19 October 1994
Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
Information Support Unit
Procedures for electronic dissemination of documents
Table of contents
Objectives underlying the compilation and dissemination of Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development-related documents in electronic format
Responsibility for electronic dissemination of documents
Collecting electronic copies of documents
UN Optical Disk System
Processing Documents downloaded from the Optical Disk System or obtained from the Word Processing Units
Posting electronic copies of documents on-line
Diskette-based dissemination of documents
Annex I: Request for Documents to be placed on the Optical Disk System
Annex II: Request for Documents from a Word Processing Unit
Annex III: Request for Documents on Disk from Government or UN Agency
Annex IV: WordPerfect Macros in DPCSD.WPK Keyboard Layout
Annex V: Documentation for CNV.EXE Conversion Utility
Annex VI: Guidelines on Electronic Dissemination of Information (Draft)
19 October 1994
Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
Information Support Unit
Procedures for electronic dissemination of documents
This paper presents procedures in use by the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (DPCSD) for dissemination of parliamentary documentation of the major bodies within DPCSD. DPCSD actively supports the electronic dissemination of documents. This paper covers procedures for compilation of documents on diskette and for electronic dissemination to the UNDP Internet Gopher and to other electronic networks.
In reviewing these procedures, it must be kept in mind that the gophers for the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development are still in a developmental phase, as are the procedures, and the nature of Internet connectivity and of the specific interface to the United Nations Development Programme system available to the Information Support Unit is likely to evolve. Furthermore, although this document outlines the procedures that have been used on a regular basis in the development of the gopher to date, and in the preparation of documents for the gopher, there is an ongoing need for flexibility in the application of these procedures, and for the development and use of improvisational procedures to address specific situations that may arise. Thus these procedures need to be considered as a framework to be used by, or under the supervision of, someone who has substantial experience with the nature and structure of gophers, with WordPerfect 5.1 -- especially in the creation and use of macros -- with a broad range of MS-DOS file management tools and procedures, and who has a general understanding of and familiarity with the UNIX operating system.
The objectives include:
The exploitation of cost-effective procedures can make documents available in a timely fashion to a much wider constituency than presently has access to them, including the rapidly growing body of people and organizations that have access to the Internet and to other electronic communications systems. Thus a single, brief response to a query received by electronic mail can provide directions that make available the full set of archives of bodies serviced by DPCSD that are on the gopher, without any further effort or expense on the part of DPCSD.
There is a growing demand by agencies, organizations and individuals for documents in electronic format, which can be met through DPCSD's active support for electronic dissemination of documents. Among those involved in proceedings of the CSD the Social Summit process and the Fourth World Conference of Women, the non-governmental organization community has taken the lead to date in utilization of electronic communications technology. However, UN agencies and governments are increasingly recognizing the value of the tools.
Documents are being made available in a format that makes the information within the documents more readily and thoroughly accessible by those who are actively involved with the relevant proceedings -- through simple document searching tools that are available in word processing programs, through allowing the documents to be stored in full text searchable databases, or accessible through "navigational tools", e.g. the MS-DOS based Lotus Magellan software or on-line tools such as the World Wide Web or Mosaic.
The acknowledgement that so many environment and development issues are interrelated was a central theme throughout the UNCED proceedings; it is also made explicit by the "Policy Coordination" element of DPCSD's name. The compilation, organization and dissemination of parliamentary information in electronic format -- on disk as well as on electronic networks -- supports a multi-disciplinary approach to policy formulation and makes the information accessible significantly beyond conventional boundaries of organizations and disciplines.
The highly compact format in which information in electronic format can be stored makes it feasible to support the maintenance and transport of extensive electronic libraries on a much more cost-effective basis than maintaining the equivalent amount of information in printed form.
By making documents available electronically, DPCSD is providing an incentive to agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations to make use of the technology.
The Information Support Unit of DPCSD is responsible for coordination of the electronic dissemination of documents of the bodies serviced by DPCSD. This responsibility includes the development of procedures and guidelines for gopher organization, the initial implementation of electronic dissemination of documents, and the provision of technical and administrative support to the bodies served by DPCSD for the electronic dissemination of documents. The procedures set out below are based on experience gained during the design and development of expanded gophers for the CSD and the Social Summit in the summer of 1994.
The scope and treatment of materials posted on the CSD and Social Summit gophers conforms with the Draft Guidelines on Electronic Dissemination of Information currently under consideration by the Technological Innovations Board Working Group. The draft guidelines are included in Annex VI of this document.
The Secretariats of the Conferences, Committees and Commissions served by DPCSD are responsible the selection and prioritization of the materials to be posted on their respective gophers and to be disseminated to other electronic networks. As the procedures become standardized, the Secretariats of the respective areas in DPCSD will be responsible for disseminating documents directly, with the technical and administrative support of the Information Support Unit.
