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Re: [ecf-dev] ECF v0.5.0

Hi Carl,

Carl Cook wrote:

Hi All,

Following on from a recent posting of Sun's JSE and its collaborative features, you might want to take a quick look at the recently released 2006 version of Borland's JBuilder (http://www.borland.com/us/products/jbuilder).

JBuilder supports real-time code editing between pairs of users, but the downside is that token-passing is used as the floor control policy (so only one person can make an edit at a time).

Has anyone started working on collaborative editors within ECF as of yet? If so, have any design stipulations been made, such as the supported number of concurrent editors, etc?

Yes, we have done a little work with collaborative editors. We've built a simple graphical edtior prototype (called graphshare). It's minimal in terms of UI, but it does show the ability to use ECF as a way to share model state changes (invoked via the editor) to multiple recipients in real-time.

There is work going on in other quarters WRT collaborative editors...some of it within ECF, some it by people using ECF (either in OS or commercially or both...) as a way to distribute and synchronize editor 'model' state changes.

Carl do you have any visibility into the Borland team that's working on the real-time code editing? I have approached them in the past about participation on ECF, but unfortunately it didn't go very far. It seems to me as if they could benefit from participation in ECF (e.g. by getting a framework for interoperability and by having their work and products be exposed/promoted via ECF), and ECF would benefit from their probably very good work on the editing UI and synchronization policies.

So, in any event, if anyone on this list does have access to this team please let them know that we (the ECF committers) would like to work with them. They (Borland) are, after all, a strategic member of the Eclipse Foundation.

I'm working on some documentation right now that discusses requirements for collaborative software engineering tools... it will be ready in a week or two. At which point, I am happy to share it as a discussion document on what sorts of software engineering tools the ECF might be able to support. Please just let me know if you are interested!

Yes we are interested indeed. Collaborative editors of all varieties (source code, graphical models, UML, reports [e.g. BIRT], XML schema-specified models, etc) would all benefit (I think) from being able to use an open and consistent set of APIs for messaging and distributed state synchronization.

Keep up the great work, and when I finally finish this phd of mine I will be very keen to start writing some tools, etc.

Thanks. Please post to this list and/or the ECF newsgoup about your progress and please remain in touch.