Today computers are playing an ever increasing role

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Unformatted text preview: hen get back on the street, enter another shop and make purchases there, and so on. Notice that with this facility, a customer sitting in his house in India can virtually roam around in a shopping street in Japan and can make purchases from the shops in that street. Groupware Groupware, also known a computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), refers to a system that provides an electronic shared workspace to users located far from each other with communication, collaboration, and coordination supports. Group communication support allows the users to cooperate regardless of time and location constraints by exchanging messages either synchronously or asynchronously with each other. Group collaboration support allows users to share information among groups for effective collaboration. Group collaboration support effectively manages the participating users so as to enhance communication and collaboration among them. Multimedia has been helpful in making groupware more effective by allowing the exchange and sharing of multimedia information among participating users. The following are the three most important multimedia groupware applications. Multimedia E-mail We saw the usefulness of e-mail application in the previous chapter. Multimedia e-mail is an extension of text-based e-mail facility. It allows users located far from each other to asynchronously exchange messages that contain multimedia information. In fact, e-mail is the most widely used service over the Internet. MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is the current standard for Internet e-mail. Unlike the older SMPT (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) standard, which understands only ASCII characters (text), MIME specifies a set of encoding rules and header extensions that describe new type of contents (such as image, video, or audio) and the structure of the multimedia message to embed multimedia information. Collaborative Authorship Collaborative authorship applications deal with collaboratively editing and composing a (multimedia) document by a group of people. The participants can access the document either synchronously or asy...
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