifies all the EWs of the new lock. All the
EWs will lock their sections and increment their version numbers.
After acquiring the lock, the user can edit the section he locked until he releases the
lock by himself. The updates are sent to EM periodically unless the user selects private
edit option. In that case, the updates are sent whenever the user commits the changes.
Once the user releases his lock, the section is opened for lock requests from other users.
To avoid race condition in lock requests and in all communications, the EM
maintains a version number. All the EWs maintain a version number of their own. If the
version numbers do not match in any communication, the specific request is denied. The
EW has to synchronize itself again with EM. For every lock request the version number
The version numbers are changed in case of five events; on user entry, on user
leaving, on new locks, lock releases and on initiating new EM. The occurrence of any of
these events is broadcast without delay to all user sites. A user cannot make any
successful communication during a broadcast as the version numbers between user site
and EM do not match. The user will resend the communication after he receives the
5.5 Replication and Recovery
The EM maintains a list of users accessing the file. Whenever a new user enters the
session, the details are added to the list. This list is fully replicated at all sites. This list is
useful in case of a failure.
Whenever user commits his changes to the file, the updates are sent to the EM. This
makes sure that the EM always has the latest committed copy of the file. All the updates
to the EM are sent to at least two other EWs, thus ensuring that three sites have the latest
committed copy at any time.
If an EW crashes at any time, the EM tracks the failure. If the EW does not respond
with an acknowledgement for a notification more than once, then it is construed as an
EW failure. Then the locks held by the user are released and the user is removed from the
list. Handling failure of an EW is thus straightforward, but if an EM fails then we need to
have an elaborate mechanism to handle the situation.
All the EWs have the user list. This list is consistent across all sites as any changes
to the list are propagated immediately. In the event of EM not responding to any
communication from an EW, the EW after verifying that EM is inaccessible will initiate a
process of instantiating a new EM. The first EW alive in the users list will be requested to
declare itself as the new EM. This EW in turn invokes a new EM and notifies all other
users in the user list of the change of EM. Each EW then sends an acknowledgement
back accepting the new EM. Now the new EM will manage the session as the central
agent. Before initiating process for new EM, the EW checks with all other EWs in touch
to see if any EW has an active connection with EM. This ensures that unless the EM lost
communication of all users, there will not be a new EM at another site.
The above recovery mechanism is ineffective if the EM is still alive and a subset of
EWs loses connection to EM but not between themselves. Now, after this process, there
will effectively be two independent EMs at the same time without communication
between each other. This can happen if a subnet has its network connection cut from the
rest of the world in the middle of a session. The EWs in the subnet have a different EM
than the rest of the world. In this event the EM having access to the site where the file
resides will write the original copy of the file. In most common cases the above
mechanism will be sufficient for maintaining a smooth and reliable recovery mechanism.
This will ensure that users will not lose their saved changes in case of an
unexpected EM crash.
MACE is implemented in Java, RMI and Swing. The choice of the programming
language is made in view of its platform independence and to make the collaboration
easier with DCS, which is implemented using Java.
MACE design is split into four modules. The FM is the file manager interface
dealing with the file system of the native operating system or the DCS File System. A
user starts his MACE system with the FM. The EM is the central coordinator for all the
edits on a MACE file. Every file in MACE has one and only one EM running at any time.
EW is the module which runs at each site editing a MACE file. Each user has his own
edit window and all the edit windows coordinate with the EM. If a user has more than
one file open for edit, then he will have that many number of edit windows running on his
site. The user interface module controls the display area of the user site. This module
communicates only with the EW of the particular file on the site.
The files in MACE are distributed across sites. MACE has an inbuilt recovery
mechanism in case of a crash at an EM site which is central to the session of editing a
MACE uses locking mechanism for collision avoidance among different edits on a
file. The EM controls access to the sections of a file by all the edit windows. This will
ensure the consistency of the file and serializability of the transactions.
Chapter 6 concludes this thesis with a discussion on future work and by
highlighting the unresolved issues in this version of MACE.
In the conclusion of this thesis we shall review what we have discussed and analyze
MACE to look at some of the improvements possible for MACE.
MACE is a fine-grained lock based concurrent text editor. As group activities have
come to dominate the modern workplace, the need for collaborative editing tools is more
than ever. MACE version 1 was developed at the University of Florida in 1991. This
version of MACE is an enhancement over MACE Version 1.0 with the system
Any collaborative editing system is desired to have a low granularity and high
concurrency index. A concurrency control mechanism should have mechanisms to ensure
file consistency, transaction serializability and avoid collisions. MACE uses a locking
based approach to implement its concurrency control mechanism.
We have reviewed a number of synchronous and asynchronous collaborative
editors in comparison with MACE. This has helped us define the desirable characteristics
of the system being developed. MACE is designed as an open system to provide for later
enhancements to the application.
