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[DotGNU]Re: Concept: Forum

From: Silvernerd
Subject: [DotGNU]Re: Concept: Forum
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 18:52:04 +0200

Hi folks,

I've been sharping my idea's some more and have worked out a technical
plan for

Forum will enable people to work simultaneously on the same thing. A
forum will have the following general structure:

Main forum [REQUIRED]  //Root
-- Apps section  [OPTIONAL]
|  |
|  -- App
|     |
|     -- Document
-- Chat section  [OPTIONAL]
|  |
|  -- Chatroom
-- Documentation section  [OPTIONAL]
|  |
|  Documentation node   //Webpage
-- Download section
|  |
|  -- File
-- Pinboard section  [OPTIONAL]
|  |
|  -- Pinboard   //Like a newsgroup
-- Administrator section  [REQUIRED] 

The chat, doc, download, pinboard and admin sections should be clear.
The App section is in essence an appserver like the SEE. Every app in
the App section should support simultaneous editing by multiple users.

At every part of the forum there is a possibility to chat, therefore a
chat window will be a constant part of the forum client. There are a lot
of possibilities for group chatting in Forum. For example when somebody
is working on a document, then he/she can talk to others working on the
same document, using the same app or to everybody in the forum. Also the
user can make custom groups to send chat messages to.
Forum will consist of 2 major parts, server and client. The server will
be 2 headed, it will have a Jabberside and a Appside. The client will be
one parted. A more detailed workout follows:

Jabberside Server:
The Jabberside controls group messages and the group rosters (a 'buddy
list' for groups) both the automatic (document group) and the manual
(custom groups).
The consequence of the Jabber use of forum is that forum users need to
have a Jabber account or something compatible, but with the current IM
covering that shouldn't be a problem.
All communication to and from the Jabberside is in JabberXML.
Appside Server:
The Appside server runs webservices and connects them to the user. There
are some basic webservices like a webpage server, a download server, a
pinboard server build in (the chat server btw is in the Jabberside).
Other webservices may be added (under the same conditions as go for the
whole DotGNU project) by the forum admin. The forum admin can
enable/disable specific webservices. The Appside communicates with the
client using standard webservice communication systems or optionally

The client simply presents a chatwindow and a webservice window to the
user. It doesn't have much intelligence since the server handles most of
the stuff.

And now some reactions to questions:

Norbert Bollow wrote:
> Hmm... what is the relationship between these ideas, and what
> phpGroupWare (which is part of GNU and DotGNU already) is doing?
> Would it make sense to extend phpGroupWare, perhaps with a
> downloadable user interface component, so that it will also meet
> those user needs which you have in mind?
PhpGroupware does not work in realtime as far as I know and that's the
real difference. Next to that PhpGroupware is as the name says a
groupware program while forum is more of a platform for simultaneous
activities. Forum can be used for games, graphics editing, cad and stuff
like that and therefore can't be a part of PhpGroupware since it's scope
is much bigger than that of PhpGroupware.

Some other things:

Programming language: it will probably be best to program Forum in C#,
because of the support
for XML in it and the fact that the assembly system makes adding
webservices really easy.

A legal question: would it be possible for some company or individual to
put a patent on the technology Forum is working with (simultaneous
editing) and successfully enforce the patent? 
Note that I haven't done the patent checking yet, I'll leave that up to
the project admin.

That's all for this mail I guess.

Silvernerd (Peter Minten)

"Using Linux is like walking over a ray of bricks, not as beautiful, but
a lot more substantial than light."

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