1st Electronic Computational Chemistry Conference Announcement


What's New - Updated July 27, 1994

A Scientific Organizing Committee has been established to review the abstracts submitted to the ECCC. This committee will ensure the quality of the science presented at the conference. Upon submission of the abstract, the committee will review the abstract, and the author will be apprised of its status within a few days.

The members of the Scientific Organizing Committee are:

Dr. Henry Rzepa, Imperial College

Dr. Stephen Gray, Argonne National Laboratory

Dr. Donald Boyd, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Dr. William Hase, Wayne State University

Dr. Steven Bachrach, Northern Illinois University


In an effort to explore the potential use of the Internet by the Chemistry

community, and to encourage the distribution of chemical information in as timely

a fashion as possible, we announce the 1st Electronic Computational

Chemistry Conference. This conference is sponsored by the Camille

and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, through a grant in the Chemical

Informatics Program.

The conference will take place November 7-18, 1994 and will be held exculsively

on the Internet. All papers will be accessed through the

World-Wide Web (or just the Web for short). Discussions will be held via electronic

mail using a discussion group format. You can participate in a number of

different ways. You can contribute a paper/poster, view the papers/posters,

participate in discussions of the work, or any or all of the above.

Detailed information of how to participate is listed below.

Dates of Interest

September 20, 1994 - Abstracts of Papers due to conference@hackberry.chem.niu.edu

October 28, 1994 - Final papers due

November 4, 1994 - Final day to register for the conference

November 7, 1994 - Conference Begins

November 18, 1994 - Conference Ends

More Detailed information

Why select the Web as the means for holding the Conference?

How to access the Web

How to create and format the paper and include graphics

How to submit the abstract

How to submit the paper/poster to the Conference

How to view the papers

What if I don't have full Internet Access?

What is the role of the discussion group?

How to register for the conference

Why select the Web as the means for holding the Conference?

We envisage the First Electronic Computational Chemistry Conference

(ECCC) as an online poster session. To be successful, we need to reproduce a typical

poster session as closely as possible. Certain aspects of a poster session cannot

be attained electronically, such as personal interactions and an open bar. However,

much of the activity that occurs at poster sessions can be translated to an

electronic form.

Attendees at a poster session want to be able to freely come-and-go, view the

posters they are interested in, and discuss aspects of the chemistry with the

presenter. Presenters want a flexible, unrestricted means for preparing their

posters that contains (potentially) text, graphics audio, and video, and the

ability to discuss the work with other attendees.

Therefore, two key aspects come to the forefront when planning an electronic

conference: (a) a simple means for submitting, presenting, and viewing a poster

that contains text, graphics, audio, and/or video and (b) a simple means for

communicating with presenters and attendees.

We have decided to use the World

Wide Web as the means for presenting the papers/posters. The Web operates in

a client/server fashion. We provide the server which will organize, store, and

transfer the papers to the attendees (clients). Every user will need a client

viewer which can display text and can launch the appropriate programs to view

graphics and videos and hear audio clips.

Discussion of the papers/posters will be held by email. We will run a discussion

list which will act as a central depository for messages and then send them out

to all participants. This allows the participants to send mail and receive the

discussion at their own convenience and allows all of the registrants to

participate in all of the discussions.

How to access the Web

The web is a loose association of computers running

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) software on the internet. To connect into the Web,

you must have full internet access, not just email and/or anonymous ftp support

only. If you do not have full Internet access, you may still participate in the

conference, just read the comments below on how this can be arranged.

The Web operates as a server/client. We will provide the server portion, which

will allow access to all of the submitted papers. In order to obtain these

documents, you will need a client. There are a number of clients available, and

you are free to select any you wish. We recommend using Mosaic which has been

developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Mosaic

is available by anonymous ftp to NCSA (ftp ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu) or to our anonymous

ftp site (ftp hackberry.chem.niu.edu), which is probably a whole lot easier to get

into than the NCSA site. Mosiac is available for Unix, Windows, and Macintosh


There is a new Macintosh viewer called <em>MacWeb</em>, developed by EINet. It is

available by anonymous ftp to ftp.einet.net and obtain the file macweb0.98alpha.sea.hqx

in the einet/mac/macweb directory.

How to create and format the paper and include graphics

The first issue we will discuss in this section is the general layout of the

paper/poster. Then we will discuss the mechanics of generating the paper.

