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Internet Roadmap for Africanists

by:
Raymond R. Gervais [1]
Center for Developing-Area Studies
McGill University


Forget if you can for a moment the media hype, forget the Jagger-Gates-Microsoft conspiracy theory and forget any keyboard allergies. We need to go back to basics: Internet was set up to facilitate the exchange of scientific information between research centers. It may have become a passing fad for computer insomniacs but for the scientific community it is here to stay and its quite incredible expansion has confirm all of the predictions set forth a decade ago. So one is placed with the choice of either erasing its existence from one's life and work strategies or trying to come to terms with some or all of its components.

As with any travel arrangements, the use of a map becomes essential, especially when the land to explore is as vast and puzzling as is the *Net*. Any cartographer will also confirm that what is central to any attempt to draw space on a paper is the scale. So humbly I must begin by clearly stating the true scale of my endeavour: this is neither an exhaustive attempt to list all pertinent sites or even to assess every avenue of interest for Africanists. It is more simply an introduction to some of the concepts, some of the protocols and a few sites that were active as I was preparing the article, i.e. mid-September. For we must accept that this tool is also an underworld of the volatile and ephemeral, that things (files, information, groups..) appear and disappear, often without leaving a trace.

This apprentice guide [2] requires the help of local expertise, so that the first and most important advice one may provide is to call computing services in your local institutions and request answers to these fundamental questions:

     - how do I link up to the institution's computer (from my
     office, from my home): phone numbers, modem speeds,
     protocols, login systems, password systems, platform, etc. ?

     - does the system offer: e-mail (what program and how),
     TELNET, FTP, newsgroup (which ones), WWW (what program ?),
     gopher, Archie, Veronica, WAIS (or SWAIS) facilities ?

     - where can I find help (paper and electronic format) ? 
Then I would make it a point to have a reference tool when exploring sites of interest (some are noted in the bibliography), it avoids the anguish of not knowing what to do or where you are...

A Concise Introduction to Hieroglyphs

A conversation or, better yet, a message between "internauts" may sound like some kind of extinct Egyptian dialect and it may be useful to give a few keys to understanding at least the basic words of greetings - our 19th C. explorers were quite aware of this.

Basically, the internet allows the exchange of information between individuals via computers. This is made possible through software called server (term often used for the computer itself) and its corresponding client applications. The dialogue is further enhanced by rules labelled protocols [3]. As exchanges increased so did the specialization of tasks and the corresponding need for more protocols and softwares. A few of these new demands were that of being able to place files in storage areas on computers and allow others to access the information. So were developed TELNET and FTP [4]. TELNET makes it possible to access any on-line library catalogue and start a work session identical to the one we have on campus every day. Instead of linking into a database software we wanted to circulate in the directories and subdirectories of an off-site machine we would require another tool, this is the role of FTP. Once you have locate the file (working papers, programs, manual, etc.) in a subdirectory, FTP takes over and facilitates the circulation.

With the growth of users and information came two needs:

1. make it easier for more people to access information;

2. index it.

To meet the first objective, two systems were established: Gopher and WWW [5]. As site accessing tools, they differ quite radically. Gopher is limited to a linear (menu) linking system with minimal search capabilities. WWW expands the type of objects by making it possible to link images, graphics, other site addresses, etc. directly in a text (hypertext). Slowly, indexing became an important part of programmers' agenda; to match each class of activity on the internet, software packages were developed (thanks to McGill's computing services with names from the Archie cartoons):


     Archie: indexes files found in FTP sites;

     Veronica: index of information in Gopher (or Gopherspace);

     Jughead: index for a specific Gopher site.

