Discussion:
Replace Google Groups with ?
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j***@wexfordpress.com
2012-08-01 18:54:39 UTC
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I know, you told me not to use Google Groups in the first place. But Google made up my mind for me with a new interface. I am too old to learn a new interface every time some IT guy comes up with a brainstorm. They could have left functional the old interface for the hundreds (thousands?) who prefer it. But Big Brother knows best, or so Big Brother thinks. They have pointers to a routine to revert to the old Google Groups but they lead nowhere. So Sayonara, Google Groups.

I tried Knode but it is a. awkward and b. crash prone. And like most recent KDE apps it is too tied to other apps like the password foolishness. I would still like an online facility comparable to the old Google groups. If there is no such animal then what do you suggest for a local news client? I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature
of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?

Your obedient servant,

John Culleton
j***@wexfordpress.com
2012-08-01 19:13:08 UTC
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Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
I know, you told me not to use Google Groups in the first place. But Google made up my mind for me with a new interface. I am too old to learn a new interface every time some IT guy comes up with a brainstorm. They could have left functional the old interface for the hundreds (thousands?) who prefer it. But Big Brother knows best, or so Big Brother thinks. They have pointers to a routine to revert to the old Google Groups but they lead nowhere. So Sayonara, Google Groups.
I tried Knode but it is a. awkward and b. crash prone. And like most recent KDE apps it is too tied to other apps like the password foolishness. I would still like an online facility comparable to the old Google groups. If there is no such animal then what do you suggest for a local news client? I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature
of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
Your obedient servant,
John Culleton
Found a way to revert. Just click on the gear wheel in upper right
hand corner. Don't forget to tell them why.
But I still need a longer term solution.

John C.
j***@wexfordpress.com
2012-08-01 19:08:25 UTC
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Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
I know, you told me not to use Google Groups in the first place. But Google made up my mind for me with a new interface. I am too old to learn a new interface every time some IT guy comes up with a brainstorm. They could have left functional the old interface for the hundreds (thousands?) who prefer it. But Big Brother knows best, or so Big Brother thinks. They have pointers to a routine to revert to the old Google Groups but they lead nowhere. So Sayonara, Google Groups.
I tried Knode but it is a. awkward and b. crash prone. And like most recent KDE apps it is too tied to other apps like the password foolishness. I would still like an online facility comparable to the old Google groups. If there is no such animal then what do you suggest for a local news client? I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature
of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
Your obedient servant,
John Culleton
Found a way to revert. Click on the little gear wheel in the upper
right corner. Don't forget to tell them why.

John C.
Henrik Carlqvist
2012-08-01 19:20:45 UTC
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Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair
shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
I haven't tried seamonkey for news, but for many years I have used pan
which is included in Slackware and find it really useful and easy to use.

Of course you will also need a nntp server to connect to, but this applies
to most usenet news clients.

regards Henrik
--
The address in the header is only to prevent spam. My real address is:
hc351(at)poolhem.se Examples of addresses which go to spammers:
***@localhost ***@localhost
notbob
2012-08-01 19:27:16 UTC
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Post by Henrik Carlqvist
I haven't tried seamonkey for news, but for many years I have used pan
which is included in Slackware and find it really useful and easy to use.
Good enough. Imma SM user from way back, but am becoming less happy
with it. It slows to an almost useless crawl while accessing youtube
or other vid providers. It's seriously flawed.

nb
--
"Do you recognize me? No!
...cuz I don't work here"
Support labelling GMO foods
http://www.nongmoproject.org/
The Real Bev
2012-08-19 22:41:17 UTC
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Post by Henrik Carlqvist
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair
shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
I haven't tried seamonkey for news, but for many years I have used pan
which is included in Slackware and find it really useful and easy to use.
Of course you will also need a nntp server to connect to, but this applies
to most usenet news clients.
I've used Thunderbird ever since it was Netscape .9. Before that I used
tin. I can't imagine why anybody would choose a web-based newsreader
rather than a real nntp reader.

I've been personalizing it (along with Firefox) since it was born and
it's nearly perfect (TB14) now :-)

I tried installing Seamonkey a few months ago, but something burped and
I gave up. Not much reason to try to fix something broken unless you
really want or need it!
--
Cheers, Bev
=============================================================
"On the other hand, I live in California so I'd be willing to
squeeze schoolchildren to death if I thought some oil would
come out." -- Scott Adams
Rinaldi J. Montessi
2012-08-20 12:49:43 UTC
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Post by The Real Bev
Post by Henrik Carlqvist
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair
shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
I haven't tried seamonkey for news, but for many years I have used pan
which is included in Slackware and find it really useful and easy to use.
Of course you will also need a nntp server to connect to, but this applies
to most usenet news clients.
I've used Thunderbird ever since it was Netscape .9. Before that I used
tin. I can't imagine why anybody would choose a web-based newsreader
rather than a real nntp reader.
I've been personalizing it (along with Firefox) since it was born and
it's nearly perfect (TB14) now :-)
I tried installing Seamonkey a few months ago, but something burped and
I gave up. Not much reason to try to fix something broken unless you
really want or need it!
I never got over the demise of Netscape Communicator ;-) SeaMonkey is
the only thing close. Using the default theme and text only button display.

I've tried Pan, tin, slrn and lynx. Not even close.
--
-Rinaldi-
It is the business of little minds to shrink.
-- Carl Sandburg
The Real Bev
2012-08-21 00:32:58 UTC
Reply
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Post by Rinaldi J. Montessi
Post by The Real Bev
Post by Henrik Carlqvist
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair
shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
I haven't tried seamonkey for news, but for many years I have used pan
which is included in Slackware and find it really useful and easy to use.
Of course you will also need a nntp server to connect to, but this applies
to most usenet news clients.
I've used Thunderbird ever since it was Netscape .9. Before that I used
tin. I can't imagine why anybody would choose a web-based newsreader
rather than a real nntp reader.
I've been personalizing it (along with Firefox) since it was born and
it's nearly perfect (TB14) now :-)
I tried installing Seamonkey a few months ago, but something burped and
I gave up. Not much reason to try to fix something broken unless you
really want or need it!
I never got over the demise of Netscape Communicator ;-) SeaMonkey is
the only thing close. Using the default theme and text only button display.
Ha. Mine is prettier than yours!
Post by Rinaldi J. Montessi
I've tried Pan, tin, slrn and lynx. Not even close.
We all move on...
--
Cheers, Bev
I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock
every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there
picking the locks, they are always locking three.
Chick Tower
2012-08-20 19:26:06 UTC
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Post by The Real Bev
I tried installing Seamonkey a few months ago, but something burped and
I gave up. Not much reason to try to fix something broken unless you
really want or need it!
The official Slackware package failed to install correctly on your
system, Bev?
--
Chick Tower

For e-mail: aols2 DOT sent DOT towerboy AT xoxy DOT net
The Real Bev
2012-08-21 00:33:41 UTC
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Post by Chick Tower
Post by The Real Bev
I tried installing Seamonkey a few months ago, but something burped and
I gave up. Not much reason to try to fix something broken unless you
really want or need it!
The official Slackware package failed to install correctly on your
system, Bev?
Can't remember. I probably downloaded it directly from mozilla.
--
Cheers, Bev
I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock
every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there
picking the locks, they are always locking three.
telsar
2012-08-01 20:12:10 UTC
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Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
I know, you told me not to use Google Groups in the first place. But Google made up my mind for me with a new interface. I am too old to learn a new interface every time some IT guy comes up with a brainstorm. They could have left functional the old interface for the hundreds (thousands?) who prefer it. But Big Brother knows best, or so Big Brother thinks. They have pointers to a routine to revert to the old Google Groups but they lead nowhere. So Sayonara, Google Groups.
I tried Knode but it is a. awkward and b. crash prone. And like most recent KDE apps it is too tied to other apps like the password foolishness. I would still like an online facility comparable to the old Google groups. If there is no such animal then what do you suggest for a local news client? I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature
of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
Your obedient servant,
John Culleton
Try Thunderbird for a client from mozilla, it is cool.

For a text only usenet server that costs nothing try:
www.eternal-september.org
--
Steal a little and go to jail, steal a lot and become King.
Danno
2012-08-02 06:07:39 UTC
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On Wed, 1 Aug 2012 11:54:39 -0700 (PDT)
"***@wexfordpress.com" <***@wexfordpress.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
If there is no such animal then what do you suggest for a
local news client?
John Culleton
Don't know what Google Groups looks like, but I've been using Sylpheed for
my email & usenet for a few years, pretty simple GUI, works on fairly
low-spec hardware IIRC (author says PII-266, but I'm pretty sure I've had
it up on a P1-100 in the past).

http://sylpheed.sraoss.jp/en/
--
Slackware 13.1, 2.6.33.4-smp, Core i7 920
GeForce GT520, RLU #272755
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-02 19:50:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
If there is no such animal then what do you suggest for a local news
client? I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair
shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
My short list:

1) NN Newsreader
2) Opera
3) Pan

I myself prefer the NN newsreader, but that is seriously old school, and
some people would probably consider it too arcane for their tastes. I like
it because it is still the fastest way to get through news efficiently,
bar none. It comes bundled with Slackware.

If you cannot stand text based interfaces, no matter how efficient, then
Opera is a really good client. It has a nice, simple, slick email client
that has good newsgroup support. Installation is also very easy with
their installer, and you can easily make a Slackware package out of their
tarball.

Pan is a good, reliable newsreader that comes bundled with Slackware, and
it's the one that I use if anyone has binaries that they mention or post
in the groups. It's very simple, straigthforward, and relatively robust,
though not nearly as nice as the other two for text reading, IMO.
--
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
John F. Morse
2012-08-02 21:58:45 UTC
Reply
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Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
If there is no such animal then what do you suggest for a local news
client? I prefer something that is GUI based and not too hair
shirtish. Is the Newsgroup feature of Seamonkey a winner or a bust?
1) NN Newsreader
2) Opera
3) Pan
I myself prefer the NN newsreader, but that is seriously old school, and
some people would probably consider it too arcane for their tastes. I like
it because it is still the fastest way to get through news efficiently,
bar none. It comes bundled with Slackware.
NN is very difficult to run. I've "fiddled" with it for several years,
and have never been able to use it successfully. I believe it was
primarily designed to work with a local spool, as was done more in the
old days. Accessing a news server requiring authentication may be
impossible. I've never figured out how to make it authenticate.

A much better newsreader is TIN. It is very simple to navigate, and it
is currently supported.

Another good and very popular text-based newsreader is SLRN, but it is
not as easy to navigate as TIN.

RN, TRN and TRN4 are other alternatives, as are Alpine/Pine and Mutt,
all noted for superior e-mail client use.

Then there is Gnus on emacs, which is nearly an OS in itself. Be
prepared to do a lot of learning.

I suppose the other end of the scale would be Telnet. ;-)
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
If you cannot stand text based interfaces, no matter how efficient, then
Opera is a really good client. It has a nice, simple, slick email client
that has good newsgroup support. Installation is also very easy with
their installer, and you can easily make a Slackware package out of their
tarball.
Opera may be a good browser, and possibly a good e-mail client, but as a
newsreader, it leaves a lot to be desired.

I would rank it at the bottom of my list, just above the Microsoft
clients, on par with Evolution.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Pan is a good, reliable newsreader that comes bundled with Slackware, and
it's the one that I use if anyone has binaries that they mention or post
in the groups. It's very simple, straigthforward, and relatively robust,
though not nearly as nice as the other two for text reading, IMO.
I use Pan regularly, but more as a tool to examine article propagation
amongst multiple NSP servers. Plus I use Pan 0.14.2.91 and not any of
the current beta releases.

Pan can handle binaries, but for heavier binary use, try KLibido. It is
not a reader, and cannot "read," but it excels in binary grabbing,
decoding, and joining multiparts.

There is KNode. It is similar to Pan, etc.

A good all-around newsreader plus mail client is Thunderbird. But it
sucks in filtering.

Even better is Claws Mail, which may be the best GUI newsreader (plus
mailer) available. N.B. Claws Mail and not Sylpheed Claws.

I've used XPN but it is not real strong in several areas, and it is
rather slow in comparison to other GUI readers.

The best newsreader is the one that fits your own desires, not what
someone else likes. You will likely need to develop it yourself,
considering all of the following (and more):

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you want a proprietary newsreader (commercial, freeware, shareware)
or Libre (free/open source)?

Do you want a text-based newsreader or a GUI newsreader?

Do you need to operate the newsreader locally or remotely via SSH?

Do you plan to use a local spool or a remote spool?

Do you need support for authentication to your NSP?

Do you need support for TLS/SSL to your NSP?

Do you need threading, and how does it thread (by References, by date
and/or subject, or another header field)?

Do you need to display graphical attachments?

Do you want to display graphical images inline, and/or attached?

Do you prefer to just download graphics and later open them with a
different program?

Do you need to join multiparts?

Do you need decoding, and what type (yEnc, PAR, NZB, ...)?

Do you want to post graphics (inline or attached)?

Do you need to display HTML?

Do you need to post HTML?

Do you need simple filtering based on sender or subject, or complex
filtering based on regex patterns in some or all of the header fields?

Do you want filtering to include a numerical scorefile?

Do you want a spell checker?

Do you want an external editor?

Do you want an ability to use tags, and colors for directories, the
sender, and other filtered items?

Do you need good archival support, and if so, by mbox, maildir, or
another file method?

------------------------------------------------------------------------

The list can go on and on. Only you can decide which newsreader can
provide the best set of your desires, and none of them can do everything.

Maybe a list can be of some assistance, at least for preliminary
selection, but you will need to personally test each newsreader that
might fit into the category of your desires. Here is a start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsreader_%28Usenet%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Usenet_newsreaders

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Usenet_newsreaders

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threaded_discussion

I didn't mention any of the Windows-based newsreaders, but all of those
that Microsoft designed are just plain junk.

Better ones would be Agent, Dialog, Gravity, and maybe Xnews. These
clunkers can be ran from Linux if you use Wine, but why?

Several of the Linux/Unix newsreaders have been ported to Windows. I can
only guess this is so our crippled friends can experience something
better than what they are stuck with. That might include the inability
to learn, or just plain laziness.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Joe Rosevear
2012-08-03 09:05:57 UTC
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John F. Morse <***@example.invalid> wrote:

[snip]
Post by John F. Morse
A much better newsreader is TIN. It is very simple to navigate, and it
is currently supported.
I'm a satisfied tin user.

-Joe
--
http://JosephRosevear.com
http://RosevearSoftware.com
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-03 19:04:04 UTC
Reply
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Post by John F. Morse
NN is very difficult to run. I've "fiddled" with it for several years,
and have never been able to use it successfully. I believe it was
primarily designed to work with a local spool, as was done more in the
old days. Accessing a news server requiring authentication may be
impossible. I've never figured out how to make it authenticate.
I'm quite confused about your claim with NN, as it is one of the easiest
that I have found to make work. I simply set the NNTPSERVER environment
to the name of my NNTP news server, make sure that /etc/HOSTNAME is
set appropriately, and then call 'nn'. It prompts for my username and
password automatically. I submit patches to Slackware to fix any NN
issues that are found in the package, so if you could let me know what
does not work, I would be eager to ensure that it at least works for you,
even if it is not your choice of reader in the end.
--
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
John F. Morse
2012-08-04 00:03:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
NN is very difficult to run. I've "fiddled" with it for several years,
and have never been able to use it successfully. I believe it was
primarily designed to work with a local spool, as was done more in the
old days. Accessing a news server requiring authentication may be
impossible. I've never figured out how to make it authenticate.
I'm quite confused about your claim with NN, as it is one of the easiest
that I have found to make work. I simply set the NNTPSERVER environment
to the name of my NNTP news server, make sure that /etc/HOSTNAME is
set appropriately, and then call 'nn'. It prompts for my username and
password automatically. I submit patches to Slackware to fix any NN
issues that are found in the package, so if you could let me know what
does not work, I would be eager to ensure that it at least works for you,
even if it is not your choice of reader in the end.
My NNTPSERVER is set to my cable ISP's NSP, which does not require any
authentication.

The /etc/hostname is correct (I do not have /etc/HOSTNAME). My hostname
shouldn't matter anyway.

When I call nn, I see another local INN server answering, then the
connection immediately disconnects. Don't know where this other server's
hostname came from, nor how to change it.

I have /etc/news/server but it is for SLRN, and points to localhost for
Stunnel support, and for a different local INN reader server which
requires TLS on port 563.

If I use "nn -g" I am asked "Enter Group or Folder (+./~)" and the only
group I can access is one that unauthenticated readers are allowed access.

There is no prompt for authentication. I've found no information for
placing authentication (username and password) into a file that NN can read.

