The goal of real-time distributed groupware is to support synchronous work at a distance, but if these systems are to succeed, they must find ways to deal with real-world network issues more effectively. One rich area that can provide network techniques for groupware is network gaming: network games have more than a decade of experience building collaborative applications that perform well on the Internet. The techniques used by games have not traditionally been made public, but several game networking libraries have recently been released as open source, providing the opportunity to learn how games have achieved their network performance. We examined five game libraries to find networking techniques that could benefit groupware; this paper presents the most valuable concepts that we found. The techniques deal with limited bandwidth, reliability, and latency, and include both known techniques and principles that have not been seen before in the groupware community. By adopting these techniques, real-time groupware can dramatically improve network performance on the real-world Internet
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