Summary: The Egret framework provides tool support for the construction of computer-supported cooperative work applications.  From 1990-1996, CSDL research involved the development of  a collaborative learning environment (CLARE), a collaborative software review system (CSRS), a collaborative hypertext authoring environment (AEN), a collaborative messaging environment (Flashmail), a collaborative editor (Shemacs), and a collaborative filtering environment (URN). The Egret framework emerged from our goal to avoid the problem of code replication and application brittleness across these various application domains.

Egret implements a multi-client, multi-server, multi-agent architecture. Egret clients and agents are implemented by a 15 KLOC extension to XEmacs, the X-window Emacs editor. Egret servers are implemented by a 15 KLOC system written in C++.

Egret provides both low and high level storage and communication facilities for the development of (primarily textual) cooperative work applications. Data representations range from unstructured binary storage, to schema-based, typed, structured storage records, to HTML-compatible hypertext. Indexing and local replication mechanisms enable efficient “relational-style” queries over the underlying network database. Inter-process communication is implemented via TCP/IP sockets, and provides a variety of programmatic and interactive client communication facilities. Password mechanisms are provided to facilitate secure collaboration in groups dispersed across the internet. Built-in instrumentation support facilitates research and evaluation of Egret applications.

Principal researcher(s): Philip Johnson and many others

Publications: Citations and publications

Project Page: Not available

Status: Active development 1990 – 1996.