College of Education's Learning Resource Server Author's Manual

Pia Bombardier & Matthew Stuve
Office of Teaching TeleApprenticeships
18 April, 1994

Before you publish your documents:

Basic Tools for LRS authors:

Gopher:

Text converter for your word processing program. For Microsoft Word 5.x users, we recommend the "Text with Layout" translator. This will allow you to save a formatted Word file in ASCII form while retaining much of the layout features. It also adds a line break at the end of each line.

WWW:

An HTML editor. Many of these exist. For the Macintosh, we recommend BBEdit or HTML Editor . Shareware versions of these can be found on many FTP or campus AppleShare servers. You can convert existing documents to HTML through a two-step process (explained below) that, for Mac users, requires two software tools:

Preparing Text Documents for Gopher:

Gopher can publish text (ASCII) or binary files (GIF, sound files, word processing files, programs, etc.). Binary files can only be transferred by Gopher and displayed within the associated application that created that file (assuming that application exists on the local computer).

If you want your word processing file to be readable within any Gopher client (such as TurboGopher), you must convert it to text first. There are a few ways to do this. The main thing to remember is that different Gopher clients (or "browsers") will display a document differently, depending on local settings. Therefore, text must be formatted in the most generic and readable way.

This example pertains to Microsoft Word, but should be similar to other word processing programs:

  1. From your Microsoft Word document, choose "Save as..." from the File menu. In the "Save File as Type" setting, choose "Text with line breaks" or "Text with Layout". The latter will retain more of the original appearance of the document, but requires the "Text with Layout" translator, which many Word setups don't already have.
  2. You can not test how your document will look in TurboGopher until it is put on the Gopher server. Once it is on the server, you should check your document and update it as necessary.

Preparing Text Documents for WWW:

The WWW server publishes text and binary files, specifically hypertextually linked documents written in HTML. All your WWW "pages" must be written in HTML. Other non-HTML files, such as GIF images, can be "called" from an HTML document, using the appropriate commands (refer to HTML documentation). We will discuss a method of converting existing Word files to HTML format.

This example pertains to Microsoft Word, but should be similar to other word processing programs.

  1. From your Microsoft Word document, choose "Save as..." from the File menu. You will be presented with a dialog box that will allow you to choose from a number of file type options. In the "Save File as Type", you should select the "Interchange format (RTF)" option. A note about file names. Do not use spaces in the file name. Underscores and hyphens can be used instead. It is also best to use the suffix .rtf so that you know that you have a converted RTF file.

  2. Launch rtftohtml . This program will convert your RTF word document into HTML format. If you have any graphics in the document, it will convert those to PICT files for you. These will be named 1,2,3 etc. depending on the order of the graphic in the document. It will also create relative links to those PICT files for you. You will need to convert those PICT files to GIF files. These can be converted using GIFConverter . Save these conversion as filename.gif so that you know you have converted the PICT and so that HTML editor will recognize them as a GIF file.

  3. Launch HTML Editor to fix any strange formatting that took place. This is an important step because sometimes it places too many spaces between sections. Here is a solution to a common conversion problem: if you just want a small space between sections (see the templates) use <BR> (break) instead of <P> (paragraph). This will display as:

    Welcome to the Learning Resource Server
    College of Education
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    instead of:

    Welcome to the Learning Resource Server

    College of Education

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  4. Keep all files that pertain to that document in one folder. This will make it easier to manage.

  5. Test your HTML document using your favorite WWW client (such as Netscape, Mosaic or MacWeb). To view your HTML document, open the file as a local file, instead of as a URL.

  6. Submit the completed folder to the LRS publishers, described below.

Providing documents/resources to the Publishers:

There are three ways to deliver your Gopher or WWW files:
  1. 3.5" Disk
  2. Email attachments (Eudora users only)
  3. AppleShare and FTP. This will be only upon request from Faculty, Staff, or a recognized organization by the College of Education

Your responsibilities as an LRS Author:

By granting your write access to our server, we expect you to follow common security procedures:
  1. Document formatting
  2. Appropriateness of content to agreed policies of the LRS
  3. Server Security (for AppleShare/FTP users)
  4. Copyright issues and acknowledgments
  5. Informing LRS System Operators of problems or changes