ECTOC Conference Series Electronic Conference on
Heterocyclic Chemistry.
29 June - 24 July 1998

General comments on which Browser to use

The market is currently dominated by Netscape and Microsoft, each currently offering Version 4 and soon to offer version 5 of their browsers.


This comes in two versions. Navigator is the pure browser component and is the version we recommend for reading this conference if your computer is limited in memory. Navigator is available for three platforms (Windows, MacOS and Unix). The current release is version 4.05 (April 1998). Earlier versons of 4.0X are not recommended, and in particular V 4.05 fixes some serious printing bugs present in earlier versions of release 4. The much earlier version 3.04 is however quite acceptable and in some instances may even prove less prone to crashing than V 4.05. Communicator V 4.05 is a bundle of several components, including an email client called Messenger and an HTML authoring tool called Composer. The latter is a good tool for creating articles for submission to the conference, although many other utilities are also available for this purpose. Many people might prefer to use their own email client (e.g Eudora etc) for sending and receiving email. Note however that Netscape Messenger has the advantage that it can make use of e.g. the Chemscape Chime™ plug-in to directly view any molecular data files sent as an email enclosure.

To tune Netscape for browsing this conference, check the following

  1. It is advisable on a Macintosh to increase the Memory partion of the browser application by about 2-4 Mbytes above the default.
  2. Many of the conference pages have embedded molecular data. To be able to view this, you need to install a molecular viewer such as Chemscape Chime™ in the form of a browser plug-in. Version 1.0 of the Chime installer is distributed by MDL Information systems and will normally detect the presence of the Netscape browser and install all the required software in the correct folder. Version 2.0 of Chime is currently in beta test.
  3. If you wish to use the embedded e-mail addresses to be found in various documents, you will have to use either Netscape Navigator V 3.04 or Netscape Communicator V 4.05. Navigator V 4.05 does not support electronic mail. You will also have to set all the email preferences in Netscape. You might want to choose the "leave mail on server" option so that you you can re-read any incoming mail using any alternative preferred email client at another time.
  4. Using any version of Netscape, you should also check that options for enabling JavaScript and Java are set on (this is normally the default option). In V 3.03, these settings can be found in the Options/Network Preferences/Languages pull-down menu. In V 4.05 they are found in the Edit/Preferences/Advanced pull-down menu.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

As with Netscape, Version 4.0a of Internet Explorer (IE) comes with a separate Web client and Email client (Outlook Express 4.0) which are configured separately. These are available for both Windows and Macintosh platforms, but not for Unix systems.

Although IE for Windows does support the Chemscape Chime™ plug-in to view embedded molecular content, it only does so in an easily configurable, and stable manner with Version 2.0 of Chime. It is not recommended that Version 1.0 of Chime is used with this browser. Currently (March 1998) Chime 2.0 is only available for Windows platforms, although a release for the Macintosh is expected shortly. Instructions for configuring IE with Chime 2.0 for Windows platforms will appear here shortly. It is not expected that a version of IE for Macintosh suitable for use with Chime 2.0 will be available in the near future.

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