Browse Prior Art Database

Conferencing Metaphor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103826D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 112K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chiu, H: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Developing a satisfactory metaphor to encapsulate user tasks in computer conferencing is a formidable problem. The derived metaphor must be simple, reflect the nature of normal user tasks, whenever possible, and flexible enough to allow the metaphor to be expanded. Exceeding the requirements of a "conventional" man-machine interface are the complexities of dealing with what the user perceives as a "person-machine-person" or a "one-machine-many" relationship. The following defines such a metaphor.

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Conferencing Metaphor

      Developing a satisfactory metaphor to encapsulate user tasks in
computer conferencing is a formidable problem.  The derived metaphor
must be simple, reflect the nature of normal user tasks, whenever
possible, and flexible enough to allow the metaphor to be expanded.
Exceeding the requirements of a "conventional" man-machine interface
are the complexities of dealing with what the user perceives as a
"person-machine-person" or a "one-machine-many" relationship.  The
following defines such a metaphor.

      Using computers to collaborate or meet with others may be
considered an electronic conference.  Such a conference may be
defined as a collection of all meetings and individuals that are
participating in the meetings, the activities that are in progress
and the tools that support these activities.  The metaphor will
support any type of meeting, submeeting or side meeting.  It will
also allow for selection of participants and activities within a
meeting.  To assist the description the following terms are defined:
Conference or Convention - a collection of meetings in which a user
is participating.  Conference participants - a list of all people to
which a user is connected and knows about.  A conference participant
need not be known to all other participants.  One is only aware of
another if they share one or more meeting rooms.  Lobby - a public
area.  All activity in this area is available to all conference
participants.  Meeting Room - where a single meeting is held.
Meeting - a collection of participants and furnishings that are
shared by the participants.  Meeting Participants - a list of people
in a meeting.  They have access to all of the furnishings in that
meeting.  Furnishing - a tool or implement that supports normal
meeting activities.  Meeting Furnishing - a furnishing that has been
placed in a meeting room and available to the participants of that
meeting.  That furnishing is then seen and available to all members
of the meeting in that room.  In most cases, multiple instances of a
furnishing can be placed in a meeting room.  Lobby Furnishing - a
furnishing that is only available to all those to which a user is
connected and cannot be addressed to a meeting that has only a
subgroup of the conference participants.  An example of this i voice.
If voice is carried by a conference call, it is not possible, with
current implementations, to split off a separate call to another
party.  Conference Directory - a list of people that you can connect
to an      d the information on how to make the connection.  This is
similar to a phone book but includes the information to make numerous
connections including voice, vid...