Shared objects in a workspace

Several classes of objects may be created and shared in a BSCW workspace:


Document under version control




Search folder


Discussion forum


Email message

Template folder

Website folder

Document set


Flow folder



Contact list

Figure 1 shows instances of many of these object types. Each object is represented by an entry showing the object name, a pop-up action menu button, some icons and additional data, as shown in the following figure.

Figure 2: Representation of an object

Click the info icon on the left to display the object’s info page. The following check box may be “ticked” to select the object for some action.

The icon immediately left of the object name denotes the object type. If the object is a docu­ment, the icon represents its MIME type. If it is a search folder of a Web search, the icon informs about the search engine employed. If it is a note, the icon may represent a pragmatic aspect picked by the author of the note. BSCW’s object types are discussed in greater detail in 3.2 Shareable objects.

The name of an object is the most prominent part of an object entry. Since BSCW is designed to make sharing of information easier, it is very important to use descriptive object names which will be understood by the other members of the workspace.

To the right of the object name, there is

a pop-up menu button action showing the actions applicable to the object. Please note that different actions are possible for different types of objects. Figure 6 shows a few of the action menu entries permitted for an object.

The action menu may also be invoked by a right mouse click anywhere on the object entry (pressing the Ctrl key along with the right mouse click produces the original browser menu, e.g. for “Save target as…”).

Putting the cursor over the action menu icon displays often used actions (Change Pro­per­ties, Cut, Copy, Delete) as a horizontal iconized action menu.

BSCW displays additional information about the object de­pending on object type and the selected viewing preferences:

the size of the object:

in case of a folder, the number of objects it contains,

in case of a document or email message, the size in bytes, kilobytes or mega­bytes;

zero, one or more of the following icons:

members   indicates that a folder is shared,

lock    indicates that someone has set a lock for this object,

note   indicates that a note has been added to the object,

rating   indicates how the document has been rated by one or more group members;

the name of its creator and owner;

date and time of the most recent modification;

zero, one or more icons indicating that some of the following events have occurred:

new    indicates a new object,

changed    indicates changes of the object,

read   indicates that someone has read the object,

events inside   indicates recent modifications in a sub-object;

Please note that nearly all the icons in an object entry are clickable, i.e. you get more infor­ma­tion on a group, a lock, a note, a rating etc. by clicking it.