Re: newsgroup of all mailing lists ?

From: Matti Aarnio (
Date: Wed Sep 26 2001 - 17:35:22 EST

On Wed, Sep 26, 2001 at 07:40:33PM +0100, jones wrote:
> dear all
> I would like to know which kind people turn the mailing list into a
> newsgroup ?

   There are several Issues with this.

   - News system uses Message-ID header content to detect when
     a message has already gone thru the system, and when not.
     That is, the Message-ID MUST BE UNIQUE for the message to
     be stored into the message spool.

   - User posting to multiple lists (e.g. linux-kernel, linux-net
     for an example pair) MAY get sent out in single SMTP transfer
     all the way to ( except when the user's system
     uses braindead systems splitting things in transfer - like is
     the habit of qmail ...). The message WILL get split into
     multiple deliveries when it goes via Majordomo to each separate
     destination list. Both messages have SAME Message-ID value.
     (The Message-ID is supposed to be generated by the posting
      user client.)

   - Having any arbitrary email->news gateway now trying to feed
     those two separate messages to news will result in random
     success/failure order (depending of various latencies).

   - Things are worse, there are lots of these gw:s around to feed
     lists to news. Those same news servers also often leak the groups
     into the global net, and may poison your local message-id database,
     and hence the local copy feed to spool might fail.
     ( Again timing and propagation delays affect the thing.. )

   - Things get even more worse; some want to have bi-directional
     gateway in between the email and the news. Those are full
     nightmares in broad daylight...

  It is not trivial.

  We ( ) don't recommend making bidirectional
  gateways -- one mistake there, and the system causes duplication of
  messages at the list it is linked with. When we detect that mistake,
  the usual court-martial is swift, and feed from VGER to the GW is
  removed instantly.

  I think these loop problems were one of the reasons why one of us
  (DaveM) strongly opposes list<->news gateways. I am somewhat less
  in opposition, and my thinking is that the only way we can have
  reliable (hah!) list<->news gw is by running it centralized at VGER.
  Modern VGER has muscle for it, but don't expect it to happen any
  time soon.

  There were other problems too -- completely clueless people asking
  clueless questions at linux-kernel group. Where cluefull place
  for most of those would have been linux-newbie ...

  We try to keep some decent Signal to Noise ratio here.

  Using a email->news gw script, and keeping the destination group
  in local area (local spool) will work usually. Creating brand new
  Message-ID:s at email->news injection in form which consists of
  e.g. local list-specific prefix catenated with original message-id

  I will attempt to schedule posting this text into vger's web for
  the curious, plus add sample email->news injector doing this
  message-id conversion.

> this would enable me to read at my leisure and not have my inbox overflow.
> I am connected to NTL (UK) the same as I believe Mr. A Cox, but I can not
> find a working newsgroup the NTL administrator has asked me for details and
> I am afraid I don't know (hence this mail).
> can someone give me some advice ?
> regards
> john jones
> p.s. I am not subscribed to the list so can you CC me or the list whichever
> is appropriate
> p.p.s. I am interested in other lists such as linux-mips and not just the
> core linux M.L.

/Matti Aarnio
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Sep 30 2001 - 21:00:52 EST