I have the file ~/.nn/init with the recommended configuration, which is
similar to these munged values:

set nntp-server {my_NNTP_FQDN}
set nntp-user {my_username}
set nntp-password {my_password}
set news-header Organization: {My_Organization_Name}
set mail-header Organization: example.invalid
sequence
alt.os.linux.slackware
alt.test
local*

Changing the first three set lines by using : or = causes an "unknown
variable" error message for all three lines.

These values are also displayed with the ":set all" command.

If I change the first set line to "set nntp-server {my_ISP's_NNTP_FQDN}"
then I can access the cable ISP's NSP (Highwinds). However repeating, it
does not require authentication because it is a connection from a
private network (HFC cable controlled with MAC by the ISP's CMTS).

I can read -- and post -- but my real e-mail address is shown, which is
definitely not wanted.

So, the two stumbling blocks are authentication, and changing (munging)
my e-mail address and substituting "example.invalid" in its place.

I'd also prefer to use the command line to switch to various NNTP
servers instead of needing to edit the ~/.nn/init file.

I must admit that every time I've actually had time to fool around with
NN, it's been past my bedtime, and I was on a quest to try and whip it.
Perhaps I was too tired to think?

I have NN on a couple other computers, and have spent time on it in the
past, but never have successfully figured it out, nor configured it to
run as seamlessly as TIN, SLRN, Gnus, ....

If you have suggestions, I'd be grateful for any assistance.

BTW, I'm running Debian on most of my boxen, and I do have various
versions of Slackware, but the distro shouldn't matter.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-04 19:25:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
My NNTPSERVER is set to my cable ISP's NSP, which does not require any
authentication.
The way NN does authentication is as follows:

1: Connect to the server and see whether you can post
2: If you can post, your fine, start reading
3: If you cannot post, you might want to post, so try an authentication
4: If you need authentication to read, then try an authentication

There are notes in the source code suggesting that it might be nice to
have a variable to control whether or not authentication is performed,
but my guess is that it is not done so right now.
Post by John F. Morse
The /etc/hostname is correct (I do not have /etc/HOSTNAME). My hostname
shouldn't matter anyway.
It shouldn't, but depending on the configuration of NN, it might prevent
logging in. Specifically, in Slackware, I had to make it use the hostname
file because NN expects an FQDN when getting the hostname, which
the hostname(3) was not giving it. It does not sound like this is a problem
for you, but it's something to note just in case.
Post by John F. Morse
When I call nn, I see another local INN server answering, then the
connection immediately disconnects. Don't know where this other server's
hostname came from, nor how to change it.
In all the installations that I have seen of NN, if you specify an NNTP
server, it will use that over the default one that was specified, or
the nnmaster(1) database.
Post by John F. Morse
I have /etc/news/server but it is for SLRN, and points to localhost for
Stunnel support, and for a different local INN reader server which
requires TLS on port 563.
This may or may not be causing NN to barf, but I would be suprised if it
is assuming that you are properly specifying the NNTP server. I'd have to
check the code.
Post by John F. Morse
If I use "nn -g" I am asked "Enter Group or Folder (+./~)" and the only
group I can access is one that unauthenticated readers are allowed access.
If you get a different set of groups when you are authenticated or
unauthenticated, but you can post in both cases, then NN might not be
asking for authentication, because it thinks that you already have all
the privileges you need.
Post by John F. Morse
There is no prompt for authentication. I've found no information for
placing authentication (username and password) into a file that NN can read.
At the moment, I believe that you always authenticate interactively, and
you cannot specify an username or a password in a file. If it is not prompting
you for authentication, my guess is that NN thinks it unnecessary.
Post by John F. Morse
I have the file ~/.nn/init with the recommended configuration, which is
set nntp-server {my_NNTP_FQDN}
It is useless to put this in an init file, because the server is determined
before the init file is read. The nn(1) man page has more information, but
you want to specify this option either on the command line explicitly, or
through an environment variable. The environment variable overrides the
command line option, which in turn overrides the default.
Post by John F. Morse
set nntp-user {my_username}
set nntp-password {my_password}
These are not valid settings, methinks.
Post by John F. Morse
set news-header Organization: {My_Organization_Name}
set mail-header Organization: example.invalid
Good, you know about these settings. :-) They are very useful.
Post by John F. Morse
Changing the first three set lines by using : or = causes an "unknown
variable" error message for all three lines.
That's because they don't exist in those environments.
Post by John F. Morse
I can read -- and post -- but my real e-mail address is shown, which is
definitely not wanted.
I actually change my From header to display my real email address,
which I know a lot of people do not like, but the process is the same
for using invalid From headers as well. From the nn(1) man page, the
news-header and mail-header settings can be used to specify more than a
single header. Each header line can be separated by a semicolon. See
the man page's documentation of the mail-header option for an example,
which sets the Reply-To and Organization headers.
Post by John F. Morse
So, the two stumbling blocks are authentication, and changing (munging)
my e-mail address and substituting "example.invalid" in its place.
I wonder if authentication will just be a problem in the current version,
because NN simply will not ask for authentication if you have posting
access without needing to authenticate. I think I should release a patch
of NN that fixes this. :-)
Post by John F. Morse
I'd also prefer to use the command line to switch to various NNTP
servers instead of needing to edit the ~/.nn/init file.
Actually, this is the only way that you *can* switch servers. Keep in
mind that switching servers really also requires that you switch your
newsrc and .nn directories, too; the data stored in each is not portable
across servers. I use GigaNews and Gmane. Normally I just set GigaNews
up as the defualt, and then I have an alias in my shell when I want to
run NN for gmane, like so:

alias nngmane='NNTPSERVER=news.gmane.org nn nntp-directory=~/.nn-gmane \
newsrc=~/.newsrc-gmane'

[Line truncated for transmission.]
Post by John F. Morse
I must admit that every time I've actually had time to fool around with
NN, it's been past my bedtime, and I was on a quest to try and whip it.
Perhaps I was too tired to think?
Not necessarily. NN *is* different compared to the other news clients
out there, and it does a lot of things differently. It's not always
obvious how to achieve something, and I've acquired a lot of this
knowledge through reading through old FAQs, testing, and reading the
sources (which are actually remarkably clear and coherent). However,
most of the questions you are dealing with can be answered with a patient
read through the man page. Of course, patience and reading through man pages
does not always go together at all!
Post by John F. Morse
I have NN on a couple other computers, and have spent time on it in the
past, but never have successfully figured it out, nor configured it to
run as seamlessly as TIN, SLRN, Gnus, ....
If you have suggestions, I'd be grateful for any assistance.
BTW, I'm running Debian on most of my boxen, and I do have various
versions of Slackware, but the distro shouldn't matter.
Actually, in NN's case, the distro *does* matter. Slackware had a broken
version of NN for a while until some patches were sent in and those were
fixed. NN does a lot of configuration of settings and code paths at
configuration time, and it's sometimes easy to pick a combination that
works in most cases, but breaks in certain other cases. I do not know
how Debian's packaging is, but I know that the one on Slackware works well,
partly because I contributed to it a bit.

The distro shouldn't matter, and Debian should have a good set of defaults,
but those may be different than what are configured for the Slackware
version.

At any rate, kudos to you for setting up Gnus! Gnus is quite powerful, but
in terms of sheer editing prowess necessary to get it up and running, I
think NN wins, though Gnus has a ton of how-tos and walkthroughs, which NN
lacks.

I have a number of things that I want to do to enhance NN a bit,
foremost among them being Unicode support. However, the real reason I like
such an old piece of software is that reading through news is *so* much
faster when I read with NN. It's so easy to get through newsgroups with its
interface and workflow. I don't know how you'll like it, but I imagine it
might fit somewhere in your toolbox, once you get the thing to work! :-)
--
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
John F. Morse
2012-08-05 04:46:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
My NNTPSERVER is set to my cable ISP's NSP, which does not require any
authentication.
1: Connect to the server and see whether you can post
The problem right here is without proper authentication, the news server
restricts unauthenticated connects to only one group (on my servers), or
however many groups an administrator may assign for connections where
authentication fails.

Other groups can be accessed if properly authenticated, but posting can
still be restricted, or can be moderated. That is a choice the
administrator makes in configuring the news server (INN in my case).

Furthermore, authentication can allow access to various areas or groups,
depending on other factors, like the username having an appearance of an
e-mail address, or the name itself (john, newsmaster, administrator,
etc.). Those last two usernames get more privileges, like the ability to
approve and cancel.

Then access can also be controlled by the domain, or IP, even as
"localhost" etc. That localhost would be the tightest restriction,
usually for allowing the fullest access, and is generally given to the
local console keyboard so there is no chance of outside hacking gaining
privileges.

So, when using NN to my servers, I can only see the generic "Info"
article I have posted in the local.info group. It provides details for
someone who happens to drop in (a "curious NNRP server explorer") on how
to contact me for an account.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
2: If you can post, your fine, start reading
3: If you cannot post, you might want to post, so try an authentication
4: If you need authentication to read, then try an authentication
Here, NN is just not prompting for authentication, or is not providing
it after receiving a 200 reply.

Without being authenticated, any access command is going to receive a
480 reply.

Here is a sample telnet session (with munged areas):

***@hardy:~$ telnet news5 119
Trying 192.168.33.5...
Connected to news5.my.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 news5.my.net InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.5.2 ready (no posting)
group local.test
480 Read access denied
authinfo user {my_username}
381 Enter password
authinfo pass {my_password}
281 Authentication succeeded

Here I tried to access the local.test group, but it requires
authentication, so the server gave me the 480 error.

When I provided a valid username, the server sent the 381 meaning more
is needed, and explained it was the password.

When I entered my password, then the server was happy and gave the 281
success code.

Now if I connect without authentication, the only group I can access is
the local.info group:

***@hardy:~$ telnet news5 119
Trying 192.168.33.5...
Connected to news5.my.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 news5.my.net InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.5.2 ready (no posting)
group local.info
211 1 3 3 local.info
list
215 Newsgroups in form "group high low status"
local.info 0000000003 0000000003 m

I can use the article command with 3 and read that article.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
There are notes in the source code suggesting that it might be nice to
have a variable to control whether or not authentication is performed,
but my guess is that it is not done so right now.
It should be provided on a server basis. Some servers require
authentication, and some don't.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
The /etc/hostname is correct (I do not have /etc/HOSTNAME). My hostname
shouldn't matter anyway.
It shouldn't, but depending on the configuration of NN, it might prevent
logging in. Specifically, in Slackware, I had to make it use the hostname
file because NN expects an FQDN when getting the hostname, which
the hostname(3) was not giving it. It does not sound like this is a problem
for you, but it's something to note just in case.
Well, it could be if it is associated with the problem of using my real
e-mail address. That would bring on the spammers for sure.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
When I call nn, I see another local INN server answering, then the
connection immediately disconnects. Don't know where this other server's
hostname came from, nor how to change it.
In all the installations that I have seen of NN, if you specify an NNTP
server, it will use that over the default one that was specified, or
the nnmaster(1) database.
IIRC, I could only get NN to access the server that is listed in the
~/.nn/init file.

Perhaps there is another configuration value that would put one file
above another, but I think I've tried them all.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I have /etc/news/server but it is for SLRN, and points to localhost for
Stunnel support, and for a different local INN reader server which
requires TLS on port 563.
This may or may not be causing NN to barf, but I would be suprised if it
is assuming that you are properly specifying the NNTP server. I'd have to
check the code.
This is not used for NN. It is for SLRN, and maybe Tin, if I don't
override it with a launch commend parameter.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
If I use "nn -g" I am asked "Enter Group or Folder (+./~)" and the only
group I can access is one that unauthenticated readers are allowed access.
If you get a different set of groups when you are authenticated or
unauthenticated, but you can post in both cases, then NN might not be
asking for authentication, because it thinks that you already have all
the privileges you need.
Please review the authentication info above. Basically, without
authentication, there is no access except to one group (local.info), and
posting is prohibited anywhere.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
There is no prompt for authentication. I've found no information for
placing authentication (username and password) into a file that NN can read.
At the moment, I believe that you always authenticate interactively, and
you cannot specify an username or a password in a file. If it is not prompting
you for authentication, my guess is that NN thinks it unnecessary.
NN cannot know whether a news server requires authentication unless the
server asks (none do AFAIK), or NN has a configuration file setting
(which we are looking for and not finding).

Some cases allow authentication by putting username:password on the
command line as an attribute. I do not find it works with NN, and don't
recollect reading it in the various documentation.

In fact, the word "authentication" is not even in the docs.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I have the file ~/.nn/init with the recommended configuration, which is
set nntp-server {my_NNTP_FQDN}
It is useless to put this in an init file, because the server is determined
before the init file is read. The nn(1) man page has more information, but
you want to specify this option either on the command line explicitly, or
through an environment variable. The environment variable overrides the
command line option, which in turn overrides the default.
The nn(1) man page is where I read this, and it works.

However, when I comment it out, I can then use the command line attribute:

nn nntp-server=news5.my.net


or

nn nntp-server=isp.net
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
set nntp-user {my_username}
set nntp-password {my_password}
These are not valid settings, methinks.
They are also mentioned in the man page, but they obviously do not
permit authentication.

If the syntax is incorrect, then NN will fail to launch as mentioned below.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
set news-header Organization: {My_Organization_Name}
set mail-header Organization: example.invalid
Good, you know about these settings. :-) They are very useful.
Yes, but neither is for the e-mail address (From or Sender).
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Changing the first three set lines by using : or = causes an "unknown
variable" error message for all three lines.
That's because they don't exist in those environments.
Post by John F. Morse
I can read -- and post -- but my real e-mail address is shown, which is
definitely not wanted.
I actually change my From header to display my real email address,
which I know a lot of people do not like, but the process is the same
for using invalid From headers as well. From the nn(1) man page, the
news-header and mail-header settings can be used to specify more than a
single header. Each header line can be separated by a semicolon. See
the man page's documentation of the mail-header option for an example,
which sets the Reply-To and Organization headers.
So you are manually editing the From in the editor? That would be a real
task if you post many articles!
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
So, the two stumbling blocks are authentication, and changing (munging)
my e-mail address and substituting "example.invalid" in its place.
I wonder if authentication will just be a problem in the current version,
because NN simply will not ask for authentication if you have posting
access without needing to authenticate. I think I should release a patch
of NN that fixes this. :-)
How do people use NN with authentication? The INN news server is the
most common on Usenet, and many Usenet servers require authentication.

Perhaps NN is just not very common. I rarely see anyone posting with it.
I read headers most of the time, and have the Display Mail User Agent
extension in Thunderbird. If a big red NN shows up, I will notice it. I
rarely see it.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I'd also prefer to use the command line to switch to various NNTP
servers instead of needing to edit the ~/.nn/init file.
Actually, this is the only way that you *can* switch servers. Keep in
mind that switching servers really also requires that you switch your
newsrc and .nn directories, too; the data stored in each is not portable
across servers. I use GigaNews and Gmane. Normally I just set GigaNews
up as the defualt, and then I have an alias in my shell when I want to
alias nngmane='NNTPSERVER=news.gmane.org nn nntp-directory=~/.nn-gmane \
newsrc=~/.newsrc-gmane'
[Line truncated for transmission.]
I know newsrc is different for each server. However several newsreaders
can often share the same newsrc for a particular server.

I access many servers, so some kind of separation is definitely required.

The ~/.nn/init file does work for choosing a server. Sometimes it is the
only way to choose a server, and it overrides whatever server is given
on the command line.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I must admit that every time I've actually had time to fool around with
NN, it's been past my bedtime, and I was on a quest to try and whip it.
Perhaps I was too tired to think?
Not necessarily. NN *is* different compared to the other news clients
out there, and it does a lot of things differently. It's not always
obvious how to achieve something, and I've acquired a lot of this
knowledge through reading through old FAQs, testing, and reading the
sources (which are actually remarkably clear and coherent). However,
most of the questions you are dealing with can be answered with a patient
read through the man page. Of course, patience and reading through man pages
does not always go together at all!
I have read everything there is to read concerning NN. I have then
searched (grepped) the documentation, and came up with nothing.


You can't get silk from a sow's ear, nor squeeze blood from a turnip.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
BTW, I'm running Debian on most of my boxen, and I do have various
versions of Slackware, but the distro shouldn't matter.
Actually, in NN's case, the distro *does* matter. Slackware had a broken
version of NN for a while until some patches were sent in and those were
fixed. NN does a lot of configuration of settings and code paths at
configuration time, and it's sometimes easy to pick a combination that
works in most cases, but breaks in certain other cases. I do not know
how Debian's packaging is, but I know that the one on Slackware works well,
partly because I contributed to it a bit.
That is a Slackware problem, not NN nor Debian. ;-)

Patches should have been provided for NN, and not specifically for just
Slackware's NN package.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I have a number of things that I want to do to enhance NN a bit,
foremost among them being Unicode support. However, the real reason I like
such an old piece of software is that reading through news is *so* much
faster when I read with NN. It's so easy to get through newsgroups with its
interface and workflow. I don't know how you'll like it, but I imagine it
might fit somewhere in your toolbox, once you get the thing to work! :-)
The authentication problem should be at the head of the list. Without
it, I'm afraid NN is something of a relic from the very distant past.

