SEBASTOPOL, CA--Collaboration. From its academic roots to today's busy
commerce sites, the Internet has always been about collaboration:
providing a means for people to communicate and work together
effectively. On the Internet of the future, the concept of
collaboration will move front and center, transforming the way we
work, and the way the Internet is used.
"Every once in a while a book comes along that makes me wake up and
say 'Wow!' Jon Udell's
Practical Internet Groupware is such a
book," says Tim O'Reilly, President and Publisher of O'Reilly &
Associates. "How to build effective applications for conferencing and
other forms of internet-enabled collaboration is one of the most
important questions developers are wrestling with today. Anyone who
wants to build an effective intranet, or to better manage their
company's interactions with customers, or to build new kinds of
applications that bring people together, will never think about these
things in the same way after reading this book."
"More than anyone else I know, Jon has thrown off the shackles of the
desktop computing paradigm that has shaped our thinking for the better part
of the last two decades. He works in a world in which the net, rather
than any particular operating system, is truly the application
development platform," explains O'Reilly. "Jon has laid his finger on
the most important change in the computer industry since the
introduction of the Web."
"The Internet is a groupware platform," says Udell. "It's easy to lose
sight of that fact. Consider the Web. It was invented to enable
scientists to collaborate. As it became a mainstream phenomenon, it
morphed into something that many people think of as more like broadcast
television than groupware. A few years ago, as a senior editor at BYTE
Magazine, I reviewed software and wrote about technologies and industry
trends. Everything changed in the spring of 1995 when I became BYTE's
executive editor for new media. My charter was to do what every
high-tech magazine felt compelled to do in 1995: jump on the Web
bandwagon. It was a dream assignment that I tackled with gusto. At
first I focused on clever and efficient ways to transform BYTE into an
electronic publication. But a funny thing happened on the way to the
Web. Just weeks into the job, it dawned on me that our content online
wasn't just a publication. I began to see that it was fast becoming a
suite of Internet-based groupware applications. And I began to see
myself as primarily a developer of such applications."
"Any developer worth his salary in tomorrow's market is going to need a
cross-platform toolbox much like the one Jon applies in this book,"
Drawn from the author's real world experience,
Groupware describes the tools and technologies for building and
rapidly deploying groupware applications, and it also discusses the design
philosophy and usability issues that determine the success or failure
of any groupware endeavor.
According to Udell, the key to success lies in using simple tools,
often Open Source, that effectively blend in established Internet
technologies that have always had a collaborative aspect (SMTP, NNTP)
with new technologies that enhance our ability to manage collaborative
documents (HTTP, XML). The result is an approach that codifies the idea
that many Web content providers have long suspected: yesterday's online
content is fast becoming tomorrow's network-based applications.
By Jon Udell
1st Edition, October 1999
ISBN: 1-56592-537-8, 524 pages, $29.95 (US$)