We wish to keep this conference as free-form as possible, and so we are not

insisting on a particular look or uniformity among the papers. What we will discuss

here are just some suggestions and ideas to consider when putting together your


You are probably tired (if not annoyed) by the use of the term "paper/poster", but

we are using this term to suggest a format for presenting your work in this

conference. A poster presentation is stripped down to the essentials of the work,

with a high percentage of graphics and some discretionary text. The poster is

a set of individual images usually each self contained. We believe that this is

a good paradigm for how to create the paper/posters for this conference. We are

suggesting that your presentation be a collection of pages, each containing

one (or a few) major points. This does not mean that you will submit one file for

each page, but rather you will submit one file, and each page will be indicated by

a page rule (In HTML this is called a horizontal rule, with tag <hr>). Keep

each page simple and short. A long block of text is likely not to capture the

interest of the browser.

Use of graphics is essential for understanding of chemistry. By using the Web as

the means for conveying the conference, graphics can be simply incorporated.

Graphics can be used in one of two ways. Figures can be directly imbedded into

the document or can be referenced in the text and viewed by a separate graphics program.

We strongly encourage the use of both methods. Small figures should be directly

imbedded in the text but large figures (large in the sense of many bytes) should

not be imbedded (since imbedded figures are always transmitted when the document is

loaded) but should be referenced to only. The user can then select that image if

they wish; the image is downloaded and a viewing program is automatically launched

to display the image. Imbedded graphics are directly viewable in the Mosaic

viewer if the images have been stored in the gif format. Downloaded images can be

in any format nyou desire, but keep in mind that the users must have the

appropriate displaying program. We suggest that you store all graphics in gif format

but most people should have jpeg and postscript viewers available.

So, how do you create the document? The language for document preparation is HTML

(HyperText Markup Language). This language is actually quite simple to use and learn.

Instead of going through it here, we will offer a few excellent reference tools:

<href="http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/demoweb/html-primer.html">A Beginner's Guide to HTML

An excellent starting point on learning how to write HTML. Many useful,

simple examples.

<href="http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/General/Internet/WWW/HTMLQuickRef.html">HTML Quick Reference

A brief description of HTML Tags

<href="http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/Provider/Style/Introduction.html">Style Guide to HTML

A nice style guide to how to design and present hypertext documents.

Includes an etiquette list for operation of a web server.

<href="http://bookweb.cwis.uci.edu:8042/Staff/StyleGuide.html">Elements of Style

Taking off on Strunk and White, a guideline for producing readable HTML

<href="http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/MarkUp/HTML.html"> HTML Documentation

Definitions and examples of HTML

One serious omission in HTML is the lack of subscripts and superscripts and greek

characters. There has been talk of including these in the next version of HTML

viewers, so we may have these available by the time of the conference, but right

now they are not available.

There are a few methods for creating HTML documents. One is to directly write your

paper/poster in HTML. Another is use an HTML editor, but none has really caught

on. Another alternative is to use your favorite wordprocessing program and then

convert the text to HTML. A number of these converters are available, and we list

them below. We have used the rtftohtml converter and found it quite easy to use.

You create your document in Microsoft Word and then save it in RTF

format and the converter does the rest (like take care of headings, bold, italics,

underlining and imbedded graphics).

Microsoft Word


Convert RTF to HTML. Usable on a Unix or Macintosh computer.

<href="file;//ftp/cica.indiana.edu/pub/pc/win3/uploads/html.zip">HTML for Word 2.0

'HTML for Word 2.0' by NICE technologies, France, creates a structured

document environment for Word 2.0. It has a simple user interface and

preserves the Word environment as much as possible.



Convert WordPerfect to anything, including HTML


Another WordPerfect to HTML converter. The files can be obtained by anonymous

ftp to nsa.oucs.ox.ac.uk in the nfsvol/public/ousu/html directory.



Convert LaTex to HTML


converts text to rtf and to HTML



Convert FrameMaker to HTML

The last detail we need to discuss is how to use the anchors for connecting to image,

audio or video files. The anchor is denoted in HTML as

<a href="filename">highlighted text</a>

You should number your graphic images in sequence and use as their filename

graphic1.gif,graphic2.gif, etc. Use the appropriate extension

for the files you are using (.ps for postscript, .jpg for JPEG, etc.) Using this

convention, we will be able to save all the files together in a single directory and

use relative referencing.

A sample paper/poster is available for your viewing. The paper is also available by

anonymous ftp (hackberry.chem.niu.edu in the /pub/ECCCtestpaper directory.

How to submit the abstract

Submission of the abstract is very simple. Send an email message to

conference@hackberry.chem.niu.edu with the subject line abstract.

The body of the message should contain the following: title of paper/poster,

author(s) names, affiliation, and the text of the abstract. This message can be

in any format you want, though it will make our job easier if the information is

in the order listed above, separated by a blank line. Abstracts are due by

midnight CDT September 23, 1994. Abstracts after that date will

not be accepted and no paper will be allowed without an abstract.

