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.

Setting up Email Notification

    ConferWeb permits email "subscribers" to conferences. Such subscribers receive notification, via email, whenever a thread is created or a new posting made within the conference.

    Configuration of the Mail functions consists of a required system-wide setting and optional forum-specific variations. The system-wide setting is stored in a /cgi-bin/ configuration, as specified below.

Mail Program

    OS-9
    The actual mailing is handled by "MondoMail" (either Lite or Pro) from Acme Technologies. Before you will be able to utilize ConferWeb email notification, you will need to acquire and install this application on your server.

    OS-X
    ConferWeb 3.4 is pre-configured to use Apple's Mail application. You will need to define the user-account from which mailing originates.

Mail Configuration: System-wide

    Within the folder that houses Confer.acgi on your server (probably /cgi-bin/) you must locate a file called confer.mail-config. This file, as distributed, contains two lines:

      mailhost.server.edu
      nobody@server.edu

    The first line identifies the mail-server through which the email will pass. You will need to consult your ISP or network administrators for the proper information to place here. The second line specifies the default "From:" field for all outbound mail. If you can, you might use this to indicate that it originates with a robot. ConferWeb does NOT process incoming mail.

Mail Notification: Conference-specific server configurations

    Within the folder that houses a specific ConferWeb conference, forum, or guestbook on your server (NOT /cgi-bin/) you may optionally create a different confer.mail-config. This file will control the mailing which is done in connection with that specific conference, and no other. The two lines of the configuration file are the same as for the system configuration.

Mail Configuration: ConferWeb HTML tags

    Within the HTML files of the guestbook or conference you control to whom the email is sent. This is done with one or more lines of the form

      <!--CW_SUBSCRIBERS=nobody@nowhere.com-->

    The information shown above in lowercase (nobody@nowhere.com) represents the variable portion of the line, indicating one or more (comma separated) addresses to which email notification should be sent.

    A subscriber listed in the INDEX file will receive notification of ALL new threads and postings within the conference. A subscriber listed in just one topic thread will receive email only for postings to that thread.

    CAUTION: There is no provision for web-based "unsubscribing" or "subscribing" because there is no suitable means of authenticating a subscription. However, it would be possible to add an <Aux> field to the NewItem form, and use it to accept an email address. This can then be used to 'subscribe' the individual to the associated thread by including the associated <Confer_Aux> substitution tag in the NewItem.tmpl file within the SUBSCRIBERS tag, like this:

      <!--CW_SUBSCRIBERS=<Confer_Aux1>-->

    However, it is suggested that such a feature be used with great caution, given the potential abuse.


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