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gnus scoring insanity

From: notbob
Subject: gnus scoring insanity
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 13:13:03 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

Been using gnus for newsgroups for a couple weeks.  I really like it
and while I wish for some functions like slrn, the bennies far
outweigh the downside ....with one exception!

What's the deal with scoring for newsgroups?  I've read half the gnus
Scoring section and understand none of it.  Man pages are child's play in
comparison to the doubletalk that is the gnus manual.  To wit:

"The current score file is by default the group's local score file,
even if no such score file actually exists. To insert score commands
into some other score file (e.g. `all.SCORE'), you must first make
this score file the current one."

Huh!?  Can we please speak-a da English?

Where are the score files?  How many score files are there?  For some
reason these subjects seem to be of no consequence.  I've yet to find
a single one, even with slocate (score, Score, SCORE).  

What is an alist?  I googled for alist and got a reference to  it
in the Emacs Lisp Manual.  Why is it there?  I haven't a clue on how
to write lisp code yet.  The ref states:

"An "association list" or "alist" is a specially-constructed list
whose elements are cons cells(?).  In each element, the CAR(?) is considered
a "key"(?), and the CDR(?) is considered an "associated value".  (In some
cases, the associated value is stored in the CAR of the CDR.)...."

??????? --freaking-- ?????????????????!!!!

Well crap!  That certainly clears everything up.  NOT!  Is the alist a
score file.  Is it named some variation of "score"?  Like a file named
score, I find no file named alist.  Grrrr...

I've tried L a s p (found this function from google) from the summary
buffer.  Cool.  I chose to "lower" a person by "From:" (I want the
twit killed!).  Went through prompts and thought everyting ok.  No
errors.  I closed gnus, and even emacs.  Came back and nada.  The
person is still visible.  Still can't find any new score file via
slocate (yes, I updated database).

Geez, gnus is hard enough.  Could it be made any harder by talking in
circles and using proprietary terms without defining them?  Anyone
know of a gnus scoring tutorial for complete moron newbies like
myself?  And yes, I WILL write a better howto if ever I can figure
scoring out in the first place.

Thanks for any help.

nb  --no hair to tear 

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