How to Create a Browsable Copy for CD or USB Flash Drive of the Session Overview

You can use ConfTool Pro to create the conference schedule. As result you get an overview page as a list or table view, with all the sessions of your conference (see three examples below). You can use this page as starting point to create your Web pages with the "official" conference schedule.

Below are some hints how to "export" these dynamic pages to a static format, which can still be browsed but also be saved and edited. You can also copy these exported pages to CD or USB flash drive.

Click on images to enlarge

To create a browsable copy of the session overview, you need the Firefox browser and the browser extension "ScrapBook". It can be found here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/scrapbook/

In fact, ScrapBook is probably one of the most useful extensions for Firefox, as you can use it to create copies (like "screenshots") of any page in your browser. These copies are stored on your local hard drive and will be accessible later at any time. ScrapBook also works with dynamic pages (e.g. JavaScript or AJAX), so you can e.g. make a local copy of a flight booking, a receipt, an invoice or a message of your Webmail account. (Please note: do not use "ScrapBook Plus", it does not work well for the purposes described here.)

To create a browsable copy, a CD or a USB flash drive of your conference session overview, please first set the parameters of the session overview page:

  1. You can set the accessibility of downloads (up to 3) for each contribution type separately. Please go to:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Submission Types / Conference Tracks 
    ... and for each contribution type enable or disable "Accessibility of File No. 1, 2, or 3" in the section "Download Settings".
  2. Please return to:
    Overview => Conference Program Scheduling => Main Settings for Conference Session Overview
    You can enable or disable general settings for the session overview, like the display of e-mail-addresses. (Please note that all e-mails are JavaScript encoded against spam robots.)
  3. For each session you can define, whether abstracts and downloads shall be displayed. Go to:
    Overview => Conference Program Scheduling => Create and Modify Sessions
    ... to carry out these settings.

If everything is fine, please login as a "normal user" (without admin rights) and go to the page "Show Conference Sessions" (the page code is "browseSessions"), and select the according view. To create the browsable copy, please activate the "Export view with Page Head" or the "Print View" first.

Now open the ScrapBook menu and select "Save Page As..."

Click on image to enlarge

Please set the parameters as shown below: For “Options” enable “Images”, “Styles” and also “JavaScript” (otherwise the sorting and search functions of the list of authors won’t be working in your copy) and in the section “Download of linked files” activate “Custom” and define the file types by entering “pdf, doc, docx” (and any file type you want to include in the exported version). For the option "Depth to follow links" set the value to at least to 5 (better set it to 7 to be on the safe side!).

Then start the download process by clicking on the "Save" button.

Click on image to enlarge

You have to limit the downloads to the path (or domain) of your ConfTool installation, to avoid that the tool downloads also external pages (see screenshot below).

ScrapBook will now download the current page and also all linked ConfTool pages and required files of the selected types. This process takes several minutes.

Click on image to enlarge

After the download has finished, you will find all files with modified links and file names in the latest sub-folder of the folder "scrapbook" of your personal Firefox directory.

Example for Windows 7 or 8:

 


C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Roaming\

 

 

 Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[xxx0x0x0].default\scrapbook\

 

NB: If you have problems locating your profile folder, please have a look at the Firefox Profile help. You can also change the location of your ScrapBook save folder, if you go to the configuration page of ScrapBook.

Alternative Tools to Create a Browsable Copy of the Agenda

We can recommend two standalone tools that also allow creating a browsable copy of the ConfTool agenda. They are good alternatives if you do not want to use Firefox or cannot install Firefox with add-ons on your computer.

  • You can use the Unix tool wget to create copies of websites, too. This command line tool is available for almost any platform and even does URL rewriting for all "visible" links if you use the parameter "-k". To create a browsable copy of a website, please use the command:
    wget -mkxKE http//www.conftool.net/yourconferenceXXXX/sessions.php
  • The second tool is called "HTTrack" and is available for Windows, Linux and OS-X. You can obtain it free of charge under the open source GPL license.
  • The third one is called "SiteSucker" and is available for OS-X. It is shareware and the authors ask for a donation if you decide to use it.

Notes and Hints

  • To browse the Scrapbook copy, use the file default.html as start page. Please test the downloaded version and run this test also on a PC without network connection.
  • In order for all downloaded files to be writable on CD or DVD, the generated file names must not be longer than 103 characters. This is due to the standardized "Joliet" file system. Please make the changes for the filenames here:
    Overview => Settings => Main Settings for Paper and Abstract Submission
  • ... and scroll down to the section "Defaults for Uploads and Downloads". For the option "Compose format of generated filenames" we recommend the following setting: "1st Author" "-" "Paper ID". This way, the files will be sorted by authors’ last names and all file names will be unique due to the paper ID.
  • Automatically opening the overview page of the conference agenda upon inserting the CD into the drive (or the USB flash drive into the laptop) isn't that easy any more since Windows Vista had been introduced (for security reasons). We found a small (and affordable) tool that allows to open the file automatically: WinOpen. (If you know a better alternative, please let us know.)
    Unzip the file winopen.exe to the main directory of your USB drive and create a text file "autorun.inf" using Notepad, containing the following four lines:       
    [AutoRun]
    open=winopen "$EXEDIR$\conference\default.html"
    label=Browse Conference Agenda
    action=Browse Conference Agenda

    Please replace the parts in italics with the path to your copy of the conference program on the CD/USB flash drive (second line) and the name of your conference (3rd and 4th lines).
    As far as we know, no corresponding technique exists for Apple OS X. Therefore we recommend adding a short PDF file with documentation on how to open the agenda.

Feedback is welcome!