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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  XRN (1)

NAME

xrn - an X-based interface to the USENET news system that uses the NNTP remote news server

CONTENTS

Synopsis
Description
Basic Operation
News System
News Server
Screen Layout
Buttons, Scroll Bars, And Selection
Modes
Add Mode
Newsgroup Mode
All Mode
Article Mode
     Buttons in the top button box
     Buttons in the bottom button box
Composing Messages
     Kinds of messages
     The message editor
     Signature files
     Composition window buttons
     Posting restrictions
Customizing Xrn
Command Line Arguments
Kill File Format
X Resources
Files
Environment Variables
See Also
Comments
Bugs

SYNOPSIS

xrn is an X-based interface to the USENET news system that uses the NNTP remote news protocol for accessing newsgroups and articles on an NNTP server, thus allowing users to read news from personal workstations by accessing a central news repository. This manual page applies to version 10.00-beta-3.

DESCRIPTION

xrn [-addButtonList list] [-allButtonList list] [-artButtonList list] [-artSpecButtonList list] [-authenticator command] [-authenticatorCommand command] [+/-authorFullName] [-breakLength len] [-busyIconName name] [-busyIconPixmap pixmap] [-cacheFile file] [-cancelCount number] [+/-cc] [+/-ccForward] [-confirm list] [-deadLetters file] [-defaultLines count] [+/-discardOld] [+/-displayLineCount] [+/-displayLocalTime] [-distribution dist] [+/-dumpCore] [-editorCommand command] [+/-executableSignatures] [+/-fullNewsrc] [-geometry geometry] [-iconGeometry +X+Y] [-iconName name] [-iconPixmap pixmap] [-ignoreNewsgroups list] [-includeCommand command] [+/-includeHeader] [-includePrefix "prefix text"] [+/-includeSep] [+/-info] [+/-killFiles] [-leaveHeaders list] [-lineLength len] [+/-localSignatures] [-lockFile file] [-mailer mailer] [-maxLines number] [-minLines number] [-newsrcFile file] [-ngButtonList list] [-nntpServer name] [-onlyShow number] [-organization org] [+/-pageArticles] [-pointerBackground color] [-pointerForeground color] [-prefetchMax number] [-prefetchMinSpeed kbytes] [-printCommand command] [-replyTo name] [+/-rescanOnEnter] [-rescanTime time] [+/-resetSave] [-saveDir directory] [-saveMode mode] [-saveNewsrcFile file] [-savePostings file] [-saveString string] [-signatureFile file] [+/-signatureNotify] [+/-sortedSubjects] [+/-stayInArticleMode] [-stripHeaders list] [+/-subjectRead] [+/-subjectScrollBack] [-tmpDir directory] [-topLines number] [+/-typeAhead] [-unreadIconName name] [-unreadIconPixmap pixmap] [+/-updateNewsrc] [-verboseKill actions] [-watchUnread list]

Along with the standard toolkit options, e.g., -display, -geometry, -xrm, and -iconic.

BASIC OPERATION

Don’t let the size of this manual page alarm you. xrn is easy to learn on-line without reading the documentation. This manual page describes many features that may be obvious to the casual observer. It also describes how to use scroll bars, buttons, and select text; if you have used an X toolkit application before, the section titled "BUTTONS, SCROLL BARS, and SELECTION" can be skipped.

xrn uses the .newsrc file to determine what groups need to be read. If the .newsrc file does not exist, it is created, and the user is subscribed to the news group "news.announce.newusers".

xrn has four modes of operation: Add, Newsgroup, All, and Article modes. Add mode will be entered on startup if there are any groups that the news system knows about that are not in the .newsrc file (i.e., new groups). In Add mode, the user is given a list of new groups. Groups can then be subscribed to and placed in the .newsrc file at the first position, the last position, or after a group already in the .newsrc file. When Add mode is exited, any remaining groups are added unsubscribed, so the user is not asked about them the next time xrn is started. On exit from Add mode, or on startup if there are no new groups, Newsgroup mode is entered. Newsgroup mode displays the subscribed to groups that have unread articles and the range of available articles. The basic functions available in this mode allow the user to read a group, mark all articles in a group as read, unsubscribe from a group, move the cursor around the newsgroup window, change the order of the list of newsgroups, re-visit the most recently visited group, and quit xrn. In addition, the user can subscribe to a group and specify its position in the .newsrc file, query the news server for new articles and groups, and go to groups that are either not subscribed to or currently have no unread articles (i.e., groups not displayed on the screen). From Newsgroup mode the user can go into All mode. In All mode the user is presented with a sorted list of all known groups and their subscription status (subscribed or unsubscribed) and can change their status or location in the .newsrc file. On exiting All mode the user is placed back in Newsgroup mode. In order to read the articles in a particular group, the user goes from Newsgroup mode to Article mode. In Article mode the user can sequence through the articles in the group forward or backward, mark a group of articles as read or unread, mark all articles in the current group as read, unsubscribe to the current group, return to the last article visited, search forward or backward for an article subject (either for the exact subject or for a regular expression in the subject), locally kill all articles with a particular subject, and quit (saving all changes) or exit (leaving all articles marked unread). In addition, the user can save the current article in a file, post an article to the group, post a followup to the current article, mail a reply to the author of an article, forward an article to another user via mail, and return to Newsgroup mode.

NEWS SYSTEM

The news system is a set of bulletins, discussion groups, program sources, and other bits of information distributed around the world under the name "USENET". The information is generally called "news" and is broken up into "newsgroups". Each newsgroup deals with a subject or set of subjects. The subjects for newsgroups are varied: from discussions about particular versions of UNIX to movie reviews, from information on the X window system to commentary on current social and political issues.

For information on what newsgroups are available, answers to commonly asked questions, and newsgroup ediquette, read the articles in the newsgroup "news.announce.newsusers". Users who are new to the USENET are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the contents of the articles in "news.announce.newusers" before posting any messages.

NEWS SERVER

In order to run xrn, you must have access to an NNTP news server. If you do not have access to such a server and would like to set one up, see the "USENET Software: History and Sources" posting in news.announce.newusers for information about where to get the appropriate software. The NNTP server to which to connect must be specified in one of the following ways: the "-nntpServer" command line argument; the environment variable NNTPSERVER; the nntpServer X resource; (these are listed in the order in which they are checked). The name can be either a host name (e.g., shambhala.berkeley.edu) or an internet number (e.g., 128.32.132.54). If someone else has installed xrn at your site, then it is probably already configured to use the correct news server and you don’t have to worry about it.

