7th International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing

Research Article

A Distributed Web Browser as a Platform for Running Collaborative Applications

Download223 downloads
  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.collaboratecom.2011.247088,
        author={Yasushi Shinjo and Fei Guo and Naoya Kaneko and Takejiro Matsuyama and Tatsuya Taniuchi and Akira Sato},
        title={A Distributed Web Browser as a Platform for Running Collaborative Applications},
        proceedings={7th International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing},
        publisher={IEEE},
        proceedings_a={COLLABORATECOM},
        year={2012},
        month={4},
        keywords={distributed systems web browsers distributed online social networks social networking services instant messaging systems collaborative browsing web annotation},
        doi={10.4108/icst.collaboratecom.2011.247088}
    }
    
  • Yasushi Shinjo
    Fei Guo
    Naoya Kaneko
    Takejiro Matsuyama
    Tatsuya Taniuchi
    Akira Sato
    Year: 2012
    A Distributed Web Browser as a Platform for Running Collaborative Applications
    COLLABORATECOM
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.collaboratecom.2011.247088
Yasushi Shinjo1,*, Fei Guo1, Naoya Kaneko1, Takejiro Matsuyama1, Tatsuya Taniuchi1, Akira Sato1
  • 1: University of Tsukuba
*Contact email: yas@cs.tsukuba.ac.jp

Abstract

Most existing collaborative applications on the Web require centralized servers for storing shared data and relaying communication messages among browsers. This paper proposes building a distributed Web browser as a platform for Web-based collaborative applications to address these problems with centralized servers. A distributed browser consists of multiple browser nodes. Each node looks like a regular Web browser, is operated by a single user, but works together with other nodes. An application of the distributed browser runs across multiple nodes, and can make use of resources in both a local node and remote nodes. Multiple users can use a single application together. The distributed browser provides authenticated and secure inter-node communications for applications.

This paper describes an implementation of a distributed browser, called Subspace. Subspace uses an instant messaging system, Skype, to perform user authentication and secure communication among browser nodes. Reusing the overlay network and social features of Skype makes the implementation of Subspace extremely simple. Several applications on Subspace including simple collaborative browsing and comment sharing have been developed. These implementations demonstrate that Subspace provides useful facilities utilized as a platform for developing Web-based collaborative applications.