     Wide Area Information Service (WAIS) [6] searches through
     libraries of internet archives to find articles related to
     your keywords. 
The solutions adopted in the WWW were a bit different. Because of its exceptional linking capabilities, it was possible to combine a topical list of pertinent sites and a direct link to them; keyword search tools would then deliver faster and richer results. In this case, a visit to these resource sites is worth a thousand word:

     The WWW Virtual Library: the oldest WWW resource site by the
     creators of WWW, the CERN. The most pertinent subject page
     is obviously the African Studies,
     WWW http://www.w3.org/hypertext/DataSources/bySubject/
     AfricanStudies/africanWWW.html;

     Yahoo resource site: a hierarchical, topical index of web
     sites with search facility,
     WWW http://www.yahoo.com;

     Lycos: termed a web-indexing robot, it offers remarkably
     simple keyword searches with strikingly rich results, [7]
     WWW http://www.lycos.com;

     WebCrawler: indexes not only the description of Web pages
     but the contents of the documents,
     WWW webcrawler.cs.washington.edu/WebCrawler

     World Wide Web Worm: based on page titles, so that it may
     find less but better targeted,
     WWW http://www.cs.colorado.edu/home/mcbryan
The internet cannot be characterized as the passive search for other people's thoughts, it also allows the exchange [8] in groups of ideas and information. There are two fundamental types of special interest discussion groups on the net: newsgroups and mail lists. If we wanted to differentiate the two, we would say that newsgroups are the product of a multitude of machines coordinating an exchange between individuals engaging in a discussion; working through one computer, mail lists are centralized and regulated exchange systems between clearly identified individuals. Both types have expanded dramatically [9] in the last few years.

Hyper Sources

Before we come to the specifics of Africanist resources on the internet, it may be useful to look at some of the larger tools offered by internauts around the world. Indeed the multidisciplinary aspects of African studies forces us in our probe to seek wider instruments.

For researchers, the most useful tool would seem to be a list of on-line databases including especially the libraries. This list already exists, though it does not appear to have been updated recently. Billy Barron and Marie-Christine Mahe (file = app. 340 Kb) established the "Accessing On-Line Bibliographic Databases" guide found at these sites [10]:

     gopher://yaleinfo.yale.edu;

     gopher://gopher.utdallas.edu;

     ftp://ftp.utdallas.edu/pub/staff/billy/libguide
It is dated Jan. 1, 1994. The good news is that Peter Scott of the University of Saskatchewan updates the list through a mailing list called HYTEL-L, you can subscribe at listserv@kentvm.kent.edu. The Barron-Mahe document gives the list of TELNET addresses and login passwords for a great number of libraries by continent (see below for the African addresses).

Then when it comes to pertinent files which have been stored in anonymous FTP sites, the numbers are so astounding that the same type of tool is required. Perry Rovers' (file = app. 1.3 Mb) FTP site list worlwide offers a short description of each with often witty comments. See:

     ftp://rtfm.mit.edu

     path 1: /pub/usenet/new.answers/ftp-list/sitelist

     and 2: /pub/usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq
He is also the author of a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) file stored separately but at the same FTP site here (path 2).

No need to repeat that the development of the net has also multiplied mailing lists and that one can easily be overwhelmed by the diversity. The Stephanie da Silva list of mailing lists on all topics gives a precise assessment of the situation in this field with notes on each group (file = app. 750 Kb) at:

     ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/mailing-lists

You will then find a 18 parts file numbered 1, 01-17. It is dated August 27, 1995. The bitnet equivalent "List of bitnet mailing lists" (file = app. 500 Kb) is to be found at:


     ftp://ftp.sura.net/pub/nic/mailing-lists.

But is dated: 10 Nov 1994. In African studies, by far the most pertinent tool is the legendary Arthur McGee "Black/African Related Online Information" (file = app. 140 Kb) found at:


     ftp://ftp.netcom.com

     ftp://ftp.igc.apc.org

     path: pub/amcgee/african/my_african_related_lists

     also in hypertext form on the WWW at
     http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/

You can also request it by sending an empty message to:
     mcgee@zeta.eecs.nwu.edu

Sadly it has lagged behind and the last update seems to be July 29, 1994. [11]. It gives an impressive list of internet and bitnet mailing lists, BBS and other network exchange lists on Africa and the diaspora. The WWW version offers a list (with links) of Black/African related resources.