SCREEN LAYOUT

The screen displayed by xrn consists of seven sections: a title bar, two scrollable text windows, two information bars, and two button boxes. The title bar displays the current version of the program. The top text window displays information based on the mode. In Add mode, the window displays all groups that are not currently in the .newsrc file, one per line. In Newsgroup mode, the window displays the groups containing unread articles. Each group is represented by a line of the form:

Unread news in <group name> <num> article(s) + <old> old

<group name> is the name of the group, <num> is the number of unread articles, and <old> is the number of read articles that are still available (i.e. have not been expired) on the news server. If "List old" is toggled on, then the word "Unread" will not appear on the lines of newsgroups with no unread articles, and furthermore, the words "news in" will not appear on the lines of newsgroups with no available articles at all.

In Article mode, the window displays a list of subjects for the articles in the current group, with each subject line being represented by a line of the form:

[+u][SP] <num> <subject of the article> [<lines>] <author>

where <num> is the article number, <lines> is the number of lines in the article (when available), and <author> is the author of the article. A ‘+’ in the first position means that the article has been read, a ‘u’ in the first position means that the article has been marked as unread, a ‘S’ in the second position means that the article has been saved to a file, and a ‘P’ in the second position means that the article has been printed.

The top information bar displays information about the mode, the buttons in the top button box, and error messages. The top button box has buttons that are specific to the mode and apply to the information in the top text window. The bottom text window displays articles in Article mode and a list of all known groups and their subscription status in All mode. The bottom information bar displays information about the mode, the buttons in the bottom button box, and error messages. The bottom button box has buttons that are specific to the mode and apply to the information in the bottom text window.

BUTTONS, SCROLL BARS, AND SELECTION

All button and text selection commands are done with the left mouse button. Single-line text selection is accomplished by clicking the left mouse button on the desired line. Multiple-line selection is accomplished by clicking the left mouse button on the first line, holding the button down, dragging the mouse to the last line, and releasing the mouse button. Multiple-line selection can also be accomplished by left-clicking on the first line, and right-clicking on the last line. Selected lines appear in reverse video (the foreground and background colors are switched).

The text windows are scrolled with the scroll bar on the left side of the window. Clicking the left mouse button in the scroll bar will scroll the text down some fraction of a page; clicking the right mouse button in the scroll bar similarly scrolls up. Clicking the middle mouse button will scroll over larger areas: clicking at the top of the scroll bar will scroll to the top of the text, clicking in the middle will scroll to the middle of the text, and clicking at the bottom will scroll to the bottom of the text. For those who like using the keyboard, hitting control-V while the mouse cursor is in a scrollable text window will cause the window to scroll down one page, meta-V will scroll up one page.

Hitting the space bar (while the mouse cursor is in the top button box) will do the right thing; scroll the article text window when appropriate, go to the next article at the end of the current article, go to newsgroup mode when done with all articles in the current group, and go to the next group when in newsgroup mode.

Clicking the middle button on a newsgroup in Newsgroup mode causes xrn to enter Article mode in that newsgroup. Clicking the middle button on an article in Article mode causes that article to be displayed.

MODES

The next few sections describe xrn’s modes by presenting an overview of each mode and then a list of its buttons. Each list includes the names and descriptions of the mode’s buttons. The labels that actually appear on the buttons when you run xrn are not listed; most of them are obvious, but if you are unsure about one, consult the list of button labels in the application-defaults file.

The listed button names correspond to button widget names, so they can be used in X resources to control the appearance or behavior of individual button widgets.

Furthermore, the button names are used in the "ButtonList" options (see their documentation in "COMMAND LINE ARGUMENTS", below) to control which buttons are actually displayed. Note that only the buttons whose names are followed by asterisks in the lists below are displayed in the default xrn configuration; the others are displayed only if you specify a "ButtonList" option which requests them.

All button names are also action procedure names and can therefore be used in Xt translations to specify key sequences that activate button behavior (consult the X toolkit intrinsics documentation for more information about translations). Some buttons are already bound to key sequences by default; the key sequences for such buttons are listed in parentheses after their entries in the lists below.

ADD MODE

Add mode is entered when xrn detects groups that the news system knows about that are not in the .newsrc file (i.e., newly created groups).

To change or add key bindings to Add mode, use the X resource "*addFrame.list.translations".
addQuit * (‘q’) Add remaining groups in the list to .newsrc as unsubscribed; go to group mode.
addIgnoreRest * (‘x’) If the "fullNewsrc" option is false, then mark the remaining groups "ignored" (i.e., don’t subscribe to them or add them to the newsrc file) and go to group mode. Otherwise, behave as "addQuit".
addFirst * (‘^’) Add the current group(s) to the beginning of the .newsrc file and mark as subscribed. The current group is the selected group(s), or the group on the line containing the cursor.
addLast * (‘$’) Add the current group(s) to the end of the .newsrc file and mark as subscribed.
addAfter * (‘+’) Add the current group(s) after a group already in the .newsrc. A dialog box is used to allow the user to enter the name of the group to add the group after. The mouse cursor must be in the dialog box for xrn to accept text (however, it does not have to be in the type-in area). The dialog box has two options: abort and add. No other buttons on the screen will work until the user has selected an option in the dialog box. Hitting carriage return is the same as clicking the add button (in all xrn dialog boxes hitting carriage return is the same as clicking in the rightmost button of the dialog box).
addUnsub * (‘u’) Add the current group(s) to the end of the .newsrc file and mark as unsubscribed.
addIgnore * (‘i’) If the "fullNewsrc" option is false, then mark the current group(s) "ignored". Otherwise, behave as "addUnsub".

NEWSGROUP MODE

Newsgroup mode informs the user of the groups with unread news and gives the user control over which groups are visited. Clicking the middle button on a newsgroup entry will enter that newsgroup.

