Sparrow Web: Group-Editable Web Pages
Eric Bier and Ken Pier, PARC
Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University March 15, 2002
Sparrow Web is a software application that runs on a Web server and supports group authoring for pages available from that server. Simple page edits can happen in seconds using only a Web browser. Sparrow Web is also an extension to the HTML page format that allows a page to be read conveniently both by people and by software. It has been used internally by Xerox since 1996 and is now undergoing beta testing at Stanford University, Google Inc., and other sites. It is also available on a free trial basis at http://www.alphaAve.com/.
Sparrow Web helps make the Web more usable in four ways: keeping pages up to date, allowing group members to work in parallel, creating new Web applications without programming, and extracting information from Web pages automatically. Existing applications include project management, shared task lists, shared bibliographies, software tracking, elementary education, project-based learning, and seminar management.
In this talk, we describe the Sparrow Web technology, both its user interface and its extensions to HTML. We illustrate how it makes the Web more usable in four ways. We give examples of applications built using Sparrow Web both at PARC and at our beta test sites. Finally, we compare Sparrow Web to other Web technologies for shared authoring and for supporting groups.
Eric Bier is a Principal Scientist in the Human-Document Interaction Area, Information Sciences and Technologies Laboratory, at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Incorporated. His research interests include sensemaking, web-based collaboration and authoring tools, networked document services, user interfaces, graphical editors in two and three dimensions, active documents, and multi-handed interaction.
Ken Pier is a Principal Engineer in the Information Sciences and Technologies Laboratory, at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Incorporated. His research interests include user interfaces, graphical editors, use of the World Wide Web for community services and interactions.
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