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Re: LYNX-DEV News:*

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: Re: LYNX-DEV News:*
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 14:20:55 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 14 Aug 1997, Foteos Macrides wrote:

> Klaus Weide <address@hidden> wrote:
> >On Thu, 14 Aug 1997, Foteos Macrides wrote:
> >> 
> >>    The default path for news URLs is '*', which means a linked
> >> list of newsgroups available from your nntp server, obtained by a
> >> LIST NEWSGROUPS nntp command to it.  If your list does not correspond
> >> to your nntp server's news groups, that's surprising, because it's
> >> what your server reported to Lynx.  Note that the list may not be
> >> complete, because your server may report only groups which it handles
> >> directly, or may put bounds on the length of it's reply.  If there
> >> is a "" you know your server carries, and you want a linked
> >> listing of currently available articles in that group, make the URL
> >> 
> >>
> >> 
> >> Also read "Supported URLs" in the Lynx online 'h'elp.
> >
> >For most if not all nntp servers, the reply to a LIST NEWSGROUPS command
> >ist just the contents of a file 'newsgroups' on the server.  That file can
> >be totally out of sync with the newsgroups that are really available at
> >that server.  For example it could be the default list of thousands of
> >worldwide newsgroups when the server carries only a few.
> >
> >Lynx could use a different command, for example LIST or LIST ACTIVE, to
> >get a list of groups that are more likely to be available.  But the
> >response to the alternative LIST commands doesn't contain the description
> >text for the groups.
> >
> >Everybody with access to a nntp server and a telnet command which allows
> >to specify a port can test what the server returns:
> >
> >  telnet 119
> >  help
> >  
> >etc.
>       If the LIST or LIST ACTIVE command were used, then in parsing
> that reply an XGTITLE request could be issued for each group, but you
> can't count on Xfoo commands being supported by all nntp servers (that
> one probably is by now), and it would be a lot more overhead.  It would
> be better to pester the sysadmin to arrange for the LIST NEWSGROUPS to
> return valid information, rather than accepting that some hoaky procedure
> for reading a file that isn't maintained such that it's contents contain
> what would be a valid reply is OK. :)

Yes, they should ask the sysadmins, but do you think it works much better
for NNTP than it does for HTTP? :)

I didn't really mean that Lynx *should* to a LIST ACTIVE - just mentioning
that there is a way to get more up-to-date info (even if the admins can't
be bothered) but also a reason against using it.

But since you brought up XGTITLE - Using that instead of LIST
NEWSGROUPS could speed up listings of newsgroups with wildcards (for
example "*";) significantly over a slow link, since the
server could do the matching and only the list of matching groups has to
be sent back.  Makes a big difference over a 14400 telephone line.
282 list follows
comp.infosystems        Any discussion about information systems.
comp.infosystems.announce       Announcements of internet information services. 
comp.infosystems.gis    All aspects of Geographic Information Systems.
comp.infosystems.gopher Discussion of the Gopher information service.
comp.infosystems.interpedia     The Internet Encyclopedia.
comp.infosystems.intranet       Intranet Topics.
comp.infosystems.wais   The Z39.50-based WAIS full-text search system.
comp.infosystems.www    The World Wide Web information system.

[ Umm that listing looks ancient, I guess I should go and pester someone :) ]


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