Finally this brief presentation would not be complete without the Scott Yanoff's (file = app. 100 Kb) list of "Special Internet Connections". This is a topic list of special sites on the net last updated on 9/16/95. The author offers these procedures for quick access:

     ftp://ftp.csd.uwm.edu/pub/inet (file: services.txt)

     gopher://gopher.csd.uwm.edu
     select Remote Information Services...
     mail empty message to inetlist@aug3.augsburg.edu

     WWW http://www.uwm.edu/Mirror/inet.services.html

You may also find useful his "Inter-Network Mail Guide", last updated on 9/16/95, found:

     ftp://ftp.csd.uwm.edu

     WWW http://alpha.acast.nova.edu/cgi-bin/inmgq.pl

Very helpful when you want to send mail through other networks (MCI, Microsoft, Compuserve, America on Line, etc...)

And Now for the Real Thing

General economic, technological and social conditions have prevented Africa from joining other continents on the net. With the notable (and predictable) exception of South Africa, there is a dearth of resources out of African institutions [12], and efforts to attain the same levels of networking have met important institutional and financial constraints [13].

South Africa has become and will remain a driving force in the field [14]. Indeed to my knowledge only South African libraries have TELNET links to Gopher, as seems to indicate the U. of Minnesota menu for Africa and the Barron-Mahe list:

     J.S.Gericke Library, University of Stellenbosch/
          TELNET LIB.SUN.AC.ZA or 146.232.128.24;
          login prompt: OPAC.

     Rhodes University Computing Centre, Grahamstown, South
Africa/
          TELNET LIBRARY.RU.AC.ZA or 146.231.129.174
          login prompt: LIB.

     University of Natal (Durban)/
          TELNET LIBRARY.UND.AC.ZA or 146.230.128.2
          At the Service Required prompt, enter library.
          Login prompt: LIB.

     University of Pretoria/
          TELNET PREFECT.EE.UP.AC.ZA or 137.215.102.104
          Login prompt: libis.

University of South Africa (Unisa), Pretoria/ This last link does not give access to a library but contains interesting information on South Africa. Then one would wish to visit the two African National Congress sites which offer a mass of information about ANC's history and present positions.

     The other items in this U. of Minnesota Africa menu:

     Eritrea Network (East Africa)/

     Also pertinent is the "Horn of Africa Internet Resources
     Guide Version 0.41" written by Ben Parker
     (Ben.Parker@tt.sasa.unep.no). See gopher://gopher.psg.com.

     The Tunisian Gopher server/

give general information about the countries and research activities by a few of the centers. It may also be the case for the ZAMNET Zambian National Gopher [15].

So that Western resources on Africa appear, yet again, to be more reliable and exhaustive [16]. The richest sites are filled with fascinating information about programs, projects, papers, and discussions about African studies and networking. A general gateway to internet projects in developing world is the PSGnet site at:


     WWW http://www.psg.com

     gopher://gopher.psg.com

"This gopher.psg.com burrow is supported and maintained by PSGnet and RAINet, and concerns itself mostly with

  o networking in the developing world

  o low-cost networking tools

  o computer networking in general."

Research interest are served by the University of Pennsylvania WWW site at:

     http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/

The hypertext system allows one to follow-up on any subject contained in these WWW pages. In the Francophone world most sites or networks, with ties with French-speaking Africa, are in a consolidation phase but they will become, for sure, information brokers. Two need to be underline:


     ORSTOM:
     (WWW) http:/www.orstom.fr

The site is already packed with useful information and promises to made good of its intense grassroots networks in research in Africa.


     The Association of Francophone Universities (AUPELF-UREF):
     (WWW) http://www.refer.org

also has a Senegal site at:

     (WWW) http://www.refer.sn

It is quite obviously being built, and the deadline is the Francophonie conference at the end of this year so we can expect more links, and more pages to glance through. International organizations with offices in North America have also linked so that a visit to the UNDP, IMF, and World Bank gophers and WWW sites [17] are not useless on the contrary. Two weeks after the Cairo population and development conference, all the statements given by African representatives were in the UNDP site, the Beijing conference preliminary declarations were on the internet months before the official opening.

