CPSC 689/602--Spring 1997
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work


Paper Report

Title: WYSIWIS Revisited: Early Experiences with Multiuser Interfaces
Authors: M. Stefik, D. G. Bobrow, G. Foster, S. Lanning, D. Tatar
Citation: 1987, ACM
Reprinted in: Pages 585 - 595, Baecker


WYSIWIS ( What You See Is What I See) is a foundational abstraction for multi-user interfaces that expresses many of the characteristics of a chalkboard in face-to-face meetings. It means that everyone else can also see the same written information and also see where everyone else is pointing. This paper is about ways in which the WYSIWIS abstraction for multi-user interfaces needs to be relaxed in order to accommodate important interactions in meeting processes. Four dimensions are considered here: Space, Time, Population and Congruence

The author discusses the plus and minus points of traditional chalkboards and how Colab meeting tools can improve the shortcomings by representing the information and operations in terms of visible manipulatable objects. The BoardNoter tool closely imitates a chalkboard with its four implements - chalk, eraser, keyboard and pointer. The authors discuss various design issues that need to be tackled and possible solutions for them. The paper ends its discussion about Colab with possible extensions to its capabilities

Cognoter, a meeting tool for organizing ideas for a presentation, supports a meeting process in which participants come together, usually without having prepared any materials. Cognoter has three stages - Brainstorming ideas, Organizing ideas, and Evaluation of ideas. The paper then discusses some design issues related to Cognoter in detail.

The Rooms concept was designed to help with problems arising because displays provide limited space for holding information. Rooms organize collections of windows into related screenfuls of information. The WYSIWIS relaxation issues are considered once again and alternative solutions are proposed based on multi-user extensions of rooms

The authors conclude the paper with a comparison of the WYSIWIS stampsheet approach and the Rooms approach.


Report prepared by: Abhijit Rele                  Email: abhijitr@cs.tamu.edu
Discussion Date: March 17, 1997            Report Date: March 19, 1997