Groupware Plug-ins: A Case Study of Extending Collaboration Functionality through Media Items

Groupware normally offers only fixed functionality, which can be a poor match to the actual needs of particular group. We argue that groupware should be extensible by third party developers, and describe groupware plug-ins as a method that enables this. Using the Community Bar (CB) as a case study, we illustrate an easy-to-program extensible groupware architecture. Unlike single user plug-ins, CB groupware plug-ins automatically share and populate a distributed data structure, using a distributed Model View Controller pattern to simplify programming. Several 3rd party plugins illustrate what people can create in practice.
Computer Science