Though links may be established through WWW pages or Gopher menus to important Africanist libraries, a direct TELNET is often more reliable, so as a sample of documentary resources, here are a few addresses:

          United Kingdom:

     London University, School of Oriental and African Studies
          TELNET SUN.NSF.AC.UK.
          Login prompt: janet.
          Hostname prompt: UK.AC.LON.SOAS.LIB.
          Username prompt: enter LIBRARY.
          Select 1 for VT100.

     University of Birmingham
          TELNET SUN.NSF.AC.UK or 147.188.224.164
          Login prompt: janet.
          Hostname prompt: UK.AC.BHAM.LIB.
          or TELNET LIB.BHAM.AC.UK

     Sussex University
          TELNET SUN.NSF.AC.UK.
          Login prompt: janet.
          Hostname prompt: UK.AC.SUSX.LIB.
          United States:

     Boston University
          TELNET LIBRARY.BU.EDU or 128.197.130.200
          Login:  library

     University of Wisconsin at Madison
          TELNET NLS.ADP.WISC.EDU or 144.92.161.10
          Commence searching, or obtain online help using the E
          commands. Type E (for Explain) on any screen to get a
          list of topics.

     MELVYL - University of California and California State

     Library at Sacramento
          TELNET MELVYL.UCOP.EDU or 192.35.222.222
          When asked for terminal type, enter VT100.
          Press RETURN when prompted to.
          Type START LOOK for easy to use library system
          or type START COM for command line library system.
          Associate libraries:  The MELVYL system contains
          library information for all universities in the
          University of California system, the California State
          Library at Sacramento library, the Center for Research
          Libraries, and the library of the California Academy of
          Science.

Canadian libraries are often included in the Gopher menus of your institutions.

A last word on libraries resources to mention the DEVLINE information service. "DEVLINE is provided by the British Library for Development Studies, a UK national and international centre for information and documentation on the economic and social aspects of the developing regions of the world. DEVLINE and BLDS are based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), an international centre of excellence for research, teaching, publishing and operational assignments."

          TELNET to:  LIB.IDS.SUSX.AC.UK
          (soon to change to: LIB.IDS.AC.UK)
          login:  HELLO GUEST.MARC

IDRC also has its library on line:

          TELNET to: DDBS.IDRC.CA or 198.62.158.131
          login: GUEST

The FTP addresses are a bit more complex to explore and require a specific tool: Archie. I shall let the Deutsch, Emtage, and Heelan paper (in the bibliography) explain the subtleties of Archie. Let me summarize by stating that machine with the Archie software access FTP sites and index the names of the subdirectories. So that a keyword request made to a specific Archie will give a list of sites/directories/subdirectories and files. As no Archie scans all FTP sites it is good to consult a sample of sites, close to your server. In Canada and the U.S. (as of March 15, 1995), Archies are accessed through TELNET and the usual login is ARCHIE:

  Character address          Numeric address   Country

  archie.bunyip.com          192.77.55.2      Canada
  archie.cs.mcgill.ca        132.206.51.250   Canada
  archie.uqam.ca             132.208.250.10   Canada
  archie.sura.net            128.167.254.195  USA (MD)
  archie.unl.edu             129.93.1.14      USA (NE)
  archie.internic.net        192.20.225.200   USA (NJ)
  archie.internic.net        192.20.239.132   USA (NJ)
  archie.internic.net        198.49.45.10     USA (NJ)
  archie.rutgers.edu         128.6.18.15      USA (NJ)
  archie.ans.net 147.225.1.10 USA (NY) 

An "anonymous FTP" is a storage facility for large quantities of information. The usual access procedure is:

     ftp 
     login: anonymous
     Password: 

A test exploration of North American Archies with the keyword Africa would allow us to locate these files (after selection):


ftp.wustl.edu    (128.252.135.4)
path: /graphics/graphics/objects/earth/World_Map
file: Map.africa.tar.Z.0

hanauma.stanford.edu    (36.51.0.16)
path: /pub/World_Map
file: Map.africa.tar.Z.0

ftp.cs.yale.edu    (128.36.0.36)
path: /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo
file: africa

etext.archive.umich.edu    (192.131.22.7)
path: /pub/Politics/NY.Transfer/.cap
directory: africa
path: /pub/Politics/QRD/world
directory: africa

ftp.cic.net    (192.131.22.5)
path:  /pub/ETEXT/pub/Politics/INAC
file: south.africa.gz
path:
/pub/ETEXT/pub/Politics/Feminism/GovernmentPolitics/International
Directory
directory: Africa
path: /pub/ETEXT/pub/Politics/Fourth.World
directory: Africa

ftp.ita.doc.gov    (170.110.200.11)
path: /dist/region
directory: Africa

olymp.wu-wien.ac.at    (137.208.8.30)
path: /info/libguide
file: libraries.africa