Another problem I just found is the port is not assignable. That is
something available in modern newsreaders.

There is no TLS/SSL support, so another helper program like Stunnel is
required. I can certainly live with that.

NN does not show the selected article by using Z or X. It is broken I'm
afraid.

And it is much slower than any other newsreader I use.

I'm sorry Aaron, but my opinion of NN is it a very incomplete and broken
newsreader. Perhaps good 25 years ago, but netnews/Usenet has changed
considerably since then. You can't go out on an Interstate highway
riding an old donkey.

I particularly do not like the following idea, found at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nn_%28newsreader%29 :

NN was known for its mode separation between choosing and reading
articles. Threads were presented for reading or skipping, and once
all choices in a newsgroup were made, the user continued on to
reading the selected articles.


How can you choose something if you don't read it? Topic/Subject drift
long ago killed that glorious idea!

The NN FAQ is 21 years old, and most of the links are broken. I think NN
is kaput.

Old stuff from http://www.cua.dk/nn.html :

------------------------------------------------------------------------

NN - No News is Good News newsreader

I am the original author of the nn news reader program which used to
be among the top three news reader programs in use back in the early
days of USENET, i.e. when USENET was a low-noise, highly valuable
source of all sorts of information, most of the subscribers were
UNIX users, and spam was something you got in a tin.

So by nature, NN is a UNIX program which is ported to a lot of
platforms and flavours of UNIX - including LINUX on Intel PCs...

I gave up the maintenance of nn back in 1991, and the current
maintainer is Michael T Pins (see below), who is currently working
on a complete rewrite of NN to be released with the next year or so.

Michael maintains the www.nndev.org site where you can find the FAQ
and latest production release of NN.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

21 years have passed, and Michael's site is broken badly. <sigh>

If NN is doing what you want it to do, what you need, then who am I to
suggest you try Tin or SLRN? They both have what I need for my
text-based netnews desires, and are easy to navigate, especially Tin.

If you still feel you can create a better newsreader than Tin and SLRN,
by pouring a lot of time into NN, I wish you the best of luck.

Please let me know when you have completed the herculean task. I'll have
another go at NN.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-05 07:37:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
1: Connect to the server and see whether you can post
The problem right here is without proper authentication, the news server
restricts unauthenticated connects to only one group (on my servers), or
however many groups an administrator may assign for connections where
authentication fails.
[...]
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
2: If you can post, your fine, start reading
3: If you cannot post, you might want to post, so try an authentication
4: If you need authentication to read, then try an authentication
Here, NN is just not prompting for authentication, or is not providing
it after receiving a 200 reply.
If you read the above steps that NN takes when doing an initial server
negotiation you would see why it is not authenticating. After you detailed
the above and below, it is now clear to me, I think, why you are seeing
what you are. In particular, let's look at these logs...
Post by John F. Morse
Without being authenticated, any access command is going to receive a
480 reply.
Trying 192.168.33.5...
Connected to news5.my.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 news5.my.net InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.5.2 ready (no posting)
group local.test
480 Read access denied
authinfo user {my_username}
381 Enter password
authinfo pass {my_password}
281 Authentication succeeded
Here I tried to access the local.test group, but it requires
authentication, so the server gave me the 480 error.
If you had tried to do the same thing with NN, it would have also asked
you for authentication.
Post by John F. Morse
Now if I connect without authentication, the only group I can access is
Trying 192.168.33.5...
Connected to news5.my.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 news5.my.net InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.5.2 ready (no posting)
group local.info
211 1 3 3 local.info
list
215 Newsgroups in form "group high low status"
local.info 0000000003 0000000003 m
I can use the article command with 3 and read that article.
Seeing the above makes it obvious why NN is not asking for authentication.
Firstly, when it first connects, the message that it is receiving is a
200 code, which indicates that posting is allowed. Thus, NN, does not
even try to do any initial authentication, because it does not need to
do any right then and their. Instead, if you did not specify a specific
group, it will just run the LIST command, which I am guessing does not
require authentication either on your server. In this case, NN happily
continues, because the server has not requested authentication.

If you had instead told NN to do something that required authentication,
then it would have asked for it. If the server had responded with a 201,
indicating that posting was not allowed, then NN would have tried to
authenticate, to see if authenticating would give it more privileges.
Since the server did not respond so, and everything that NN tried was
okay without authentication, NN did not ask you for any authentication
details, nor use those that you provided.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
There are notes in the source code suggesting that it might be nice to
have a variable to control whether or not authentication is performed,
but my guess is that it is not done so right now.
It should be provided on a server basis. Some servers require
authentication, and some don't.
You misread or misunderstand me: NN does authentication on a per command
basis, not per server; you seem to think that NN does authentication at
some coarser granularity than either of these, NN is just being more
precise about authentication than what you expect. It is commands that
require authentication. NN will not give authentication unless it is
required to do so by the server, or if it is restricted in a way that it
thinks it can overcome by authenticating; namely, it will try to authenticate
when it receives a 480 reply, or when the initial message gives it a 201
code. Your use of NN is not generating either of these messages, so NN is
not authenticating.

The note I have above is saying that the coders of NN *know* that there
is no configurability (say, in the init file) of whether to blindly
authenticate at log in, even if the server gives a 200 instead of 201
as its opening message, and they acknowledge that having a variable to
set this might be nice. However, for the vast majority of installations,
this is not a problem, even today. It is a problem for you because you
actually change information that you send based on authentication
information, but you don't do anything to indicate this. Your server
does not give a 201 code, and I am guessing that the LIST command works
without authentication, so NN has no way of knowing that it could have
"gotten more groups" if only it had authenticated.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
It shouldn't, but depending on the configuration of NN, it might prevent
logging in. Specifically, in Slackware, I had to make it use the hostname
file because NN expects an FQDN when getting the hostname, which
the hostname(3) was not giving it. It does not sound like this is a problem
for you, but it's something to note just in case.
Well, it could be if it is associated with the problem of using my real
e-mail address. That would bring on the spammers for sure.
That problem is a problem with you not using a custom From field, and it
has nothing to do with your hostname. NN is using a default address based
on your hostname because you have not overridden the From field in your
configuration, but it would do this regardless of the hostname information
it receives. Thus, I am certain that this is not your problem in any of
the gripes you have with NN right now.
Post by John F. Morse
IIRC, I could only get NN to access the server that is listed in the
~/.nn/init file.
Perhaps there is another configuration value that would put one file
above another, but I think I've tried them all.
If there is an NNTPSERVER variable, NN should use that; if not, it should
use the value on the command-line; and if not, then it should use the
init file value.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I have /etc/news/server but it is for SLRN, and points to localhost for
Stunnel support, and for a different local INN reader server which
requires TLS on port 563.
This may or may not be causing NN to barf, but I would be suprised if it
is assuming that you are properly specifying the NNTP server. I'd have to
check the code.
This is not used for NN. It is for SLRN, and maybe Tin, if I don't
override it with a launch commend parameter.
You seemed to think that it was grabbing a local spool rather than using
the NNTP server that you specified. That's how I read this part of your
message. If that is not the case, then we can dispense with this part
entirely.
Post by John F. Morse
Please review the authentication info above. Basically, without
authentication, there is no access except to one group (local.info), and
posting is prohibited anywhere.
But your initial log in server response gives a 200 reply instead of a 201,
which in the protocol indicates that posting *is* allowed. As I mentioned
above, NN will not try to authenticate initially if it does not receive
a 201 on login. It *will* try to authenticate later on if a command it
tries gets a 480 reply.
Post by John F. Morse
NN cannot know whether a news server requires authentication unless the
server asks (none do AFAIK), or NN has a configuration file setting
(which we are looking for and not finding).
All servers that I have ever used, including GigaNews, Gmane, and my ISP,
among others, either work without passwords, or request a password
explicitly. For example, with GigaNews, here's what I get from a Telnet
session:

Trying 216.196.97.131...
Connected to news.giganews.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 News.GigaNews.Com
MODE READER
200 reading enabled
LIST
480 authentication required

The above simulates what NN does on logging into the server. NN sees the
480 reply and then asks me to authenticate. The problem you are
experiencing is that you give different results for a command such as
LIST depending on authentication rather than just returning 480 on
the command, as most servers that require authentication would.
Post by John F. Morse
Some cases allow authentication by putting username:password on the
command line as an attribute. I do not find it works with NN, and don't
recollect reading it in the various documentation.
If you have a version of NN with nntp-user and nntp-password variables,
then you can set them explicitly on the command line:

nn nntp-user={username} nntp-password={password} ...
Post by John F. Morse
In fact, the word "authentication" is not even in the docs.
That's because in most versions of NN, this was always done interactively,
it is only in relatively recent NN versions that nntp-user and nntp-password
were supported, and the vanilla source of 6.7.3 only has that in the README,
and does not document it in the man page.
Post by John F. Morse
The nn(1) man page is where I read this, and it works.
It is obvious that you are using a patched version of NN, since the
6.7.3 version that I have does not have this in the man page, but instead
explicitly recommends against putting nntp-server in the init file, and
recommends always putting it in the command-line. However,
while the man page says this, I think that some patches were introduced
that caused the init file to be loaded earlier, so that you can get away
with using nntp-server in the init file, which is what you have been doing,
apparently.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
set nntp-user {my_username}
set nntp-password {my_password}
These are not valid settings, methinks.
They are also mentioned in the man page, but they obviously do not
permit authentication.
If the syntax is incorrect, then NN will fail to launch as mentioned below.
Actually, these are not documented in the vanilla version of the man page,
but they are in the code (I just checked) nonetheless, and the README
talks about their introduction. Thus, someone seems to have patched your
man page to include them and make adjustments for recent code changes.

You incorrectly state that the "obviously do not permit authentication,"
because they *will* be used if NN ever needs to authenticate to the server.
The problem here is not that NN cannot authenticate, but that it does
not authenticate with your server because your server does not suggest
anything to NN that makes NN think it should authenticate.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
set news-header Organization: {My_Organization_Name}
set mail-header Organization: example.invalid
Good, you know about these settings. :-) They are very useful.
Yes, but neither is for the e-mail address (From or Sender).
Actually, they both are, and I explained how to use them further
down, and the man page explains how to use them. This is what I wrote
that explains how to use these settings.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I actually change my From header to display my real email address,
which I know a lot of people do not like, but the process is the same
for using invalid From headers as well. From the nn(1) man page, the
news-header and mail-header settings can be used to specify more than a
single header. Each header line can be separated by a semicolon. See
the man page's documentation of the mail-header option for an example,
which sets the Reply-To and Organization headers.
And since the above obviously did not help you, here is the relevant text
from the nn(1) man page:

mail-header headers (string, default not set)
The headers string specifies one or more extra header lines
(separated by semi-colons `;') which are added to the header of
mail sent from nn using the reply and mail commands. For exam?
ple:
set mail-header Reply-To: ***@texas.dk;Organization: TI - DK
To include a semicolon `;' in a header, precede it by a back?
slash (which must be doubled because of the conventions for
entering strings).

news-header headers (string, default not set)
The headers string specifies one or more extra header lines
(separated by semi-colons `;') which are added to the header of
articles posted from nn using the follow and post commands. See
mail-header for an example.

As you can see, you use these settings if you want to change the From
address or the Sender.
Post by John F. Morse
So you are manually editing the From in the editor? That would be a real
task if you post many articles!
That would be a task, but as you can see, I am not.
Post by John F. Morse
How do people use NN with authentication? The INN news server is the
most common on Usenet, and many Usenet servers require authentication.
I am using it every day with authentication and without, with by using
GigaNews, and without by using gmane.
Post by John F. Morse
Perhaps NN is just not very common. I rarely see anyone posting with it.
It is not very common nowadays, that's true, but not because it doesn't
know how to authenticate, because it does.
Post by John F. Morse
I read headers most of the time, and have the Display Mail User Agent
extension in Thunderbird. If a big red NN shows up, I will notice it. I
rarely see it.
Do you see it on my messages? :-)
Post by John F. Morse
I know newsrc is different for each server. However several newsreaders
can often share the same newsrc for a particular server.
Yes, you can use the same newsrc for the same server with different
newsreaders, and NN should play nicely with other clients that use ~/.newsrc,
but if you want to use NN on *different* servers, unless you know
that they can play nicely, you will need to use the newsrc variable
to change the newsrc file appropriately for each server. You don't have
to, but then things could go wrong (of course, you know what you are
doing, so feel free to pick and choose).
Post by John F. Morse
I access many servers, so some kind of separation is definitely required.
Yes, so then you would want to call nn with nntp-server, newsrc, and
nn-directory all set explicitely on the command-line for each server
that you want to connect to.
Post by John F. Morse
The ~/.nn/init file does work for choosing a server. Sometimes it is the
only way to choose a server, and it overrides whatever server is given
on the command line.
You should set it on the command line if you have a lot of different
servers to connect to. As you mentioned, setting it in the init file
and editing it each time you want to connect to a new server is a pain.
Post by John F. Morse
I have read everything there is to read concerning NN. I have then
searched (grepped) the documentation, and came up with nothing.
Debian seems to have a slightly customized version of NN. Slackware's is
much closer to vanilla. However, the above information on authentication,
in all its gory detail is not available in documentation. The variables
and the other settings are, but the exact workings of the authentication
I derived by reading the source code. Still, most of your other inquiries
*are* answered in the documentation. For example, your query about
the nntp-server, I get this from the man page:

newsrc file (string, default "~/.newsrc") Specifies the
file used by nn to register which groups and articles have been
read. The default setting corresponds to the .newsrc file used
by other news readers. Notice that nn release 6.4 onwards does
allow individual articles to be marked unread, and some articles
marked unread, and thus no longer messes up .newsrc for other
news readers! Also see nntp-server.

nn-directory directory (string, default "~/.nn")
It only makes sense to set this variable on the command line,
e.g. "nn-directory=$HOME/.nn2" since it is looked at before the
init file is read. It must be set to a full pathname. Usually
set when using multiple servers; see newsrc above and nntp-
server below.

nntp-server hostname or filename (string)
It only makes sense to set this variable on the command line,
e.g. "nntp-server=news.some.domain", since it is looked at
before the init file, If you use multiple servers, you probably
want to set the nn-directory and newsrc variables on the command
line to alternate names as well, since some of the data files
are server dependent.

That explains pretty much all you need to know about multiple servers
and nntp servers. The only thing not discussed there is how to actually
set those options on the command line, and here is the relevant man page
text on that:

Some variables only make sense when set on the command line,
since they are examined early in startup, before the init
files are read. The syntax for setting variables on the command
line is:
variable=value
The value may need to be quoted if it contains white space or
special characters. They can be intermixed with other options,
and are exam? ined prior to other argument parsing.

And there you go.
Post by John F. Morse
That is a Slackware problem, not NN nor Debian. ;-)
Actually, Debian patches its software a lot, it seems, in this case, though
none of the patches seem nefarious, unless your man page lacks the above
text that I quoted, in which case you are missing out a lot.
Post by John F. Morse
Patches should have been provided for NN, and not specifically for just
Slackware's NN package.
The patches were related to the configuration of Slackware's NN, not in
NN itself. A patch that Slackware used to provide a nicer error message
had a missing brace that caused universal failure, and it had a bad
configuration that did not allow for use on systems that did not have an
FQDN. Neither of these were upstream problems. They were also fixed
some years back.
Post by John F. Morse
The authentication problem should be at the head of the list. Without
it, I'm afraid NN is something of a relic from the very distant past.
I have added this as an issue in my tracker at GitHub. The code is
public, and this is an easy fix, so I just might knock this one out. :-)
However, please understand that the issue is *not* that NN cannot do
authentication or that it is somehow non-compliant. It is doing things
just fine, but it lacks an explicit option to always send authentication,
regardless of the server information. This is useful, but it is not
a failing, IMO.
Post by John F. Morse
Another problem I just found is the port is not assignable. That is
something available in modern newsreaders.
Yes, to my knowledge NN does not allows a custom port unless you
edit the service database to change the NNTP/TCP service.
Post by John F. Morse
NN does not show the selected article by using Z or X. It is broken I'm
afraid.
Z and X are not meant to show a single article. They are meant to take
you into reading mode where you can read the articles that you have
selected. Thus, if you have a single screenful of articles and you
hit 'a' and 'c', then hit 'Z', NN will show you article 'a', which you
can page through using the space character. When you page through 'a',
the article that you marked with 'c' will then be displayed and you can
page through it the same way. The difference in Z and X is what happens
when you have gone through all the articles that you marked when you
were in selection mode. 'Z' takes you back to your list of articles
with all the articles that you did not mark still marked as being unread,
whereas 'X' will mark all the articles that you did not select to read
as having been seen or read, and when you finish reading the articles that
you did select, it will not take you back to the group you were in,
but will instead take you to the next group.

