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[Pan-users] Re: Old Pan v0.14.2.91 keeps adding removed newsgroups into

From: Duncan
Subject: [Pan-users] Re: Old Pan v0.14.2.91 keeps adding removed newsgroups into my .newsrc.
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 11:52:53 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Pan/0.133 (House of Butterflies)

Phillip Pi <address@hidden> posted
address@hidden, excerpted below, on  Sun, 19 Apr
2009 23:45:36 -0700:

> Oh wow. Pan has ~/.newsrc support now? I remember v0.106 didn't have it
> from my old post in 2006:
> ...

As Charles says in a reply there, it uses newsrc format natively now.  
However, it doesn't use the specific name ~/.newsrc by default in part 
because pan is now (with the rewrite, so from 0.90) fully multi-server 
integrated, and newsrc is single-server only.

However, in addition to the symlink Charles mentioned then, once you have 
pan setup, it's possible to edit its (text based) config files directly.  
In this case, it's servers.xml (~/.pan2/servers.xml by default, but it's 
possible to tell pan to use a different config and data dir by setting/
exporting the PAN_HOME environmental variable for pan to read when it 

Here, I renamed the various newsrc-1, newsrc-2 files to for instance 
newsrc.gmane, for the gmane one, and newsrc.cox for my ISP's (Cox's) news 
server, with the path set as desired.

Assuming you are running only a single news server or only one that you 
want to place in ~/.newsrc, anyway, it'd be simple enough to make that 
change directly in the servers.xml file (with pan closed, of course) once 
you have that done the initial pan server setup.

> Has Pan fixed issues like highlighing newsgroups and download new
> headers as shown in my old 2006 posts:
> ?

Pan does multi-group select now, yes.  Both ctrl-select and shift-select 
work as normal, with both the mouse and the keyboard.

Pan is much more stable now too.  I believe you'll find 0.133 much more 
so than 0.10x was, for sure.  Looking at that old thread, the one thing 
that pops out to me now about it is that possibly pan got mixed up with 
that symlink in place before it was fully initialized.  But I doubt 
you'll find the problem still there and if you do see it, I think we can 
get it fixed this time.

There are two features of old-pan that don't yet exist in new-pan.  One 
"isn't a bug it's a feature."  The other Charles wasn't satisfied with 
the old implementation of and he hasn't gotten around to creating a new 
one yet, tho we have a good idea what it'll most likely look like when he 

The first "not bug, feature" is the way the groups are listed now.  This 
affects people with huge numbers of subscribed groups mosts.  You got a 
glimpse of it with 0.106 but it wasn't working right for you for some 
reason back then.  Hopefully it does, now.  Previously, since pan treated 
each server more or less separately, separate group list, etc, it was 
possible to break the subscribed group list in parts, by setting up 
multiple "servers", each set to the same real "server" but with different 
subscribed groups.  Since pan now handles all servers in a unified nearly 
transparent way, there's only one group list for all servers and it's no 
longer possible to break up the subscribed groups into different lists by 
setting up different "servers".

The workaround for that, which I use here, is to setup multiple entirely 
separate pan "instances", using the previously mentioned PAN_HOME 
variable.  Here, I have text, test (which gets all my just go to a group 
and look around stuff), and bin.  I've setup little pan starter scripts 
for each one that does a bit of pre-start setup including setting 
PAN_HOME as appropriate, to ~/pan/xxx, where xxx is either text, test or 
bin.  Not only does this allow me to keep separate group lists, but all 
settings are separate (save for the few files I symlink to a common 
version, this includes my scorefile and accels.txt).  Thus, I can have 
separate cache sizes and locations, separate expiry settings, etc.  The 
last bit of config to go with this is that I have separate kmenu entries 
for each instance as well, instead of the normal single entry.  Of course 
I have hotkeys setup for all my commonly used menu entries including pan, 
so I can start it with the touch of a couple buttons.

Due to the number of requests, at some point pan will likely get either 
an unlimited nesting subscribed groups tree, or at least one more level 
of nesting, so people can break it down into groups of subscribed groups 
at least.  However, that's not likely to be near term unless someone 
helpfully provides a patch. =:^)

The second missing feature, this one not yet implemented, is something 
parallel to old-pan's rules.  There were only a few ways the rules could 
be used back then.

One of them was for expiry.  New-pan handles that somewhat different and 
much better now, so there's not as much need for rules based expiry.  
(The setting for headers is now local, per server but entirely 
independent of whether the server still has the messages available or 
not.  Of course, full message expiry is based on cache size, which 
defaults to only 10 MB with no setting in the GUI to change it as it was 
considered too confusing.  But as with a number of other settings, it can 
be set by directly editing the config, here, preferences.xml.  I have a 
several gig cache for both my text and binary instances, which as they 
are separate and I have header expiry entirely turned off for text, means 
I now have a couple years of text messages stored -- and growing. =:^)

The other was for automated download/mark-read/delete, as appropriate.  I 
used to use rules for automated download of watched messages, auto-mark-
read of negative-scored messages (keep them around but marked read, so I 
don't see them by default but I can toggle view unread-only off and load 
a negative-scored parent-post if necessary), and auto-delete of ignored 
messages (these I didn't want to see at all, not even to refer to if 
mentioned in replies).

That functionality is still entirely missing, which is a problem.  A lot 
of folks have requested some way to auto-download, for instance, while 
others are irritated when "ignored" messages still count toward unread 

The proposed simplified version would simply be another tab, "Automated 
Actions", in preferences.  It would list the same score categories as the 
color preferences and header-pane view-filters, ignored (-9999 and 
below), low/negative (-9998 to -1), zero, medium (+1 to +4999), high 
(+5000 to +9998), and watched (+9999 and above).  Each category could 
then be set to automatically download/mark-read/delete as desired by the 
user.  This is MUCH simpler than the rules based actions of old-pan, but 
because scoring is reasonably flexible and it's based on scores, should 
be pretty close to as powerful.  Users who wanted to auto-download 
everything could set auto-download all the way to zero-score or lower, 
while auto-delete and auto-mark-read if desired for negative scored 
messages could also be setup, with all three auto-* actions entirely 

But meanwhile, I really DO miss both auto-download and auto-delete, in 
particular, and there's a lot of others that do and have requested in 
particular auto-download, as well.

So if that's critical to the way you use pan, you may need to continue to 
stay with old-pan, despite its problems including severe lack of 

Oh, one more thing.  If you should find pan stalling and you run GNOME... 
well, here's a quote with the culprit and the fix (see the "Pan brings PC 
to a standstill" thread in the archives for more, if desired, Walt and 
David Shochat were the ones who finally spotted the culprit app, the 
below quote is Alan Meyer confirming):

On Ubuntu 8.10, I clicked System / Preferences / Assistive Technologies,
and unchecked "Enable Assistive Technologies". Not long after that I
rebooted for other reasons.  I don't know if the reboot was required or
not, but the next time after that that I started Pan, the standstill
problem seemed to be cured.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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