A monitoring of exchanges in the soc.culture.african newsgroup has made us slightly pessimistic as to the general level of information circulating through these channels [18]: there was much written about the "humanity of Blacks", the "civilized nature of Whites"... and the virility of Abu-Jamal ! Not all newsgroups are made equal so that basic material may be of use.

     Name of relevant NEWSGROUPS found on the net:
          clari.world.africa
          clari.world.africa.south_africa
          soc.culture.berber
          soc.culture.nigeria
          soc.culture.sierra-leone
          soc.culture.somalia
          soc.culture.south-africa
          soc.culture.african
          soc.culture.african.american
          soc.culture.caribbean

One must remember that the newsgroups are commercially run so that not all servers offer these groups. Check with your computer services. From information found in Scott Hazelhurst's FAQ, it would seem that an impressive list of newsgroups are to be found in South Africa. General information is stacked in the FTP site:

     ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/local/FAQ/african/sa/zanames

I would guess that they are only to be found in the South African network but a few interesting groups would include:

za.culture.xhosa   For discussions of Xhosa language and culture.
za.edu.comp        Discussions on the use of computers in
education
za.environment     Environmental issues in Southern Africa
za.politics        Politics in Southern Africa

The McGee list illustrates first the need felt by special interest groups to use the net as means of exchange and second the exponential nature of their multiplication. It is not my intention to select and by doing so to choose for others, based on subjective criteria, I shall limit my role to one of guide and sampler. One generally subscribes to a list by sending an e-mail with nothing else:

subscribe

The listserver (machine) takes the address from the FROM field in the e-mail and adds your name to the list. Anything that is sent to the list will then be redirected to all members. The listserver often acknowledges and attaches a short guide of commands. A word of caution before the sample: as for newsgroups (that are freely consulted though and therefore do not accumulate in your account), the level of discussions are not always penetrating so that I would recommend mandatory testing of every list before subscribing to a large number of them, it does avoid the flooding of accounts. Here are some of these lists:

     AALISA-L: listproc@library.ucla.edu
African-American Library & Information Science Assn.
     AFAM-L: listserv@mizzou1.missouri.edu
African-American Research
     AFAS-L: listserv@kentvm.kent.edu
African-American Studies/Librarianship
     AFRICA-N: listserv@utoronto.bitnet
A moderated mailing list dedicated to the exchange of news and
information on Africa from many sources.
     AFRIQUE: listserv@univ-lyon1.fr
A French speaking mailing list on Africa.
     CASID-L: listserv@vm1.mcgill.ca
Canadian Association for the Study of International Development
     H-AFRICA: listserv@msu.edu
Specializes in history topics [19]
     IBADS: listserv@tome.worldbank.org
Info Bank on African development studies. Note: You must provide
the following categories of info on the lines following the
standard subscribe command: Specialty, Organization, Address,
Subject of Interest

Ce n'est qu'un debut...

Sadly I come to the end on my paper with the feeling that I have left out more than what can be found. Many will have been discouraged by the complexity of the net-world, or by its presentation, a few will be surprised at the discovery that e- mail is not all internet, and finally some, I suspect will want to rush to some anonymous FTP sites and download many Megabytes of info. My sole defense is that as most instruments at the inception of important changes, they are a bit clumsy. Elegance comes with well sketched territory.


