Implementing a Collaborative Web Platform based on Transparent Layers
We have developed a novel collaborative web platform that shares a part of one’s desktop. In the case of using a general desktop sharing software such as VNC and TeamViewer, all users interfere with each other on a shared desktop, resulting in disturbing user’s work. Prior work has proposed a common collaborative workspace, but there are problems with collaborative workspaces using desktop applications. The platform uses a part of user’s desktop as a collaborative workspace in consideration of interference to a user. To create the platform, we introduce a transparent layer with two aspects: visible- and event-transparency. The background of the transparent layer can be opaque. The transparent layer can forward received events to other layers as well as to other applications. The layer can interact with a user’s desktop, thus taking a screenshot of a user’s desktop and sharing the screen shot among other users. Furthermore, we have been developing a new web browser, Silhouette Web Browser, that consists of five transparent layers including existing desktop layers. The platform shares one’s desktop by using transparent layers, thus using one’s desktop as a collaborative workspace in consideration of interference to users. This paper describes the architecture and implementation of the proposed platform and its application.
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