The process of collecting documents in electronic format involves obtaining them from one of several different sources -- including:
the UN Optical Disk System,
relevant sources in the DPCSD Secretariat and in the Department of Public Information
the UN Word Processing Units,
external sources, including governments intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organization,
electronic conferences of the Association for Progressive Communications networks and TogetherNet, and
having documents scanned and converted into electronic documents using optical character recognition software.
In principle, all official UN documents are placed on the UN Optical Disk System within twenty-four hours of being available in printed form. This means that the Optical Disk System can serve as the primary source for electronic copies of official UN documents.
There are some exceptions to the rule that all official documents are available on the Optical Disk System. In general, draft decision documents (L documents) and Conference Room Papers (CRP documents) are not available, nor are "offset" documents (documents such as reports from agencies or governments that are introduced by a cover note, or a "Note from the Secretary-General"). In addition, some official documents do not make their way onto the Optical Disk System.
A workstation equipped with the software and necessary connectivity for the Optical Disk System is available in the DPCSD Electronic Data Centre, Room DC2-1329; call 212 963-3352.
Because of computer memory limitations and the requirements for access to the Optical Disk System, a separate set of configuration files (AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS) is required for using the Optical Disk System. If the computer is running, it is necessary to exit from Windows, or from other programs that may be running, to the C:\> prompt, and type ODS <Enter>. This will load the configuration files that are needed, and will give a message "Please reboot". At this point, press <Ctrl-Alt-Delete> (hold all three keys down at the same time) to restart the computer with the configuration to access the Optical Disk System.
The computer will then load Windows; select the item with a UN Logo and marked "ODS" -- it will be at the left of the program group "Information Support Unit" -- and double-click on the icon. If you get a message "Invalid drive or path" this generally means that the correct computer configuration has not been selected; in this case go back to "Preparing Computer for the Optical Disk System" above.
A dialogue box will appear with space for "Login name" and "Password". Both the login name and the password are "undpcsd1" -- both name and password must be typed in lower case. If you are successful, this will bring you to a mostly blank screen with "Database Retrieve Options" on a menu line at the top. If you receive a message "Network connection refused" this means that the Optical Disk System is not accessible, and generally that the system is down -- the Optical Disk System is routinely shut down from 1 pm to 2 or 2:30 pm for backing up documents.
Normally you will select a document on the basis of its document symbol. Either with the mouse, or by typing <Alt-R>, choose "Retrieve", and then choose "by DocSymbol ..." from the sub-menu. This will open a Dialogue Box in which you should type either the full document symbol, or the initial part of the document symbol, e.g. "E/CN.17/1994" for 1994 CSD documents. Then either click on "Search" or press <Enter>. This will bring up a list of documents that match the selection criterion.
Select a document by clicking on it, if necessary using the "Scroll Bar". The selected document will be highlighted. At the bottom of the box with the list of documents selected, there will be an indication as to what languages the document is available in -- in both text and image form. Generally, if the Optical Disk System shows that a document is available in both text and image form, this means that there is a text version of the cover note, and that the image file is of the "offset" document. Note that only documents in text form can be downloaded.
Normally, the default for the language is set as English. If any other language version is needed, click on the corresponding letter. Chinese language versions of text files can not be downloaded; in general, all other language versions are maintained in WordPerfect 5.1 format.
If it necessary to view the document, for example to verify that it is the document that is needed, click on "View".
Click on "Download" or type <Alt-W> to obtain a disk copy of the document. You will then be shown a dialogue box in which you can modify the drive and directory where the downloaded files will be stored. If necessary, modify the target drive and directory. Then click on "Download". The document will be stored in a file with a file name corresponding to the document job number -- generally something like "9413975e" where the letter indicates the language.
If necessary, a document can be printed directly from the Optical Disk System, however in most cases it is faster to download the document and print it using WordPerfect.
If a document can not be found on the Optical Disk System, the first step is to check that you have the correct document symbol. Secondly, check the options setting, see below, to verify that the selection criteria have been set for UNDOCS. If the document has only just been released, i.e. within the last 48 hours, try again in a day or so. If the document is still not available, use the request form -- in Annex I -- to request that the document be placed on the Optical Disk System; alternatively, make a request to the Word Processing Units for a disk copy of the document, using the form contained in Annex II.
Checking "Options" settings
If there are no documents that match your selection, e.g. for 1994 CSD documents, it is possible that the "Options" settings have been modified. To check this, select "Options" from the main menu, and make sure that "UNDOCS" has been selected as the "Default Area" under the Database section of the dialogue box.
Complete the "Electronic Document Request Form", see Annex I, filling in the full document symbol, and indicating which language version of the document you need.
Several processing steps are needed to prepare the files that have been downloaded from the Optical Disk System or obtained from the Word Processing Units -- both to put the files in a form where they can be stored in appropriate form on the hard disk and to convert the files into a form that can be used on the gopher.