These are also documented clearly in the man page.
Post by John F. Morse
And it is much slower than any other newsreader I use.
This used to be the case for me on slow connections as NN downloads
the list of new articles at startup before it displays the first
group, but with fast connections these days, that is a very small time,
and this time is actually shorter than the aggregate amount of time
for some other readers I have used to update their message lists.
As for actually reading news, I have not found NN to be any slower, and
actually faster in workflow than the others by a long shot. Only
initial startup may be slightly slower than others, do to its batch
nature.
Post by John F. Morse
I particularly do not like the following idea, found at
NN was known for its mode separation between choosing and reading
articles. Threads were presented for reading or skipping, and once
all choices in a newsgroup were made, the user continued on to
reading the selected articles.
How can you choose something if you don't read it? Topic/Subject drift
long ago killed that glorious idea!
Ah, but you see, that *is* the primary reason why I like NN so much!
This separation of selecting what articles I want to read first and
then reading through them is *so* much nicer for me than having to
laboriously click or navigate through the header list while simultaneously
reading the news.

Here's how it goes for me; I obviously don't want to read some articles
and I can tell this from the subject line. With NN I simply don't select
those articles. That usually eliminates my need to read most of the articles
in a group, or at least, the obviously useless articles. Then comes
the ones that I might just be interested in. These I select for reading.
Then I go into reading mode and start going at it. Many of the articles
are what I wanted, and I read through them entirely. Some are useless,
and I don't care about them, so I skip reading them in their entirety
and use the 'n' key to go to the next article in my selected reading list.
Sometimes, it is obvious that a thread has devolved and that it no longer
contains useful information. At that point, rather than plog through
the rest of the articles of that subject that I may have selected, I just
use the 'k' key to temporarily kill that subject just for this session,
and I can continue reading the next thread. If I decide I want to
permanently kill a subject, then I can, of course, do that as well.
Now, the other way around sometimes happens. I read the first post of
an article and think that I would like to follow more, well, rather
than going back to selection mode, I can just hit '*' and all the articles
that are followups to the article I am reading will be selected and added
to my reading list for me.

This is so much more efficient for me than what I have to do in other
readers, which I have to scroll through the list in one way, and then
jump around as I proceed to read though the lists. Certainly it is no
slower or more wasteful than having to open each article, since I can
already eliminate articles that I do not want to read. So, in fact,
I can deal with topic drift and useless articles much faster this way than
with the normal approaches.

Obviously, you may not like this approach, and if you don't then you
probably will not like NN. However, I think it's worth giving it a shot,
since it is surprisingly nice to use once you do.
Post by John F. Morse
21 years have passed, and Michael's site is broken badly. <sigh>
Yes, it is, which is why I have my own GitHub where I keep my own work
on NN.
Post by John F. Morse
If NN is doing what you want it to do, what you need, then who am I to
suggest you try Tin or SLRN? They both have what I need for my
text-based netnews desires, and are easy to navigate, especially Tin.
Oh, they are both fine readers, and I have used them both, but in both
cases I found them slower and harder to use efficiently than NN. They
have a lot of nice features, but NN is more usable for my workflow.
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-05 08:42:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Well, for "potential" users like John F. Morse,

I have just pushed patches to my GitHub version of NN to support the
forcing of NN to authenticate itself whether or not the server requires it
or not. Normally, NN tries to authenticate only if it receives a
201 response code (it want to see if it can get a 200 posting allowed code)
or if it receives a 480 response during normal use. The latest
master branch of my NN development trunk enables an option nntp-auth,
which is boolean. When set, NN will always try to authenticate, and
when not set, it will use the traditional authenticate on demand approach.

The code is located here: https://github.com/arcfide/Unicode-NN
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
smw
2022-01-08 20:48:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Well, for "potential" users like John F. Morse,
...and for existing real users. Yes, I'm one of them, and this is where
I thank you for this and everything else you've done with nn.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I have just pushed patches to my GitHub version of NN to support the
forcing of NN to authenticate itself whether or not the server requires it
or not.
I apologize for not thinking to share it at the time, but I did something
similar with my local copy of nn in 2014.

I'd just started using news.eternal-september.org as my news server,
and discovered its habit of returning 200 even if no authentication
is attempted, but in that case it grants access only to its private
newsgroups.

- Steven
--
___________________________________________________________________________
Steven Winikoff | The consultant's 3 rules of crisis management:
Montreal, QC, Canada | 1) When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.
***@smwonline.ca | 2) When life hands you a hemlock, don't make
http://smwonline.ca | hemlock-ade.
| 2a) Always know the difference between a lemon
| and a hemlock.
| - Rick Cook
John F. Morse
2012-08-06 15:01:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
1: Connect to the server and see whether you can post
The problem right here is without proper authentication, the news server
restricts unauthenticated connects to only one group (on my servers), or
however many groups an administrator may assign for connections where
authentication fails.
[...]
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
2: If you can post, your fine, start reading
3: If you cannot post, you might want to post, so try an authentication
4: If you need authentication to read, then try an authentication
Here, NN is just not prompting for authentication, or is not providing
it after receiving a 200 reply.
If you read the above steps that NN takes when doing an initial server
negotiation you would see why it is not authenticating. After you detailed
the above and below, it is now clear to me, I think, why you are seeing
what you are. In particular, let's look at these logs...
Post by John F. Morse
Without being authenticated, any access command is going to receive a
480 reply.
Trying 192.168.33.5...
Connected to news5.my.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 news5.my.net InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.5.2 ready (no posting)
group local.test
480 Read access denied
authinfo user {my_username}
381 Enter password
authinfo pass {my_password}
281 Authentication succeeded
Here I tried to access the local.test group, but it requires
authentication, so the server gave me the 480 error.
If you had tried to do the same thing with NN, it would have also asked
you for authentication.
I cannot do the same thing with NN, such as send the "authinfo" command,
which is easy with telnet. Therefore I'm only presented the group that
doesn't require authentication.

The 480 error is actually designed for a transit server:

480 transfer permission denied. Response to CHECK if transfer is not
allowed.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Now if I connect without authentication, the only group I can access is
Trying 192.168.33.5...
Connected to news5.my.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 news5.my.net InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.5.2 ready (no posting)
group local.info
211 1 3 3 local.info
list
215 Newsgroups in form "group high low status"
local.info 0000000003 0000000003 m
I can use the article command with 3 and read that article.
Seeing the above makes it obvious why NN is not asking for authentication.
Firstly, when it first connects, the message that it is receiving is a
200 code, which indicates that posting is allowed. Thus, NN, does not
even try to do any initial authentication, because it does not need to
do any right then and their. Instead, if you did not specify a specific
group, it will just run the LIST command, which I am guessing does not
require authentication either on your server. In this case, NN happily
continues, because the server has not requested authentication.
200 server ready - posting allowed. Sent by the server upon initiation
of the session, if the client is allowed to post messages.

In the case of a read-only newsgroup, the client is not allowed to post,
but that is beyond the initial connect stage. Attempts to post will be
blocked when the article post command is given. Perhaps one of these?:

440 posting not allowed. POST command issued when posting is not allowed.

502 access restriction or permission denied. Permission denied; sent if
the client has not properly authenticated but the server requires it.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
If you had instead told NN to do something that required authentication,
then it would have asked for it. If the server had responded with a 201,
indicating that posting was not allowed, then NN would have tried to
authenticate, to see if authenticating would give it more privileges.
Since the server did not respond so, and everything that NN tried was
okay without authentication, NN did not ask you for any authentication
details, nor use those that you provided.
I think your problem is you believe "posting" comes before "reading" --
or in this case "accessing."

Nobody can post if they can't get there in the first place. If they can
get there, but posting in that group is prohibited (a "read-only"
group), then there is no 201 issued.

201 server ready - no posting allowed. Sent by the server upon
initiation of the session, if the client is not allowed to post messages.

Getting in the "posting door" requires authentication, as well as access
into a group that allows posting or is moderated. If you can't get in
the door, then the server has no idea who you are, nor if you are
allowed to post.

It does allow you to read any group that is assigned anonymous access
privileges though. Since you are connected as an anonymous reader, you
remain that until the connection is terminated.

The initial 200 code is all NN knows, so it will not authenticate. It
must be forced with a command option so the user can use it when needed
for those servers that do require authentication.

Again, you and I see the problem is NN won't ask for authentication if a
server has issued the 200 response code.

The reason the 200 is sent by INN (probably other NNTP/NNRP servers
also) is there are one or more newsgroups available for unauthenticated
connections. This is how I provide anyone access to a limited number of
groups (actually only one) so they can obtain some information on how to
apply for an account.

Now when someone who has an account tries to connect, and their
newsreader authenticates them, they are not asked again to authenticate
because the 200 response code was sent. They can access whatever
privileges correspond to their account as configured in the
/etc/news/readers.conf file.

See: http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/software/inn/docs/readers.conf.html
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
There are notes in the source code suggesting that it might be nice to
have a variable to control whether or not authentication is performed,
but my guess is that it is not done so right now.
I discovered this problem a few years ago when using TIN. Urs Jan├čen,
the TIN developer, who is active in the news.software.readers group
(where this discussion really should be taking place), added the -A
command option to "force authentication on initial connect." That fixed TIN.

The -A was added to TIN in 1998, which was 12 years ago!

TIN pre-1.4 release 19981002 ("Phobia"):
ADD. -A cmd-line switch to force auth on connect

TIN pre-1.4 release 19990927 ("Nine While Nine"):
BUG. authentication was not first command after MODE READER if invoked
with -A

TIN version 1.5.2 release 20000206 ("Black Planet"):
ADD. allow interactive authentication on startup if invoked with -A

TIN version 1.9.5 20091224 ("Lochruan"):
ADD. try AUTHINFO USER/PASS on -A if CAPABILITIES didn't announce any
supported auth methods

I am using TIN version 1.9.2 20070201 ("Dalaruan"). The -A works fine.

I'm checking with Julien Elie, the current INN developer, about this
problem when there are one or more groups which are accessible without
authentication, and the server is providing the 200 result code.

However this does sound like a normal and reasonable result from a news
server under the conditions mentioned.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
It should be provided on a server basis. Some servers require
authentication, and some don't.
You misread or misunderstand me: NN does authentication on a per command
basis, not per server; you seem to think that NN does authentication at
some coarser granularity than either of these, NN is just being more
precise about authentication than what you expect. It is commands that
require authentication. NN will not give authentication unless it is
required to do so by the server, or if it is restricted in a way that it
thinks it can overcome by authenticating; namely, it will try to authenticate
when it receives a 480 reply, or when the initial message gives it a 201
code. Your use of NN is not generating either of these messages, so NN is
not authenticating.
That is correct, and I do understand you. NN is broken for use with a
news server that operates with authentication and has groups which
require no authentication.

What I meant by "per-server basis" is some servers require
authentication, and some do not. Therefore the user must be able to
control NN to authenticate or not.

This can be accomplished easily with a command line option such as TIN
uses. Or it can be stored in a configuration file that NN reads. Or both.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
The note I have above is saying that the coders of NN *know* that there
is no configurability (say, in the init file) of whether to blindly
authenticate at log in, even if the server gives a 200 instead of 201
as its opening message, and they acknowledge that having a variable to
set this might be nice. However, for the vast majority of installations,
this is not a problem, even today. It is a problem for you because you
actually change information that you send based on authentication
information, but you don't do anything to indicate this. Your server
does not give a 201 code, and I am guessing that the LIST command works
without authentication, so NN has no way of knowing that it could have
"gotten more groups" if only it had authenticated.
There are a lot of INN servers in use on Usenet. More than Diablo, and
certainly more than Highwinds, since the ISPs pulled the plug on their
NSP offerings.

The number of server administrators who offer some groups without
authentication is unknown. I only offer the one information group as a
service to someone who may want an account and doesn't know how to get one.

I run a private, non-profit and mostly-transit server farm. There are
few reader users and none have been added in several years. So the
local.info group could probably be eliminated, forcing everybody to
authenticate.

But I don't really want to do that. It is valuable for information
because I do not have a public-faced Webserver running full time.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
It shouldn't, but depending on the configuration of NN, it might prevent
logging in. Specifically, in Slackware, I had to make it use the hostname
file because NN expects an FQDN when getting the hostname, which
the hostname(3) was not giving it. It does not sound like this is a problem
for you, but it's something to note just in case.
Well, it could be if it is associated with the problem of using my real
e-mail address. That would bring on the spammers for sure.
That problem is a problem with you not using a custom From field, and it
has nothing to do with your hostname. NN is using a default address based
on your hostname because you have not overridden the From field in your
configuration, but it would do this regardless of the hostname information
it receives. Thus, I am certain that this is not your problem in any of
the gripes you have with NN right now.
I will try and "fix" this From issue, but first I must have access to a
test group on a test server that I host. I cannot send test messages
into Usenet and have the real e-mail address appearing.

I played with it a little more and did get it to work, so that issue is
solved. See alt.nn.test
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
If there is an NNTPSERVER variable, NN should use that; if not, it should
use the value on the command-line; and if not, then it should use the
init file value.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I have /etc/news/server but it is for SLRN, and points to localhost for
Stunnel support, and for a different local INN reader server which
requires TLS on port 563.
This may or may not be causing NN to barf, but I would be suprised if it
is assuming that you are properly specifying the NNTP server. I'd have to
check the code.
This is not used for NN. It is for SLRN, and maybe Tin, if I don't
override it with a launch commend parameter.
You seemed to think that it was grabbing a local spool rather than using
the NNTP server that you specified. That's how I read this part of your
message. If that is not the case, then we can dispense with this part
entirely.
No, I suspected NN, as was most old newsreaders, was originally designed
to use a local spool.

I don't use a local spool for any of my newsreaders.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Please review the authentication info above. Basically, without
authentication, there is no access except to one group (local.info), and
posting is prohibited anywhere.
But your initial log in server response gives a 200 reply instead of a 201,
which in the protocol indicates that posting *is* allowed. As I mentioned
above, NN will not try to authenticate initially if it does not receive
a 201 on login. It *will* try to authenticate later on if a command it
tries gets a 480 reply.
I know what you are saying. My server gives the 200 because it allows
non-authenticated readers -- to one group only -- and that group is
read-only, so they cannot post. The initial 200 connect response is not
repeated after connection.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
NN cannot know whether a news server requires authentication unless the
server asks (none do AFAIK), or NN has a configuration file setting
(which we are looking for and not finding).
All servers that I have ever used, including GigaNews, Gmane, and my ISP,
among others, either work without passwords, or request a password
explicitly. For example, with GigaNews, here's what I get from a Telnet
Trying 216.196.97.131...
Connected to news.giganews.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
200 News.GigaNews.Com
MODE READER
200 reading enabled
LIST
480 authentication required
The above simulates what NN does on logging into the server. NN sees the
480 reply and then asks me to authenticate. The problem you are
experiencing is that you give different results for a command such as
LIST depending on authentication rather than just returning 480 on
the command, as most servers that require authentication would.
I can't speak for Giganews since I do not have an account there, but I'd
bet the complete operation is behind authentication -- all groups.

They also have a case issue for commands. My telnet session mirrors
your's, but I discovered the MODE READER must be in all caps.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Some cases allow authentication by putting username:password on the
command line as an attribute. I do not find it works with NN, and don't
recollect reading it in the various documentation.
If you have a version of NN with nntp-user and nntp-password variables,
nn nntp-user={username} nntp-password={password} ...
That will not work, and my NN version is 6.7.3.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
In fact, the word "authentication" is not even in the docs.
That's because in most versions of NN, this was always done interactively,
it is only in relatively recent NN versions that nntp-user and nntp-password
were supported, and the vanilla source of 6.7.3 only has that in the README,
and does not document it in the man page.
I may have seen it before in the README, or Google's results where
someone posted it.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
The nn(1) man page is where I read this, and it works.
It is obvious that you are using a patched version of NN, since the
6.7.3 version that I have does not have this in the man page, but instead
explicitly recommends against putting nntp-server in the init file, and
recommends always putting it in the command-line. However,
while the man page says this, I think that some patches were introduced
that caused the init file to be loaded earlier, so that you can get away
with using nntp-server in the init file, which is what you have been doing,
apparently.
I don't see it spelled out in nn(1), but I may have inferred it from the
following in nn(1):

33- This will be done very quickly, because nn uses the NOV
database via
34: the NNTP XOVER command. The news server to use can be
overridden by
35- setting the environment variable $NNTPSERVER to the name of
the system
36: (such as news.newserver.com), or by setting the variable
nntp-server
37- (on the command line only, since it is looked at before the
init file),
38: as "nntp-server=news.some.domain").

