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Basic gnus stuff

From: Fredrik Tolf
Subject: Basic gnus stuff
Date: 09 May 2007 05:31:25 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.4

Being a long time emacs user, I decided to try out gnus (to read
gmane), which is what I'm doing right now, but I've run into some
problems that I cannot imagine are anything but laughable. I'm ready
to be called stupid.

First of all, how is one _supposed_ to find existing groups to which
one can subscribe? I managed to, but I cannot imagine that it's
supposed to be right. I had to set the `gnus-read-active-file' to `t'
(rather than `some') to get gnus to fetch the group list at all (while
watching the NNTP traffic in Ethereal to even know what gnus was
doing). Surely, this must be too basic an operation to have to change
variable defaults to do? Or is gmane, by any chance, not fully
compatible with gnus?

Then, when I've subscribed to a new group, such as
gmane.linux.gentoo.user, I see a new article count of 182770, and when
I try to select the group, gmane asks how many articles I want to
fetch, defaulting to 182770, which I figure is going to take about to
the heat-death of the universe to execute. Of course, I can select a
much lesser number manually, but it still re-asks me every subsequent
time as well. How do I mark all articles as read and wait for new
articles to arrive? (Or am I thinking about this completely the wrong
way around, somehow?)

Third, I tried to use nnslashdot to read /., but it complains about
not finding w3. Which seems agreeable, seeing how w3 is not installed
on my system (but isn't it supposed to be installed with emacs?). So I
go about doing that, but it doesn't seem to exist. I download the
source, but upon trying to configure it, it complains about some URL
functions in emacs being missing. What's up? Has w3, and by extension
nnslashdot, been deprecated?  Btw., I use GNU Emacs 21.4.1.

I think I've been trying to RTFM, but I think I must have failed doing
that somehow, since I'm having a hard time believing that these issues
wouldn't be in TFM. Then again, I might be thinking about all this
completely wrong, somehow.

Thanks for any help!

Fredrik Tolf

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