RE: Sun Lab's SharedShell

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From: Jim Whitehead (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 11:33:59 PDT

> In some ways, the researchers embody the problems they're working to
> solve. Design lead John Tang and software engineer James "Bo" Begole
> work in Sun's Menlo Park, California, facility. The group's principal
> investigator, Nicole Yankelovich, works in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Nicole Yankelovich was one of the principal developers of Intermedia, an
extremely full-featured pre-Web monolithic hypertext system. The Intermedia
team coined the term "anchor".

> After studying three different Sun technical support groups in three
> months, Mr. Tang's team developed Sharedshell, a program that lets
> several users overcome geographic distances and network firewalls to
> work on technical support problems. The Java-based program provides a
> common point of reference that lets its users augment their phone
> conversations with the ability to do things such as draw network
> diagrams and exchange computer code.

Which makes it all the more surprising that they're researching a shared
whiteboard program. OK, so maybe its a shared whiteboard plus some file
exchange. But, this isn't a new technology.

I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, though. There must be
something else going on here that makes it a little more unique, and the
reporter just missed it.

- Jim

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