How to Create a Browsable Copy for CD, USB Flash Drive or your main Website of the ConfTool Agenda

You can use ConfTool Pro to create the conference schedule. You will be able to compile the agenda as a list or table view, with all the sessions of your conference (see three examples below). You can use this agenda as a starting point to create your Web pages and booklets 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 saved and edited. You can also copy these exported pages to CD, to USB flash drive or upload them on your main conference website after the event.

 

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Before you create a browsable copy of your conference session overview, please set the parameters of the session overview pages in ConfTool:

  1. Set the accessibility of downloads for each contribution type. Please go to:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Submission Types / Conference Track
    ... 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) or make the conference schedule (temporarily) accessible to public and go to the page:
Overview => Browse Conference Agenda.

Important: To create the browsable copy, click on the tab “More…” and activate the "Page View for Export" first. Use this page as starting point for the copy process described below. For HTTrack, please copy the current address from your browser as starting address.

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Use “HTTrack” for Creating a Browsable Copy of the Agenda

To create a browsable copy of the session overview, we recommend the easy-to-use offline browser utility “HTTrack”. The software is available for Windows, Linux and OS-X and you can obtain it free of charge under the open source GPL license.

With HTTrack you can create browsable copies (like an interactive series of "screenshots") of any website in your browser. These copies are stored on your local hard drive and will be accessible later at any time. Simply open a page of the "mirrored" website in your browser and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. You can also use this copy on a USB flash drive, a CD or upload it to a folder on your main website.

Now open the HTTrack software and start a new project by filling in the project parameters:
the “New project name” and the “Base path” on your local hard drive.

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In the next step, please set the main scanning parameters as shown below:
For “Action” select the item “Download web site(s)”, fill in the web address of your ConfTool conference session overview and click on the button “Set options…” for setting the mirror options.

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Please open the tab “Experts Only” and for the option “Travel mode” select the item “Stay in the same directory” For all other configuration options, you can use the predefined default settings of the system. Close the options by clicking on OK.

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Then please start the process by clicking on “Next >” and then on “Finish” on the next page. HTTrack will now download the current page and also all linked ConfTool agenda pages and required files. This process takes several minutes, please be patient.

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After the download has finished, you will find all files in the “base path” on your local hard drive, which you filled in as project parameter in the first step (see above).

To browse the HTTrack copy and to use it as a link on a CD or a USB flash drive, please use the file index.html as starting page. It is important that you use the file which you find in the subfolder “YourConference” and not the first one in the parent folder (otherwise a HTTrack overview page with a link to your conference session overview is shown first).

Please test the downloaded version and run this test also on a PC without network connection.

If you want to use HTTrack in the command line (e.g. for Linux or OS-X), please use these parameters:
httrack www.conftool.net/your-conference/index.php -D -O "C:\YourSubdirectory\"

-D means that the scan can only go down into subdirectories
-O specifies the output path on your local drive

Use “ScrapBook” for Creating a Browsable Copy of the Agenda

Alternatively, you can use the Waterfox web browser (a project based on the Firefox browser that still supports the XUL API), together with the browser add-on "ScrapBook" for creating a browsable copy of the conference session overview.

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 webmailer account. (Please note: do not use "ScrapBook Plus", it does not work well for the purposes described here.)

After installing the add-on Scrapbook, please open the ScrapBook menu and select "Save Page As..."

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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.

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You have to limit the download to the path (or domain) of your ConfTool installation in order to avoid that the tool also downloads external pages.

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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, please be patient.

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, 8 or 10:
C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[xxx0x0x0].default\scrapbook\

NB: To open the folder "...Appdata\Roaming" in Windows, please type "%appdata%" into the address bar of the file explorer and hit the return key. If you still have problems locating your profile folder, please have a look at the Firefox/Waterfox Profile help. You can also change the location of your ScrapBook save folder, if you go to the configuration page of ScrapBook.

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.

Alternative Tools to Create a Browsable Copy of the Agenda

We can also recommend the following three tools that allow creating a browsable copy of the ConfTool agenda in similar ways.

  • 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 https//www.conftool.net/yourconferenceXXXX/ index.php?page=browseSessions&print=export
  • The second tool is called “Cyotek WebCopy” and is available for Windows. The download process is comparable to the process of HTTrack described above. It may be used free of charge and the authors ask for a donation to help with running costs and timely updates.
  • 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

  • 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 generated 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) has become more difficult since the introduction of Windows Vista (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\index.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!