When the files have been downloaded they should be renamed so that it is relatively easy to identify the document each file contains. If a group of files have been downloaded, the simplest way of renaming the files is through the use of Norton Commander, using the following steps. In Norton Commander, select the C:\ODS subdirectory (the default directory to which files are downloaded), or the directory where the files have been downloaded if different from C:\ODS. Using "<F9> m", have the files be displayed in Date/time order. Change the other panel under Norton Commander to "Quick View" by using "<Tab> <F9> v". Then use <F6> to rename the files. By using the Quick View option, you can easily see what document is contained in each file; displaying the documents in Date/time order means that files remain in the same sequence when the name is changed, and thus one can proceed in an orderly manner through all the documents that have been downloaded.
Guidelines for naming documents
In renaming the files, a consistent naming scheme should be used for each set of documents and the naming scheme should be chosen so as to maintain the logical sequence of the documents and to identify the language of the document. Since most United Nations document symbols have more than the eight characters permitted in a DOS file name (and more than eleven if the DOS file extension is included), it is generally not possible to have the file name fully reflect the document symbol. A satisfactory result can be achieved, however, by dropping some of the initial characters in the document symbol, e.g. "E/CN.17/19" for the Commission on Sustainable Development, or "A/CONF.166/" for the World Summit for Social Development and then moving the files to an appropriately named subdirectory. A file naming system needs to take into account the expected number and categories of documents in a series, including the likelihood of "Add" and "Rev" documents. Thus among 1993 documents from the Commission on Sustainable Development E/CN.17/1993/3/Add.2 has been named "93--3A2.EN", E/CN.17/1993/14 has been named "93-14.EN", and E/CN.17/1993/L.2/Rev.1 has been named "93-L-2R1.EN" Note that since most document series include more than ten documents, a leading "-" is necessary in front of single digit numbers to preserve the correct sequence; otherwise you create a sequence such as 1, 10, 11 ... 19, 2, 20, etc. rather than 1, 2, 3, etc.
Documents to be posted to the Internet gopher need to be in ASCII Text format and should conform to certain formatting criteria in order to appear in a readily usable format on the gopher. Principal considerations concern: the line length - there should be less than 80 characters on a line; the elimination of non-standard characters - the acceptable characters are the set of ASCII characters 32 to 126 plus <Enter> (or carriage return) and <Tab>; and generally the avoidance of unnecessary blank spaces. Since the default left and right margins for UN documents is .9" and the default font is 12 characters per inch, there can be as many as 83 characters on a line if the text is formatted with full justification. In addition, in order to reduce the size of the WordPerfect documents that are maintained on disk, the UN logo should be removed.
DPCSD Keyboard Layout
Many of the modifications to the initial WordPerfect documents can be achieved through standard sets of keystrokes; for many of these situations, WordPerfect macros have been developed. These macros are maintained in the Keyboard Layout DPCSD.WPK, which can be found on the computer connected to the ODS. If the DPCSD Keyboard Layout has been selected, a listing of the macros can be seen by typing <Ctrl-M>. If nothing happens when you try to execute the macros, press "<Shift-F1> K" and select DPCSD from the list of available Keyboard Layouts. A listing of the macros included in the DPCSD.WPK Keyboard layout is shown in Annex IV.
From time to time, you are likely to encounter documents with characteristics that call for repetitive series of keystrokes to be executed to convert it into standard format. In such situations, it can save considerable amount of time to create a macro to execute the needed series of keystrokes. For help in creating and editing WordPerfect macros, use the <F3> in WordPerfect for help, or consult the WordPerfect manual.
United Nations Acknowledgement Header
A header should be added at the beginning of the document indicating that the document has been made available in electronic format by the United Nations. Use <Ctrl-[> to retrieve the header and place it at the beginning of the document.
The standard font for United Nations documents is 10 point Courier (12 characters per inch). Occasionally, a proportional space font -- typically Times New Roman or CG Times -- is used, and this almost always causes problems with having more than 79 characters per line, and should be changed. In general, it is preferable to set the font to 12 point Courier, and to remove any other font settings in the documents, using the Search and Replace command <Alt-F2>.
If a font size of 12 point Courier (10 characters per inch) is used, it presents no problem to maintain the .9" left and right margins. However, if for other formatting considerations, e.g. Tables, it is necessary to use a 10 point Courier font, then the left and right margins should be set to 1" to avoid having more than 79 characters per line.
In most documents the initial left and right margin settings and the initial font are inserted by the use of an "Open Style" that sets a range of initial formatting codes. In some documents, this Open Style is inserted at various places in the document -- this often appears to indicate that different people have typed different sections of the document. If there is an Open Style after the beginning of the document, this can result in problems with excessive line length in the document. Occasionally, an Open Style is used to change page orientation from Portrait to Landscape; when this occurs it is generally accompanied by a Table -- see below for treatment of Tables. Open Styles can be found by using "<F2> <Alt-F8> 3", and then removed.
