Several classes of objects may be created and shared in a BSCW workspace:
o Document under version control
o Search folder
o Discussion forum
o Email message
o Template folder
o Website folder
o Document set
o Flow folder
o Contact list
Figure 1 shows instances of many of these object types. Each object is represented by an entry showing the object name, a pop-up action menu button, some icons and additional data, as shown in the following figure.
Figure 2: Representation of an object
Click the icon on the left to display the object’s info page. The following check box may be “ticked” to select the object for some action.
The icon immediately left of the object name denotes the object type. If the object is a document, the icon represents its MIME type. If it is a search folder of a Web search, the icon informs about the search engine employed. If it is a note, the icon may represent a pragmatic aspect picked by the author of the note. BSCW’s object types are discussed in greater detail in 3.2 Shareable objects.
The name of an object is the most prominent part of an object entry. Since BSCW is designed to make sharing of information easier, it is very important to use descriptive object names which will be understood by the other members of the workspace.
To the right of the object name, there is
o a pop-up menu button showing the actions applicable to the object. Please note that different actions are possible for different types of objects. Figure 6 shows a few of the action menu entries permitted for an object.
The action menu may also be invoked by a right mouse click anywhere on the object entry (pressing the Ctrl key along with the right mouse click produces the original browser menu, e.g. for “Save target as…”).
Putting the cursor over the action menu icon displays often used actions (Change Properties, Cut, Copy, Delete) as a horizontal iconized action menu.
BSCW displays additional information about the object depending on object type and the selected viewing preferences:
o the size of the object:
o in case of a folder, the number of objects it contains,
o in case of a document or email message, the size in bytes, kilobytes or megabytes;
o zero, one or more of the following icons:
indicates that a folder is shared,
indicates that someone has set a lock for this object,
indicates that a note has been added to the object,
indicates how the document has been rated by one or more group members;
o the name of its creator and owner;
o date and time of the most recent modification;
o zero, one or more icons indicating that some of the following events have occurred:
indicates a new object,
indicates changes of the object,
indicates that someone has read the object,
indicates recent modifications in a sub-object;
Please note that nearly all the icons in an object entry are clickable, i.e. you get more information on a group, a lock, a note, a rating etc. by clicking it.