Mac-based Software for Conferencing, Guestbooks, Site Feedback, etc.
CONFERWEB USER GUIDE
ConferWeb Home Page
Software, documentation and data files copyright 1998-2004 Brian Johnson, Department of Architecture, University of Washington.
OS-X System Requirements (ConferWeb 3.4+)
ConferWeb 3.4, which runs on OS-X, does not require any OSAXen (Scripting Additions) except the "Standard Additions" OSAX provided as part of the system.
If you wish to take advantage of the EMAIL notification feature, you may use the Apple Mail client provided as part of OS-X. If you use a different mail client and it can be Applescripted, you may be able to customize the ConferWeb email module to run mail through your application. If you do not have an email tool, ConferWeb will still run, but will be unable to send email.
Applescript CGIs on OS-X
The apache web server now used to provide Apple's "Personal Web Sharing" features does NOT directly support Applescript CGI applications. Other web server applications (e.g., WebStar, MacHTTP) do, but are not directly supported by Apple and may have substantial price-tags associated with their use. What to do?
Apple's OS-X Server
Apple includes a "cgi-enabler" with OS-X Server. This tool provides the necessary bridge to make it possible to run Applescript CGIs with apache. Unfortunately, Apple does not supply this tool with the personal version of the OS.
There is a shareware application called "ACGI dispatcher" that aims to provide Applescript CGI support on Apple's apache server. I used the early version of this software with OS-X.1 and OS-X.2 during development of ConferWeb 3.4 and found it quite satisfactory. Unfortunately, with the release of Panther (OS-X.3), this software (though revised to support Panther) no longer provides the necessary environmental information for some of ConferWeb's more advanced applications (notably, realm-based authentication). I have written to its author about this, and changes may be forthcoming, but users are cautioned to test thoroughly before deploying this combination.
To address the Applescript-to-apache communications difficulty, I have written my own system (PeacePipe) to make peace between apache and Applescript through an inter-process communications pipeline. This system is quite young and relatively untested, but I have been able to deploy it on my low-volume research web server with satisfactory results to date.
©1995-2004 Brian R. Johnson, Dept. of Architecture, University of Washington