To change or add key bindings to Newsgroup mode, use the X resource "*newsgroupFrame.newsgroups.translations". In addition to the key bindings listed with buttons below, clicking the middle button on a group in the newsgroup list will cause xrn to enter that newsgroup.
ngQuit * (‘q’) Quit xrn.
ngRead * (space or ‘y’) Read the articles in the current group. The current group is either the first one selected (if one or more are selected) or the one on the line containing the cursor. If all groups have been read, the user can still access groups by using the goto newsgroup command. Hitting the space bar with the cursor in the top button box will call this function.
ngNext * (down arrow or ‘n’) Move the cursor to the next group, leaving the articles in the current group untouched.
ngPrev * (up arrow or ‘p’) Move the cursor to the previous group, leaving the articles in the current group untouched.
ngScroll ("Next", "Page Down" or Ctrl-v)
  Scroll the list of newsgroups forward a page.
ngScrollBack ("Prior", "Page Up" or Meta-v)
  Scroll the list of newsgroups backwards a page.
ngCatchUp * (‘c’) Mark all articles in the current group as read.
ngSubscribe * (‘s’) Subscribe to a group. A dialog box is used to allow the user to enter the name of the group. The dialog box has the following options: abort, prev group (subscribe to the previous group visited), first (put group in the beginning of the .newsrc file), last (put group in the end of the .newsrc file), and current position (put group at the position of the cursor). This command can also be used to change the position of a subscribed group. Hitting carriage return after typing in the name is the same as clicking the current position button.
ngUnsub * (‘u’) Unsubscribe from the current group.
ngGoto * (‘g’) Go to a newsgroup by typing its name into a dialog. The name specified can be a substring of the group name or a regular expression. If the newsgroup is currently ignored, it is added to the end of the newsrc file and subscribed before it is visited. If the newsgroup is not currently subscribed, it is subscribed before it is visited. The first unread article in the group is displayed, or the last article in the group if there are no unread articles.
ngAllGroups * (‘L’) Display all of the groups that exist, their subscription statuses, and a set of buttons for changing the status.
ngRescan * (‘r’) Query the server for any new groups or articles. If "cacheActive" (see below) is True, then this command checks for new newsgroups in the foreground and then checks for new articles group by group in the background; if "cacheActive" is False, then the entire rescan takes place in the foreground.
ngGetList (‘R’) Retrieve a full list of newsgroups (and what articles are available in them) from the server and check for new newsgroups. This command always retrieves a full list in the foreground, pausing xrn while the retrieval is happening, even if "cacheActive" is True.
ngPrevGroup * (‘-’) Re-visit the previous group visited. If it is not currently subscribed, it is subscribed before it is visited.
ngListOld * (‘l’) Toggle between listing only groups with unread news and listing all subscribed groups whether or not they have unread news. xrn starts out listing only groups with unread news.
ngSelect * (Shift-S) Select a range of groups for a subsequent "ngMove" operation. This selection is cancelled automatically if the list of newsgroups displayed in the newsgroup list changes.
ngMove * (‘m’) Move the previously selected groups to the current cursor position, unless the cursor is currently within the selected groups, in which case nothing happens.
ngExit * (‘x’) Quit xrn, leaving the .newsrc file unchanged since the last time it was updated. The .newsrc file is updated each time a rescan or checkpoint occurs, as well as each time you exit from Article mode if "updateNewsrc" is true. See below for more information about rescanning, checkpointing, and "updateNewsrc".
ngCheckPoint * (Ctrl-s) Update the .newsrc file based on xrn’s current state.
ngGripe * (Shift-G) Send a gripe (bug, bug fix, complaint, feature request, etc.) to the maintainer of xrn.
ngPost * (‘a’) Post an article to a newsgroup or a comma-separated list of newsgroups. See "COMPOSING MESSAGES" below for more information.
ngPostAndMail * (Shift-A) Post an article and mail it too.
ngMail (Shift-M) Send a mail message.

ALL MODE

Use All mode to display a list of all groups, in .newsrc order or in alphabetical order; to subscribe to or unsubscribe from specific groups; or to change the order of groups in your .newsrc. Operations in All mode apply to the selected groups if any are selected, or to the group on the same line as the cursor otherwise.

To change or add key bindings to All mode, use the X resource "*allFrame.list.translations". In addition to the key bindings listed with buttons below, clicking the middle button on a group in the newsgroup list will cause xrn to enter that newsgroup.
allQuit * (‘q’) Update the .newsrc file and return to group mode.
allNext * (down arrow or ‘n’) Move the cursor to the next group.
allPrev * (up arrow or ‘p’) Move the cursor to the previous group.
allScroll ("Next", "Page Down" or Ctrl-v)
  Scroll the list of newsgroups forward a page.
allScrollBack ("Prior", "Page Up" or Meta-v)
  Scroll the list of newsgroups backwards a page.
allSearch * (‘/’) Search the list of newsgroups for a specific string.
allLimit * (’l’) Limit the display to a subset of the list of all newsgroups, by specifying a regular expression indicating which groups to display. If the list is already limited, enter an empty regular expression to restore all groups to the display.
allSub * (‘s’) Subscribe to the selected groups, leaving them at their current position in the .newsrc file.
allFirst * (‘^’) Subscribe to the selected groups and move them to the beginning of the .newsrc file.
allLast * (‘$’) Subscribe to the selected groups and move them to the end of the .newsrc file.
allAfter * (‘+’) Subscribe to the selected groups and move them after a particular group (for which the user is prompted with a dialog box) in the .newsrc file.
allUnsub * (‘u’) Unsubscribe from the selected groups.
allIgnore * (‘i’) Ignore the selected groups, i.e., unsubscribe from them and remove them from the newsrc file.
allGoto * (space or ‘g’) Go to the current newsgroup (either the first selected newsgroup or the newsgroup on the same line as the cursor). As with "ngGoto", either the first unread article or the last article (if there are no unread articles) is displayed. However, unlike "ngGoto", this button does not subscribe you to an unsubscribed newsgroup before entering it.
allSelect * (Shift-S)
allMove * (‘m’) Same as the "ngSelect" and "ngMove" buttons in Newsgroup mode. Note that "ignored" newsgroups cannot be moved, since they have no location in the newsrc file.
allToggle * (‘o’) Toggle between listing newsgroups in .newsrc order and alphabetical order.
allPost * (‘a’) Post an article, by default to the current newsgroup.
allPostAndMail * (Shift-A) Post an article and mail it too.
allMail (Shift-M) Send a mail message.

ARTICLE MODE

Use Article mode for reading and manipulating articles in a group. When you enter Article mode, it displays a list of unread articles and their Subjects, or it displays the last available article if there are no unread articles. You can view previous articles by using "artPrev" when viewing the first article, by using "artGotoArticle" to go to a specific article older than the first article, by using one of the subject-search buttons to search backward for an article older than the first article, or by using "artListOld" to list all articles in the group

Hitting the space bar in Article mode will "do the right thing"; it will scroll an article if there is more of the article to see or call the "artNextUnread" action otherwise.

To change or add key bindings to Article mode, use the X resource "*artFrame.subjects.translations". In addition to the key bindings listed with buttons below, clicking the middle button on an article in the list will display that article.

