The Web is a world wide network of computer sites which provide information (in text, graphics, and audio) about a dizzying array of subjects. If you know how to get around on The Web, you can quickly get access to information that might take days, weeks, or months to find out via other methods.
For more detailed help on using the Web, pull down the Help menu from the top of the Web window.
The simplest way to navigate the Web is to use the buttons and pull-down menus provided with your Web "browser" (the program you run to access the Web). Since there are many different Web browsers, exactly how the buttons and menus are laid out can vary. We will try to indicate the most common placement of these buttons and menus. In many browsers, the most commonly used selections from the menus are duplicated as buttons .
Usually the Navigate menu will have buttons like Go Back, which will take you to the Web page you most recently visited, and Next and Previous which will move you forward or backward (respectively) on the tree of "hypertext links" you've established (see below). To see this tree there is usually a menu item like Visited Documents.
On any Web page, text like this is called a "hypertext link" since it is really a pointer to another Web page where you can find out more information about the underlined topic. Clicking on the text with the mouse will send you to that Web page. Try it now. For example, here are some hypertext links pointing to the SLD home page and the SLAC home page. From these pages you can get to a lot of the information you might need about SLAC, SLD, or other HEP experiments.
The most direct way to access a Web document (instead of passing through many pointers to pointers to pointers) is its URL, or Uniform Resource Locator. The URL is like a networking extension of a "filename". It tells not only what the name of a file is but what kind of file it is (text, image, audio, video) and what computer system that file resides on. If you know the URL of a particular Web page, you can get there by opening the File menu and selecting Open or Open Selected. The server will prompt you for the URL.
For example, you could supply the URL of the SLD home page:
Since URLs tend to be very long, they are hard to remember and hard to type. To save you from having to deal with these long URLs, the Web provides the "Hotlist."
The Hotlist is just a list of Web pages that you frequent. You can see your current Hotlist from the Navigate menu, and once there you can add or delete items on the Hotlist. The items are stored by their Titles, which is usually a lot more descriptive than the URL (see the top of this Web page, for example). When you use the mouse to click on one of these Titles, the Web invokes a hypertext link to that document, and you never have to remember its URL again.
For more details on using URLs, an excellent guide is available through the Web. It is A Beginner's Guide to URLs
Since World Wide Web is the official documentation system of SLD, all SLD members should eventually learn how to write their own hypertext. When you feel like a pleasant break, give it a try. Most World Wide Web hypertext documents are written in a language called HTML (for HyperText Markup Language). This language is amazingly easy to learn. To get started, look at the extremely well written guide available through the Web called A Beginner's Giude to HTML or the amusing tutorial called the HTML Crash Course. Also of interest is CERN's style guide for online hypertext and the HTML Quick Reference Guide.
There is no need to return to the page where you started before you Quit
the Web. Each new session will start you off at the same home page.
Newsgroups are a convenient way for people with common interests to talk
to each other via the Internet. In practice, they work sort of like a
virtual "conference call": you can speak up or just listen, but everyone
has access to what everyone else says. Newsgroups are another good, fast
source of information since you can send questions to "experts" who may be
You can keep up with the latest news on topics such as
physics research, accelerator technologies or hamster racing.
Some newsgroups which might be of interest are:
sci.physics.research sci.physics.accelerators slac.slacker.slackest
Selecting newsgroups happens in the "newsgroup mode" of rn. To actually read the news, you have to leave this mode by hitting the Quit button. You will then be put into "read" mode.
When you enter read mode, the newsreader will list the newsgroups you are subscribed to which have unread messages in them. You can select which ones to read by moving the cursor onto the name and hitting the Next button. A listing of the news items in this group will then appear. Again you choose which ones you want to read using the cursor and hitting Next. The text of the news item will appear in the bottom half of the window along with a header which identfies where it came from.
There are several button options whose action changes depending on what mode you are in. Most are self-explanatory. A short summary of their action is given in the message bar when the mouse pointer is over them. For example, you should be able to find a button that will put you back in newsgroup mode from the reader, one that will save the current item to a file, one that will allow you to post (add) an item to the newsgroup you are in, and one that will allow you to quit the newsreader. You should be able to handle the rest from here; if not try the Help menu.
Day-to-day operation of the experiment is in the hands of the SLD Commissioner, a rotating post turned over approximately yearly. The current Commish is Terry Schalk, whose term began in August 1994. The Commissioner is assisted by a group of Run Coordinators who oversee experimental datataking on a weekly rotating basis. The Commissioner also serves as Shifts Czar and is responsible for the allocation of datataking shifts to all collaborators.
The full SLD Collaboration has formal meetings twice yearly (in spring and fall) and less formal groups of meetings known as "SLD Weeks" monthly on the lovely SLAC campus. Detector subsystem status is reviewed on a rotating schedule during SLD Weeks, along with regular reports on the progress of datataking and physics analysis.
The next section of the Workbook will discuss the Physics and design behind the SLD and SLC. After that, the Workbook will go on to teach you what you need to know to become the next SLD offline analysis Really Important Person.