How to submit a paper to the Conference

Once you have created the paper/poster and have all the associated graphics files

at hand, you are ready to submit them to the conference. This can be done in two

ways: (a) locally serving the papers to the web or (b) sending the papers to our

server so we can serve them.

If you are running your own http server, then you can place your paper/poster on

that server. All we would need is the URL for the paper. We can then add it to the

main conference webpage so that all participants will know how to obtain the paper.

Therefore, all you need to do is send an email message to

conference@hackberry.chem.niu.edu with the message containing the title of the

paper, the author(s) name(s) and the URL.

If you do not have a local http server available, then you must send the

paper/poster and all additional graphics and video files to us. The simplest

procedure is to transmit them via anonymous ftp to hackberry.chem.niu.edu. Make

sure all the files have unique and appropriate names (i.e. graphics files have

names that match the anchor reference in the paper). I will assign a subdirectory

in the them in the /Pub/ECCCsubmissions directory into which you can deposit your

files. Then send an email message to conference@hackberry.chem.niu.edu containing

the title of the paper, author(s) name(s) and the names of the files you have

delivered via anonymous ftp.

There is no advantage one way or the other, just what is more convenient for you.

The critical point is that we must have receipt of the paper and all associated

files by midnight CDT October 28, 1994. Late entries will not

be included.

How to view the paper

To view the papers/posters you will need the Mosaic client, as discussed

above. In addition you will need external viewers to

handle graphics and video. These viewers are avialable at our

anonymous ftp site (ftp hackberry.chem.niu.edu). For Unix computers, you can

obtain ghostscript, which handles postscript files, xv, which handles a variety of

graphics formats and also interchanges between them (so you can create your own gif

files, for example), and mpeg_viewer, which handles video. For windows computers, we

have gsview (for postscript files), mpeg (for video), and

lview (for graphics). For Macintosh computers, we have JPEGView, GIFConverter and Sparkle

for graphics files. Make sure these are installed in the same directory as Mosaic or

(on Unix computers) in a directory that is included in your PATH.

Closer to the date of the Conference, I will announce the locations of the URLs necessary

to obtain all the documents needed.

What if I don't have full Internet Access?

Those of you who don't have full Internet access will have limited ability to

participate in the ECCC, but with some effort, you can still view the

papers/posters. We will make the documents available for anonymous ftp (locations

to be announced later). Using Mosaic, you can view local HTML documents, using

the Open Local submenu in the File Menu. Unfortunately the links to graphics will

probably not work, but with some work you might be able to work around this

problem. Nevertheless, you should be able to get most of the information via this

procedure and you will be able to full participate in the discussion group.

What is the role of the discussion group?

We will operate a discussion group that will carry announcements, assistance, and

reminders about the ECCC. In addition, and most importantly, the discussion

group will allow particpants to comment on papers, ask questions, and discuss the

conference with all other participant in the conference. Comments are made by

email, with these messages automatically broadcast to all the registrants. All of the

messages will be archived and available for searching. Details

of how the discussion group works follows.

How to register for the conference

Registration for the conference is mandatory for all who wish to present a paper

and/or participate in the discussion group. Registration will automatically place

you on the discussion group and you will recieve further information on the

conference as we make it available.

To register for the conference, simply send an email message to


with the message:

subscribe ECCC your-real-name

Please give us your real name; your email address is picked up automatically from

the mail header. You will receive messages back to the same account that you sent

in the subscribe message. You will receive a message confirming your registration

with some further details of how to use the discussion list. Note that the only

thing needed in the subscribe message is the single line shown above; anything else

(like a signature) will still register you, but it will also likely generate another

message that says an error occurred reading the additional text. As long as you get

one message that states that you have successfully registered, you can ignore these

other error messages.You can get more help by sending a message to the above address

with the message HELP. To unsubscribe, send a message to the above

address with the message: unsubscribe ECCC.

In order to send a message to the whole list (i.e. other registrants), simply mail

your comments to


and the listserver will take care of the rest.

Other Sources of These Instructions

This document is available via anonymous ftp to hackberry.chem.niu.edu as

/pub/ECCCinformation.txt or via gopher to hackberry.chem.niu.edu port 70 or via WWW with

URL http://hackberry.chem.niu.edu:70/0/ECCCinformation.html


Any and all questions and comments can be sent to Steven Bachrach at



Steven Bachrach, Northern Illinois University, coordinator

Michael Prais, Northern Illinois University, production assistance

Mike Szela, Northern Illinois University, technical assistance