Most of the buttons or actions in Article mode keep the article window synchronized with the cursor position in the subject list, i.e., as you move the cursor in the subject list, xrn displays the article the cursor is on. However, it is also possible to navigate in the subject list without changing the displayed article. In particular, you can use the "artScrollIndex", "artScrollIndexBack", "artUp" and "artDown" actions to move the cursor without changing the displayed article; you can also select articles with the left and right mouse buttons without changing the displayed article.

When you navigate the subject list in this manner, you can use the "artCurrent" action to tell xrn to display the article that the cursor is currently on in the subject list.

    Buttons in the top button box

artQuit * (‘q’) Update the .newsrc file and return to Newsgroup mode (or go to the next newsgroup, if "stayInArticleMode" is true).
artNextUnread * (‘n’) Starting at the first selected article if any articles are selected, or at the article under the cursor otherwise, display the next available unread article, wrapping around to the beginning of the subject list if there are no unread articles after the starting point but there are unread articles before it. If no unread articles exist, xrn exits from Article mode and returns to Newsgroup or All mode (or goes to the next newsgroup, if "stayInArticleMode" is true).
artNext * (‘N’) Display the selected article, if any, or the article under the subject cursor if it isn’t currently displayed, or the next article after the currently displayed one. Exit from Article mode (or go to the next newsgroup, if "stayInArticleMode" is true) after the last article has been reached.
artPrev * (‘P’) Display the selected article, if any, or the article under the subject cursor if it isn’t currently displayed, or the article before the currently displayed one.
artLast * (‘-’) Display the last article accessed before the currently displayed one. This command only keeps track of one previously accessed article, so invoking it repeatedly simply toggles the display between two articles.
artCurrent (Enter or Return) If no articles are selected in the subject list, then display the article that the cursor is currently on. Otherwise, display the first selected article.
artUp (up arrow) Move the cursor up one line in the subject list, without changing the currently displayed article.
artDown (down arrow) Move the cursor down one line in the subject list, without changing the currently displayed article.
artNextGroup * (Meta-n) Go directly to the next newsgroup with unread news, bypassing Newsgroup or All mode.
artCatchUp * (‘c’) If any articles are currently selected, then mark as read all articles that are not explicitly marked unread, from the first listed article up to the first selected article. Otherwise, mark as read all articles that are not explicitly marked unread, and exit Article mode (note that "stayInArticleMode" does not affect this command).
artFedUp * (Meta-c) Mark as read all articles in the current group that are not explicitly marked unread, and then go to the next group with unread articles.
artGotoArticle * (‘.’) Go to a specific article (you will be prompted for the article number with a dialog box).
artMarkRead * (‘j’) Mark as read the current or selected articles, and then return the list cursor to the currently displayed article if it wasn’t there already).
artMarkUnread * (‘m’) Mark as unread the current or selected articles, and then return the list cursor to the currently displayed article if it wasn’t there already.

When an article is marked as unread, a ‘u’ is placed in the far left column next to the article’s number. The only way to mark an article as read once it has been marked with a ‘u’ is to use the "artMarkRead" function.

The "artNext", "artPrev", "artSubNext", "artSubPrev", "artThreadParent" and "artSubSearch" commands will all display articles that are marked unread as they encounter them, but "artNextUnread" will not.

artSub (‘+’) Subscribe to the current group. This comment is used if you enter an unsubscribed newsgroup from All mode and decide while reading it that you wish to subscribe to it.
artUnsub * (‘u’) Unsubscribe from the current group; exit from Article mode (or go to the next newsgroup, if "stayInArticleMode" is set).
artSubNext * (Ctrl-n)
artSubPrev * (Ctrl-p) If articles are selected, then display the first selected article. Otherwise, if the cursor is not on the currently displayed article, then display the article the cursor is on. Otherwise, find and display the next or previous article with the same subject as the current article (besides any "[rR][eE]:" prefix). If there are no more articles with the current subject and there are more unread articles, display the first unread article. If there are no more articles with the current subject and there are no more unread articles, exit Article mode (or go to the next newsgroup, if "stayInArticleMode" is set).
artThreadParent * (Meta-p, Shift-Meta-P) Find and display the parent (actually, more generally, the most recent available ancestor) of the current or selected article (i.e., the article to which the current or selected article is a followup).

This command will search through all of the article’s ancestors, from most to least recent, until it finds one which is available. By default, articles which are currently listed in the Subject index take precedence over other articles. To force this command to definitely display the most recent parent, even if it is not currently listed, hold down the shift key when you execute the command.

artListOld * (Shift-L, Ctrl-Shift-L) List all articles available in the group, even those that have been read. Note that this button does not toggle (clicking this button twice will not put you back to where you were). Note, furthermore, that this command can take a while when is is executed on a newsgroup with many articles in it.

Executing this command with the Ctrl key depressed will cause xrn to pop up a dialog asking you to enter the first article number to list. If you hit Enter without entering an article number, then xrn will "fill in the gaps" in the current article list, i.e., it will display old articles between the current first displayed article and the last article in the newsgroup. If you instead enter an article number, xrn will display all articles between that article and the last article in the newsgroup. Finally, if you enter a number preceded by a plus sign (‘+’), xrn will decrement the first displayed article by the specified number (e.g., if you specify "+20", then xrn will display twenty additional old articles.

artResort * (‘o’, Ctrl-o) Resort the article list. This command won’t do anything when you first enter article mode, because the article list is pre-sorted. However, if you do something which causes new articles to be added to the beginning of the list (e.g., executing the "artPrev" command while viewing the first article in the list), you can use this command to resort the list.

Executing this command as Ctrl-o causes the article list to be unsorted, i.e., regardless of your default sort order, the subject list will be reordered into numerical order. There is no mouse button binding for unsorting the article list; you must type Ctrl-o to do so.

artKillSubject * (‘k’, Shift-K, Ctrl-k)
artKillAuthor * (Meta-k, Meta-Shift-K, Meta-Ctrl-k) Locate either the first selected article if any articles are selected, or the article under the cursor otherwise, and mark all articles with its subject (or author) as read. Then, if the command was executed with the Shift key held down, add a command to kill the subject (or author) to the current group’s kill file, so that it will be marked read automatically in the future. Alternatively, if the Ctrl key was held down, then the command is added to the global kill file, so that it will affect all newsgroups rather than just the current group.