When WordPerfect documents are saved in ASCII Text format, sections of the document that are indented (with <F4>) produce a column of blank spaces on the left side of the document. These columns of blank spaces make it more difficult to optimize the format of documents when they are downloaded; in addition, they increase the size of the documents. In general, indented sections should be modified by changing all <Indent> codes to <Tab> using the Search and Replace command <Alt-F2>; however, in a few situations, mostly where text has an appearance of being in columns, conversion of <Indent> codes to <Tab> adversely affects the readability of the affected sections of the document.
In some documents -- principally from the Spanish language word processing unit where it appears to be used as a standard procedure for headings or subheadings within documents -- an appearance of an indented format is created by use of the "Center" code combined with blank spaces at both the beginning and ends of lines. When the margins and/or fonts are changed to limit the number of characters per line, this formatting style results in a somewhat messy appearance; this appearance can be aggravated when accented characters are converted -- see below for treatment of accented characters. Correction of this problem entails removing extra blanks and Center codes. As of yet no single macro has been developed to correct this problem; the <Ctrl-U> macro in the DPCSD Keyboard Layout is helpful for removing extra blank spaces.
When either the left and right margins are changed to 1" or the base font is changed to 12 point Courier, 10 characters per inch, this can mean that some or all of the document information at the top right of the first page is displaced to the next line. This can be corrected by changing the Tab setting. To simplify this process, the last step in the <Alt-F> macro searches for the first Tab setting in the document. Note that occasionally, instead of Tabs, blank spaces are inserted to set the position of the document information; when this occurs, it is necessary to remove some blanks spaces form the beginning of the appropriate lines.
Elimination of "New Page" codes
Not infrequently, documents have "Hard New Page" codes (shown as [HPg] in WordPerfect Reveal Codes), either extraneously placed in the text, or to separate sections and Annexes. The appearance of the documents on the gopher is improved by removing the Hard New Page codes.
Removal of UN Logo
The UN logo that is included as a graphic image in the documents on the Optical Disk System significantly increases the size of the documents. The WordPerfect macro <Alt-F> in the DPCSD Keyboard Layout removes the graphic image as well as some other unnecessary formatting codes. The savings in disk space can be substantial: the file for a one page document from the Optical Disk System will typically be approximately 75,000 bytes; after the logo and other extraneous codes have been removed, it will be approximately 3,000 bytes.
There are a number of additional special features that can occur in documents. While the following is not an exhaustive list, it covers about 99% of the occurrence of special problem features that you are likely to encounter.
The basic 7-bit ASCII character set does not include accented characters -- ASCII does, after all, stand for the American Standard Character Information Interchange -- and most computer-based communication is based on the 7-bit character set. This creates problems in the electronic dissemination of accented characters, and as of yet no widely accepted standard has evolved for the treatment of accented characters within the 7-bit character set.
Five principal alternatives are used for treating accented characters on the Internet: simple removal of the accents; two alternative schemes for conversion of accents into equivalent strings of 7-bit characters; the use of special control codes in documents that can, with appropriate software and file transfer procedures, preserve the appearance of accents on-screen and in downloaded documents; and the use of binary files.
The option of dropping the accents entirely is unsatisfactory as there are a significant number of words that have different meaning depending on how the vowels are accented. One of the conversion schemes -- informally known as IBASCII based on a combination of I-BASE, the organization in which it was developed, and ASCII -- places a character after the vowel to indicate the accents -- thus "e acute" is represented as "e'", "e circumflex" as "e^", "o umlaut" as "o"" -- and is relatively easy to read on screen, but suffers from not permitting unique translation back into accented characters. The second conversion scheme maintains uniqueness by enclosing the character and accents in triangular brackets, placing the accents before the character -- thus "e acute" is represented as <'e>, "e circumflex" as <^e>, and "o umlaut" as <"o> -- however is much less easy to read on the screen or when printed as is, particularly in French, which tends to use accents more frequently than does Spanish. The option of using special control codes is relatively difficult to implement and unsatisfactory for those who do not have the requisite hardware and software; likewise, the use of binary files poses problems for less sophisticated users, and depending on the software and the nature of one's connection to the Internet, may require one of several varieties of decoding software.
Although none of the procedures for converting accented characters is ideal, IBASCII is recommended as the standard procedure until a more satisfactory solution is developed. In addition to the advantage of being easier to read on screen and when printed in an unconverted format, there is a simple conversion program for it that is available in the public domain that can be made available on the gopher.
To convert a file with accented characters into its IBASCII equivalent, use the <Ctrl-K> macro to convert accented capital letters that do not have an equivalent in the standard eight bit ASCII character set, then save the document as a DOS Text (ASCII) file from WordPerfect, using <Alt-A>. Then go to a DOS prompt -- either directly or using Norton Commander -- in the sub-directory where the ASCII file is stored, and type: cnv < [file-in] > [file-out] <enter> where [file-in] is the name of the file to be converted and [file-out] is the name you want for the output in IBASCII format. Additional description of the CNV program can be found in Annex V.
