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Notes On News
While writing the new Gnus version, I have been forced to sit down
and actually read a few technical documents. Not that I don't like
doing so, it's just that I seldom seem to find the time. After a
while, an archive seem to be forming, so I though, «Hey! Why not just
put them all in one spot and create a few links and stuff.» No sooner
thought than done.
This is not meant to be an all-encompassing, all-powerful, and totally
up-to-date repository of all knowledge concerning news (and
newsreaders) ever written, but just a collection of various notes that
may (or may not) be of interest for people who write newsreaders.
RFCs specify anything and everything that's important to the
Internet community, but I've picked out some that are of special
relevance to mail and news handling.
- RFC 822 - Standard for ARPA Internet Text
- RFC 977 - Network News Transfer Protocol
- RFC 1036 - Standard for Interchange of
- The Son of RFC 1036 is not an
actual RFC, but a sketch of what might become an RFC in the future.
It's a very thorough document, and if you close your eyes every time
it mentions MIME (which is (ca.) 136 times per page), it's quite nice.
A PostScript version is also
- RFC 934, Proposed Standard for Message
- RFC 1153, Digest Message Format.
- RFC 1123, Requirements for Internet
Hosts -- Application and Support.
In these, the final days, the ninth scourge is upon us, and its
name is «MIME». If you can't enjoy it, just lie back and fight, I say.
Here are the documents you will have to read to be able to see the
number of the beast:
- RFC 1437, which is, bar none, the most
important MIME document. Read it, and learn it by heart.
- RFC 1341, «MIME (Multipurpose Internet
Mail Extensions): Mechanisms for Specifying and Describing the Format
of Internet Message Bodies».
- RFC 1344, «Implications of MIME for
Internet Mail Gateways».
- RFC 1437, «The Extension of MIME
Content-Types to a New Medium».
- RFC 1521, «MIME (Multipurpose Internet
Mail Extensions) Part One: Mechanisms for Specifying and Describing
the Format of Internet Message Bodies»
- RFC 1522, «MIME (Multipurpose Internet
Mail Extensions) Part Two: Message Header Extensions for Non-ASCII
- RFC 1563, «The text/enriched MIME
Good Net-Keeping Seal Of Approval
A chap called Ron Newman came up with the excellent idea of doing a
survey to see which newsreaders complied with the RFC's, and which
newsreaders you should avoid like the plague. (Plague - pine &
He has written a document stating what a newsreader
would have to comply with to get the
seal, which can also be found here,
which is probably a newer version of the same.
Tim Pierce is keeping an archive of seal
evaluations that are good reads.
- The rn killfile faq
- The trn faq
- Tom Limoncelli has written a vaguely amusing document about why you should not write a
newsreader. Feel free to ignore anything he says, although he does
have one or two good points.
- Spec for the SOUP offline reader package
- Spec for the babyl (rmail) mail box
format. version 5.
- Overview database / NOV General
- Self-Discipline in text or html formats.
- Usenet Software: History and
- The NoCeM faq.
Sources to most readers can be found at ftp.uu.net. Using
a more local mirror would probably be a good idea.
These notes were compiled by Lars Magne
Ingebrigtsen. If you have any further documents that you think may
be of interest, please do mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.