MACE implementation is completed in four modules. Each of the modules has
clearly defined interfaces with the other modules. This makes it easier to modify or
enhance the available code.
The development of MACE required that the system can be run on any platform
and the development is modular. MACE used Java and RMI for the implementation of
the system. MACE has a fault tolerance mechanism to ensure that edits are not lost due to
unexpected crashes and the session is not interrupted.
We have looked at the features of MACE in brief. Now we look at some of the
deficiencies of MACE in terms of conceptual and design issues.
6.2 Conceptual Issues
Conceptual issues are issues in concurrent editing that have not been satisfactorily
resolved in the development of MACE.
6.2.1 Commenting and Annotation
A common requirement of concurrent text editors would be the feature supporting
commenting and annotation. When a number of authors are making modifications to a
document, a facility to keep track of changes and the reasons for those changes would be
very helpful. Commenting would be helpful in authors recording the reasons for making
specific changes to the document. Annotation would be useful for authors to provide
hyper linked information.
Commenting would require a separate storage structure for the document. The
separate storage structure is required to distinguish between the comments and original
text. This would require that documents be stored in a specialized format readable by
MACE application. This would contradict with the other requirement that the documents
be readable by heterogeneous editors.
6.2.2 Access Rights
Presently the only access rights provided by MACE are read, update and no access.
A user can update and modify any part of the file if he has an update right. Similarly, a
user can read any part of the file if he has a read access right.
But real life co-authoring situations require more fine-grained access control.
Authors may want to make their changes to the file permanent, so that other users will
not be able to modify that part of the file further. Some users may want parts of the file to
be confidential. While still other users may want to specify which users can read the
changes they made and which users cannot. These access rights if implemented would
throw up more issues to deal with. The primary issue being the decision process of who
gets those access rights. There should be a fair process of relegating access rights. If there
are users who undo the changes made by the other users, then shared editing will be
conflict ridden. No user can ensure that their changes will remain permanent. Although
this issue is not resolved to satisfaction, the history versioning system of MACE is
6.2.3 Usage Analysis
A proper analysis of MACE calls for the gathering and analysis of statistics on the
usage of the system. These statistics may help us in tailoring the system to suit the exact
needs of the users. A proper analysis is required to make MACE even more useful for the
6.3 Design Issues
Design Issues are the issues in implementation that have not been resolved
satisfactorily in this version of MACE.
6.3.1 Decision Support
In the present version, the decision support for MACE is provided by the DCS.
When MACE is used as a stand-alone editor it does not have a decision support system.
That feature would be helpful for stand-alone editors as well.
6.3.2 Extra Copy Editing
Extra copy editing in the present version of MACE is essentially a creation of two
different copies of the file with the same name. The section in conflict should have two
different copies. But, the sections of the file not in conflict should be common to both the
files. MACE does not support this feature.
6.3.3 Replication Strategy
The file in MACE is fully replicated in at most three sites. These three sites are
right now chosen on the basis of the order of their entry into session. While the
implementation of this method is easier and relatively efficient, there are some flaws with
this implementation. If all the first three sites editing a file are located in one LAN, then a
failure of the LAN network connection will render the whole session a failure. Similarly,
if one of the first three sites has a very low network bandwidth, then the whole
communication of the session is slowed down.
There can be a better strategy of selecting the sites for replication of the file. This is
yet to be implemented.
6.4 Future of MACE
This implementation of MACE has been mainly designed with the ideas of the
DCS team and some research done by other institutions before. There are very few
research institutions that tried to gather data regarding usage and target groups of shared
editors. We plan to put MACE into use and collect data regarding the patterns of its
usage. The next step would be to provide enhancements for MACE that are tailored to the
needs of the user with prior knowledge of the patterns of usage.
There are a variety of applications for a shared editing tool. Each application
requires customized features. Like joint software development would involve syntax
checking tools in the editors and co-authoring documents would require support for
annotation. A future work on MACE may involve customization of the application for
different user communities.
This thesis presented the design and implementation of MACE, the Mother of All
Concurrent Editors version 2. This implementation is a step towards the realization of the
goal of achieving a fine-grained, platform independent and user-friendly concurrent
LIST OF REFERENCES
1. Pelimuhandiram H., and Newman-Wolfe R. E., MACE: A Fine Grained
Concurrent Editor, Conference Proceedings on Organizational Computing Systems,
Atlanta, GA, November 991, pp. 240-254.
2. Olson J., Olson G., Storrosten M., and Carter M., How a Group-Editor Changes the
Character of a Design Meeting as well as its Outcome, Proceedings of the 1992
ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Toronto, Canada,
November 1992, pp. 91-98.