Other non-standard characters
From time to time, a document will contain other non-standard characters, for example ASCII character 167 -- often shown as <166> ¦, or <167> §, <174> ®, <175> ¯, or <248> ø, or some characters for bullets, variations on quotation marks and the typographical characters "em-dash" and "en-dash" (both of which can easily be confused with a hyphen). While the occasional appearance of one or more of these characters would not in and of itself pose that much of a problem, if a document with just one non-standard character is uploaded via any other procedure than an ASCII upload, the entire document is automatically encoded by the "uuencode" program and becomes meaningless to anyone who is not aware of uuencoding and who does not have the uuencode software. While the uuencode software is available at many anonymous ftp sites, many users are not familiar with how to use ftp; in addition, there are a few variations of uuencode software which are not all mutually compatible.
If you notice that a document is using non-standard characters, for example using quotation marks and apostrophes that look like þ on screen, you can use the <Ctrl-D> macro that will convert them to normal quotation marks and apostrophes. As an additional safeguard, you can use the CNV.EXE program, for which the default translation table has been set up to convert non-standard characters to "~~".
Footnotes and Endnotes
Any text that is in a footnote or an endnote will not be included when you save an ASCII Text version of the document. To include the text of footnotes or endnotes, use the macros <Ctrl-Y> or <Ctrl-Z> respectively to save the text of footnotes or endnotes to Document 2; be sure that Document 2 is empty before initiating either of these macros.
When a WordPerfect document that includes a Table is saved in ASCII Text format, a Hard New Page code is inserted after each cell of the Table, making it very hard to recreate the appearance of the Table. In general it is possible to adapt the contents of the Table so that the information in it is presented meaningfully, however this requires several steps that are not amenable to treatment by a single macro. The essence of the operation is the deletion of the <Table Definition> code, a step that inserts a <Tab> between adjacent cells. However, this requires several preparatory steps. While the following steps describe the basic procedure, additional improvisational steps are often necessary to complete the process. Note that the Spanish Word Processing Unit at the UN uses Tables much more frequently than do the other language units, often using them for Tables of Contents and for agendas for meetings.
Setting the Table Options
First go to the Table you want to convert, either by scrolling through the document, or by searching for a Table Definition, using "<F2> <Alt-F7> T D <Esc>". Then type "<Alt-F7> O P F" (for Options, Position, Full) followed by <F7> to exit the Table definition mode. This allows the Table to make full use of the width of the page.
Copying the Table
Until one is quite experienced in converting Tables, it is advisable to make a copy of the Table before taking any further steps.
With the cursor immediately above the Table, go into "Tab Set" mode, using "<Shift-F8> L T". Delete all Tab settings by typing <Ctrl-End>. Using the cursor keys move until you are just above the first column division, and press <Tab> and continue this until you have created a Tab set corresponding to each column of the Table.
Remove any formatting codes such as Center, Tab, Flush Right from the cells of the Table; if any of these codes are left in, the appearance of the Table will be significantly distorted.
If text within any of the cells wraps around to a second or subsequent line, replace the "Soft Return" with a "Hard Return" or <Enter>.
Go into "Reveal Codes" modes, using <Alt-F3>, and move the cursor to the very beginning of the Table, so that in the "Reveal Codes" section of the screen the [Tbl Def: ...] code is highlighted. Delete the [Tbl Def] code using the <Delete> key.
It will then generally be necessary to perform several clean up, or fine tuning steps, to complete the conversion of the Table into a conventional text format so that the final appearance conveys the information and relationships that were evident in the initial Table. There are no hard and fast rules for these steps; substantial familiarity with WordPerfect features is invaluable for this phase.
On occasion, text is enclosed in a "Text Box" or "User Box". In order for the text in the box to be included in the ASCII Text version of the document, it is necessary to edit the Box, using "<Alt-F9> B E" or "<Alt-F9> U E" -- depending whether the text is contained in a Text Box or a User Box. Then type "E" to edit the contents of the box. Then block and copy the contents of the box, exit from the box, delete the box, and copy the text into the body of the document.
It is not possible to convert graphic images used in Figure boxes into ASCII Text format, and it is generally not practical to convert graphs or charts. If it essential that a Figure be disseminated, it should be saved as a separate file, and made available as a Binary file on the gopher. Normally it should suffice to delete the Figure and to add a note, in [brackets] stating that Figure Number n could not be converted into ASCII Text format.
A number of documents are posted by the UN Department of Public Information onto the Internet gopher managed by the UN Development Programme. In some cases, symbol documents that are not available on the Optical Disk System can be found on the gopher; this is not infrequently the case with some significant L documents. Documents that are found on the gopher can be incorporated through the use of the link features in the gopher. However, frequently documents on the gopher are not posted in a very satisfactory format, so that it is often advisable to download a document from the gopher, reformat it using the same type of procedures as are used to convert documents retrieved from the Optical Disk System, and then post it to the appropriate gopher.
