Thomas W. Malone, Kenneth R. Grant, Kum-Yew Lai, Ramana Rao, David Rosenblitt
Trying to develop a system to support cooperative work (CSCW).
Definition - "Messages of identifiable types, with each type containing a known set of fields, but with some of the fields containing unstructured text or other information."
Example: seminar announcement (see figure 12.1/12.2 on pg 317)
Advantages of using semistructured messages:
Basically, a souped-up mail system, with what would now be considered rudimentary mailing-list support. Also allows an odd form of broadcast via the 'Anyone' recipient.
4.1 Automatic aids for constructing messages (see advantages 1 and 4, above)
4.2 Rules for Automatically Processing Messages
Extremely similar to systems like
procmail, which are based on the same notions of
structure in regular email messages.
Rules for when to grab messages to 'Anyone'
4.3 Intelligent Suggestions for Responding to Messages
Allows default responses, including complex actions, to incoming messages.
The Info Lens system creates a sort of explicit implementation of bits of commitment networks (cf. Winograd88) - by including a full implementation of the path that a conversation takes, even more complex interaction would be possible.
Because the system is implemented in (Fruit) LOOPS, an object-oriented ersion of LISP, messages can inherit characteristics from their parent(s). This is useful because it makes implementation easier, and also allows the users to build a simple tree in their mind when thinking about message types.
6.1 Computer Conferencing
6.2 Calendar Management
6.3 Project Management and Task Tracking
This is similar to the uses systems based on these concepts, such as Lotus Notes, perform today.
Two approaches - the Hand of God approach, and allowing users to define their own types. It looks like the best approach is somewhere inbetween.
7.2 Message Type Editor - see Figure 12.7, pg 329