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TouchRAM - Part 3: Adding Multi-User Support

This is an ongoing project.

The TouchRAM project consists in developping a multitouch-enabled tool for agile software design modeling aimed at developing scalable and reusable software design models.This part of the project started in Spring 2013, and focusses on ways to support touch-based multi-user editing within TouchRAM.

The first part of the project consisted in completely rewriting the GUI framework that we had developed for the previous version of TouchRAM. Instead of having one overlay that recognizes gestures, we now allow every graphical element to define its own gesture processors and handlers.

The basic multi-user features were demonstrated at the 16th International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering Languages and Systems – MODELS 2013 – in Miami, Florida, on Oct. 2nd 2013 (see MODELS demo trailer video).

The second part of the project now focusses on adding multi-user specific functionality to the different model editors. For instance, we provide the option to disable panning and scrolling, because these features when used by one modeller in a multi-user environment can easily disrupt the work on another modeller who is working on the same surface. Another way to prevent undesired user interaction when panning and zooming is to allow a user to “freeze” a set of model elements with a lasso gesture. Frozen elements would then be immune to panning and zooming until they are released by the modeller that froze them.