While the Optical Disk System and the gopher are the principal sources of documents on disk, it will frequently be necessary to obtain documents from other sources, including the following:
Another important source of documents in electronic form for dissemination to the gopher and to other electronic conferences are the respective secretariats of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Social Summit. Pending the establishment of systematic procedures to ensure that documents from other areas of DPCSD are sent to the Information Support Unit on disk, it is necessary for the person responsible for managing the gopher to be alert to documents that are being released in printed form and to follow up with the appropriate secretariat to obtain the document on disk. The same general procedures are needed to convert the disk-based documents into consistent ASCII format as are required to convert documents retrieved from the Optical Disk System. Normally, Secretariat documents are produced under WordPerfect 5.1; when a document is in another format, you will either need to use a conversion program (see below) or will need access to the specialized software which was used to create the document. For example, with issues of the CSD Update which are produced using the Microsoft Publisher program, you will need to have a copy of Microsoft Publisher, and then to use the "Save As" command to save the text in WordPerfect format.
While in principle all official document are placed on the Optical Disk System, in practice this does not always happen, especially with CRP and L documents. If it has been necessary to obtain documents directly from the from one or more of the Word Processing Units -- see "Locating Missing Documents" above on procedures for this, the document files received from the Word Processing Units need to be processed in the same way as those from the Optical Disk System (see above).
Pending the establishment of procedures by which Conference and Commission secretariats routinely obtain disk copies of all documents submitted to them by UN Agencies, governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, there are still many documents that can only be obtained in printed form. In order to convert the printed documents into electronic form, the documents need to be scanned, and then converted into text using optical character recognition software. Scanning may be done in-house or by a service bureau. When the scanning is done by a service bureau, the bureaus should be requested to provide the electronic versions of the documents in WordPerfect 5.1 format, in order to simplify the task of any additional processing of the documents that is required.
Scanned versions of documents will need to be processed according to the same guidelines used for documents from the Optical Disk System. From time to time it will make sense to create macros where a repetitive sequence of commands or characters is needed to reformat the document.
In addition to checking and cleaning up the format of scanned documents, it is also advisable to do a spell check, using <Ctrl-F2> as this can pick up errors in the scanning process. If the scanned documents are in French or Spanish, be sure to change the language code at the beginning of the document, by using "<Shift-F8> O L" and then typing "ES" for Spanish or "FR" for French.
Documents maintained on the Optical Disk System are limited to official UN documents, and while image files are sometimes available for "offset" documents, for example reports by UN agencies, these reports are normally not available on the Optical Disk System in a text format. The managers of the Optical Disk System will be exploring the practicality of converting the image files into text format. Frequently it is possible to obtain disk versions of statements prepared and submitted by non-governmental organizations; the ability to do so is greatly enhanced by personal contacts. Government delegations and UN Agencies or Intergovernmental Organizations should be requested -- using the form in Annex III -- to make documents available on diskette.
Conversion to WordPerfect 5.1 files
Sometimes when diskettes are obtained from governments, intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations, the documents are not in WordPerfect format.
The ConvertPerfect program produced by the WordPerfect corporation can convert documents from most types of word processing programs into WordPerfect format. If you do not have a current version of ConvertPerfect, you may from time to time encounter files that it is not able to convert, e.g from the most recent versions of Word for Windows; in some cases these documents can be converted using the "Conversions Plus" program that translates Macintosh files.
Normally, it is not possible to read a Macintosh diskette from an MS-DOS computer, however, there are a few programs available that allow a high density Macintosh disk to be read from an MS-DOS computer. The most useful of these programs in "Conversions Plus", made by DataViz, as it is able to convert from most Macintosh word processing format into WordPerfect 5.1 (as well as into other MS-DOS formats).
From time to time, documents pertaining to the bodies served by DPCSD can be found in electronic format on one or more electronic networks, in particular the Association for Progressive Communications networks and TogetherNet. By monitoring the appropriate conferences on these networks, it is possible to download such documents.
Association for Progressive Communications networks
For the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Social Summit, the principal conferences are <un.csd.general> and <un.csd.docs>; for the Social Summit, the principal conferences are <un.socsummit> and <un.socdev.docs>. In addition, it is advisable also to monitor the <unic.news> and <un.dpi> conferences, which contain an extensive collection of UN information. Note: pending the Information Support Unit obtaining an account on EcoNet, the U.S. node of the Association for Progressive Communications networks, access to EcoNet has been obtained through the personal account of the gopher development consultant. When documents are downloaded from the Association for Progressive Communications networks, the documents should be checked for format, and if necessary, processed for consistency of format, using the same guidelines and procedures as are described above.
The TogetherNet network maintains electronic conferences for the CSD and the Social Summit, and should also be monitored for documents to be included on the gopher. Any documents downloaded from TogetherNet need to be checked for format, and if necessary processed for consistency of format, according to the guidelines and procedures described above. Note that normally documents downloaded from TogetherNet will normally be in Macintosh text format; "Conversions Plus" -- or a functionally equivalent program -- is then necessary to convert it into WordPerfect format.
