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20 June 1997 Concurrent document construction within a virtual integration environment
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Traditional document construction, while potentially concurrent and occasionally collaborative, is rarely both. As a result, opportunities for compressing time to the first draft and increasing content value can not be easily leveraged. Further, the absence of a framework that supports collaboration constrains the potential for continuous document evolution (i.e., a living document). These conditions stem from not only lack of technology application, but equally an evolution in document construction culture. The Internet serves as a collection of models in which varying levels of collaboration are supported. For example, news groups and e- mail permit dialogues in both broadcast and directed modes, and HTML formatted files provide a forum for hyperlinking multi-media documentation. These technologies, however, exist in isolation and do not individually provide the services necessary for supporting collaboration during concurrent document construction. While commercially-available document- centered frameworks are emerging as viable virtual integration environments, their fairly minimal level of integration with Internet protocols and standards (most notably HTTP and HTML) constrain widespread use within organizational intranets. The lack of native support for HTML mandates deliberate conversion steps for access by common client applications (e.g., WWW browsers). As a result, GRC International, Inc., (GRCI) initiated development of a WWW-based, virtual integration environment (VIE) in which documentation contributors, integrators and reviewers could collaborate using common Internet client applications for user access. The VIE was developed as a collection of services interfaced to an HTTP server via the common gateway interface (CGI). These services implemented as a single CGI program dynamically construct the VIE user interface to reflect continuing updates to documentation submissions, review, and revisions. Contributions submitted as MIME-encoded e-mail messages may be integrated as new documents or as revisions without requiring the user to understand HTML or the underlying document storage implementation.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gregg W. Liming and Alex F. Sisti "Concurrent document construction within a virtual integration environment", Proc. SPIE 3083, Enabling Technology for Simulation Science, (20 June 1997);


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