Bibliography

Paper:


Krol, Ed. The Whole Internet. User's Guide and Catalog.
Sebastopol (CA): O'Reilly and Associates, 1994. 544 pp.
See their sites for other useful titles:
gopher://gopher.ora.com
telnet gopher.ora.com
Updates of the book is found at:
(WWW) http://gnn.com/wic

Carrol, Jim, and Rick Broadhead. Canadian Internet Handbook.
Toronto: Prentice Hall (Canada), 1994. 415 pp.
Sites:
gopher://gopher.prenhall.com (NOTE: was closed Sept. 19)
ftp://ftp.prenhall.com

Pike, Mary A. and Noel Estabrook. Using FTP. Indianapolis: Que
Corporation, 1995. 327 pp.
Sites:
gopher://gopher.mcp.com
ftp://ftp.mcp.com
(WWW) http://www.mcp.com

Electronic:


Savetz, Kevin M. The Unofficial Internet Book List. The Most
Extensive Bibliography of Books about the Internet.
ftp
rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/internet-services/book-list
gopher://gopher.psg.com

Howe, Denis. Free On-line Computing Dictionary.
(WWW) http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/
U.K. site that also offers access to "Internet Users' Glossary"
in a compress (gz) format (see next)

User Glossary Working Group of the User Services Area of the
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Internet Users' Glossary.
gopher://sunsite.unc.edu (in search format)
WAIS or SWAIS internet_info.src

December, John. Information Sources: the Internet and
Computer-Mediated Communication.
December, John. Internet Tools Summary.
ftp://ftp.rpi.edu/pub/communications
These two files (cmc and tools) exist in multiple formats at the
same address.

NSF Network Service Center (NNSC). Internet Resource Guide.
ftp://ftp.sura.net/pub/nic
The copy found at this site dates of November 11, 1992. This
information though useful is incomplete.

Souvatzis, Ignatios. Internet Point-to-Point Protocol (FAQ).
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq (8 part
FAQ)
(WWW) http://theory.cs.uni-bonn.de/ppp/part?
Explains the protocol that allows a direct link (phone-modem) to
the Net.

Aboba, Bernard. comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ)
ftp://ftp.netcom.com/pub/ma/mailcom/IBMTCP/
(WWW) http://www.zilker.net/users/internaut/update.html
TCP: Transmission Control Protocol and IP: Internet Protocol.
Two protocols at the heart of the Net.

Hersch, Russell. Description and Primer on Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQs) articles and lists.
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq
And mirrors:
ftp://ftp.uu.net
ftp://ftp.seas.gwu.edu
(WWW) http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/

Rankin, "Doctor Bob". Accessing The Internet By E-Mail. Doctor
Bob's Guide to Offline Internet Access.
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/internet-services/acce
ss-via-email
Gives tutorial and practical advice to overcome a limited e-mail
access to the Net. Has been translated in numerous languages.

Kamens, Jonathan I., and David Alex Lamb. FAQ: How to Find
People's E-mail Addresses.
(WWW) http://www.qucis.queensu.ca/FAQs/email/

Crepin-Leblond, Olivier M.J. FAQ: International E-mail
accessibility.
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/mail

Granrose, Jon; Jones, Mike; Czarnik, Tom; Rovers, Perry.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about FTP.
ftp://ftp.coast.net/SimTel/msdos/info/ftp-list.zip
Also contains the anonymous FTP sites worldwide. Other sources:
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq
(WWW) http://www.smartpages.com/faqs/

Linder, Paul (ed.). Gopher guide:  Internet Gopher User's Guide.
ftp://boombox.micro.umn.edu/pub/gopher/docs/

Anonymous. Common Questions and Answers about the Internet
Gopher, a client/server protocol for making a world wide
information service, with many implementations (FAQ).
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/

McGough, Nancy. Getting Started with News and the NN News Reader.
(FAQ)
ftp://ftp.halcyon.com/pub/ii/internet/nn/getting_started.txt
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/usenet/software/nn/get
ting-started
(WWW)
http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/usenet/softwar
e/nn/getting-started/faq.html
(WWW) http://www.jazzie.com/ii/writings.html

Boutell, Thomas. World Wide Web FAQ.
(WWW) http://www.io.org/faq/www

Kahle, Brewster. Overview of Wide Area Information Servers
(WAIS).
ftp://quake.think.com/wais/doc/

