Friday, December 4, 2015

Manuscript upload from URLs; ftp retired

Authors can now upload manuscripts from URLs. For example, they can provide a URL for the file located on their personal web server, a shareable Dropbox or Google Drive URL or another archival site. Dropbox and Google Drive provide shareable links that open web pages; EDAS rewrites those links to download the actual PDF or Word file. Other document sharing sites like box.com or Microsoft OneDrive may have their own mechanisms, so we will add these sites as user demands warrants and as we can figure out their URL schemes.

The usage of ftp for uploading files has decreased dramatically in the past few years. Most ftp upload attempts fail since authors apparently do not understand that EDAS is unable to guess what paper number corresponds to some random file name like "mypaper.pdf" rather than the paper number. Other ftp upload attempts seem to be attempts to bypass format checks or conference deadlines. Since ftp is asynchronous and the ftp directory is scanned periodically, authors also receive no feedback as to whether their upload attempt has succeeded or not. Thus, with the availability of the link mechanism above, ftp seems to have earned its retirement and will be removed over the next few weeks.

Depending on user demand, we may add file-by-email delivery as an alternative at some point, primarily to address low-bandwidth environments.

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