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Gnus group subscriptions and messages read state

From: Lele Gaifax
Subject: Gnus group subscriptions and messages read state
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2016 22:03:37 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Hi all,

I tried to find a more focused newsgroup for Gnus, but the obvious candidates
(thru and didn't have a good answer. Please
redirect me to a better place, if there's one.

Foreword: I'm using Gnus (the version coming with Emacs 25.1, that is 5.13) as
my only nntp client, following a couple of dozens of groups hosted by What follows is an excerpt of my configuration:

  ;; Keep Gnus stuff under ~/.emacs.d/lele/gnus/
  (setq gnus-home-directory (expand-file-name "~/.emacs.d/lele/gnus/"))
  ;; Since I only use Gnus to read the newsgroups, disable reading and writing
  ;; the generic newsrc file
  (setq gnus-read-newsrc-file nil)
  (setq gnus-save-newsrc-file nil)

  ;; Also, I manually select which newsgroups I'm gonna follow, so don't bother
  ;; with keeping a notion of "new" newsgroups
  (setq gnus-save-killed-list nil)
  (setq gnus-check-new-newsgroups nil)

In this way, Gnus keeps its "state" in a single file, that is 

Since I'm keeping all my ~/.emacs.d directory under version control, the one
thing that bothers me and which I tried several times to find a solution is
that the "subscriptions" (i.e. the list of groups I follow regularly) are kept
together with the notion of which messages I already seen, or marked as
sticky, etc in a single alist (specifically gnus-newsrc-alist). I share my
~/.emacs.d/ repository with a couple of friends (that's the reason for the
particular setting of gnus-home-directory above), and it's thus annoying to
commit the newsrc file now and then, so much that I actually never do that.

What I'd like is to separate in some way the two information, and keep only
the "subscriptions" under version control, so that I could easily restart
reading my beloved groups on a different machine, if needed, possibly
"catching up" to last week or so... Ideally, I would keep an explicit list of
subscribed groups in say ~/.emacs.d/lele.el, and tell Gnus to "merge"/"extend"
that to build the actual gnus-newsrc-alist at startup, or something like that.

Can you suggest the least invasive way to implement that, if at all possible?

Thanks in advance for any hint,
ciao, lele.
nickname: Lele Gaifax | Quando vivrò di quello che ho pensato ieri
real: Emanuele Gaifas | comincerò ad aver paura di chi mi copia.  |                 -- Fortunato Depero, 1929.

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