Kallem, Jeff. A Sketch of An Overview. (WAIS)
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/docs/about-the-net/libsoft/

European Academic Research Network. The Listserv Guide for
General Users.
mail to:listserv@earncc.bitnet  Body: get lsvguide memo

Deutsch, Peter; Emtage, Alan; and Heelan, Bill. archie - An
Electronic Directory Service for the Internet.
Emtage, Alan; and Heelan, Bill. Reference Manual for Archie.
Both files are in:
ftp://archie.ans.net/pub/archie/doc/

European Academic Research Network Association (EARN). Overview
and Information about Archie.
(WWW) http://www.earn.net/gnrt/

Jones, Rhett 'Jonzy'. Jughead Description:  Description of
Jonzy's Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation And Display
(JUGHEAD) Current Status.
ftp://boombox.micro.umn.edu/pub/gopher/Unix/GopherTools/jughead/


Notes

1.  My warmest thanks  go to Victor Piche, of the  departement de
demographie, Universite  de Montreal,  who has through  the years
made possible my  trips of  the net.   Monique Michaux  (ORSTOM),
Stephane Bazan (Aupelf-Uref, Montreal), Veronique Pierre (Aupelf-
Uref, Paris), Gisele Morin-Labatut (IDRC), Yves Otis, departement
d'histoire,  Universite de  Montreal,  Jose Igartua,  departement
d'histoire, UQAM,  and Francoise Gubry and  Claire Trochu (CEPED,
Paris) all helped in one way or another by answering  my call for
help and comments.  Finally, last  but by no means least, all the
Internet freaks who have for so many years left treasures  on the
Net in the form of lists, FAQ - frequently asked questions - help
files, and other tools as reminders of the human presence.

2.  The basic assumption throughout this  note is that the reader
has a working knowledge of both hook-up procedures and e-mail. If
this is not the case, it is strongly advised to contact  computer
services.

3.  IP = the Internet  Protocol, the most important protocol used
on  the  net, often  grouped  with  TCP  =  Transmission  Control
Protocol.

4.  TELNET = terminal emulation protocol that allows users to log
(place requests and receive  answers) into another computer, this
is  extensively used to access library catalogues. FTP = the file
transfer protocol  establishes the  rules in the  transmission of
requested  files  between  computers  (term  also  used  for  the
application program).

5.  Gopher,  developed by the University of Minnesota,  is a menu
driven system  to find  information and facilitate  its transfer.
The World Wide Web is a hypertext-based system to attain the same
goals. If  one wanted to  summarize the difference  in philosophy
between the two, we would  state that Gopher is "character"-built
and WWW is "image"-built.

6.  Sometimes referred  to as SWAIS. Your computer  services will
be able to tell  you if they have a  link to a WAIS/SWAIS  client
site and how to access it.

7. Our October 2nd attempt yielded "125 matching words (number of
documents)" for  Africa and African.  There were many repetitious
addresses but the crop was worth the trip.

8.  E-mail - electronic  mail - can be viewed as the main form of
exchange between two  individuals linked  to the net,  but it  is
also  the  means of  participating  in  discussions between  many
individuals sharing common interests.

9.  Newsgroups may number more than 6000, so its important to ask
what  groups  are carried  by  your  institution's computer,  and
through what type of newsreader (nn, rn, trn or tin). Mail lists,
also  quite  numerous,  depend  on e-mail  capabilities,  so  the
important factors are to identify the listserv computer's precise
address and learn a few commands.

10.  In order to standardize the addresses of sites given in this
article,  their Uniform  Resource  Locator (URL)  are given.  The
adresses are usually made up of three parts:
          1. the application (FTP, TELNET...) or the system
(WWW);
          2. the specific server address;
          3. the path and lastly the file name.
          We have chosen not to include the file name.

