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APSR Partner Collaborative Workspace - Help

1. Rationale

APSR involves individuals from four or five different institutions. These institutions do not share any sort of common computing environment except Internet services. APSR needs an appropriate computing environment to support collaborative activities such as

We have decided to utilize a system called BSCW (Basic Support for Collaborative Work). This is a mature system that is carefully targeted to provide such a collaborative environment in a rather minimalist way. Users access the BSCW system from a standard web browser.

The system has on-line documentation. This note references sections of that documentation where appropriate.

2. APSR installation

ANU, as lead partner, has licensed and installed a BSCW server. This server only allows access for registered users. You are immediately prompted for your username and password (see section 3) before being presented with a "Welcome to BSCW Shared Workspace Server" page.

Login to the APSR BSCW server

People with the above access are called "registered users", in BSCW terminology. We have configured the APSR server such that any current registered user can initiate the registration process for a new user. This is done by using the "register first" link on the Welcome page, where you specify the email address of the new user. See section 3 for the completion of the registration process.

Comment: This assumes the APSR community is reasonably responsible, and that they will not "introduce" new users who have little or nothing to do with the APSR enterprise. The ultimate risk is low, as being a registered user merely allows you to log into the APSR server. It does not, of itself, give you access to the internal workspaces (see section 4 below).

3. Registration Process

You become a registered user of the APSR server via a two-stage registration process.

Further information is provided by section 2.1 of the help documentation. In particular, read section 2.1.2 on the selection of a sensible username.

4. Workspaces

The key BSCW concept is the "shared workspace". In simplest terms:

Further information is provided by sections 4.4 to 4.7 of the help documentation.

Comment: The APSR server will be more effective if we match community requirements against workspaces. Dumping everything into a single workspace is a poor strategy. The larger the community a workspace serves, the better organised it needs to be.

4.1 Workspace Strategy

We aim to use a concise and precise name for the more commonly used workspaces. Detailed information as to the purpose of a workspace should be carried by its associated information page. See section 4.6 of the documentation.

4.2 APSR Workspaces

APSR
This is the main workspace for broad information. Membership is controlled (logically if not explicitly) by the Executive Officer. The layout needs to be controlled.
Executive
This is the workspace for the Steering Committee. Membership is controlled (logically if not explicitly) by the Chairman. It may contain some information that is relatively sensitive.
System
System documentation, including policy documents.