Groupware Aspects of the BYTE Virtual Press Room

The Virtual Press Room (VPR) was a docbase built by vendors and their public relations representatives. It enabled these groups to transmit press releases electronically, rather than by fax or snail mail, to the editorial group. These documents, in aggregate, record the entire history of the high-tech industry. Although there are services that collect and publish this material, such as PR Newswire (http://www.prnewswire.com/), their scopes are broad. Every trade magazine has its own editorial group, its own readership, and its own natural affinity with the vendor community. The Virtual Press Room created BYTE-specific bindings among these groups.

As Table 5.1 shows, the VPR was an example of a docbase whose repository format coincided with its delivery format. That format was simply HTML, written by the script that handled the VPR’s input form. In Chapter 6, we’ll see how this kind of script can receive semistructured information, validate it, enable users to preview the docbase page to be built from it, and finally store that page. Associated with the VPR were some other scripts. One built the pages that navigated the part of the docbase that was published on the site. In Chapter 7, we’ll look at ways to build navigational systems that support both sequential and random modes of access to a docbase along multiple dimensions. Another script watched for new entries to the docbase, summarized them, and routed them to editors. ...

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