Note that the Shift and Ctrl bindings apply to the subject-kill and author-kill buttons as well as key commands. E.g., if you hold down the Shift key while clicking on the "Subject kill" button, the kill command will be added to the group’s kill file as well as being executed on the currently listed articles. Also, for users who don’t want to have to use the keyboard to kill articles, clicking button 3 (usually the right button) on a kill button is equivalent to holding down the Shift key, and clicking button 2 (usually the middle button, if there is one) is equivalent to holding down Ctrl.

artKillThread * (‘t’, Shift-T, Ctrl-t)
artKillSubthread * (Meta-t, Meta-Shift-T, Meta-Ctrl-t) As above, but kill the article’s thread or subthread instead of its subject or author. An article’s thread is killed by finding its oldest ancestor and killing all articles which claim to be descendants of that ancestor. An article’s subthread is killed by killing all of its descendants (as opposed to the descendants of its oldest ancestor). When an article is the first one in a thread (i.e., it has no ancestors), killing its thread and its subthread do the same thing.

Thread-killing functionality is not available unless "thread" is one of the sort types specified in the "sortedSubjects" option described below.

artSubSearch * (‘/’) Starting the first selected article if any articles are selected, or at the article under the cursor otherwise, search for an article whose subject matches specified regular expression. This command pops up a dialog for you to enter the regular expression and select a direction in which to search.

If you select s search direction without first entering a regular expression, the regular expression from the last search is used. This can be used to switch the direction of the search without retyping the expression.

artContinue * (Meta-/) Continue the last regular expression search, searching for the same regular expression in the same direction.
artScroll ("Next", "Page Down" or Ctrl-v)
  Scroll the article text forward a page.
artScrollBack ("Prior", "Page Up", ‘b’ or Meta-v)
  Scroll the article text backward a page.
artScrollLine (Meta-down arrow) Scroll the article text forward one line.
artScrollBackLine (Meta-up arrow) Scroll the article text backward one line.
artScrollEnd (‘>’) Scroll to the end of the article text.
artScrollBeginning (‘<’) Scroll to the beginning of the article text.
artScrollIndex (Shift-"Next", Shift-"Page Down" or Shift-Ctrl-V)
  Scroll the article index forward a page.
artScrollIndexBack (Shift-"Prior", Shift-"Page Up" or Shift-Meta-V) Scroll the article index backward a page.
artPost * (‘a’) Post an article to the current group. See "COMPOSING MESSAGES" below for more information.
artPostAndMail * (Shift-A) Post an article to the current group and mail it as well.
artMail (Shift-M) Send a mail message.
artExit * (‘x’) Restore the current group’s articles to the read/unread state they were in before the newsgroup was entered and exit from Article mode. Note that articles marked read or unread by kill-file processing remain so marked.
artCheckPoint * (Ctrl-s) Same as "ngCheckPoint".
artGripe (Shift-G) Same as "ngGripe".

    Buttons in the bottom button box

(Note that buttons can only be placed in the button box in which they were originally assigned by xrn. Therefore, if you want to include any of the buttons in this section in a "*ButtonList" option (see below), you must use "artSpecButtonList", not "artButtonList".)

artSave * (‘s’, ‘w’ or ‘|’) Save the current article in a file or mail folder or pipe it it into a command. This command pops up a dialog for you to enter the file name in which to save, and buttons to execute the save or abort it.

If the specified filename begins with a ‘|’, the article is piped into the command specified after the ‘|’. If the filename begins with a ‘+’, it is treated as an MH folder, and the article is refiled into the specified folder. If the name begins with a ‘@’, it is assumed to be a BABYL file (i.e., the type of file used by Emacs RMAIL mode), and the article is saved in the named file in BABYL format.

If the filename does not start with any of those special characters, then it is assumed to be a normal filename, and the article is appended to it. If the filename is relative (does not begin with ‘/’ or ‘~’), "~/News/" (or the value of the "saveDir" option) will be prepended to it.

If no filename is specified, the article is saved in "~/News/Groupname", where "Groupname" is the name of the current group with the first letter capitalized If "saveMode" (see below) is set to "subdirs", then "~/News/groupname/" will be used instead of "~/News/".

If multiple articles are selected when this command is executed, then all will be saved as specified.

If a specified filename has a "%d" in it, the "%d" will be replaced with the article number being saved. To save in a file with ‘%’ in its name, you must use two ‘%’ characters, i.e., "%%".

artReply * (‘r’) Reply (by mail) to the author of the current article. See "COMPOSING MESSAGES" below for more information.
artForward * (Meta-f) Forward the current article to a person or multiple people via mail.
artFollowup * (‘f’) Post a followup to the current article.
artFollowupAndReply * (Ctrl-F) Post and mail a single response to the current article.
artCancel * (Shift-C) Cancel the current article. You can only cancel an article that you wrote.
artRot13 * (Shift-X or Ctrl-x) Decrypt an article "encrypted" with the "rot-13" algorithm. In some newsgroups (e.g., "rec.humor", "rec.humor.funny"), articles that may offend certain people are sometimes posted. To minimize the offense, these articles are sometimes encoded with "rot-13", a simple letter-substitution cipher, so that users must take explicit action in order to view them. Executing this command will decode such an encoded message; executing the command a second time on the same article will return the article to its original contents.
artXlate * Translate the article from ISO 646 to ISO 8859-1.
artHeader * (‘v’) Toggle between showing all header lines in the article and showing a limited set of header lines. This command is ineffective (and therefore its button is insensitive) if you have not set the "stripHeaders", "leaveHeaders", or "displayLocalTime" option (see below).
artPrint * Print the article (see the "printCommand" option below).

COMPOSING MESSAGES

    Kinds of messages

With xrn, you can compose and send both newsgroup articles and mail messages. A newsgroup article can be either a followup to an existing article or an article without any relation to previous articles; similarly, a mail message can be a reply to an existing article or a stand-alone message. Furthermore, a single message can be both a newsgroup posting and a mail message (e.g., if you want to post a followup to a previous posting and also send a copy of your followup to the author of the previous posting).

    The message editor

By default, when you tell xrn that you want to compose a message, it pops up a composition window with the message template in the standard X toolkit editor, whose command syntax is similar to that of emacs(1). However, you can also use an editor of your own choosing to edit messages. For more information, see the "editorCommand" option below.

    Signature files

xrn will attempt to read a signature file and include its contents in the message template. (Note, however, that a signature may not be included in postings if the inews(1) program at your site also includes a signature and xrn has been configured to use inews to post articles.)

The signature file name is set with the "signatureFile" option (see below); it defaults to "~/.signature". However, rather than just checking for that file xrn will first check for a signature file that is specific to the current newsgroup or newsgroup hierarchy or to the type of message being composed.

