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Re: Prevent "LIST ACTIVE group" for specific nntp servers?

From: Bruno Hertz
Subject: Re: Prevent "LIST ACTIVE group" for specific nntp servers?
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 11:41:00 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110003 (No Gnus v0.3) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Bruno Hertz" <brrhtz@y4h00d0td3.invalid> writes:

> Hi folks
> my ISP just moved their news feed, now apparently using Chiparus for
> load balancing. As it happens, article numbers now come out wrong when
> Gnus issues "LIST ACTIVE group" during updates on that server. I
> informed them, but it's not clear yet whether it's a misconfiguration
> issue or a bug.
> Anyway, I'd like to prevent LIST ACTIVE for groups on that server and
> rather have Gnus step into the group (via GROUP apparently) for
> gathering article counts, at least until that issue is fixed. So
> anybody knows if and how this can be achieved?
> Thanks a lot, Bruno.

OK, fixed this thanks to

To restate the problem, on my server LIST ACTIVE group gives a wrong
message range. Example telnet session:

 # telnet 119
 Connected to
 Escape character is '^]'.
 mode reader
 200 Sure!
 list active comp.unix.solaris
 215 Active file follows
 comp.unix.solaris 0000358796 0000350838 y
 group comp.unix.solaris
 211 6088 351204 359007 comp.unix.solaris
 205 Exit articles 0, bytes 0, groups 1, posts 0, postbytes 0
 Connection closed by foreign host.

Here, 'list active comp.unix.solaris' gives a wrong message range of
350838 to 358796, while the 'group' command gives the correct 351204
to 359007 range. Presumably a server misconfiguration.

Now, to prevent Gnus from using LIST ACTIVE and rather use GROUP
instead, one has to set nntp-server-list-active-group to nil (default
is 'try). Since this is a 'server slot variable', as Lars elsewhere
states, one should put it into the server definition given in either
gnus-select-method or gnus-secondary-select-methods in your .gnus

E.g. my gnus-secondary-select-methods now contains the following entry
   (nntp ""
     (nntp-server-list-active-group nil))
and this just works. On my other native servers, 'LIST ACTIVE' is
still used, and only for that specific server it's turned off.

One issue I observed though is that Gnus will use GROUP also on
foreign servers with this setting. Up to now, I had several gmane
groups just subscribed as foreign groups. So to still use 'LIST
ACTIVE' on them, I had to turn gmane native by putting it into my
gnus-secondary-select-methods. With this final tweak, everything's
fine now.

Thanks, Bruno.

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