3. Stefik M., Bobrow D. G., Lanning S., Tartar D., and Foster G., WYSIWIS Revised:
Early Experience with Multi-User Interfaces, Proceedings of the Conference on
Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Austin, TX, April 1986, pp. 276-290.
4. Newman-Wolfe R. E., Ramirez C. L., Pelimuhandiram H., Montes M., Webb M.,
and Wilson D. L., A Brief Overview of the DCS Distributed Conferencing System,
Proceedings of the Summer 1991 USENIX Conference, Nashville, TN, June 1991,
5. Neuwirth C. M., Kaufer, D. S., Chandhouk R., and Morris J. H, Issues in the
Design of Computer Support for Co-Authoring and Commenting, Proceedings of
the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Los Angeles, October
1990, pp. 183-195.
6. Edwards W. K., Policies and Roles in Collaborative Applications, Proceedings of
the 1996 ACM Conference in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Boston,
April 1996, pp. 11-20.
7. Oszu T. M., and Valduriez P., Principles of Distributed Database Systems,
Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1999.
8. Coulouris G. F., and Dollimore J., Distributed Systems, Addison-Wesley
Publishing Company, Avon, UK, 2001.
9. Sullivan T. P., A Dynamic Two Phase Locking Concurrency Control Protocol,
University of Florida, Gainesville, Master's Thesis, 1989.
10. Lantz K. A., An Experiment in Integrated Multimedia Conferencing, Proceedings
of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Austin, TX, April
1986, pp. 267-275.
11. Ellis C. A., Gibbs S. J. and Rein G. L., Design and Use of a Group Editor, MCC
Technical Report Number STP-263-88, 1989.
12. Greif I., and Sarin S., Data Sharing in Group Work, Proceedings of the Conference
on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Austin, TX, April 1986, pp. 175-183.
13. Greif I., Seligar R., and Weihl W., A Case Study of CES: A Distributed
Collaborative Editing System Implemented in Argus, IEEE Transactions on
Software Engineering, Volume 18, Number 9. September 1992, pp. 827-839.
14. Leland M. D. P., Fish R. S., and Kraut R. E., Collaborative Document Production
Using Quilt, Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative
Work, Portland, OR, ACM, September 1988, pp. 206-215.
15. Koch M., and Koch J., Using Component Technology for Group Editors The
IRIS Group Editor Environment, Proceedings of Workshop on Object-Oriented
Groupware Platforms, Lancaster, UK September 1997, pp. 44-49.
16. Koch M., Design Issues and Model for a Distributed Multi-User Editor, Institut fur
Informatik, Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany, 1995, pp. 359-378.
17. Borghoff M. U., and Teege G., Applications of Collaborative Editing to Software
Engineering Projects, Institut fur Informatik, Technische Universitat Munchen,
18. Whalen T.J., Design Issues for an Adaptive Mobile Group Editor, Master's Thesis,
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1997.
19. Begole J.M., Flexible Collaboration Transparency: Supporting Worker
Independence in Replicated Application Sharing Systems, Ph. D. Dissertation,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 1998.
20. Zafar A., NetEdit: A Collaborative Editor, Master's Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University, Blacksburg, 2001.
21. Knister M., and Prakash A., DistEdit: A Distributed Toolkit for Supporting
Multiple Group Editors, Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported
Cooperative Work, Los Angeles, October 1990, pp. 343-355.
22. Lewis B., and Hodges J., Shared Books: Collaborative Publication Management for
an Office Information System, Conference Sponsored by ACM SIGOIS and
IEEECS TC-OA on Office Information Systems, Palo Alto, CA, March 1988, pp.
23. Dourish P., and Bellotti V., Awareness and Coordination in Shared Workspaces,
Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work,
Toronto, Canada, November 1992, pp 107-114.
24. Chabert A., Grossman E., Jackson L. S., Pietrowiz S. R., and Seguin C., Java
Object-Sharing in Habanero, Communications of the ACM, June 1998/Volume 41,
Number 6, pp. 69 -76.
25. Pelimuhandiram H., MACE: The Mother of All Concurrent Editors, Master's
Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, 1991.
26. Aringunram R., Secure Communication Services for Distributed Conferencing
System, Master's Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl, 2002.
27. Manian V., Access Control Model for Distributed Conferencing System, Master's
Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl, 2002.
28. Kakarparti A., Distributed Support Service for Distributed Conferencing System,
Master's Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl, 2002.
29. Naughton P., and Schildt H., The Complete Reference- Java 2, Berkeley, CA, Tata
Vijaya Rangadham Komaragiri was born in the city of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh,
India. He grew up in Vikarabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, and completed his elementary
and high school in Vikarabad. He then went to Hyderabad to complete his Bachelor of
Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad.
He completed his undergraduate degree in 2001 and went on to the University of Florida
to pursue a Master of Science degree in computer engineering, which he completed in