Download and Install

Menu Bar

There are five menu items spread over two menu lists. The menu items have keyboard shortcuts.
  • File Menu
    • Refresh Data : (control-r) Reloads data from the database to show in the GUI.
    • DB GUI : (control-space) shows the HSQLDB built-in client. See http://hsqldb.org/doc/guide/ch09.html for SQL syntax. NB: Date format is 'yyyy-mm-dd' e.g. '2006-03-31'. Also need to use single quotes ' not double "
    • Exit : (control-q) closes the program down.
  • Help Menu
    • Delete all data : (control-delete) clears all data from the database
    • About Unison : (control-home) shows the author details.

Transform Data for Pajek Panel

The Pajek preview panel on Windows
The Pajek preview panel on Windows
The Pajek preview panel on LINUX
The Pajek preview panel on LINUX

UNISoN was created to show social networks in UseNet messages. This is done in this panel. There are three networks that can be created, one of which must be selected to create the network:
  • Thread creator vs Current poster : network of links from the author of a message, to the author of the first message in a thread.
  • Previous poster vs current : (default) network of links from a message author to the author of the message they replied to.
  • All thread posters to current : network from links of the author of the message to posters of all the messages it refers, i.e. to all the messages in the thread up to that point.
There are three ways that the network is displayed, each in a separate tab:
  • Graph : a preview graph is created, with each poster represented by a node, and links represented by arrows. Holding the mouse over a node will show the poster details. The display can be moved around by holding the mouse down. The scale can be changed with the mouse scroll button. If need be, the GUI can be expanded to see the graph more easily.
  • Matrix : this shows a table representaion of the network.
  • Pajek File Preview : this shows what the Pajek network file will look like when it is created.
There a number of buttons:
  • Refresh : Reloads data from the database to show in the GUI. Also recreates network to reflect any change set in the radio selection.
  • Save to Pajek : saves the Pajek network file as seen in the "Pajek File preview" tab
  • Save to CSV : saves the table representation (in the Matrix tab) to a comma separated file

Download Message Panel

Download Messages Panel

Download Screen on a Windows machine
Download Screen on a Windows machine
Download Screen on a UNIX machine
Download Screen on a UNIX machine

There a number of fields on this panel:

  • Newsgroup : enter a string to find the newsgroup name. Asterisks can be used as a wild card, represening any character. e.g. *football* will bring back the names of groups with "football" in it.
  • Server : A drop down list of free NNTP servers. You can select any one of these, or enter the name of your own.
  • Find groups : Clicking on this will search for groups whose name match the string in the "Newsgroup" field.
  • Get Extras : clicking on this will also download the extra fields needed to give location and cross-posts.
  • Date From : This will filter the messages downloaded, saving only those that are created on or after this date. Must be in YYYYMMDD format, e.g. 20070401
  • Date To : This will filter the messages downloaded, saving only those that are created on or before this date. Must be in YYYYMMDD format, e.g. 20070430
  • Download : Once a newsgroup is selected, clicking on this button will start the download, using whatever options have been selected earlier.
  • Pause : Pauses the download. Pressing again will resume.
  • Cancel : Cancels the download completely. Messages that have already been downloaded will still be saved.

View Saved Data Panel

The saved message panel on Windows
The saved message panel on Windows
The saved message panel on LINUX
The saved message panel on LINUX

There a number of fields on this panel:

  • Get Extras : Click on this will start a download of the extra information
  • Filter : Click on this and the data shown will be filtered according to values set in the following fields. If no value is in a filter field, then all values are shown. Click again to remove filter.
    • Date From : Date in YYYYMMDD format (e.g. 20000502) - show messages created on or after this date
    • Date To : Date in YYYYMMDD format (e.g. 20010502) - show messages created on or before this date
    • Stats Panels - these list the number of messages posted for a given stat. They are also used for the filter.
      • Countries : Lists countries ordered by number of messages. Only has meaningful values if the extra fields have been downloaded.
      • Posters : Lists the posters ordered by number of messages they have written.
      • Groups : Lists newsgroups, ordered by ones with mosts messages.
  • Refresh Data : Reloads data from the database to show in the GUI.

Quick Start

  1. Goto to the directory where you unzipped the file. Start the application with either linux-run.sh or windows-run.bat (UNIX users may need to set execute permission on the unix-run.sh file) This will bring up this screen:

  2. Download Screen on a Windows machine
    Download Screen on a Windows machine
    Download Screen on a UNIX machine
    Download Screen on a UNIX machine
  3. First download messages.
    You will need an active internet connection and your firewall will need to allow you access to port 119. Some corporate firewalls block this port, if so, this will not work.
    1. Enter a usenet group name into the field. You can use asterisk for a wild character. In this example, we look for groups with senior in the name by typing in *senior*

    2. Downloading messages from soc.senior.health+fitness
    3. Click on "Find Groups" to download a list of groups matching that search string.
    4. Select a group to download by clicking on it. We have selected "soc.senior.health+fitness"
    5. Click on "Download". After a short while, the messages will be downloaded. Five seconds after the last message is saved, an alert will pop up stating the download is complete.
  4. Next, view the downloading messages by clicking on the "View Saved Data" tab and click on the "Refresh Data" button.

  5. The saved message panel on Windows
    The saved message panel on Windows
    The saved message panel on LINUX
    The saved message panel on LINUX
  6. Show the social network data by clicking on the "Transform Data for Pajek" tab. The graph can be moved around by holding down mouse. The email address of the person is shown if you hold the pointer over the node you are interested in.

  7. The Pajek preview panel on Windows
    The Pajek preview panel on Windows
    The Pajek preview panel on LINUX
    The Pajek preview panel on LINUX

  8. Save the Pajek network file by clicking on "Save to Pajek"

  9. Saving the network as a Pajek file on Windows
    Saving the network as a Pajek file
    Saving the network as a Pajek file on LINUX
    Saving the network as a Pajek file
  10. The file can then be loaded into Pajek. Note, if you have run UNISoN on a LINUX or UNIX computer, you will have to run dos2unix on the file before loading into a Windows based program, even if run under the WINE emulator.
  11. Opening the file in Pajek
    Opening the file in Pajek
  12. For further details on how to use the Pajek program consult its website