Publication: Real-Time Groupware in the Browser: Testing the Performance of Web-Based Networking

Standard web browsers are becoming a common platform for delivering groupware applications, but until recently, the only way to support real-time collaboration was with browser plug-ins. New networking approaches have recently been introduced - based on re-purposed techniques for delivering web pages (Comet), or integration of real-time communication directly into the browser (HTML5 WebSockets). Little is currently known, however, about whether these new approaches can support real-time groupware. We carried out a study to assess the performance of the three different networking approaches, based on a framework of groupware requirements, in several network settings. We found that web-based networking performs well - better than plug-in approaches in some cases - and can support the communication requirements of many types of real-time groupware. We also developed two groupware applications using Comet and WebSockets, and showed that they provided fast and consistent performance on the real-world Internet. Our studies show that web-based networking can support real-time collaboration, and suggest that groupware developers should consider the browser as a legitimate vehicle for real-time multi-user systems.

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Citation

2011. Real-Time Groupware in the Browser: Testing the Performance of Web-Based Networking. In ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW'11), Hangzhou, China. 167-176. DOI=10.1145/1958824.1958850.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {225-gutwin-pr293-r2,
title= {Real-Time Groupware in the Browser: Testing the Performance of Web-Based Networking},
booktitle= {ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW'11)},
year= {2011},
address= {Hangzhou, China},
pages= {167-176}
}