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Re: Why does Gnus article-moving act like a fetch of new news?

From: Karl Fogel
Subject: Re: Why does Gnus article-moving act like a fetch of new news?
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 2021 23:58:32 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On 09 Apr 2021, Eric Abrahamsen wrote:
I think an argument could be made that if the DONT-SCAN optional argument is non-nil, we should also skip running the two get-new-news hooks. But let's see what Lars says.

You mean the second argument to `gnus-group-get-new-news-this-group'?

The doc string is somewhat confusing on that argument:

| gnus-group-get-new-news-this-group is an interactive compiled | Lisp function in ‘gnus-group.el’. | | (gnus-group-get-new-news-this-group &optional N DONT-SCAN) | | Check for newly arrived news in the current group (and the N-1 next groups). | The difference between N and the number of newsgroup checked is returned. | If N is negative, this group and the N-1 previous groups will be checked. | If DONT-SCAN is non-nil, scan non-activated groups as well. In other words, the meaning of "DONT-SCAN" seems to be: scan! One can see how a person might be confused by this :-).

According to the "Terminology" section in the Gnus manual, "activating" a group means this:

| The act of asking the server for info on a group and computing the | number of unread articles is called “activating the group”. | Un-activated groups are listed with ‘*’ in the group buffer. Thus I don't understand why moving an article to a group should unconditionally "activate" that group in the first place. I can see how moving an *unread* article to a group might activate that group? But the code in `gnus-summary-move-article' doesn't have such a conditional.

And even if we leave aside the question of why we unconditionally activate the destination group, it's still not clear why activating a group should imply getting new news for that group. Or, to put it another way: why is the way to activate a group to get new news for it? These just seem like two very different things.

I realize you may not know the answers either, and that we may need Lars or someone with a similar level of knowledge. I'm just trying to line up some useful questions. Gnus is a very, very complex code base, I have learned through several dives in its coastal waters.

Best regards,

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