While the primary location to which documents are to be disseminated electronically is the UNDP gopher, documents should also be disseminated to the Association for Progressive Communications networks and to TogetherNet, and to other networks that request them, to the extent that this does not strain available resources and subject to appropriate agreements -- that may include information exchange procedures with non-profit networks and compensation from commercial networks.
There are several ways of posting documents to the CSD and Social Summit gophers. The simplest of these requires that a prearranged script be set up with the UNDP Information Managers that provides an electronic mail address to which documents are mailed. When the script and e-mail addresses are available, posting a document to the gopher is very similar to sending any e-mail message. There is a slight difference in that the e-mail account from which documents are posted to the gopher is on the primary UNDP computer -- technically the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org -- and some electronic mail features are that are available on the more commonly used UNDP system -- "nywork2.undp.org" -- are not available on "nywork1". Thus, there is a need for a two step process; first to upload the document and give it a file name, then to retrieve the file into an e-mail message and send it to the appropriate address. When a message is sent to the gopher via an e-mail address, copies can simultaneously be sent to other networks, e.g. APC and TogetherNet.
Preferred methods for posting to the gopher
While the use of e-mail to post documents to the gopher is the simplest method, it suffers from a significant disadvantage in that it results in file names for the documents on the gopher that are based solely on the date and time the document was posted; this makes editing the gopher menus substantially more cumbersome, and it also results in non user-friendly file names when documents are downloaded from the gopher. Preferable methods for posting a document to the gopher require more extensive knowledge of file management and editing under the UNIX operating system, and are dealt with under the heading "Managing / organizing the gopher". Because of the disadvantages of the e-mail method of posting to the gopher, that method should only be used when resources or time constraints do not permit the direct methods of gopher management.
E-mail addresses for the gopher
The following e-mail addresses, with a corresponding script prepared by UNDP, are available for posting documents to the gopher. If it becomes necessary to have additional e-mail addresses for posting documents to the gopher, contact Malcolm Chapman, 906-6585, or by e-mail at email@example.com
E-Mail Address Gopher location
firstname.lastname@example.org WSSD PrepCom 2, Official documents
email@example.com WSSD PrepCom 2, UN Agencies & Intergovernmental Organizations
firstname.lastname@example.org WSSD PrepCom 2, Government Documents
email@example.com WSSD PrepCom 2, Non-governmental Organization Documents
There are currently not any e-mail addresses for directly posting documents to the CSD gopher.
Selection of Protocol for uploading documents
When uploading a document, a choice is given between ASCII and Kermit. Kermit should be selected, as it has a built-in procedure for verifying that all the information being sent has been received. The ASCII upload procedure does not include this safeguard, and when using ASCII upload to the UNDP system, it is not unusual for characters -- sometimes significant strings of characters -- to be lost. However, there is a quirk in the Kermit upload which not infrequently results in the message "Nak received" being displayed during an upload. The uploading halts, and it is necessary to cancel the upload; normally, once a "Nak received" message has been encountered, it will be encountered again at that same point in the file if the upload is attempted again. However, although one is only given two choices for upload protocol, it is possible to type "x" (for Xmodem), although the Xmodem file transfer to "nywork1.undp.org" is substantially slower than the Kermit transfer. Normally, the communication software is set with Kermit as the default protocol for uploading and downloading documents; if it is necessary to use Xmodem, that option must be selected when preparing to upload a document.
The following are the principal electronic conferences on the Association for Progressive Communications networks -- and their corresponding e-mail addresses -- to which documents from DPCSD may need to be posted.
Conference Subject E-mail address
un.csd.docs CSD Official Documents firstname.lastname@example.org
un.csd.general CSD General Information email@example.com
un.socdev.docs WSSD Official Documents firstname.lastname@example.org
un.socsummit WSSD General Information email@example.com
env.islands SIDS General firstname.lastname@example.org
inc.desert INC Desertification email@example.com
icpd.general ICPD General firstname.lastname@example.org
un.reform UN Reform, incl NGO Review email@example.com
On the TogetherNet conference, to which documents are also currently posted, there is not any pre-set e-mail address for each conference, as normally documents are uploaded directly from within TogetherNet. It is necessary to make arrangements with the TogetherNet staff -- either via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com or by phone at 212 628-1939 -- for an e-mail address to use to post to conferences. Alternatively, documents can be sent directly to the e-mail addresses above. On TogetherNet, there is much greater use of sub-conferences, and frequently it will be necessary to recommend to TogetherNet that a new sub-conference be set up -- e.g. for the 1994-95 CSD Intersessional process, or for the October 1994 Intersessional meetings of the Social Summit.
The following are the e-mail addresses of DPCSD-related conferences on TogetherNet.
Conference E-mail address
CSD 1994-95 Intersessional firstname.lastname@example.org
WSSD Official Documents (PrepCom 2) email@example.com
WSSD NGO Statements (PrepCom 2) firstname.lastname@example.org
WSSD Agency Statements (PrepCom 2) email@example.com
WSSD Government Statements (PrepCom 2) firstname.lastname@example.org
If documents are sent to the gopher via e-mail, copies can be simultaneously mailed to APC and TogetherNet by adding the appropriate e-mail addresses. If the documents have been placed directly on the gopher using the preferred method for gopher management, the documents are sent to APC and TogetherNet by accessing the relevant documents on the gopher, and typing "m" -- for "mail to" -- followed by the appropriate e-mail addresses.