Where is the news server name that you are overriding, mentioned above
in line 34?

Another possibility where I saw the init file mentioned:

2936: nntp-server hostname or filename (string)
2937- It only makes sense to set this variable on the
command line,
2938: e.g. "nntp-server=news.some.domain", since it is
looked at
2939: before the init file, If you use multiple servers,
you probably
2940- want to set the nn-directory and newsrc variables on
the command
2941- line to alternate names as well, since some of the
data files
2942: are server dependent.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
set nntp-user {my_username}
set nntp-password {my_password}
These are not valid settings, methinks.
They are also mentioned in the man page, but they obviously do not
permit authentication.
I saw these somewhere, but I don't find them in the nn(1) man page.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
If the syntax is incorrect, then NN will fail to launch as mentioned below.
Actually, these are not documented in the vanilla version of the man page,
but they are in the code (I just checked) nonetheless, and the README
talks about their introduction. Thus, someone seems to have patched your
man page to include them and make adjustments for recent code changes.
Again, I saw these somewhere, but I don't find them in the nn(1) man
page. Sorry for the confusion.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
You incorrectly state that the "obviously do not permit authentication,"
because they *will* be used if NN ever needs to authenticate to the server.
The problem here is not that NN cannot authenticate, but that it does
not authenticate with your server because your server does not suggest
anything to NN that makes NN think it should authenticate.
That I agree with. So it is a stalemate, unless NN is patched to force
authentication or at least have it as an option when connecting, like
TIN does with the -A command option.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
set news-header Organization: {My_Organization_Name}
set mail-header Organization: example.invalid
Good, you know about these settings. :-) They are very useful.
Yes, but neither is for the e-mail address (From or Sender).
Actually, they both are, and I explained how to use them further
that explains how to use these settings.
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I actually change my From header to display my real email address,
which I know a lot of people do not like, but the process is the same
for using invalid From headers as well. From the nn(1) man page, the
news-header and mail-header settings can be used to specify more than a
single header. Each header line can be separated by a semicolon. See
the man page's documentation of the mail-header option for an example,
which sets the Reply-To and Organization headers.
And since the above obviously did not help you, here is the relevant text
mail-header headers (string, default not set)
The headers string specifies one or more extra header lines
(separated by semi-colons `;') which are added to the header of
mail sent from nn using the reply and mail commands. For exam?
To include a semicolon `;' in a header, precede it by a back?
slash (which must be doubled because of the conventions for
entering strings).
news-header headers (string, default not set)
The headers string specifies one or more extra header lines
(separated by semi-colons `;') which are added to the header of
articles posted from nn using the follow and post commands. See
mail-header for an example.
As you can see, you use these settings if you want to change the From
address or the Sender.
OK, I got this working as I wanted it to be. See alt.nn.test for a test
post.

Can NN generate its own Message-ID string?
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I read headers most of the time, and have the Display Mail User Agent
extension in Thunderbird. If a big red NN shows up, I will notice it. I
rarely see it.
Do you see it on my messages? :-)
Yes, but it is black and not red, and two lowercase "nn" characters.

I think the red uppercase NN was on Wikipedia, but that site is down at
the minute.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I know newsrc is different for each server. However several newsreaders
can often share the same newsrc for a particular server.
Yes, you can use the same newsrc for the same server with different
newsreaders, and NN should play nicely with other clients that use ~/.newsrc,
but if you want to use NN on *different* servers, unless you know
that they can play nicely, you will need to use the newsrc variable
to change the newsrc file appropriately for each server. You don't have
to, but then things could go wrong (of course, you know what you are
doing, so feel free to pick and choose).
Post by John F. Morse
I access many servers, so some kind of separation is definitely required.
Yes, so then you would want to call nn with nntp-server, newsrc, and
nn-directory all set explicitely on the command-line for each server
that you want to connect to.
Post by John F. Morse
The ~/.nn/init file does work for choosing a server. Sometimes it is the
only way to choose a server, and it overrides whatever server is given
on the command line.
You should set it on the command line if you have a lot of different
servers to connect to. As you mentioned, setting it in the init file
and editing it each time you want to connect to a new server is a pain.
Alright, I got this working now from the command line. I had to remove
the "set nntp-server" from the init file because it has final authority.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Z and X are not meant to show a single article. They are meant to take
you into reading mode where you can read the articles that you have
selected. Thus, if you have a single screenful of articles and you
hit 'a' and 'c', then hit 'Z', NN will show you article 'a', which you
can page through using the space character. When you page through 'a',
the article that you marked with 'c' will then be displayed and you can
page through it the same way. The difference in Z and X is what happens
when you have gone through all the articles that you marked when you
were in selection mode. 'Z' takes you back to your list of articles
with all the articles that you did not mark still marked as being unread,
whereas 'X' will mark all the articles that you did not select to read
as having been seen or read, and when you finish reading the articles that
you did select, it will not take you back to the group you were in,
but will instead take you to the next group.
These are also documented clearly in the man page.
Yes, I read their purpose, but the Z was displaying the first article on
a page (or in the group), even when a further-down article was the only
one highlighted. Same for the X of course.

Today it is working like it should be working. Don't have an
explanation. No reboots, etc.

Weird things happen with NN (and no other programs). I just tried to run
it and was told it is already running. Sure enough, ps -e showed it. I
couldn't kill it with PID nor killall with nn. Then it finally stopped
five minutes later.

I've spent the past six hours fooling with it and need to get some rest.
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
And it is much slower than any other newsreader I use.
This used to be the case for me on slow connections as NN downloads
the list of new articles at startup before it displays the first
group, but with fast connections these days, that is a very small time,
and this time is actually shorter than the aggregate amount of time
for some other readers I have used to update their message lists.
As for actually reading news, I have not found NN to be any slower, and
actually faster in workflow than the others by a long shot. Only
initial startup may be slightly slower than others, do to its batch
nature.
It is the downloading, not reading, which is slow. Compared to other
newsreaders, so it isn't my pipe (gigabit LAN and 30 MB to the ISP).

If you don't mind, and you wish to reply, could you trim this too-long
article and get rid of anything that isn't really necessary? It's grown
way out of hand, and a lot is due to my replying to each paragraph, and
leaving the quoted text intact.

If you think it would be better, since this doesn't really pertain to
Slackware, move any reply to n.s.nn where I am also subscribed, and I'll
reply there if need be.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
telsar
2012-08-06 16:56:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
<snippy>

I admire you guys attention to detail and using the commandline
interface for news. Thunderbird would greatly simplify your life
reading and posting news, thus making it no fun.
--
Steal a little and go to jail, steal a lot and become King.
Michael Black
2012-08-06 17:12:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 6 Aug 2012, telsar wrote:
<snippy>
Post by telsar
I admire you guys attention to detail and using the commandline
interface for news. Thunderbird would greatly simplify your life
reading and posting news, thus making it no fun.
How?

So I'd have to constantly take my fingers off the keyboard to use the
mouse?

I've used Pine for sixteen years, it was August 1996 that I first used it,
and when I finally got around to running Linux, I cast Debian aside for
Slackware since Debian didn't include Pine.

I can't see the point of doing graphics from the command line, unless I
had a lot of standard size pictures that needed to be cropped or whatever
in a standard fashion. There, a mouse makes sense since it is good for
manipulating things.

But I can't see how using a mouse would help with newsgroups. My fingers
are already on the keys, so it's much easier to use cursor keys than the
mouse to move around.

Even if a GUI made sense, the fact that some of us have used the same
newsreader for over a decade is not to be denied, it's familiar and why
bother changing?

Michael
telsar
2012-08-06 17:39:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by telsar
<snippy>
Post by telsar
I admire you guys attention to detail and using the commandline
interface for news. Thunderbird would greatly simplify your life
reading and posting news, thus making it no fun.
How?
So I'd have to constantly take my fingers off the keyboard to use the
mouse?
I've used Pine for sixteen years, it was August 1996 that I first used
it, and when I finally got around to running Linux, I cast Debian aside
for Slackware since Debian didn't include Pine.
I can't see the point of doing graphics from the command line, unless I
had a lot of standard size pictures that needed to be cropped or
whatever in a standard fashion. There, a mouse makes sense since it is
good for manipulating things.
But I can't see how using a mouse would help with newsgroups. My
fingers are already on the keys, so it's much easier to use cursor keys
than the mouse to move around.
Even if a GUI made sense, the fact that some of us have used the same
newsreader for over a decade is not to be denied, it's familiar and why
bother changing?
Michael
indeed
--
Steal a little and go to jail, steal a lot and become King.
John F. Morse
2012-08-06 22:18:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Black
Post by telsar
I admire you guys attention to detail and using the commandline
interface for news. Thunderbird would greatly simplify your life
reading and posting news, thus making it no fun.
How?
So I'd have to constantly take my fingers off the keyboard to use the
mouse?
Very true!
Post by Michael Black
I've used Pine for sixteen years, it was August 1996 that I first used
it, and when I finally got around to running Linux, I cast Debian
aside for Slackware since Debian didn't include Pine.
Debian has Alpine. Have you ever tried it? If so, what's your opinion,
your comparison, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_%28email_client%29
Post by Michael Black
I can't see the point of doing graphics from the command line, unless
I had a lot of standard size pictures that needed to be cropped or
whatever in a standard fashion. There, a mouse makes sense since it
is good for manipulating things.
For modifying image properties, here is a great command line program:

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ImageMagick
Post by Michael Black
But I can't see how using a mouse would help with newsgroups. My
fingers are already on the keys, so it's much easier to use cursor
keys than the mouse to move around.
Even if a GUI made sense, the fact that some of us have used the same
newsreader for over a decade is not to be denied, it's familiar and
why bother changing?
Michael
Wouldn't that be like always drinking *everything* from your favorite
coffee cup? ;-)

I know how familiarity can enslave people. Just look at the numbers of
griping, bellyaching Windows users, who won't take the plunge and move
to Linux.

Maybe there are just too many choices of Linux (over 700), like too many
newsreaders? If it is choices overload, I don't have the answer for
"them" but I know I get bored with repetition. I like experimentation.
Plus I need different newsreaders for testing news servers.

Since I have your attention, can you give me a brief HOWTO for using
Pine/Alpine/Mutt as a newsreader? I've read these e-mail programs can be
used for netnews, but haven't yet stumbled upon any documentation.

If you've been following the NN discussion, you may have seen where I
need a newsreader that can authenticate on connect, and can be used on
multiple news servers (not necessary more than one at the same time though).

Configuration files which need command line editing are fine. Command
options to override a config file are a plus.

Ideas?
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Chick Tower
2012-08-07 18:45:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
If you've been following the NN discussion, you may have seen where I
need a newsreader that can authenticate on connect, and can be used on
multiple news servers (not necessary more than one at the same time though).
Configuration files which need command line editing are fine. Command
options to override a config file are a plus.
Ideas?
I don't recall if you've tried slrn, but it would do everything you
listed above, John.

Another option would be to use slrnpull or leafnode or any other spooler
program to download newsgroup articles into a local cache and use
whatever newsreader you prefer to read them from the cache. I know
slrnpull allows you to post replies to articles, even to news servers
that require authentication (this reply is a demonstration of that), and
I suspect other caching programs would allow it as well.
--
Chick Tower

For e-mail: aols2 DOT sent DOT towerboy AT xoxy DOT net
John F. Morse
2012-08-07 20:11:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Chick Tower
Post by John F. Morse
If you've been following the NN discussion, you may have seen where I
need a newsreader that can authenticate on connect, and can be used on
multiple news servers (not necessary more than one at the same time though).
Configuration files which need command line editing are fine. Command
options to override a config file are a plus.
Ideas?
I don't recall if you've tried slrn, but it would do everything you
listed above, John.
Another option would be to use slrnpull or leafnode or any other spooler
program to download newsgroup articles into a local cache and use
whatever newsreader you prefer to read them from the cache. I know
slrnpull allows you to post replies to articles, even to news servers
that require authentication (this reply is a demonstration of that), and
I suspect other caching programs would allow it as well.
Hi Chuck,

Yes, I have SLRN and use it occasionally. like right now.

SLRN is a good newsreader. I do prefer TIN though because I can navigate
anywhere and read by using only the left and right arrow keys. My brain
is getting stiff and there is less to remember. ;-)

I run my own news servers so "local" could mean this localhost, or a
server in the basement, which could be running a CLI newsreader and I
can access it via SSH, which I've done in the past using TIN (or
sometimes mailx or mutt).

Getting the real news spool from an INN news server to my local console
computer could easily be accomplished with rsync, but I don't care to
copy 150 GB to the local hard drive! The spool is in a CNFS (Cyclic
News File System) where many large 2 GB file buffers are used, and news
articles fill them in a round-robin method so they never run out of
disk space. IOW, I couldn't pick and choose individual articles.

I do have the option to reconfigure reader access to allow my IP or LAN
netblock to access groups without authentication. But that would defeat
my need for testing in a real world scenario.

Anyway, thanks for your ideas.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Chick Tower
2012-08-08 19:09:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
Getting the real news spool from an INN news server to my local console
computer could easily be accomplished with rsync, but I don't care to
copy 150 GB to the local hard drive! The spool is in a CNFS (Cyclic
News File System) where many large 2 GB file buffers are used, and news
articles fill them in a round-robin method so they never run out of
disk space. IOW, I couldn't pick and choose individual articles.
Are you saying you have a local news article cache of 150GB? Do you
actually read all the newsgroups in that cache? slrnpull only downloads
the newsgroups you specify, and you can specify expiration periods so
that you can occasionally purge old messages.
--
Chick Tower

For e-mail: aols2 DOT sent DOT towerboy AT xoxy DOT net
John F. Morse
2012-08-08 22:33:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Chick Tower
Post by John F. Morse
Getting the real news spool from an INN news server to my local console
computer could easily be accomplished with rsync, but I don't care to
copy 150 GB to the local hard drive! The spool is in a CNFS (Cyclic
News File System) where many large 2 GB file buffers are used, and news
articles fill them in a round-robin method so they never run out of
disk space. IOW, I couldn't pick and choose individual articles.
Are you saying you have a local news article cache of 150GB? Do you
actually read all the newsgroups in that cache? slrnpull only downloads
the newsgroups you specify, and you can specify expiration periods so
that you can occasionally purge old messages.
First off, let me apologize for the "Chuck" typo in your name. I saw the
error after sending the message. The U-I-O keys are just too close for
me, and my eyes aren't as good as they once were. Then the speel chucker
passed it. ;-)

The news spool total is around 150GB. It is not a "cache" but a spool.

For just the "slow text" newsgroups, there are 30 cycbuffs of 2 GB each.
That's 60 GB just for the one metacycbuff, and it is but one metacycbuff
of six total.

The others would include fast text, slow bins, fast bins, very fast, and
junk.

Then there is a traditional spool hierarchy holding another gigabyte or so.

Of course I do not read everything! But I do read a couple dozen groups
which are fairly low traffic.

I also check several other Usenet servers for missing articles, Path
data, etc.

All Usenet text groups, and a half dozen binary groups, are fed to me by
my peers. I don't "pull" groups from other NSPs, which would be
impossible with the numbers shown below.

My active file stores 32,665 groups, those which are available for
newsreader access.

Yesterday's totals indicate there are now 13,690,191 articles available
in the news spool after the daily expiration of 49,491 articles:


Article lines processed 13739682
Articles retained 13690191
Entries expired 49491



The transit server keeps articles for a much shorter period:


Article lines processed 3089880
Articles retained 2978169
Entries expired 111711



It only needs to retain articles for around 10 days, in case it needs to
feed them to any peer which might have been off-line for some reason.
Most news servers will not accept an article older than ten days. These
are "streamed" articles, not pulled.

Even then, the age of the slow text groups is currently 40 days (five 2
GB cycbuffs = 10 GB spool), and fast text is 69 days (one 2 GB cycbuff).
The other three single 2 GB cycbuffs are:

fast bins has 196 days of articles
very fast has 322 days of articles
slow bins has 650 days of articles

The junk group has two 2 GB cycbuffs, and the oldest article is 3 days,
6:38.

More than enough "retention" buffer space available, just in case there
is a Usenet "flood" some day.

Again, expiry is a cron job that runs at midnight every night.

