Palantir: Raising Awareness among Configuration Management Workspaces

A. Sarma, Z. Norozi, and A. van der Hoek. Palantir: Raising awareness among configuration management workspaces. In Proceedings of, pages 444–454, Portland, Oregon, USA, May 2003. IEEE. [pdf]


This paper presents Palantir a system to enhance users’ awareness in a configuration managment workspace. The starting assumption is that current configuration management workspaces isolate developers. This isolation is said to have positive and negative effects like overlapping changes and low shared understanding of each other’s code. Palantir is said to overcome this bas isolation by inverting information flow from push to pull. Awareness, it the understanding of the activities of the others, which provide a context for your own activity.

Previous coordination systems are limited in the sense that they inform the users (developers) only of direct conflicts concerning individual artefacts. What is missing is an overall vieo of the workspace. Palantir builds on top of existing configuration management facilities and concentrates on the collection, distribution, organization and presentation of relevant workspace information.

Palantir has two visualization one is a ticker tape, the other is a fully graphical visualization which maintain an overview of workspace activities. The artefacts can be filtered by different criteria like severity. Palantir exhibits three key properties: (1) its coordination mechanisms is based on workspace rather than repository information; (2) it informs continuosly developers of other ongoing efforts; (3) it provides an overall view of other workspaces that support the detection of both direct and indirect conflicts.


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