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Practical Internet Groupware by Jon Udell

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Groupware and dhttp

What, finally, does dhttp have to do with groupware? By my definition, groupware encompasses scopes as narrow as three coworkers sharing a LAN and as wide as the entire Internet. Groupware applications, even when they seem to belong in some particular scope, usually end up needing to cross boundaries. Groups evolve, zones of privacy need to be adjusted fluidly, populations of users and machines change constantly. An ActiveX-based solution that works for some particular group may no longer suffice when that group morphs into something else. Internet-style technology holds the promise of true universality. But if it’s going to be an appropriate platform for groupware, we’ll have to make the most of it.

A ubiquitous TCP/IP network, the Internet protocols, and the browser/mailer/newsreader are planks of a pretty good platform. These things alone, however, don’t add up to the kind of distributed computing system that will fully enable Internet groupware. I don’t claim that dhttp is the solution, only that it’s a sketch of what one important part of the solution might look like. Forte’s toolset is wonderful, but it costs a fortune, and it isn’t likely to show up on your intranet anytime soon. Lotus Notes is also wonderful, and it costs a lot less than a fortune. It may be the right answer for you, but if so, you’re probably not reading this book. If you’ve gotten this far, it’s because you think that Internet protocols, open-source development, and world-class scripting ...

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