The transit server is the fastest, finishing first in six minutes flat
last night, because it has fewer articles to expire nightly:


Expire messages:
expireover start Wed Aug 8 00:00:27 CDT 2012: ( -z/var/log/news/expire.rm -Z/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
Article lines processed 5258
Articles dropped 0
Overview index dropped 0
expireover end Wed Aug 8 00:04:58 CDT 2012
lowmarkrenumber begin Wed Aug 8 00:04:58 CDT 2012: (/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
lowmarkrenumber end Wed Aug 8 00:04:59 CDT 2012
expire begin Wed Aug 8 00:05:29 CDT 2012: (-v1)
Article lines processed 3089880
Articles retained 2978169
Entries expired 111711
expire end Wed Aug 8 00:06:00 CDT 2012
all done Wed Aug 8 00:06:00 CDT 2012



The reader server takes longer, 22:15, because the spool is much larger:


Expire messages:
expireover start Wed Aug 8 00:00:22 CDT 2012: ( -z/var/log/news/expire.rm -Z/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
Article lines processed 51221
Articles dropped 0
Overview index dropped 0
expireover end Wed Aug 8 00:19:00 CDT 2012
lowmarkrenumber begin Wed Aug 8 00:19:00 CDT 2012: (/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
lowmarkrenumber end Wed Aug 8 00:19:00 CDT 2012
expire begin Wed Aug 8 00:19:31 CDT 2012: (-v1)
Article lines processed 13739682
Articles retained 13690191
Entries expired 49491
expire end Wed Aug 8 00:22:15 CDT 2012
all done Wed Aug 8 00:22:15 CDT 2012



The backup reader server is quite old, with a 266 MHz AMD-K6 CPU and
only 256 MB of RAM. Plus the spool is much smaller. using a 40 GB hard
drive:


Expire messages:
expireover start Wed Aug 8 00:06:44 CDT 2012: ( -z/var/log/news/expire.rm -Z/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
Article lines processed 51214
Articles dropped 0
Overview index dropped 0
expireover end Wed Aug 8 01:32:28 CDT 2012
lowmarkrenumber begin Wed Aug 8 01:32:29 CDT 2012: (/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
lowmarkrenumber end Wed Aug 8 01:32:31 CDT 2012
expire begin Wed Aug 8 01:33:02 CDT 2012: (-v1)
Article lines processed 7898846
Articles retained 7780311
Entries expired 118535
expire end Wed Aug 8 01:48:11 CDT 2012
all done Wed Aug 8 01:48:11 CDT 2012



It takes 1:48:11 to complete the nightly expiration of 118,535 articles.

You can see that the big time-consuming job is expiring the overview
database. The CNFS spool buffers have nothing to rm, since they operate
in a fixed file block size. The traditional spool groups are configured
to never expire, so they don't add into the time calculations.

Yesterday's totals of incoming articles for the transit server were:


Incoming Feeds (INN):
Server Connects Offered Taken Refused Reject %Accpt Elapsed

TOTAL: 8 970 433443 112145 321086 212 25% 358:14:39

Incoming Volume (INN):
Server AcceptVol DupVol RejVol TotalVol %Acc Vol/Art

TOTAL: 8 919.8 MB 1.6 MB 1.7 MB 923.1 MB 99% 8.4 KB



The outgoing totals were:


Outgoing Feeds (innfeed) by Articles:
Server Offered Taken Refused Reject Miss Spool %Took Elapsed

TOTAL: 7 691333 133814 418384 7595 0 809 19% 167:53:59

Outgoing Feeds (innfeed) by Volume:
Server AcceptVol RejectVol TotalVol Volume/sec Vol/Art Elapsed

TOTAL: 7 1.2 GB 44.7 MB 1.3 GB 2.2 KB/s 9.3 KB 167:53:59



Looking at the 433,443 incoming article total, many are not accepted.
Many (321.086) were refused because we already had the article
determined by an M-ID check, and 212 rejected because an article was not
wanted (duplicates sent at the same instant from two or more peers after
M-ID check indicated the article hadn't been seen), articles that are
too old, etc.


Sites sending bad articles:
Server Total Group Dist Duplic Unapp TooOld Site Line Other

TOTAL: 5 62026 58165 0 152 1 0 0 0 3708


Unwanted newsgroups [Top 20]:
Newsgroup Count

TOTAL: 778 58165



These figures are far above what any article pulling or sucking program,
like Leafnode, slrnpull, PullNews, Suck, etc. could ever hope to accomplish.

High enough to rank my news server farm at #24 in the Usenet Top1000
list for today.

http://top1000.anthologeek.net
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Dan C
2012-08-09 05:29:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
Post by Chick Tower
Post by John F. Morse
Getting the real news spool from an INN news server to my local
console computer could easily be accomplished with rsync, but I don't
care to copy 150 GB to the local hard drive! The spool is in a CNFS
(Cyclic News File System) where many large 2 GB file buffers are used,
and news articles fill them in a round-robin method so they never run
out of disk space. IOW, I couldn't pick and choose individual
articles.
Are you saying you have a local news article cache of 150GB? Do you
actually read all the newsgroups in that cache? slrnpull only
downloads the newsgroups you specify, and you can specify expiration
periods so that you can occasionally purge old messages.
First off, let me apologize for the "Chuck" typo in your name. I saw the
error after sending the message. The U-I-O keys are just too close for
me, and my eyes aren't as good as they once were. Then the speel chucker
passed it. ;-)
The news spool total is around 150GB. It is not a "cache" but a spool.
For just the "slow text" newsgroups, there are 30 cycbuffs of 2 GB each.
That's 60 GB just for the one metacycbuff, and it is but one metacycbuff
of six total.
The others would include fast text, slow bins, fast bins, very fast, and
junk.
Then there is a traditional spool hierarchy holding another gigabyte or so.
Of course I do not read everything! But I do read a couple dozen groups
which are fairly low traffic.
I also check several other Usenet servers for missing articles, Path
data, etc.
All Usenet text groups, and a half dozen binary groups, are fed to me by
my peers. I don't "pull" groups from other NSPs, which would be
impossible with the numbers shown below.
My active file stores 32,665 groups, those which are available for
newsreader access.
Yesterday's totals indicate there are now 13,690,191 articles available
Article lines processed 13739682 Articles retained 13690191
Entries expired 49491
Article lines processed 3089880 Articles retained 2978169
Entries expired 111711
It only needs to retain articles for around 10 days, in case it needs to
feed them to any peer which might have been off-line for some reason.
Most news servers will not accept an article older than ten days. These
are "streamed" articles, not pulled.
Even then, the age of the slow text groups is currently 40 days (five 2
GB cycbuffs = 10 GB spool), and fast text is 69 days (one 2 GB cycbuff).
fast bins has 196 days of articles very fast has 322 days of articles
slow bins has 650 days of articles
The junk group has two 2 GB cycbuffs, and the oldest article is 3 days,
6:38.
More than enough "retention" buffer space available, just in case there
is a Usenet "flood" some day.
Again, expiry is a cron job that runs at midnight every night.
The transit server is the fastest, finishing first in six minutes flat
expireover start Wed Aug 8 00:00:27 CDT 2012: (
-z/var/log/news/expire.rm -Z/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
Article lines processed 5258 Articles dropped 0
Overview index dropped 0
expireover end Wed Aug 8 00:04:58 CDT 2012 lowmarkrenumber begin Wed
Aug 8 00:04:58 CDT 2012: (/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
lowmarkrenumber end Wed Aug 8 00:04:59 CDT 2012 expire begin Wed Aug 8
00:05:29 CDT 2012: (-v1)
Article lines processed 3089880 Articles retained 2978169
Entries expired 111711
expire end Wed Aug 8 00:06:00 CDT 2012 all done Wed Aug 8 00:06:00 CDT
2012
expireover start Wed Aug 8 00:00:22 CDT 2012: (
-z/var/log/news/expire.rm -Z/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
Article lines processed 51221 Articles dropped 0
Overview index dropped 0
expireover end Wed Aug 8 00:19:00 CDT 2012 lowmarkrenumber begin Wed
Aug 8 00:19:00 CDT 2012: (/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
lowmarkrenumber end Wed Aug 8 00:19:00 CDT 2012 expire begin Wed Aug 8
00:19:31 CDT 2012: (-v1)
Article lines processed 13739682 Articles retained 13690191
Entries expired 49491
expire end Wed Aug 8 00:22:15 CDT 2012 all done Wed Aug 8 00:22:15 CDT
2012
The backup reader server is quite old, with a 266 MHz AMD-K6 CPU and
only 256 MB of RAM. Plus the spool is much smaller. using a 40 GB hard
expireover start Wed Aug 8 00:06:44 CDT 2012: (
-z/var/log/news/expire.rm -Z/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
Article lines processed 51214 Articles dropped 0
Overview index dropped 0
expireover end Wed Aug 8 01:32:28 CDT 2012 lowmarkrenumber begin Wed
Aug 8 01:32:29 CDT 2012: (/var/log/news/expire.lowmark)
lowmarkrenumber end Wed Aug 8 01:32:31 CDT 2012 expire begin Wed Aug 8
01:33:02 CDT 2012: (-v1)
Article lines processed 7898846 Articles retained 7780311
Entries expired 118535
expire end Wed Aug 8 01:48:11 CDT 2012 all done Wed Aug 8 01:48:11 CDT
2012
It takes 1:48:11 to complete the nightly expiration of 118,535 articles.
You can see that the big time-consuming job is expiring the overview
database. The CNFS spool buffers have nothing to rm, since they operate
in a fixed file block size. The traditional spool groups are configured
to never expire, so they don't add into the time calculations.
Server Connects Offered Taken Refused Reject %Accpt
Elapsed
TOTAL: 8 970 433443 112145 321086 212 25% 358:14:39
Server AcceptVol DupVol RejVol TotalVol %Acc
Vol/Art
TOTAL: 8 919.8 MB 1.6 MB 1.7 MB 923.1 MB 99%
8.4 KB
Server Offered Taken Refused Reject Miss Spool %Took
Elapsed
TOTAL: 7 691333 133814 418384 7595 0 809 19% 167:53:59
Server AcceptVol RejectVol TotalVol Volume/sec Vol/Art
Elapsed
TOTAL: 7 1.2 GB 44.7 MB 1.3 GB 2.2 KB/s 9.3 KB 167:53:59
Looking at the 433,443 incoming article total, many are not accepted.
Many (321.086) were refused because we already had the article
determined by an M-ID check, and 212 rejected because an article was not
wanted (duplicates sent at the same instant from two or more peers after
M-ID check indicated the article hadn't been seen), articles that are
too old, etc.
Server Total Group Dist Duplic Unapp TooOld Site Line Other
TOTAL: 5 62026 58165 0 152 1 0 0
0 3708
Newsgroup
Count
TOTAL: 778
58165
These figures are far above what any article pulling or sucking program,
like Leafnode, slrnpull, PullNews, Suck, etc. could ever hope to accomplish.
High enough to rank my news server farm at #24 in the Usenet Top1000
list for today.
http://top1000.anthologeek.net
That's some impressive shit. Well done, sir.
--
"Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".
"Bother!" said Pooh, as he reinstalled TLX 3.1.
Usenet Improvement Project: http://twovoyagers.com/improve-usenet.org/
Thanks, Obama: Loading Image...
John F. Morse
2012-08-09 11:01:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan C
That's some impressive shit. Well done, sir.
Thank you, too, sir.

I've worked my mind and fingers to the bone with NNTP, ... and keeping
Win-droids at bay.

The NNTP stuff is more rewarding. ;-)
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
John F. Morse
2012-08-06 21:56:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by telsar
<snippy>
I admire you guys attention to detail and using the commandline
interface for news. Thunderbird would greatly simplify your life
reading and posting news, thus making it no fun.
I am a simple man, with a simple life, and am using Thunderbird.

However, like you say, it's not much fun.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-06 18:25:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
If you don't mind, and you wish to reply, could you trim this too-long
article and get rid of anything that isn't really necessary? It's grown
way out of hand, and a lot is due to my replying to each paragraph, and
leaving the quoted text intact.
Yep, I am definitely doing that here, since I think we got most of the
issues solved or at least identified.
Post by John F. Morse
If you think it would be better, since this doesn't really pertain to
Slackware, move any reply to n.s.nn where I am also subscribed, and I'll
reply there if need be.
Yep, I agree, and I am moving it over there. I'll be responding shortly,
and I just wanted to put this one here, for the archives.
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-06 19:26:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
I don't see it spelled out in nn(1), but I may have inferred it from the
33- This will be done very quickly, because nn uses the NOV
database via
34: the NNTP XOVER command. The news server to use can be
overridden by
35- setting the environment variable $NNTPSERVER to the name of
the system
36: (such as news.newserver.com), or by setting the variable
nntp-server
37- (on the command line only, since it is looked at before the
init file),
38: as "nntp-server=news.some.domain").
Where is the news server name that you are overriding, mentioned above
in line 34?
When NN is initially configured at compile time, the config file
can be used to specify a default NNTP server based on either a static
name (more favored in the old days), or a filename, or the like.
In the Slackware configuration it grabs the NNTP server name from
/etc/nntpserver if nothing overrides it, I think. Other installations
will likely have a slightly different set up, or may have patched away
the default server name entirely.
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-06 19:50:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
Can NN generate its own Message-ID string?
I have not looked through the code in depth, but the documentation and
what I can search for seems to indicate that NN does not do anything
explicit with message-ids, they appear to be generated server side; certainly,
there seems to be no way of customizing the message-id.
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
smw
2022-01-08 20:54:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I have a number of things that I want to do to enhance NN a bit,
foremost among them being Unicode support.
That would be a huge help, and I've been thinking of trying it myself
for a while but have never found the time.

The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to UTF
automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a user-settable
column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a single line with many
hundreds of characters).

- Steven
--
___________________________________________________________________________
Steven Winikoff |
Montreal, QC, Canada | "Artificial Intelligence is the study of
***@smwonline.ca | how to make real computers act like the
http://smwonline.ca | ones in movies."
|
| - Ralf Brown (in comp.ai, 1992)
Ted Heise
2022-01-09 13:22:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
[added news.software.readers]


On Sat, 8 Jan 2022 20:54:06 -0000 (UTC),
Post by smw
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I have a number of things that I want to do to enhance NN a
bit, foremost among them being Unicode support.
I add my thanks to those of others. I don't use nn myself, but
greatly appreciate the efforts of anyone maintaining programs of
value to the community.
Post by smw
That would be a huge help, and I've been thinking of trying it
myself for a while but have never found the time.
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable
text to UTF automatically, with an option to force line
wrapping at a user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs
in QP present as a single line with many hundreds of
characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for
"wrap" I suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to
look for in that code would simplify using some of it? I could be
way off base here, having only ever glanced at sources.
--
Ted Heise <***@panix.com> West Lafayette, IN, USA
smw
2022-01-10 00:06:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ted Heise
On Sat, 8 Jan 2022 20:54:06 -0000 (UTC),
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable
text to UTF automatically, with an option to force line
wrapping at a user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs
in QP present as a single line with many hundreds of
characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for
"wrap" I suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to
look for in that code would simplify using some of it? I could be
way off base here, having only ever glanced at sources.
Thank you! That does help.

- Steven
--
___________________________________________________________________________
Steven Winikoff |
Montreal, QC, Canada | "Ninety percent of most magic merely
***@smwonline.ca | consists of knowing one extra fact."
http://smwonline.ca |
| - Terry Pratchett
Rockinghorse Winner
2022-01-13 12:52:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ted Heise
[added news.software.readers]
On Sat, 8 Jan 2022 20:54:06 -0000 (UTC),
Post by smw
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I have a number of things that I want to do to enhance NN a
bit, foremost among them being Unicode support.
I add my thanks to those of others. I don't use nn myself, but
greatly appreciate the efforts of anyone maintaining programs of
value to the community.
Post by smw
That would be a huge help, and I've been thinking of trying it
myself for a while but have never found the time.
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable
text to UTF automatically, with an option to force line
wrapping at a user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs
in QP present as a single line with many hundreds of
characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for
"wrap" I suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to
look for in that code would simplify using some of it? I could be
way off base here, having only ever glanced at sources.
I remember using nn and liking it for it's speed and extensive key bindings.
However, not wrapping long lines would be a deal breaker. Does it really not
have this capability..?
--
"Many have sought in vain to tell joyously of the Most Joyous. Now at last It
declares Itself to me, now in this misery." - Holderlin
Bit Twister
2022-01-13 13:39:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rockinghorse Winner
I remember using nn and liking it for it's speed and extensive key bindings.
However, not wrapping long lines would be a deal breaker. Does it really not
have this capability..?
Slrn has the speed and extensive key bindings.

Line wrap can be controlled by the editor you chose to use via environment
variable example export SLRN_EDITOR=geany
Adam H. Kerman
2022-01-13 14:37:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rockinghorse Winner
I remember using nn and liking it for it's speed and extensive key bindings.
However, not wrapping long lines would be a deal breaker. Does it really not
have this capability..?
Good heavens.

First starting on Usenet in the '90s, my newsreader called the text
editor of my choice for use in the composer. I used the original vi.
Much later, I switched to vim. I had to enter my own line boundary
within paragraphs. It was just like using a typewriter. It was something
I was used to.

