Supporting Customised Collaboration over Shared Document Repositories

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Abstract

The development of collaborative environments that not only manage information and communication, but also support the actual work processes of organisations is very important. XML documents are increasingly being used to mark up various kinds of data from web content to data used by applications. Often these documents need to be collaboratively created and edited by a group of users. In this paper we present a flexible solution for supporting collaboration over shared repositories containing both XML and text documents. By adopting hierarchical document models instead of linear representations used in most editing systems, the level of conflict granularity and resolution can be varied dynamically and the semantics of the user operations can be easily expressed. Merging of user work is based on the operations performed rather than the document states which provides a less complex and more appropriate way of handling conflicts.