The e-mail account "email@example.com" has been established by the Information Manager of the UNDP gopher for use by the Information Support Unit of DPCSD to manage and organize gophers for DPCSD. Use of the firstname.lastname@example.org account for the gopher is only authorized for a staff member or other designated representative of DPCSD approved by the Chief of the Information Support Unit and by the Information Manager of the UNDP gopher (Malcolm Chapman). Note also: since the "email@example.com" account has "write privileges" on the UNDP gopher and as write privileges also entail the ability to delete files and directories from the gopher, only authorized personnel should use that account to access the gopher; for example, using "d" instead of "D" when intending to download a document from the gopher would result in deleting it instead. A separate account, "firstname.lastname@example.org" account should be used for demonstrating the gopher or for downloading documents from it.
The overall management and organization of the gopher requires some familiarity with basic UNIX file management and editing commands, In addition, when it is necessary to upload multiple files, a familiarity with DOS and UNIX file compression programs is invaluable. Note: procedures that involve file management and editing directly on the UNDP should only be undertaken by someone with substantial experience in file management along with sound understanding of the principles of the organization of subdirectories as they relate to gophers.
Menus and subdirectories
The basis structure of a gopher is of a hierarchy of subdirectories. Each sub-directory corresponds to a menu, and the files in each subdirectory correspond to documents. In addition, there are three special types of files, each of which is described in more detail below: those in ".cap" subdirectories, ".cache" and ".cache+" files, and the ".Link" files.
Files in ".cap" subdirectories
In general, for each menu item or document on the gopher, there needs to be a file with the same name in a ".cap" subdirectory of the directory where the menu subdirectory or the document file is stored. The files in the ".cap" subdirectory maintain information on the title that will appear on the gopher, recorded as "Name=..."; information as to whether the item is a menu/directory of a document, recorded as "Type=1" or "Type=0" respectively; and optional information on the position of the item on the menu, recorded as "Numb=..." Each element of the file in the ".cap" directory must be on a separate line. If the "Numb=..." item is omitted, the items will be sorted in alphabetical order based on the Title. If the corresponding file in the ".cap" directory is missing or defective, the default title with be the subdirectory or file name of the item.
When a menu of a gopher is read or accessed for the first time, the information on the titles in the menu is recorded in two files, named ".cache" and ".cache+" When the menu is subsequently read or accessed, the information from the ".cache" files is used. If files in the ".cap" subdirectory are edited, or if additional documents are placed in the subdirectory, the ".cache" files must be deleted for the updated information to be accessible; to delete the ".cache" files, change to the appropriate subdirectory, and type "rm .cac* <Enter>". You will then be asked to confirm the deletion of each of the ".cache" files.
In some gopher subdirectories, you have, or need to have, a file with the name of ".Link". The ".Link" file allows you to have information that is stored in another gopher appear on the gopher menu. A single ".Link" file can be used to incorporate a number of menu items; the menu items included in the ".Link" file can be any type of gopher item, whether menu, document or the other types of permissible gopher types; each item is separated by a line with just the "#" character. The general format of an item in a ".Link" file is as follows:
Name= is followed by the title to appear on the gopher
Type=0 for a document, and Type=1 for a menu
Numb= (optional) defines the sequence in the menu where you want the item to appear. If you do not include the line beginning with "Numb=" the menu items will be listed in alphabetical order by the title
Host= defines the computer where the original item is stored. If the item is elsewhere on the UNDP gopher, then Host=gopher.undp.org
Port= defines the port on the host through which the gopher is accessible; normally this will be 70
Path= defines the path from the root gopher directory where the item is stored.
You can determine the Host, Port and Path of an item by typing "=" when your cursor is pointing to that item.
The structure of the Commission on Sustainable Development and Social Summit gophers are shown in Annex II and III of the User Manual for the gopher. The normal structure on the gopher includes a separate item on the main menu for the Conference or Commission for each Preparatory Committee session of a Conference, or of a Conference session, as follows:
The structure will need to be modified from time to time where considerations of logic and ease of use of the gopher indicate that restructuring would improve the usefulness of the gopher.
- Official Documents/
- Background Documents/
- Statements - Bureau & Secretariat/
- Statements - Governments/
- Statements - UN Agencies & Intergovernmental Organizations/
- Statements - Non-Governmental Organizations/
- Dept. of Public Information Press Releases/
- NGO Bulletins & Newsletters/
When a significant number of documents need to be uploaded at one time it is often simpler, and significantly quicker, to prepare a set of the files, including the title files, under MS-DOS, convert them into a single file using a compression program, and then "unzip" them once they have been uploaded.