If I add text within a line, I have to reformat the paragraph and call a
separate paragraph formatter. I usually use fmt but there are others.

I personally do not care for a composer acting like a word processor in
which paragraphs are reformatted on the fly and especially if soft line
breaks are used, which aren't ASCII characters and must not be sent to
Usenet.

If I'm writing a document that has to look neat and not a quick followup
on Usenet, then I'll use a text editor outside of the newsreader, make
sure it's output as pure ASCII with a fixed-width font and proper line
length, then read that file into the composer when I'm ready to prepare
the article for injection into Usenet.

The older newsreaders that allow the user to choose is own text editor
and don't provide a built-in text editor are a lot more flexible. I
thought nn didn't provide its own built-in text editor but I really
can't comment.
Lewis
2022-01-13 15:20:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Post by Rockinghorse Winner
I remember using nn and liking it for it's speed and extensive key bindings.
However, not wrapping long lines would be a deal breaker. Does it really not
have this capability..?
Good heavens.
First starting on Usenet in the '90s, my newsreader called the text
editor of my choice for use in the composer. I used the original vi.
Much later, I switched to vim. I had to enter my own line boundary
within paragraphs. It was just like using a typewriter. It was something
I was used to.
WEll, you do not have to do that in vim, it does line breaks as yu type
just fine.

However, not being able to wrap text in a newsreader is, I think,
obviously talking about READING posts. And not being able to line wrap
posts would make any news reader largely useless or very very
aggravating in 2022.

I even wish I could set a wrap length for slrn other than "window width"
as readable text on a 16:9 laptop screen is only about half the width of
the window.
--
Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'. --The Last
Continent
Adam H. Kerman
2022-01-13 18:18:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Post by Rockinghorse Winner
I remember using nn and liking it for it's speed and extensive
key bindings. However, not wrapping long lines would be a deal
breaker. Does it really not have this capability..?
Good heavens.
First starting on Usenet in the '90s, my newsreader called the text
editor of my choice for use in the composer. I used the original vi.
Much later, I switched to vim. I had to enter my own line boundary
within paragraphs. It was just like using a typewriter. It was something
I was used to.
WEll, you do not have to do that in vim, it does line breaks as yu type
just fine.
Eh. That command got turned on automatically in some linux update and
I'm not sure which one it is. I haven't looked for it in the help text.
Much of the time, I'd prefer not to have the automatic line break
because I still have to reformat the paragraph.
Post by Lewis
However, not being able to wrap text in a newsreader is, I think,
obviously talking about READING posts. And not being able to line wrap
posts would make any news reader largely useless or very very
aggravating in 2022.
My terminal emulation does that, not the newsreader.
Post by Lewis
I even wish I could set a wrap length for slrn other than "window width"
as readable text on a 16:9 laptop screen is only about half the width of
the window.
Lewis
2022-01-13 20:58:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Post by Lewis
However, not being able to wrap text in a newsreader is, I think,
obviously talking about READING posts. And not being able to line wrap
posts would make any news reader largely useless or very very
aggravating in 2022.
My terminal emulation does that, not the newsreader.
Ah, but normally in the terminal long lines are great, because reading
and editing source ode short line lengths quickly march off the right
side, while a newsreader does not have that issue.
--
Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.
Frank Slootweg
2022-01-13 15:52:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Post by Rockinghorse Winner
I remember using nn and liking it for it's speed and extensive key bindings.
However, not wrapping long lines would be a deal breaker. Does it really not
have this capability..?
Good heavens.
First starting on Usenet in the '90s, my newsreader called the text
editor of my choice for use in the composer. I used the original vi.
Much later, I switched to vim. I had to enter my own line boundary
within paragraphs. It was just like using a typewriter. It was something
I was used to.
AFAICT, Rockinghorse Winner is talking about wrapping text while
*reading* - not composing - articles. At least he responded to Ted
Heise, who wrote:

[Unsnip:]

<quote>

For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for
"wrap" I suppose) while reading articles.

</quote>

See also Lewis' response talking about wrapping while reading
articles.

FWIW, I also would like my newsreader - tin - to wrap too long lines
while reading articles, but AFAIK it's pager is fixed/built-in. But as a
use a very old version, I may be wrong.
Post by Adam H. Kerman
If I add text within a line, I have to reformat the paragraph and call a
separate paragraph formatter. I usually use fmt but there are others.
As Lewis mentions, vim can wrap during composing and vim can rewrap a
paragraph after editing it, but using fmt is of course perfectly fine.
I was doing that when I still had vi, not vim.

['+1' comments deleted]
Rockinghorse Winner
2022-01-14 01:12:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Frank Slootweg
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Post by Rockinghorse Winner
I remember using nn and liking it for it's speed and extensive key bindings.
However, not wrapping long lines would be a deal breaker. Does it really not
have this capability..?
Good heavens.
First starting on Usenet in the '90s, my newsreader called the text
editor of my choice for use in the composer. I used the original vi.
Much later, I switched to vim. I had to enter my own line boundary
within paragraphs. It was just like using a typewriter. It was something
I was used to.
AFAICT, Rockinghorse Winner is talking about wrapping text while
*reading* - not composing - articles. At least he responded to Ted
[Unsnip:]
<quote>
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for
"wrap" I suppose) while reading articles.
Yes, about 1/8 of the articles I read use extra long line lengths. On slrn,
this is a snap. But having to use the arrow keys to navigate this mess is a
non starter for me. :)
--
"Many have sought in vain to tell joyously of the Most Joyous. Now at last It
declares Itself to me, now in this misery." - Holderlin
Phil Boutros
2022-01-13 16:56:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
["Followup-To:" header set to news.software.readers.]
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Good heavens.
First starting on Usenet in the '90s, my newsreader called the text
editor of my choice for use in the composer. I used the original vi.
Much later, I switched to vim. I had to enter my own line boundary
within paragraphs. It was just like using a typewriter. It was something
I was used to.
Some of us still do this, as we have since the 90s (currently on
VIM - Vi IMproved 8.2. Just set your textwidth appropriately in vim,
no problem. You certainly never needed to manually enter carriage
returns "like using a typewriter" if you knew what you were doing.
Post by Adam H. Kerman
If I add text within a line, I have to reformat the paragraph and call a
separate paragraph formatter. I usually use fmt but there are others.
You don't need to go through all that. Just join all lines
(hitting j as required or vipJ to select the whole paragraph in visual
mode, then join it), then gqq. Done.
Post by Adam H. Kerman
The older newsreaders that allow the user to choose is own text editor
and don't provide a built-in text editor are a lot more flexible. I
thought nn didn't provide its own built-in text editor but I really
can't comment.
Which is inconsequential to the discussion of nn, as I believe the
person was talking about wrapping lines while *reading*. As others
have mentioned, hitting 'w' in slrn does this nicely for those who are
deprived of a properly formatting editor and newsreader (which should
be nice enough to warn you if you are attempting to post with lines
that are too long. Too bad the GNKSA is dead. I believe that was one
of the "shoulds". It's not a feature that I use often, but invaluable
when I do.


Phil
--
AH#61 Wolf#14 BS#89 bus#1 CCB#1 SENS KOTC#4
***@philb.ca http://philb.ca
Adam H. Kerman
2022-01-13 18:24:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Phil Boutros
["Followup-To:" header set to news.software.readers.]
I'm retaining the crosspost.
Post by Phil Boutros
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Good heavens.
First starting on Usenet in the '90s, my newsreader called the text
editor of my choice for use in the composer. I used the original vi.
Much later, I switched to vim. I had to enter my own line boundary
within paragraphs. It was just like using a typewriter. It was something
I was used to.
Some of us still do this, as we have since the 90s (currently on
VIM - Vi IMproved 8.2. Just set your textwidth appropriately in vim,
no problem. You certainly never needed to manually enter carriage
returns "like using a typewriter" if you knew what you were doing.
Yeah, I know, but it's not a setting I want turned on much of the time.
Post by Phil Boutros
Post by Adam H. Kerman
If I add text within a line, I have to reformat the paragraph and call a
separate paragraph formatter. I usually use fmt but there are others.
You don't need to go through all that. Just join all lines
(hitting j as required or vipJ to select the whole paragraph in visual
mode, then join it), then gqq. Done.
That's multiple commands! !fmt -76 (or whatever line length)
Post by Phil Boutros
Post by Adam H. Kerman
. . .
Peter J Ross
2022-01-14 19:21:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Adam H. Kerman
Post by Phil Boutros
Some of us still do this, as we have since the 90s (currently on
VIM - Vi IMproved 8.2. Just set your textwidth appropriately in vim,
no problem. You certainly never needed to manually enter carriage
returns "like using a typewriter" if you knew what you were doing.
Yeah, I know, but it's not a setting I want turned on much of the time.
:set tw=0
--
PJR :-)
Peter J Ross
2022-01-14 19:43:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to
UTF automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a
user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a
single line with many hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for "wrap" I
suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to look for in
that code would simplify using some of it? I could be way off base
here, having only ever glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the screen or
window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not sure why a user would
want to set a column for wrapping.

Other aspects of wrapping are configurable in slrn by setting the
variables "wrap_flags" and "wrap_method" in .slrnrc.

https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.133
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.134

slrn is written in C. If nn is written is C, the relevant code ought to
be easy to adapt.

https://slrn.info/download.html
--
PJR :-)
Lewis
2022-01-15 00:44:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to
UTF automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a
user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a
single line with many hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for "wrap" I
suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to look for in
that code would simplify using some of it? I could be way off base
here, having only ever glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the screen or
window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not sure why a user would
want to set a column for wrapping.
Because the appropriate width for a terminal that is used for terminal
stuff like looking at code or logs is too wide for reading news, so it
would be much better if slrn supported a reasonable line wrap length the
user could set rather that constraining only to the width of the screen
or window.
Post by Peter J Ross
Other aspects of wrapping are configurable in slrn by setting the
variables "wrap_flags" and "wrap_method" in .slrnrc.
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.133
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.134
Neither of those cover this.
Post by Peter J Ross
slrn is written in C. If nn is written is C, the relevant code ought to
be easy to adapt.
Isn't slrn written in SLANG?
Post by Peter J Ross
https://slrn.info/download.html
--
No man is free who is not master of himself
johnson
2022-01-15 05:05:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
["Followup-To:" header set to news.software.readers.]
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to
UTF automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a
user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a
single line with many hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for "wrap" I
suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to look for in
that code would simplify using some of it? I could be way off base
here, having only ever glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the screen or
window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not sure why a user would
want to set a column for wrapping.
Because the appropriate width for a terminal that is used for terminal
stuff like looking at code or logs is too wide for reading news, so it
would be much better if slrn supported a reasonable line wrap length the
user could set rather that constraining only to the width of the screen
or window.
Post by Peter J Ross
Other aspects of wrapping are configurable in slrn by setting the
variables "wrap_flags" and "wrap_method" in .slrnrc.
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.133
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.134
Neither of those cover this.
Post by Peter J Ross
slrn is written in C. If nn is written is C, the relevant code ought to
be easy to adapt.
Isn't slrn written in SLANG?
no, slrn is written in C (as also is slang)
Adam H. Kerman
2022-01-15 05:23:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Phil Boutros
["Followup-To:" header set to news.software.readers.]
Here's the way it works: If YOU think thread drift has rendered it off
topic in one or more newsgroups in the crosspost, then YOU cut the
crosspost.

You just posted off topic. Setting Followup-To is a case of Do As I Say,
Don't Do As I Do.

No one posting a followup has to follow your instructions in
Followup-To. The author is responsible for whether he crossposts, not
the author of the precursor article.
Peter J Ross
2022-01-15 18:44:00 UTC
Reply
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Post by Adam H. Kerman
Post by Phil Boutros
["Followup-To:" header set to news.software.readers.]
Here's the way it works: If YOU think thread drift has rendered it off
topic in one or more newsgroups in the crosspost, then YOU cut the
crosspost.
You just posted off topic. Setting Followup-To is a case of Do As I Say,
Don't Do As I Do.
No one posting a followup has to follow your instructions in
Followup-To. The author is responsible for whether he crossposts, not
the author of the precursor article.
The "Followup-To:" line is advisory and tentative. johnson has observed
proper netiquette by including a mention of it in the body of his post.

I'm not sure why you're complaining about good behaviour.
--
PJR :-)
Peter J Ross
2022-01-15 18:30:40 UTC
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[Followup-To: news.software.readers]
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to
UTF automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a
user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a
single line with many hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for "wrap" I
suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to look for in
that code would simplify using some of it? I could be way off base
here, having only ever glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the screen or
window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not sure why a user would
want to set a column for wrapping.
Because the appropriate width for a terminal that is used for terminal
stuff like looking at code or logs is too wide for reading news, so it
would be much better if slrn supported a reasonable line wrap length the
user could set rather that constraining only to the width of the screen
or window.
That's a good point. While one can resize a terminal emulator window,
one can't resize a "real" terminal, and mine has 320 columns - enough to
make long lines impossible to read on a large monitor without danger of
whiplash injuries!

So I now agree that an option to set wrapping width would be a useful
feature in a newsreader.
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter J Ross
Other aspects of wrapping are configurable in slrn by setting the
variables "wrap_flags" and "wrap_method" in .slrnrc.
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.133
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.134
Neither of those cover this.
No, but they're worth mentioning in case the nn developers are
interested in implementing the same features.
Post by Lewis
slrn is written in C. If nn is written is C, the relevant code ought to
Post by Peter J Ross
be easy to adapt.
Isn't slrn written in SLANG?
S-Lang scripts are an important part of the slrn experience, but the
slrn binary is compiled from C source code. For details, see the link I
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter J Ross
https://slrn.info/download.html
--
PJR :-)
Frank Slootweg
2022-01-15 13:20:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to
UTF automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a
user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a
single line with many hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for "wrap" I
suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to look for in
that code would simplify using some of it? I could be way off base
here, having only ever glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the screen or
window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not sure why a user would
want to set a column for wrapping.
Does slrn do *word*-wrapping or just 'character'-wrapping, i.e.
'folding' the line at the end of the window?

My newsreader is tin and its pager (at least the one in this very old
version) does not wrap long lines. But my 'terminal' (actually a
(Windows) 'Command Prompt' window) does 'character'-wrapping at the edge
of the window. I would like if the tin pager could do word-wrapping.

[...]
Ted Heise
2022-01-15 15:02:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On 15 Jan 2022 13:20:47 GMT,
Post by Frank Slootweg
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by Ted Heise
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert
quoted-printable text to UTF automatically, with an option
to force line wrapping at a user-settable column (because
flowed paragraphs in QP present as a single line with many
hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w"
(for "wrap" I suppose) while reading articles. Maybe
knowing what to look for in that code would simplify using
some of it? I could be way off base here, having only ever
glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the
screen or window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not
sure why a user would want to set a column for wrapping.
Does slrn do *word*-wrapping or just 'character'-wrapping,
i.e. 'folding' the line at the end of the window?
My newsreader is tin and its pager (at least the one in this
very old version) does not wrap long lines. But my 'terminal'
(actually a (Windows) 'Command Prompt' window) does
'character'-wrapping at the edge of the window. I would like if
the tin pager could do word-wrapping.
The w command in slrn article reading mode wraps text by word.
--
Ted Heise <***@panix.com> West Lafayette, IN, USA
Peter J Ross
2022-01-15 18:58:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Frank Slootweg
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to
UTF automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a
user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a
single line with many hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for "wrap" I
suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to look for in
that code would simplify using some of it? I could be way off base
here, having only ever glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the screen or
window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not sure why a user would
want to set a column for wrapping.
Does slrn do *word*-wrapping or just 'character'-wrapping, i.e.
'folding' the line at the end of the window?
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.134

| 6.134 wrap_method
|
| Type: integer
| Default: 2
|
| With this variable, you can control how slrn wraps long lines. When 0,
| it wraps at word boundries, leaving words that are longer than your line
| width untouched. When 1, it always wraps at the right border of the
| screen. When 2, it first tries so find a good place to wrap the line and
| wraps at the right border only when necessary.

(Speaking as a former maintainer and corrector of the slrn
documentation, I wonder how I missed "boundries".)
Post by Frank Slootweg
My newsreader is tin and its pager (at least the one in this very old
version) does not wrap long lines. But my 'terminal' (actually a
(Windows) 'Command Prompt' window) does 'character'-wrapping at the edge
of the window. I would like if the tin pager could do word-wrapping.
Why not submit a feature request to the tin developers? Of course,
you'll need to check that later versions of tin don't already include
the feature.

