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'Participant', 'Tab Owner', 'Host' & 'Control' in a Surfly session

When inside a session, a user needs to open a tab to share content with the other participants. You can share any web app, your screen or documents, depending on the settings. What you and others can do with this content shared inside a session depends on the respective role(s) of each user. 

In a collaborative session, each user is considered a Participant, and by default, they have the ability to view the content shared by others while respecting any information masking that has been implemented. This type of participant is often referred to as a "following-participant." Depending on the settings, participants may also be able to annotate, start/join video chat, and leave or end the session.

Tab Owner is a participant who opens a tab inside the session and shares content. Any tabs they open inside the session are hosted in their own browser and only DOM updates (lossless visuals) are shared with the other Participants while respecting any masking put in place. The same goes for cookies, they will be stored in the Tab Owners’s device only. The Tab Owner is therefore the person who has complete control over the tab(s) opened by them. They are automatically in control of any interaction (input, click, scroll) if the Host switches to a tab owned by them. They can switch between any of  their own tabs when one of their tabs is active.

By default, any participant can request Control of the active tab, which means they can input, click, or scroll on that tab.

However, it's important to note that the Tab Owner has the ultimate control over the tab and can choose whether to allow or deny the request for control. They can also revoke it anytime after they’ve granted it. If the request is granted, all interactions (input, click, or scroll) are transferred over the network and executed in the Tab Owner's browser.

To maintain security and privacy, it's recommended that participants do not enter any private information, such as login credentials, into a tab owned by another participant. This helps ensure that sensitive information is not shared unintentionally.

Host is usually a participant who starts the Surfly session and so the first participant to enter the session. The Host is therefore also the person who has certain control over the session. For example, a Host can admit or deny other people entry into a session, switch between multiple open tabs, make other participants Host, accept or deny their request for Host rights and so on.

The scope of these rights may vary based on the settings options. For instance, the permission for participants to request Host rights and/or the permission to request control can be switched off.

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