Archiving objects

Creating an archive transforms copies of a set of objects (folders, documents, discussion forums etc.) into one compact document, thus saving storage space and download time. Ar­chives are espe­cially useful for downloading numerous or big files. You may also encode the resulting ar­chive document – usually with the aim of further reducing the size of an archive.

On the one hand, you may archive objects in BSCW in order to download the archive to your local computer and extract the original files there or to send the whole archive per email. On the other hand, you may pack local files and folders into an archive (Zip/Winzip or Tar), up­load the archive to a BSCW workspace and extract the original files and folders.

Attention: Archives do not incorporate the meta information (ownership of documents, history of actions, description, user-defined meta information etc.) that BSCW maintains for each ob­ject. In particular, all information about members and roles of workspaces is lost in the ar­chiv­ing process, i.e. workspaces are archived as simple folders.

In order to archive a set of objects you proceed as follows.

      Select (check-mark) the entries of the objects that you want to include in the archive file. Your clipboard may be helpful in bringing together objects from ‘distant’ loca­tions that you want to include in one archive file.

      Click archive in the multi-selection toolbar to bring up the ‘Archive’ form. It in­cludes a list of the archive types that your BSCW server can produce, and of the en­coding methods that may be applied to the archive file. The archive types and encoding meth­ods offer­ed depend on the configuration of your BSCW server.

      Enter the name of the archive document, select the archive type and the encoding to be applied. Click one of the ‘Storage’ options to specify where the archive shall go: download only, add to clipboard or add to current folder.

      Check ‘create index file’ if BSCW shall create an index file of the entries archived, which also contains meta information.

      Check ‘select character set for file names automatically’ if BSCW shall infer the char­acter set for coding the file names in the archive from your browser information. Otherwise you will be asked in a follow-up form to specify this character set explic­itly.

Note: In order to open archives downloaded to a local computer, the necessary extraction pro­grams have to be installed and the Web browser has to be configured to start these programs when archive files of the respective MIME types are encountered. When en­coding is used, match­ing decoding programs have to be installed and the Web browser has to be configured to start these programs when encoded archive files of the respec­tive MIME types are en­coun­ter­ed.

In order to upload local files to a workspace via the archive mechanism you proceed as fol­lows:

      Create an archive of the files you want to upload on your local computer (Zip/Winzip or Tar archives depending on your platform; also an email message with documents attached will work as an RFC822 archive if available on your BSCW server).

      Upload the archive document to your workspace.

      Extract the original files by invoking action  Extract  in the action menu of the archive do­cument. This will create the original files as documents in your clipboard. You may further choose where to finally store the contents of the archive:

      leave them in the clipboard as is,

      store them in a new clipboard folder named after the archive,

      store them in the current folder or

      store them in a new subfolder of the current folder named after the archive.

Files extracted to your clipboard are ready to be pasted to some appropriate place in your folder hierarchy.

Note: BSCW uses the Unicode character set UTF-8 for object names. When creating ar­chives or extracting from archives in BSCW, you should select the character set of your operat­ing system for the file names in the archive. When you plan to email the archive to some­one else, choose the character set of the receiving operating system. Otherwise some char­acters in file names (umlauts, Greek letters, etc.) will possibly not be represented correct­ly or at all. If you do not select the character set explicitly, BSCW chooses the character set for file names depending on your operating system and the language of your Web browser.