Mac-based Software for Conferencing, Guestbooks, Site Feedback, etc.

ConferWeb Home Page

Software, documentation and data files copyright 1998-2004 Brian Johnson, Department of Architecture, University of Washington.

Web Server Compatibility

I have limited resources with which to perform compatibilty testing with the many possible combinations of operating system, server software, and other plug-ins or CGIs. However, I have had occasion to verify a few particular combinations at one time or another. I hope these still work as indicated here, but I can't promise that they do. I'm always interested in feedback, so if you learn something new, or which contradicts this, please let me know.

Dealing with the "Please Select application 'WebStar 4...'" prompt

If you don't happen to use the same software title that I used when I saved ConferWeb for distribution, the AppleScript system (not ConferWeb) may prompt you during the first launch of ConferWeb (only) as it attempts to locate an application that matches the one I used. If this prompt appears, simply use the dialog box to select your actual web server, or even the ConferWeb application itself. This information is used with WebStar to issue a "Flush cache" message to the server so that it uses the files from disk rather than copies stored in the server's disk cache.

Using ConferWeb with "WebStar, WebTen, MacHTTP, or QuidProQuo"

These web servers abide by the standard CGI interface guidelines for Macintosh CGIs, and they utilize the DIRE parameter when used with their own Virtual Host system. ConferWeb has been used with these packages by a number of users. Some older versions will need to use the "No DIRE" version of ConferWeb, but most should be fine.

Using ConferWeb with Apple "Personal Web Sharing"

While PWS can be configured to properly activate ConferWeb, I have encountered conflicts with file access that remain frustrating and mysterious. However, there are ConferWeb users who have registered their sites as users of PWS.

Using ConferWeb with "Pardeikes Welcome"

Welcome works by intercepting URL's coming to the server and inserting an additional bit of text into the file path. This information is only seen by the server, so the browser and the user are never aware of it. The problem for ConferWeb is that it uses a bit of information called the referrer to establish where files are on the server, and this information is not entirely correct when using Welcome. Additional information available to ConferWeb must be accessed before the correct file system location can be determined.

To use ConferWeb with Welcome, you must place ConferWeb entirely within the "virtual host" file structure. That is, if you create a folder called abc which will represent // on your server, you must create a cgi-bin folder within abc to contain ConferWeb. Doing so means that you CANNOT use the WebStar Option to "Restrict CGIs to CGI-BIN" because that "cgi-bin" folder they are referring to is only the one in the root folder.

I have not tested it, but I believe this also means that each virtual host on which ConferWeb is to be used must have a separate copy of the CGI.

Using ConferWeb with "Home Door"

I have not had a chance to test ConferWeb with HomeDoor, but I have had a report from a user that this installation does work.

Using ConferWeb with "Quid Pro Quo"

ConferWeb does work with QPQ, with some restrictions. The earlier version of QPQ did not handle encoded file and folder names in the same way that WebStar does, so that non-standard characters (spaces, slashes, ampersands, etc.) occuring in folder or file names caused errors in ConferWeb processing. These can be avoided by being conservative in the naming of folders and files (use only simple text, without punctuation or spaces).

In addition, AppleScript (not ConferWeb) will prompt you during the first launch of ConferWeb as it atttempts to locate a "WebStar" application to which a "flush cache" message can be sent when web pages are updated. This application name defaults to WebStar 2.1, but it can be ANY web server application on the Mac. Simply use the dialog box to select your server program and all will be well. IF you are using personal web publishing features of OS 8, there is no separate server software. In this case, select ConferWeb itself when you you see this prompt.

©1995-2004 Brian R. Johnson, Dept. of Architecture, University of Washington