Shared computer systems and groupware development : Escaping the personal computer paradigm

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för datavetenskap (DV)

Abstract: For the majority of the computers existence, we humans have interacted with them in a similar way, usually with a strict one-to-one relationship between user and machine. This is reflected by the design of most computers, operating systems and user applications on the market today, which are typically intended to only be operated by a single user. When computers are used for teamwork and cooperation, this design philosophy can be restricting and problematic. This paper investigates the development of shared software intended for multiple users and the impact of the single user bias in this context. A prototype software system was developed in order to evaluate different development methods for shared applications and discover potential challenges and limitations with this kind of software. It was found that the development of applications for multiple users can be severely limited by the target operating system and hardware platform. The authors conclude that new platforms are required to develop shared software more efficiently. These platforms should be tailored to provide robust support for multiple concurrent users. This work was carried out together with SAAB Air Traffic Management in Växjö, Sweden and is a bachelor's thesis in computer engineering at Linnaeus University.

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