last change: February, 2nd 1996
The Alliance groupware application allows users connected to the Internet to collaborate for producing shared documents. This application is suited to cooperatively produce large documents such as technical documentations.
Alliance takes care of document access control and distribution. All co-authors see the document as a whole, and each user can edit different parts at the same time. The parts on which each user works may change during the editing session.
Alliance is built on top of the Thot structured document editor. This application is currently developped on Sun-OS, Solaris and Linux operating systems.
To control and to allow dynamic editing, users can play any of four roles availables:
the null role prevents from seeing a part of a document that is confidential,
the reader role allows only to consult a document part,
the writer role allows to modify a document part,
the manager role allows to assign or change roles of other users.
Each manager of a document part can dynamically change roles assigned to other users and the document is automatically split into pieces according to these roles to allow parallel editing.
Alliance does not require users to work at the same time, as in teleconferencing applications. Each co-author decides to validate his/her changes, in order to make them available to other users. Co-authors who are present at that time can choose to see immediately the new contributions or to ignore them.
In Alliance, communication between sites is based on World Wide Web protocols. A cooperative user session can still run even if network connections fail. Alliance allows temporary disconnected editing sessions; collaboration restarts when the network failure is fixed.
Alliance is developped in the the project