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Caucus version 2.5 adds a new "kind" of conference, called a "file library conference" or just "file library". A file library is similar to a conference: it has an organizer, it appears in the list of conferences, it has a membership list ("userlist"), and so on. But a file library has a different purpose, a different structure, and a different user interface than the traditional discussion conference.
A file library is an on-line place to store files which may be uploaded and downloaded freely. A file library is sub-divided into categories. You may have a library of sound files, and the categories could include animal noises, musical works, bells, etc. Within the category bells, for instance, there could be the recorded sounds of sleighbells, cowbells, and doorbells, each in its own file.
A Caucus File Library is modeled on the town library concept. You walk into a town library, go to a particular section, and look at a book. In a Caucus File Library, you JOIN the library, choosing the library by name. You then LIST the CATEGORIES of files available, and SELECT one. Then you may list the files in that CATEGORY, and select one to VIEW or COPY.
In the example above, a user would JOIN the library 'sounds', SELECT the CATEGORY 'bells', and VIEW (or listen to) the file 'sleighbells'.
Another way of thinking of a file library is to liken it to a conference. A file library is like a conference; a category is like an item, and a file is like a response.
To enter a file library, type:
where libraryname is the name of the file library you want to join. You can type just the first few letters in the name of the library, and Caucus will figure out which library you mean. If more than one library or conference begins with those letters, Caucus will ask you to supply more letters.
If you type JOIN and do not specify a library, Caucus prompts you with:
JOIN which conference or file library?
At this prompt you may do any of the following:
type the name of a conference or file library
type LIST to see a list of available conferences and file libraries
type CHECK to see a brief summary of new material in your conferences
type STOP to exit Caucus
You may not have permission to enter all of the conferences and file libraries you can list. If you attempt to join a conference or file library that does not exist or which you are not permitted to join, you are returned to the "JOIN which conference?" prompt.
Conferences may not be named LIST, STOP, or CHECK.
Once you have joined a file library, you will be presented with a short menu of choices. You will always see this menu, even if you are not using menus in your regular discussion conferences. Use this menu (and its sub-menus) to access files in the file library.
There is a menu selection called "Turn off menus". Choose this selection only if you need to use special commands, such as CUSTOMIZE, SET, or EDIT, that are not provided as part of the file library menus. To see the menus again, rejoin the file library.
After joining a file library, you must choose a Category. To find out what categories exist, choose the selection "List Categories". The list of categories will look something like this:
Category 1 (328) Fiction
Category 2 (126) Non-Fiction
Category 3 (274) Humor
Category 4 ( 8) Technical Documentation
The first number on each line is the category number. The second number is the number of files within that category.
If you wish to start a new category to contain files, choose the "Add Category" option. You will be prompted for a description of the category, which may have many lines and be as long as you like. You also will be prompted for a name for the category, which must be only one line.
To find out more about a category, choose the "Describe Category" selection. You will be prompted for a particular category. Type the category number, or the word "TITLE" followed by a word in the title of the category.
A category description looks like this:
1) Fiction (328 Files)
Files in this category are actually entire fictional novels.
If you created a category that is no longer in use, you may wish to remove it from the file library. In that case, choose "Delete Category". You will be prompted for a category number or title in the same manner as "Describe Category". Deleting a category permanently removes the category and all of the files that it contains. Only the creator of a category, or an organizer, may delete a category.
Finally, to work with the files within a category, you must "select" that category. Only then can you browse through its files. To enter a category, choose the "Select Category" option. Once again, you will be prompted for a category number or title.
Once you have selected a category, you will see the "File Menu". Use this menu to work with the files in the selected category.
To see a list of the files in the selected category, choose the "List Files" option. This displays a brief list of the files within this category. If you had selected the "Fiction" category from the example above, the list of files might look like:
1) Moby_Disk (112728 bytes, format ASCII)
2) Alice_in_DisneyLand ( 89000 bytes, format ASCII)
3) Neurodancer ( 95000 bytes, format ASCII)
For more information about a particular file, choose the "Describe File" option. You will be prompted for the name of the file you wish to describe. Type the first few letters of the file name. (If this matches more than one file, you will see a description of all of the files.) A file description looks like this:
1) Moby_Disk (112728 bytes, format ASCII)
The classic thriller about a boy and his whale.
Once you have identified a particular file, there are four things you can do with that file. You can choose:
View File display the file on your terminal. Caucus will attempt to display the file in the way that makes the most sense given your terminal (see SET TERMINAL) and the type of file.
Copy File make a personal copy of the file, in your current directory on the Caucus host computer.
Get File download the file to your PC. Uses a file transfer protocol, such as Kermit or zmodem, to download the file for you. You should use the "Check and Set File Transfer Protocol" option first, to choose your preferred protocol.
Delete File permanently remove the file from the library.
Each of these options will prompt you for a file name. As with "Describe File", you may type just the first few letters of the name. If this matches more than one file, View, Copy, and Get will use the first file that matches. Delete will offer to delete all of the files that match.
There are two ways in which you can add a new file to a library. As in the previous section, you must have already selected a category in order to add a file. When you add a file, the file automatically goes in the current category. To add a new file, choose one of the following:
Add File make a copy of a file on the Caucus host computer, and place the copy in the library.
Put File upload a file from your PC to the library. Uses a file transfer protocol, such as Kermit or zmodem, to download the file for you. You should use the "Check and Set File Transfer Protocol" option first, to choose your preferred protocol.
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