OT: It's good to see that you're alive and (I hope) well, Frank. It must
be at least 15 years since we first debated the relative merits of our
preferred newsreaders.
--
PJR :-)
Frank Slootweg
2022-01-16 15:33:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
[In order not to bore/bother the Slackware audience:]
[Followup-To: news.software.readers]
[Thanks for the info.]
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by Frank Slootweg
My newsreader is tin and its pager (at least the one in this very old
version) does not wrap long lines. But my 'terminal' (actually a
(Windows) 'Command Prompt' window) does 'character'-wrapping at the edge
of the window. I would like if the tin pager could do word-wrapping.
Why not submit a feature request to the tin developers? Of course,
you'll need to check that later versions of tin don't already include
the feature.
Yes, I'll have to check the tin CHANGES file(s), but because my
version is *very* old (from 2003), that's quite a lot of work (probably
not if tin consistently uses the term 'pager').

I was hoping that Urs would trigger on the use of the word 'tin' in my
posting, as he often does. But if not, I'll have to get off my lazy
butt.

(My excuses for my old version: Don't fix what ain't broken and - more
importantly - I run tin under Cygwin on (MS) Windows and updating
Cygwin's tin or/and Cygwin itself is hard for me. I just don't quite
'get' how to update only what needs the be updated and leave the rest
untouched, That's not Cygwin's fault, just mine. (Yes, I made notes on
how I did it the last time, but it's still hard.))
Post by Peter J Ross
OT: It's good to see that you're alive and (I hope) well, Frank. It must
be at least 15 years since we first debated the relative merits of our
preferred newsreaders.
Thanks. Yes, still mostly well, knock on wood. Good to see you too!
Your familiar intials popping up in the last few days. :-)

And indeed over 15 years. My 'posted' file gives a (June 5) 2005 date,
but that file starts 'only' in (May) 2004. My earlier posting history is
probably only on some DDS tape somewhere! :-) I think we go back, much
longer than that.
Lewis
2022-01-16 01:08:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Frank Slootweg
Post by Peter J Ross
Post by smw
The other item on my wish list is to convert quoted-printable text to
UTF automatically, with an option to force line wrapping at a
user-settable column (because flowed paragraphs in QP present as a
single line with many hundreds of characters).
For what it's worth, slrn does this with the command "w" (for "wrap" I
suppose) while reading articles. Maybe knowing what to look for in
that code would simplify using some of it? I could be way off base
here, having only ever glanced at sources.
slrn's pager wraps (if wrapping is desired) at the edge of the screen or
window, not at "a user-settable column". I'm not sure why a user would
want to set a column for wrapping.
Does slrn do *word*-wrapping or just 'character'-wrapping, i.e.
'folding' the line at the end of the window?
There are three (as I recall) options. One looks for an 'appropriate'
place to wrap.
--
I think we need to send some time apart so we know what's real and what's fox.
b***@ripco.com
2022-01-16 16:27:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Frank Slootweg
My newsreader is tin and its pager (at least the one in this very old
version) does not wrap long lines. But my 'terminal' (actually a
(Windows) 'Command Prompt' window) does 'character'-wrapping at the edge
of the window. I would like if the tin pager could do word-wrapping.
Hard to say what you mean by "very old version" but doesn't control-T (while
in post mode) bring up something like this?

T Overtype OFF I Autoindent OFF Word wrap OFF
D Tab width 8 Left margin 1 Right margin 77
X Rectangle mode OFF Case insensitivity OFF Search wraps OFF
Menu explorer ON Autoswap mode OFF Indent char 32
Indent step 2 french spacing OFF Highlighting ON
no tabs OFF Center on scroll OFF Auto detect CR-LF ON
Guess indent ON Z CR-LF (MS-DOS) OFF N Line numbers OFF
Marking OFF Meta chars as-is OFF Force last NL OFF
Disable backups OFF Auto unmark OFF Exit ask OFF

The word wrap is 3rd column, first row. Never did figure out how to default
it to ON.

-bruce
***@ripco.com
Rich
2022-01-16 16:39:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by b***@ripco.com
Post by Frank Slootweg
My newsreader is tin and its pager (at least the one in this very old
version) does not wrap long lines. But my 'terminal' (actually a
(Windows) 'Command Prompt' window) does 'character'-wrapping at the edge
of the window. I would like if the tin pager could do word-wrapping.
Hard to say what you mean by "very old version" but doesn't control-T (while
in post mode) bring up something like this?
T Overtype OFF I Autoindent OFF Word wrap OFF
D Tab width 8 Left margin 1 Right margin 77
X Rectangle mode OFF Case insensitivity OFF Search wraps OFF
Menu explorer ON Autoswap mode OFF Indent char 32
Indent step 2 french spacing OFF Highlighting ON
no tabs OFF Center on scroll OFF Auto detect CR-LF ON
Guess indent ON Z CR-LF (MS-DOS) OFF N Line numbers OFF
Marking OFF Meta chars as-is OFF Force last NL OFF
Disable backups OFF Auto unmark OFF Exit ask OFF
The word wrap is 3rd column, first row. Never did figure out how to default
it to ON.
That looks like joe (Joe's Own Editor). If yes, then in the "editor
invocation" setting, add "-wordwrap". You can also add "-rmargin 72"
to get a right margin of 72 characters when invoking from your news
reader.

In my tin here, it is line item 106 in the "menu of options" (M [upper
case M]), and the full entry looks like this:

106 Invocation of your editor : %E -wordwrap -rmargin 72 +%N %F
Frank Slootweg
2022-01-16 18:31:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by b***@ripco.com
Post by Frank Slootweg
My newsreader is tin and its pager (at least the one in this very old
version) does not wrap long lines. But my 'terminal' (actually a
(Windows) 'Command Prompt' window) does 'character'-wrapping at the edge
of the window. I would like if the tin pager could do word-wrapping.
Hard to say what you mean by "very old version" but doesn't control-T (while
in post mode) bring up something like this?
Sorry, but the subject is about (word) wrapping text while *reading* -
not composing/editing - articles. See my reference to the "pager", i.e.
output, not input.
Post by b***@ripco.com
T Overtype OFF I Autoindent OFF Word wrap OFF
D Tab width 8 Left margin 1 Right margin 77
X Rectangle mode OFF Case insensitivity OFF Search wraps OFF
Menu explorer ON Autoswap mode OFF Indent char 32
Indent step 2 french spacing OFF Highlighting ON
no tabs OFF Center on scroll OFF Auto detect CR-LF ON
Guess indent ON Z CR-LF (MS-DOS) OFF N Line numbers OFF
Marking OFF Meta chars as-is OFF Force last NL OFF
Disable backups OFF Auto unmark OFF Exit ask OFF
The word wrap is 3rd column, first row. Never did figure out how to default
it to ON.
As Rich mentions, those are probably the settings of your editor, i.e.
indeed composing an article, not reading articles.

FYI, for composing/editing, I use the vim editor and vim can also do
word-wrapping.

But as said, my question is about (word) wrapping while reading
(mostly other people's) articles.
b***@ripco.com
2022-01-17 12:35:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Frank Slootweg
Sorry, but the subject is about (word) wrapping text while *reading* -
not composing/editing - articles. See my reference to the "pager", i.e.
output, not input.
Yeah, sorry about that, I was wrong all the way around.

It's been so long since I compiled it, I forgot the editor tin used was called
from environmental variables.

As they say "Never mind".

-bruce
***@ripco.com

meff
2022-01-10 02:44:03 UTC
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FYI Aaron's comment is from years ago and not current.
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-03 19:06:54 UTC
Reply
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Post by John F. Morse
Opera may be a good browser, and possibly a good e-mail client, but as a
newsreader, it leaves a lot to be desired.
I would rank it at the bottom of my list, just above the Microsoft
clients, on par with Evolution.
What are you looking for in an newsreader? It does lack some classical
features, but I think it makes up for that in ease and simplicity, which
may be desirable for those coming from Google groups. Moreover, the
version 12 of Opera has made numerous improvements to the client, so it
is much better than it used to be.
--
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
John F. Morse
2012-08-04 00:57:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
Opera may be a good browser, and possibly a good e-mail client, but as a
newsreader, it leaves a lot to be desired.
I would rank it at the bottom of my list, just above the Microsoft
clients, on par with Evolution.
What are you looking for in an newsreader? It does lack some classical
features, but I think it makes up for that in ease and simplicity, which
may be desirable for those coming from Google groups. Moreover, the
version 12 of Opera has made numerous improvements to the client, so it
is much better than it used to be.
I have Opera 12. It seems quite clunky to me. It lacks nearly everything
anyone would want or need in a newsreader. It is far worse than the
older Opera release. It doesn't remember settings, like default
newsgroup subscriptions, instead displaying the complete active file
listing.

Anything is better than Google Groups! Anytime someone graduates from
HTTP to NNTP there is improvement in communication ability.

I'm not really looking for anything in a newsreader. More accurately
stated, I'm already using the right tool for the job at hand. My needs
vary by the type of job I'm doing, and are more complicated than your
usual Usenet user.

For instance, I use Thunderbird for the run-of-the-mill daily Usenet and
local newsgroup reading and posting. It handles all my needs, including
occasional binary images. Thunderbird could be a lot better in
filtering, and remembering self-signed SSL certificates, and allowing a
change to ISO 8601 time display. It is not perfect.

Pan is used mostly as a tool, quickly examining propagation on many
Usenet servers. It filters better than Thunderbird, but cannot post
binaries (easily). But it has a common M-ID cache, so I can't trace Path
data once a particular article is downloaded. That is counterproductive
for my needs, and I'll switch to some other newsreader.

Pan 0.14.2.91 is far better than any of the later beta releases, but is
harder to find.

The other newsreaders, which I've listed in another message, are also
used for tools, evaluation, and assisting others with their questions.

There is no one great newsreader. Just like you may have a nice family
automobile, a pickup truck or van for hauling, an off-the-road vehicle
for fun, a motorcycle, and maybe a boat and/or airplane. ;-)

Or a toolbox or two full of various types of wrenches, screwdrivers,
hammers, saws, etc.

There is a best tool for each task, just like there is a preferred
newsreader for what I might need to do at any one time.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-04 19:27:20 UTC
Reply
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Post by John F. Morse
I have Opera 12. It seems quite clunky to me. It lacks nearly everything
anyone would want or need in a newsreader. It is far worse than the
older Opera release. It doesn't remember settings, like default
newsgroup subscriptions, instead displaying the complete active file
listing.
Hrm, that seems like a rather bad bug, and I don't remember having this issue,
and I do think I was using 12. It would be quite annoying to not have
a set of subscribed groups working!
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
John F. Morse
2012-08-05 02:28:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
I have Opera 12. It seems quite clunky to me. It lacks nearly everything
anyone would want or need in a newsreader. It is far worse than the
older Opera release. It doesn't remember settings, like default
newsgroup subscriptions, instead displaying the complete active file
listing.
Hrm, that seems like a rather bad bug, and I don't remember having this issue,
and I do think I was using 12. It would be quite annoying to not have
a set of subscribed groups working!
Please allow me to rephrase -- and correct -- what I was seeing. :-[

The groups to which I am subscribed do remain subscribed. Plus I can
access them fine.

The weird thing was every time Opera is launched, the list of groups is
total.

However, I see now that I had selected "Opera menu (or tab) => Mail =>
Newsgroups..." and was presented all of the groups (all that the active
file knows about, and reader access is allowed).

That would be normal behavior and expected.

The subscribed groups then appear over in the left-hand pane, under
whichever news server is opened by clicking on it.

That all is fairly slick. I'll need to play around with Opera to fine
tune it to what I want.

The other oddity is that Opera menu (button or tab) at the left on the
third row of the window, right below the Open button. (That's two rows
below the Title Bar in a GNOME DE).

My Opera menu tab/button looks like a small portion of the top is cut
off, and the button is too narrow for the complete red "O" logo.

Is this normal (you see the same), or maybe my screen size and
resolution is causing it.

KDE or some other DE/WM might show this differently.
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-05 03:56:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
My Opera menu tab/button looks like a small portion of the top is cut
off, and the button is too narrow for the complete red "O" logo.
Is this normal (you see the same), or maybe my screen size and
resolution is causing it.
I am not sure that I am seeing exactly the same thing as you since Opera's
is obviously heavily customizable. At the moment I have tabs disabled and
the Opera menu converted to a traditional menu. However, when I turn back
on the Opera menu button, then the O should not display fully, it is meant
to be a cutoff O, from what I have seen in the developer blogs when this
was first introduced. Is it the text that is cut off or the background icon?
The "Opera" text should be fully visible, but the Red "O" in the background
should be cut off.

I am running under Mwm/OpenCDE right now, so it's hard to compare with
Gnome, which I do not have installed.
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-03 19:07:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John F. Morse
The best newsreader is the one that fits your own desires, not what
someone else likes. You will likely need to develop it yourself,
I think among all of us that have responded, we certainly have covered
a very large range of readers!
--
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
jeff g.
2012-08-03 21:58:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by John F. Morse
The best newsreader is the one that fits your own desires, not
what someone else likes. You will likely need to develop it
I think among all of us that have responded, we certainly have
covered a very large range of readers!
no, you really haven't and John is correct.

the answer is "it depends."

from anyone using (and understanding) such as slack, I find the question
somewhat curious. I can understand a discussion of vim vs. nano :) ,
but not opera vs thunderbird vs lynx...
Aaron W. Hsu
2012-08-03 23:52:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by jeff g.
no, you really haven't
I'm curious as to the readers that have not been mentioned already in this
thread? So far I can recall at least the following:

NN, TIN, TRN, XPN, GG, Thunderbird, Claws, Sylpheed, SeaMonkey,
Opera, Pan, MS Outlook, Knode, KLibi-something, Mutt, Pine, Gnus,
and Evolution.

I am sure that I am missing some that were mentioned, but
that sure seems to be a large proportion of the UNIX newsreaders with
which I am familiar (excepting MS Outlook).

Slrn hasn't been mentioned yet, that I know of, actually. Any others?
--
--
Aaron W. Hsu | ***@sacrideo.us | http://www.sacrideo.us
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
Michael Black
2012-08-04 00:21:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by jeff g.
no, you really haven't
I'm curious as to the readers that have not been mentioned already in this
NN, TIN, TRN, XPN, GG, Thunderbird, Claws, Sylpheed, SeaMonkey,
Opera, Pan, MS Outlook, Knode, KLibi-something, Mutt, Pine, Gnus,
and Evolution.
Some of those I don't recognize, some I wouldn't count as newsreaders, so
it doe seem quite complete. SLRN was mentioned, I suspect you just forget
it in making the list.

I'm always surprised, every so often someone comes along with some
newsreader I've never heard of. But I suspect that list covers all but a
tiny percentage of newsreaders. Any others you'd think of would have
fairly small followings.

Michael
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
I am sure that I am missing some that were
mentioned, but
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
that sure seems to be a large proportion of the UNIX newsreaders with
which I am familiar (excepting MS Outlook).
Slrn hasn't been mentioned yet, that I know of, actually. Any others?
--
--
Programming is just another word for the lost art of thinking.
Loki Harfagr
2012-08-04 17:17:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Black
I'm always surprised, every so often someone comes along with some
newsreader I've never heard of. But I suspect that list covers all but a
tiny percentage of newsreaders. Any others you'd think of would have
fairly small followings.
yup, I'd eventually add easy-first-aid-glove range tools as
netcat tcpdump (and wireshark for people that reaaaaally need a luxuriant GUI ;-)
but all in all these won't shamble down the stats ;-)
John F. Morse
2012-08-04 00:27:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Aaron W. Hsu
Post by jeff g.
no, you really haven't
I'm curious as to the readers that have not been mentioned already in this
NN, TIN, TRN, XPN, GG, Thunderbird, Claws, Sylpheed, SeaMonkey,
Opera, Pan, MS Outlook, Knode, KLibi-something, Mutt, Pine, Gnus,
and Evolution.
I am sure that I am missing some that were mentioned, but
that sure seems to be a large proportion of the UNIX newsreaders with
which I am familiar (excepting MS Outlook).
Slrn hasn't been mentioned yet, that I know of, actually. Any others?
I've mentioned SLRN, Alpine, RN, TRN4, Mozilla, Netscape Messenger, and
KLibido (a binary grabber actually, not a "reader").

Plus Agent, Dialog, Gravity and Xnews for Windows.

And somewhere I even mentioned Telnet, if you want to do it the hard
way. ;-)

I didn't mention any Mac newsreaders, like Unison, but I do have some of
old ones (HogWasher, MacSoup, NewsWatcher, MT-NewsWatcher, Thoth).

I also didn't mention the Debian rebranded Thunderbird newsreader and
SeaMonkey suite, Icedove and Iceape.

However, MS Outlook is not a newsreader. It never was. It is a mail user
agent and a personal information manager. You are probably thinking
about MS Outlook Express

Neither is Google Groups. It is a Web based (HTTP) service which
provides a portal to some Usenet newsgroups. You use a browser for access.

Most current newsreaders are listed at these two links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Usenet_newsreaders

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Usenet_newsreaders
--
John

When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already
rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
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