For example, if you are posting an article in "comp.sources.x" and "signatureFile" is set to "~/.signature", xrn will check for the existence of any of the following signature files (in this order):

~/.signature-comp.sources.x
~/.signature-comp.sources
~/.signature-comp

Then, it will check for "~/.signature.post". In general, the message types used for this check are and "followup", "forward", "gripe", "reply", "post", and "mail". In this check, a message that is both a followup and a reply has type "followup", and a message that is both a posting and a mail message has type "post". If none of these files is found, it will finally check for "~/.signature".

If the "executableSignatures" option is enabled and the signature file that xrn finds is executable, xrn will run the signature file as a program and use its output as the signature.

If the "signatureNotify" option is enabled, xrn will display an informational message telling you which signature file it is reading or executing.

If the signature text is more than 330 characters long, it will be ignored. Long signatures are considered rude and should be avoided.

    Composition window buttons

There are up to five buttons (some of them are not relevant when composing some types of messages and are therefore omitted) at the bottom of the editor window which do the following: abort the message without sending it; save the message in the file specified by the "savePostings" option (see below); send the message; include in the message the text of article to which this is a followup and/or reply; or include in the message a specified file (for which you are prompted with a dialog box).

You may only compose one message at a time.

    Posting restrictions

xrn will not permit you to post a message to 0 or more newsgroups.

If the value of the "warnings.posting.crossPost" resource (see "X RESOURCES", below) is non-zero and you attempt to post to that many or more newsgroups, or if "warnings.posting.followupTo" is non-zero and attempt to post to that many or more groups when your "Followup-To" line does not contain fewer groups than that, xrn will ask you to consider reducing the number of newsgroups to which you are posting. Since it is unlikely that your message is appropriate in all of the groups in which you are posting it, or that followups to your message should also appear in all of those groups, please take this suggestion seriously.

Note that the number of groups which cause xrn to warn you are configurable with X resources; for more information, see the "X RESOURCES" section, below.

CUSTOMIZING XRN

Colors, fonts, and other xrn options can be specified on the command line or using X resources. With the exception of the display name, all xrn options can be specified using X resources. Options specified on the command line take precedence over those specified using X resources.

COMMAND LINE ARGUMENTS

Here are the current command line arguments (the X resources have the same names and values as the command line arguments).
-addButtonList list
  Use the given list of buttons for Add mode in the order given rather than the default button list (described above).

The "list" is a comma separated list of button names, as given in the lists of buttons above. For example, your list might be: "addQuit, addIgnoreRest, addLast, addUnsub".

Buttons whose functionality is not available will not be displayed even if they appear in your button list or in the default button list. For example, if you are not allowed to post articles to the news server, then none of the buttons which cause articles to be posted will be displayed. Similarly, if you have not specified any value for the "leaveHeaders", "stripHeaders", or "displayLocalTime" option, then header stripping is not active, so the "artHeader" button will not be displayed in Article mode.

-allButtonList list
  Use the given list of buttons for All mode. The format of "list" is as described above for the -addButtonList option.
-artButtonList list
  Use the given list of buttons for Article mode.
-artSpecButtonList list
  Use the given list of buttons for the bottom button box in Article mode.
-authenticator command
  If "command" begins with the (case-insensitive) string "user/pass", then NNTP "AUTHINFO USER/PASS" authentication is activated. After "user/pass", you may include optional whitespace, and then the username to use for authentication, if it is different from your UNIX username. Note that the username may not begin or end with whitespace, i.e., whitespace preceding or following the username is ignored, and it may not contain a slash.

Following the username (or following "user/pass", if no username is specified), you may specify your NNTP password, preceded by a slash. If you do not specify a password here, you will be prompted for it when it is needed. Like the username, the password may not begin or end with whitespace.

For example, "user/pass username/password" specifies both the username and password, "user/pass username" specifies the username but omits the password, and "user/pass /password" specifies only the password.

You are strongly discouraged from hard-coding your password in an application-defaults file that might be read by other people. Furthermore, note that if you specify your password in a value for this option on the xrn command line, others might be able to see your password in the output of "ps". Therefore, you should specify your password in this option only when using secure, single-user machine to which you can be sure that you are the only one with access.

If the value of this option starts with anything other than "user/pass", then NNTP AUTHINFO GENERIC authentication is used, and "command" specifies the type of authentication to request from the server (that is, it is put in the NNTP command "AUTHINFO GENERIC <command>") in response to an authentication challenge (NNTP response code 480) from the news server. In this case, the "authenticatorCommand" option (see below) must be set; if it is not, the value of this option is ignored, and the default ("user/pass", as noted below) is used instead.

If the "NNTPAUTH" environment variable is present, it overrides the resource file entry for this option. The default value of this option is "user/pass".

-authenticatorCommand command
  This is the command line that is used to prompt the user for authentication. xrn invokes this command line, with "%s" replaced by the authenticator command (see above). The default (in the application defaults file) is an invocation of xterm, from which the authenticator command will prompt the user for authentication.
+/-authorFullName
  Display the full name of the author or the user/hostname of the author.
-breakLength len
  Break lines longer than "len" characters into multiple lines. Default is 0 characters. If set to 0, line breaking is disabled (see also "lineLength").
-busyIconName name
-busyIconPixmap pixmap
  When xrn is busy (e.g., doing an automatic rescan) and iconified, set the icon name and/or pixmap as specified instead of using the default.
-cacheFile file
  Use the specified file to cache information other than what’s in the newsrc file that needs to be preserved between invocations of xrn. Defaults to "~/.xrncache-hostname", where "hostname" is the NNTP server host, unless ~/.xrncache already exists and ~/.xrncache-hostname doesn’t, in which case ~/.xrncache will be used.
-cancelCount number
  The number of articles to search before popping up the cancel button.
+/-cc Put "Cc: user" in replies. (X resources class is "CC".)
+/-ccForward Put "Cc: user" in forwarded messages. (X resources class is "CC".)
-confirm list
  Turn on confirmation boxes for the buttons listed. These boxes pop up to ask the user to verify the invocation of "dangerous" actions (such as catch up and unsubscribe). The list of buttons is a comma separated list of button names. The buttons that can be confirmed: ngQuit, ngExit, ngCatchUp, artCatchUp, artFedUp, ngUnsub, and artUnsub.
-deadLetters file
  The name of the file to save failed postings and messages. Defaults to "~/dead.letter".
+defaultLines count
  Number of lines to scroll the subject list in article mode when scrolling automatically at the bottom of the list.
+/-discardOld
  If enabled and "onlyShow" is set, then articles earlier than the requested number of articles at the end of the newsgroup are marked read automatically. Disabled by default.
+/-displayLineCount
  When set, display the number of lines in each article (if available) in the article index in Article mode. Set by default.
+/-displayLocalTime
  Display the "Date:" field of the article using the local time zone (instead of the time zone in the article itself). When this option is enabled, you may view the article’s actual "Date:" field instead of the date converted into the local time zone by executing the "artHeader" command (see above).
-distribution dist
  Set the default distribution to "dist".
+/-dumpCore Dump core when a signal is detected. The X resources class for the "dumpCore" X resource is "Debug".
-editorCommand command
  Use an alternate editor for creating postings, followups, forwards, gripes, and replies. "command" must be a string in sprintf(3) format containing a "%s", which will be replaced by the file name to be edited. The command will be executed using the bourne shell (sh(1)). Examples are:

