OMG Internet SIG

Minutes of Meeting #22

March 22-23, 1999
Philadelphia, PA

document Internet/99-03-01

Internet SIG homepage:



Craig Thompson took minutes.


Around 30 attendees in the CSCW Working Group morning session and 46 in the Agent Working Group afternoon sessions.  Awaiting electronic role from OMG central.


Craig Thompson (co-chair of Internet SIG) introduced this meeting, briefly describing Internet SIG history (informational era, RFI and Internet Services Architecture era, and now work groups era), and that it has evolved into four working groups, two of which are active at this meeting, CSCW WG and Agent WG.  He requested anyone interested in the other two area (OTAM = information access architectures and WOIA = Web Object Integration Architectures) to let him know as the current convenors currently do not have funding to drive the efforts further.

Computer Supported Cooperative Work Working Group

Henry Rothkopf (MITRE, chair of this work group) introduced the CSCW session describing MITRE, a government lab, and DARPA, one of its sponsors.  And then describing DARPA/MITRE efforts to develop a CSCW framework.  That served as a segue into the following session, which lasted the remainder of the morning.

MITRE’s JCS, Jay Carlson, MITRE,

Presentation will be internet/99-03-02.  Presentation included CD handout and MITRE license.

JCS is the Joint Collaboration System, a prototype CSCW environment based on OrbixWeb 2.0 (moving to 2.2 or 3.0).

Historically, MITRE worked on CVW, which was based on a MUD server and which organized the workspace into a building and rooms which contain documents which have authors, topics. Also, audio and video tools and conferencing is set up automatically. Documents are stored as references, objects stored as objects. The same wrapper object could point at the same thing from different rooms. There are 1000’s of users that live inside CVW daily. Problems with CVW were scalability (singler server, monolithic implementation) and clients had lots of assumptions about workspace. Also needed survivability and robustness and multithreading in servers.

JCS is a componentized and scalable version of CVW.   For instance, white boards mostly have chat built in. JCS provides defaults so JCS-compliant whiteboard author does not have to also implement chat.

JCS has certain significant general architectural objects:

How large a user base? 1000 but after that not sure, might be nonlinear. Most groups use video for presence detection. New version will be JDK 1.2 and use built in Java ORB. JCS is more a toolkit than a finished and tailored collaboration software. Esp tailored clients. Mirror how you are doing business.

 Are roles nestable? Going back and forth between flat and hierarchical.

 ER diagram (not in UML). Context Directory contains contexts. Contexts contain participants. …

Agents can behave like people. Example is an agent that takes notes in a meeting, an automated participant. Q: how do agents as a subkind of participant relate to roles. Agents must be traced back to some person that is responsible. You can’t hold roles responsible.

NetMeeting provides sharing for arbitrary application and number of people.  It is a simpler commercial CSCW tool.  Others are AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ.

Next steps: incorporate MITRE multi-modal logger; Java beanification, mobile contexts that localize computation, CORBA 2.0.

CD handout is JCS early access 3. Beta coming out in 3 weeks. JCS 1.0 will be released end of June. Might be at (or cvs or jvs). Using NetBeans. Comment - Java’s containment model is not quite right.

Different clients can be different versions or views. The implementation are swing components so can take advantage of coming layout tools and improvements.

Software distribution. MITRE license is early release. Fax license to MITRE. You need OrbixWeb 2.1 and download some free software. Tested under apache. Moving to Java binding.  Why are you going open source? Its an attempt to move to product. The license is the Mozilla public license. You need to distributed changes to modules/files. If they used BSD license, they worried about incompatible versions. Current license is do not distribute but coming Thursday is a distributable license. CSCW WG is seen as a public standardization group for this work. They want to be in a branding situation. Could Red Hat distribute this? Best organization is one that will extend JCS further into collaboration organizations.  Not working on MacOS. Runs on NT and 95 (but do not run servers on 95). Developed on Solaris and Linux.

Comment:  OMG has some on-going similar architectural models CSCW needs to look at:  Party management, e-commerce, workflow are all modeling similar work.  See Task and Session spec, for instance.

NEXT STEPS in CSCW: by a month before San Jose, it would be most useful if the JCS group provides CSCW an architecture and roadmap and possibly specifications as well as review of how this work is related to workflow management consortium and OMG Workflow Task and Session Model, and any similar issues.

Agent Working Group

Agent WG reports to Internet Platform SIG and ECDTF.  See separate Agent WG minutes.