The attached CD-ROM contains the contributed
papers to the 32nd EPS Conference on Controlled Fusion and Plasma
in the Congress Palace of Tarragona, Spain, from the 27th of
June to the
1st of July, 2005.. The documents are provided in PDF (Adobe
Portable Document) formatted file, with one file per submission. This was
chosen for its portability across different computer platforms and the
availability of free PDF viewers from Adobe and others.
This conference is the fourth that has used the ELISE conference contribution submission program suite for the 4 page contributed papers and the second to use ELISE for the initial 1 page Abstract submission. ELISE was developed by Ch. Nieswand and B.P.Duval of the CRPP, Lausanne for the 1999 conference in order to a) provide a common, verified, engine for collecting the contributions in a readable form and b) permit the rapid publication of the contributions following the end of the conference where the interest in the contributions is most intense.
ELISE was designed to gather the conference proceedings electronically and provide a rudimentary Web-HTML server interface following the conference to the registered participants. Since, in 2002, ELISE has basically returned home, one of the original authors, B.P.Duval, has taken the opportunity to revisit the initial ELISE program to correct and/or enhance the package performance, and to provide further programming to assist future conferences in tasks such as distribution of the 1 Page Abstracts to the referees and providing a number of the necessary steps from the 4 page contributions to producing the final CD-ROM and post-conference Abstacts Booklet. In keeping with the original ELISE software, all these tools use freely available software in a Linux environment and attempt to limit, as far as is possible, the use of ANY commercial software. (see section on Technical Information below).
For the 2005 EPS conference, ELISE was operated from the CRPP site in Lausanne with the ELISE operator also a member of the conference LOC.
Following the initial 1 page Abstract submission, each contribution was assigned a unique ELISEID. The Abstracts were then electronically marked and collected by Category into packages that were delivered to the Programme Committee members. Preliminary lists of accepted abstracts were returned from the Committee members who then met to finalise the acceptation of Invited, Oral and Poster contributions.
The participants were then informed of the committee's decision and were assigned a PaperID and a password to be used during submission of the 4 Page Contribution. Two weeks before the conference start, collections of the 1 Page Abstracts were made available on the conference web server for download by the conference participants.
At the end of the conference week, ~580 4 page abstracts had been collected and confirmed by ELISE with ~16 contributions ready for acceptance but un-confirmed by their authors before the deadline. Over 550 of these were collected in their final form before the conference without operator intervention. As usual, on-site help was made available for people who had difficulties submitting their contributions through ELISE. Some participants requested small changes to their contributions to correct typos, etc. and it was sometimes necessary to obtain the original document to create an acceptable contribution. The Author of this text would like to use this rather rather obscure place to encourage contributors to "help-themselves" by ensuring their contribution is complete before the end of the conference week.
The evolving PDF format and some surprising incompatibilities of some contributions with different versions of the Adobe-Reader program. There was a particular problem with the OSX PDF writer which produces PDF files that are very slow to interpret by the ghostscript software used in the ELISE rendering. In general, submissions that converted Postscript to PDF with the Adobe or the Ghostscript software caused the least problems. It is also to be noted that more people are now able to use Postscript fonts in Tex formatted submissions which considerably enhances their on-screen appearance. Since the newer features of the PDF format from Adobe are not required for paper submission, it is still advised that submissions only up to PDF version 1.3 (Acrobat 5) are used to ensure compatibility across the ever increasing range of PDF reader software
Finally, following a decision by the Programme Committee, only contributions that were actually presented at the conference were processed for the CD-ROM. Eleven accepted 4 page contributions were excluded in this way.
In total, 585 contributions are distributed on the CD-ROM.
Europhysics Conference Abstracts Vol. 29C aa.nnn
Where aa represents the session number (eg: P1, O3 etc.) and nnn represents the contribution number as given by the programme committee.
The table of contents and authors' index are available on the CD in HTML form with links to the PDF documents. Each PDF documents also contains links to the next and previous pages of the proceedings and the conference index. It should be noted that, as indicated in the conference instructions, only contributions presented at the conference appear in the conference proceedings, resulting in some non-available contributions in the final CD-ROM.
The emphasis at this conference was again to provide the best possible CD-ROM proceedings with the minimum delay following the end of the conference. Although every effort has been made to ensure the abstracts can be viewed and printed with both Adobe Reader version 4 and 5, experience has shown that, at the time of the conference, Acrobat Reader V5 offers the greatest compatibility with the PDF writers used by the conference authors and is available for a wider range of platforms (notably including UNIX).
The HTML indexes have been written in simple HTML that should be readable by most all web browsers.
If necessary, the papers can also be accessed directly in the pdf directory of the CD-ROM where the file names correspond to the conference reference aa.nnn above.
Although the papers on the CD-ROM have all been further processed following submission, their quality on screen and when printed still depends on how they were prepared by the authors. Many PDF drivers have been used from many different text editing programs during this conference which sometimes results in only partially correct PDF files, according to the PDF standard. At the time of writing, the PDF format can still, however, be regarded as state of the art for document exchange between participants from all over the world and features intrinsic internal compression which is suitable for transmission over the internet.
In an effort to check the files as soon as possible they were all printed after submission. The files all open to screen in Acrobat4 5 and 7 under a modern Linux installation. They have all be printed with Acrobat4 and a recent pdf2ps (Unix) which is part of the GhostScript software suite.
With ELISE, the electronic submission and rapid post-conference availability of the contributions and web access to all the previous conferences that have used electronic submission justifies the choice of an official, published and maintained document standard such as PDF.
From the original design, ELISE attempts to use only freely available software in keeping with the intention of providing the software suite to successive conferences at a minimum cost and largest support base. It is currently based on a modern LINUX distribution (Fedora 3 at the time of writing) with Apache 2 web-server software. The documents are processed by a modified version of GhostScript and all scripting and CGI programming is performed in the PERL language.
In order to handle problems with the PDF files, a copy of the full Adobe Acrobat software should be considered a must. This software was also used extensively in the production of collections of PDF contributions into single files (for the referees, pre-conference Abstract collections etc.)
In conclusion, ELISE has now been adapted to handle a large fraction of the computing requirements involved in the Electronic Submission, Contribution handling and Conference Proceedings production, but always in such a way as to allow a future LOC further possibilities.
A report on the current status of ELISE is available on request.
|Basil P. Duval, Lausanne, September 2005|
Following difficulties in providing PDF files that will print on the freely available Reader utilities, the ELISE data from this conference was examined for common failure scenarios.
ELISE was modified for this conference to verify more document parameters
before acceptation. The page size of the submitted document, the margins and
the used fonts were all examined and the author was requested to take
remedial action when necessary.
It is a (lamented !) fact that a lot of participants use Word for creating their contributions. Participants using other products such as Tex or some of the Adobe product family often had far fewer problems with their submissions, but this may also be explained by a higher degree of computing knowledge for this participant category.
Whilst text has not often caused problems, the inclusion of complex graphics
from a wide range of sources and particularities of each individual OS
installation on personal computers, often results in only partially legal PS
and PDF documents, as can be seen by the unpredictability of Reader codes to
interpret the submitted contributions.
There is, in general, no simple cure for this situation. Word has a tendency to be misused on Personal Computers that are often badly configured so that although the result may show up fine on the creating machine, the same is not true on a remote machine.
The success of the participants in passing their contributions
with a ~93% hands-off rate, and finally a 100% success rate may be
as contunuing proof of the ELISE method. In general, it is the effort
of the participants to furnish contributions of a reasonable format in
the required time that is the main "engine" that makes ELISE function...