ELOG User's Guide  

How to get the most from your ELOG server

 A Quick Intro 

ELOG is part of a family of applications known as weblogs. Their general purpose is :

  1. to make it easy for people to put information online in a chronological fashion, in the form of short, time-stamped text messages ("entries") with optional HTML markup for presentation, and optional file attachments (images, archives, etc.)

  2. to make it easy for other people to access this information through a Web interface, browse entries, search, download files, and optionally add, update, delete or comment on entries.

ELOG is a remarkable implementation of a weblog in at least two respects :


 What Words Mean Here 

Just to be clear, some definitions of terms that will be used throughout the guide :


 Accessing an ELOG server and its logbook(s) 

To access a logbook, point your Web browser at the appropriate URL. The default for a local Elog is http://localhost:8080/logbookname. Logbook files are stored in directory logbookname which is a sub-directory of the logbook root directory, defined by the administrator. See the administrator guide on how to create a new logbook.

If several logbooks are defined on the server, the entry page may be a list of all logbooks, with their descriptions, number of entries, and links to enter the logbook you want to use.

Alternatively, you may be taken directly to a specific logbook. By default you will see a list of entries, but the administrator may have defined a different "default view" for the logbook, like the list of the day's entries, or directly display the last entry, etc. (depending on what is most convenient for that logbook's purpose).

Each entry in a logbook is identified by an unique ID, which is last part of the URL when that message is displayed. This ID might be used to create a bookmark in a browser pointing directly to a specific entry.

There are four ways through which access to a logbook may be controlled: it may be open for all to read ; it may require a common "read" password for all users ; it may require each user to have an individual user account (login name) and password ; finally, access may be granted or not depending on the address of the workstation you are using.


 Viewing information in ELOG 

There are two main viewing modes in a logbook :


 Browsing around and finding things 

There are several interesting ways to peruse the information in a logbook :


 Adding stuff to a logbook 

If you have "write access" to a logbook (by one of the same four methods as for read access), then you may use the "New", "Edit", "Reply" and "Delete" commands.

For the quality of the information committed to the logbook, you need understand and use these as well as possible. Here are some of the important features for each commmand :


 Misc. tips & tricks, things to be aware of... 


 RSS Feed

RSS (RDF Site Summrary or Really Simple Syntication) is a web feed format to publish frequently new or updated ELOG entries. This is a bit like the email notifications present in ELOG, but the RSS system does not go through an email reader, but through a dedicated RSS reader. This helps to seperate ELOG updates form other email or spam. An RSS "channel" can be subscribed to, so one gets notified whenever a new or updated entry exists. One can either use a dedicated RSS reader or aggregator, or use the RSS functionality of a web browser, such as Firefox or Google Reader.

To obtain the RSS feed, one simply has to request the file elog.rdf from a logbook. For the ELOG forum, one can enter the URL

     
https://midas.psi.ch/elogs/Forum/elog.rdf

The browser then offers the possiblity to subscribe to that logbook:

In case of "Live Bookmarks" in Firefox, new logbook entries automatically appear in the bookmark list:

>

Standalone RSS reader can also notify the user of new entries with dialog boxes and sounds. For a list of availabel RSS aggregators, see here.