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Problems with Gnus setup

From: Tim X
Subject: Problems with Gnus setup
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 17:42:50 +1100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

I've been using Gnus for a few years. Recently, my ISP changed their
news server - I think its changed from running DNES to PNEWS - thought
thats only a guess bassed on the name of the server. 

Since the change, I've been having lots of issues with gnus getting
articles from the server. I've also noticed a few other 'odd'
behaviors with gnus. I've now totally removed all my gnus
configuration and started from scratch. I've also removed the old
~/News directory tree. Essentially, I'm starting from scratch as if
I've never run gnus before. The problem I'm having is with the default
select method i.e. gnus-select-method. 

I'm running under Debian Etch (Testing) with Emacs 21.4 and Gnus No
Gnus v0.4. I'm on a 512 ADSL link. 


When I start gnus, it is unable to recognise the news server specified
in /etc/news/server (the default Debian installation sets this as the
file instead of the older /etc/nttpserver file. I've checked the
variable when gnus is running and it is correct). If I only place the
name of the server in that file, it gives an error at startup saying
it cannot open ''. This is not a significant problem as specifying the
select method through customize works fine. 

Basically, my select method is (nntp "")

After bare bones startup without a .newsrc file (or .newsrc.eld), the
active file is read from the remote nntp server. this is varified by
network traffic and I can subscribe to groups using U and gnus can
even auto complete the newsgroup name. 

However, regardless of what groups I've subscribed to, hitting g to
get new news always tells me there is no new news. I also don't see
any network traffic. If I then quit and login again, there is still no
news. I can post to the group, but still there is no new news using g. 

However, if I hit M-g, suddenly there is lots of gnus - as I've not
done any catup, there is usually thousands of unread messages, most of
which have expired of course. 

If I subscribe to a group on my ISPs news server as a foreign group,
all works just fine. So, since the foreign method is exactly the same
as the default gnus-select-method, why is this not working? 

My suspicion is there is some weird behavior between the gnus nntp
method and the new news server software my ISP is running, but I'm
only guessing that because until they changed software, all was fine.
Of course, I've not changed my gnus configuration for a long time, so
I could be working under some misconceptions on how my system was
previously configured (I did the stupid thing of deleteing my old
config before realising I didn't have a backup of it). 

So, can anyone give me some pointers on what I should try to get this
to work correctly?


tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

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