xterm -e vi %s
xterm -e microEmacs %s
emacsclient %s

The resulting command should handle all editing and windowing. The article being followed up on, replied to or forwarded is automatically included. You can also specify "%D" and it will be replaced with the display name. For example:

xterm -display %D -e vi %s

If you specify an empty "editorCommand" string, the external editor is disabled and the editor built into xrn will be used. You can use this to disable on the command line an "editorCommand" specification in your X resources, or to disable in your X resources an "editorCommand" specification in the xrn app-defaults file installed at your site.

+/-executableSignatures
  If a signature file is executable, attempt to execute it and use its output as the signature text. Three arguments are provided: the current newsgroup (or "NIL" if none), the current posting mode ("post", "followup", "reply", "forward" or "gripe"), and the name of the file containing the text of the article being replied to (or "NIL" if none). Non-executable signature files are already read (rather than executed), regardless of the setting of this option. Also, if the execution of a signature file fails, it is read rather than executed.
+/-fullNewsrc
  If set, then the newsrc file will always contain all newsgroups known to the server. Any time xrn discovers a newsgroup on the server that’s not in the newsrc file, it will consider the newsgroup new and enter Add mode to ask you what you want to do with it.

If not set, then any newsgroups not found in the newsrc file will be considered "ignored" (as opposed to "subscribed" or "unsubscribed") and will be left out of the newsrc when xrn updates it. In this case, only responses from the server to the "NEWGROUPS" command will be used to determine when new groups are created.

When you run xrn with "fullNewsrc" disabled for the first time, any newsgroups created since the last time you ran xrn will be "missed" by xrn. To verify that you haven’t missed any interesting newsgroups because of this, enter All mode, execute the "allToggle" command, and page to the end of the newsgroup listing to see if there are any "ignored" groups there; if there are and you wish to subscribe to them, you can then do so.

-geometry WxH+X+Y
  Specification of the xrn window size and location. The window manager may choose to ignore this specification.
-iconGeometry +X+Y
  Specification of the initial xrn icon location. The window manager may choose to ignore this specification.
-iconName name
-iconPixmap pixmap
  Use the specified xrn icon name or pixmap instead of the default.
-ignoreNewsgroups list
  A comma- or whitespace-separated list of regular expressions to be matched against the server’s list of newsgroups. Any newsgroup which matches one of the specified regular expressions is treated as an invalid group. For example, specifying a list containing "^talk\. ^rec\." would cause all newsgroups in the "talk" and "rec" hierarchies to be ignored.

Note that if you specify -ignoreNewsgroups on the command line, you should enclose your list in single quotes to prevent any backslashes and other special characters in it from being interpreted by the shell. If, on the other hand, you specify it in your X resources, you should put two backslashes whenever you want a single backslash to appear in a regular expression, because the backslash is interpreted as a quoting character when X resources are parsed.

-includeCommand command
  Use an alternate program for inserting current article text when following up on, replying to or forwarding a message. "command" must be a string in sprintf format that contains two "%s"s, which will be replaced by the include prefix and the article file name (in that order). Examples are:

sed -e ’s/^/%s /’ %s
xmh-insrt-repl -separator ’%s’ %s

The command provided should output to its standard output the text to be included in the message, derived as desired from the prefix and the contents of the article file. The command will be executed using the bourne shell.

+/-includeHeader
  Include or do not include the original header in included articles. The default is to not include the header.
-includePrefix prefix text
  Change the standard prefix for each line of included text from the default, ">", to the given text string.
+/-includeSep
  Include or do not include the prefix text (">") in front of included articles. The default is to include the prefix text (">").
+/-info Display all informative messages in the message pane. Defaults to display all information in the message pane.
+/-killFiles Turn the use of kill files on/off. The default is on. See "KILL FILE FORMAT" below for a description of the format of entries in kill files.
-leaveHeaders list
  The header fields to leave in the article; a comma separated case-insensitive list of field names (i.e., subject,from,organization). This option takes precedence over "stripHeaders". If the word "all" is specified instead of a list of fields, then all headers will be retained (This can be used in user X resources to override a resource specified in the global xrn application defaults, or on the command line to override a resource specified in either the application defaults or the user X resources.).
-lineLength len
  Length of lines that are broken. Default is 0 characters. If set to 0, line breaking is disabled (see also "breakLength").
+/-localSignatures
  If enabled, signature files are searched for in the same manner as local kill files, except that the file searched for is called SIGNATURE instead of KILL. For example, to find a signature file for a posting in news.software.readers, xrn will look for "~/News/news/software/readers/SIGNATURE", "~/News/news/software/SIGNATURE", "~/News/news/SIGNATURE", and "~/News/SIGNATURE", in that order, and use the first one it finds.
-lockFile file
  Set the XRN lock file name to "file". Defaults to "~/.xrnlock". If the .newsrc file has the server name appended to it, then the server name is also appended to the lock file name (e.g., "~/.xrnlock-hostname").
-mailer mailer
  The command to use for mailing replies. This command must take all of it’s input from stardard input (xrn will not build a command line). The default is "/usr/sbin/sendmail -oi -t".
-maxLines number
  The maximum number of lines above the cursor in the subject line display, or, if negative, the minimum number of lines below the cursor. The default is -2 (i.e., display at least two lines below the cursor whenever possible).
-minLines number
  The minimum number of lines above the cursor in the subject line display. If negative, the subject line display scrolls only at the bottom and only one line at a time. The default is 3.
-newsrcFile file
  The newsrc file to use. Defaults to "~/.newsrc". If a file with a name of the form "<newsrcFile>-<nntpServer>"’ is found, it will be used.
-ngButtonList list
  Use the given list of buttons for Newsgroup mode. The format of "list" is as described above for the -addButtonList option.
-nntpServer hostname
  The NNTP server to use (name or internet number).
-onlyShow number
  Only grab the header information for the last "number" of articles in each group. This is useful if you have been away for a while and only want to see that last 100 or so articles in each group (and thus don’t have to waste time having XRN fetch the subjects, authors, and line counts for all the articles).

