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Communications of the ACM

Editorial Pointers

Editorial Pointers

To put together this issue on collaborative technologies required a truly collaborative effort. The result, we contend, is an exceptional example of teamwork with 33 authors from around the world producing 16 articles that represent two special sections on the latest advancements in collaborative technologies, as well as the challenges and benefits of implementing them on a global scale.

Collaborative virtual design environments (CVDEs)—once considered too expensive and too difficult to implement—are now used routinely for product development by an increasing number of manufacturers. Guest editors James Ragusa and Grace Bochenek organized a section examining the state of CVDEs with a series of real-world examples of how they allow design teams in worldwide locations to work in unison to create new products. You will learn of the strengths and weaknesses of many first- and second-generation CVDEs now available and how companies like General Motors use them to design cars, while NASA uses them to jointly redesign parts of the Space Shuttle.

Learning to use collaborative technologies is only half the battle. The "collaborative" factor is all about people. Getting people to work together as if they were a team in the same room when in fact they are in different offices, in different buildings, usually in different countries, in different time zones, speaking different languages, following different cultures, and using different tools ... you get the point. Guest editors Robert Davison and Gert-Jan De Vreede orchestrated the section on global applications of collaborative technology, bringing an international team of authors to discuss the value and challenges of implementing groupware that allows very different people to work together in a seamless, workable environment.

Finally, a volume of thanks to all those who helped make 2001 an editorially strong and successful year for Communications. Our gratitude to all the authors, guest editors, and reviewers for their dedication to the cause. A special thanks to our contributing editors and Editorial Advisory Board for their deft contributions this year. And, as always, our sincere appreciation to our readers for the feedback and suggestions that always fortifies the final result.

Wishing you health and happiness in the new year,

Diane Crawford,

©2001 ACM  0002-0782/01/1200  $5.00

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2001 ACM, Inc.


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