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These articles on Collaborative Computing will seem out of place to a number of readers from the computer science community. Interesting articles perhaps, but what do they have to do with computers? Where is the science--that is, where is the mathematics, or the code? What have these issues to do with everyday practice?
The answer is that building applications which directly impact people is very different from building computational products of the sort taught and studied in the standard courses on computer science. In traditional computer science, one worries about data structures and coding practices, about ways to ensure that the program does what it is promised to do, ways of proving that the code works, ways of synchronizing procedures within complex data and computational streams. All this is important and essential, but it has little to do with the issues that concern the program users.
Computer systems intended to aid people, especially groups of people, must be built to fit the needs of those people. And there is no way that a system cna work well with people, especially collaborative groups, without a deep, fundamental understanding of people and groups. This is usually not the sort of skill taught in computer sience departments.
Too often, technology is constructed for …