11.  My requests for update information have never been answered.

12.  There are quite  a number of references on the  subject. May
we suggest:
Khaled  Sellami.  Networking Efforts  in  the  Maghreb Region  of
Northern  Africa. Paper presented  at the INET  '95 conference in
Honolulu. (No  paper seems to have been  presented on Sub-Saharan
Africa)
(WWW) http://www.isoc.org/HMP/PAPER/207/txt/paper.txt
Jean-Yves DJAMEN, Dunia RAMAZANI, Stephane SOTEG SOME. Networking
in Africa. An unavoidable evolution towards the Internet.  (Has a
short bibliography.)
Found at gopher://gopher.umontreal.ca
L. Abba,  S. Giordano, S. Trumpy. RINAF: a Network
Interconnection  Project of Academic and Research Institutions in
Africa. (dated Dec 17, 1992)
The authors may  be reached  (though my own  request for  updated
information was never answered) at: africom@icnucevm.cnuce.cnr.It
Another conference is  in the  making. COLLOQUE  AFRICAIN SUR  LA
RECHERCHE EN  INFORMATIQUE.  CARI'96:  9  - 19  octobre  1996  in
Libreville, Gabon. See the ORSTOM WWW site.

13.  See the program put  forward by PADIS (UNECA - Addis Ababa),
and  partly founded by  IDRC, the  CABECA (Capacity  Building for
Electronic Communication in Africa). CABECA: Electronic
Communication Network  Initiative for  Africa. Text found  in the
IDRC and UN gophers.  IDRC has also agreed to fund  the SierraNet
project, a network of Sierra Leonians trying to link institutions
in their country with the international scientific community: see
SierraNet  Story; a country, its people and a technology, contact
Adrian Q. Labor, SierraNet Project Coordinator at
ADRIANL@EMF.Lan.McGill.CA.

14.  See:  F. Jacot Guillarmod.  Information on Southern  African
Networking (dated: 1994/01/13) at:
          ftp://ftp.ru.ac.za/pub/doc/networks
          gopher://gopher.ru.ac.za
The disclaimer explains: "this not an "official" document  in any
sense - it represents what one individual knows about
connectivity and networking in the sub-continent."
And the very detailed: Scott Hazelhurst.    FAQ   for
          soc.culture.south-africa.   (1   March    1995)   An
important
          contribution to  the knowledge of South African
resources on the
          net, found at:
          ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/local/FAQ/african/
          WWW http://www.cs.ubc.ca
          and the MIT depository:
          ftp://rtmf.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers

15.   Access to the  site was not  possible during the period of
writing  this  note.  This does  in  a way  make  clear that the
building process is still quite central to activities relating to
networking in  Africa, other than South Africa. See the statement
by  the  East African  Internet  Association.  "The East  African
Internet Association  (EAIA) is a not-for-profit  group formed in
April  1995,  seeking,  through  pooling  resources and  sharing
experiences,   to  promote  and   expand  cooperative electronic
communications and inter-networking in  the East African region."
More information may be requested at:
info@eaia.sasa.unep.no.


16.  Scott Hazelhurst has also produced a well documented FAQ  of
          Africa which can be obtained from:
          WWW http://www.cs.ubc.ca/spider/shaze/africa/
          ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/local/FAQ/african/
          and the MIT depository:
          ftp://rtmf.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers


17. The UN system now also has a WWW site at:
          http://www.undcp.org;
see the World Bank site at: http://www.worldbank.org

18. From  time to time one may be surprised by specific postings.
During the week of September  24th, the Africa Policy Information
Center  (APIC  in  Washington)  sent  in  a  remarkable  two-part
annotated bibliography on the Sudan.  APIC is worth contacting at
apic@igc.apc.org.  It  describes  itself and  its  objectives as:
"APIC's  primary objective is to  widen the policy  debate in the
United  States around African issues and the U.S. role in Africa,
by concentrating on providing accessible policy-relevant
information and analysis  usable by  a wide range  of groups  and
individuals.   APIC is affiliated  with the Washington  Office on
Africa  (WOA), a  not-for-profit  church, trade  union and  civil
rights group  supported organization that works  with Congress on
Africa-related legislation."

19.  H-AFRICA is part  of the larget H (Humanities)-net. To  find
out more about  it send a GET H-NET ANNOUNCE  message to the same
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list in the University of Illinois at Chicago gopher
(gopher://uic.edu/ 10. Researcher/19.  History/1. H-Net) as there
are for other history mailing lists.




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