Note that although only the specified number of articles are displayed when entering a newsgroup, the other articles are not marked read. This means that if you enter a newsgroup with onlyShow set, read the displayed articles, then exit the newsgroup and enter it again, the last block of articles before that will be displayed to you. If you want earlier articles to be marked read automatically, use the "discardOld" option.

-organization organization
  Set the organization name in postings and followups. You can also set the environment variable ORGANIZATION (NEWSORG on Apollo) to set the default organization name.
+/-pageArticles
  If enabled, then space bar in article mode will scroll the current article, or go to the next article if at the end of the current article. If disabled, then space bar in article mode will always go to the next article. Default is enabled.
-pointerBackground color
  Set the background color of the mouse cursor. The default color is whatever the default background color is for xrn.
-pointerForeground color
  Set the foreground color of the mouse cursor. The default color is whatever the default foreground color is for xrn.
-prefetchMax number
  Only prefetch newsgroups with at most the specified number of unread articles. If number is 0, then there is no limit, i.e., newsgroups are prefetched regardless of the number of unread articles in them. The default is 0.
-prefetchMinSpeed kbytes
  Only prefetch the next article if the speed of the network link to the NNTP server is greater than kbytes kilobytes per second. The default is 3 kilobytes per second. If set to 0, the next article will always be prefetched, regardless of the network link speed.
-printCommand command
  Set the command used for printing articles. The article is sent to the command via standard input. Defaults to "lpr".
-replyTo name
  Set the Reply-To field for articles and mail messages.
+/-rescanOnEnter
  Check with the news server for new articles in a newsgroup when entering it, rather than only checking for new articles when rescanning all newsgroups. By default, this feature is disabled.

Enabling this feature has two potential disadvantages: (1) It can cause a slight additional delay when entering a newsgroup (although this delay is mostly unnoticeable except when the newsgroup has an extremely large number of unread articles in it), and a more noticeable delay when using "Next group" or "Fed up" in article mode after selecting "List old" in newsgroup mode; (2) It can cause some confusion, e.g., when you enter a newsgroup believing that there are no unread articles and therefore you will be shown the last read article, and instead you are shown new unread articles, or when you enter a newsgroup expecting to see five unread articles and instead see ten. Furthermore, it can cause xrn to check with the news server for new articles in newsgroups you have not entered, if articles in newsgroups you enter are cross-posted to them, which means that xrn may reveal new articles in a newsgroup in Newsgroup mode even when you have not done a rescan.

On the other hand, this feature allows you to see new articles in a specific newsgroup immediately, without rescanning for new articles in all newsgroups. Some people prefer this behavior, despite the disadvantages mentioned above.

-rescanTime time
  Amount of idle time (in seconds) before checking for new articles automatically. A rescan time of 0 means never to check automatically. The default (unless configured differently when compiling xrn) is 0 (i.e., never check automatically).

New newsgroups created on the server will not show up after an automatic rescan. To check for new newsgroups, you must use the "ngRescan" command, documented above.

+/-resetSave Reset the string in the "save" dialog box upon entering each newsgroup.
-saveDir dir The article saving directory. Defaults to "~/News" when -saveMode specifies "onedir", or "~/News/newsgroup" when -saveMode specifies "subdirs".
-saveMode mode
  The mode for saving articles; a comma separated list of options. The options can be "mailbox" (UNIX mailbox format), "formfeed" (formfeeds separating articles), or "normal"; "headers" or "noheaders"; and "onedir" or "subdirs". The default is "normal,headers,onedir".
-saveNewsrcFile file
  The saved .newsrc filename. Before the .newsrc file is modified on startup, it is saved in a backup file. Defaults to "~/.oldnewsrc". If the real .newsrc file has the server name appended to it, then the server name is also appended to the save file name (e.g., "~/.oldnewsrc-hostname").
-savePostings file
  The name of the file in which to save postings and messages (via the "save" button in the composition window). Defaults to "~/Articles".
-saveString string
  Use "string" as the default in the "save" dialog box.
-signatureFile file
  The signature file to use. Defaults to "~/.signature".
+/-signatureNotify
  When sending mail or posting, display a message saying which signature file is being used.
+/-sortedSubjects
  Display the subject lines in the subject window sorted by subject. Note that the "sortedSubjects" X resource behaves differently from the command-line option, and provides additional functionality. See the "X RESOURCES" section below for more information.
+/-stayInArticleMode
  If enabled, then a number of operations in article mode (including unsubscribe, next article, previous article, subject next, subject prev, session kill, author kill, subject search, and continue search) will attempt to go to the next newsgroup when they would normally exit article mode. Disabled by default.
-stripHeaders list
  The header fields to strip from the article; a comma separated case-insensitive list of field names (i.e., keywords,message-id). If the word "none" is specified instead of a list of fields, then no headers will be stripped (This can be used in user X resources to override a resource specified in the global xrn application defaults, or on the command line to override a resource specified in either the application defaults or the user X resources.).
+/-subjectRead
  When using the space bar to scroll, when an article is finished, the space-bar scrolling invokes subject next instead of next unread.
+/-subjectScrollBack
  If enabled (which is the default), then the subject index in article mode will always scroll to display the current article after operations on other articles in the index. For example, if you use the scroll bar to scroll to several articles that you want to save, highlight the articles and click on the "Save" button, xrn will scroll back to the current article when done saving. If disabled, then xrn will attempt to maintain the position you scrolled to even after performing an operation on other articles. Note, however, that this may result in some flickering of the subject index, due to unavoidable "disagreements" between how xrn and the Athena Text widget think things should work.
-tmpDir directory
  The directory to use for the temporary storage of articles fetched from the server. The default is "/tmp". Note that the environment variable "TMPDIR", if it is set, will override this option (or the default value).
-topLines number
  The number of lines to be used for the subject list in Article mode. The default is 10.
+/-typeAhead Allow/disallow typeahead. Defaults to allow typeahead.
-unreadIconName name
-unreadIconPixmap pixmap
  When there is unread news and xrn is iconified, set the icon name and/or pixmap as specified instead of using the default.
+/-updateNewsrc
  Update the newsrc file when leaving Article mode (or when going from one group directly to the next one with unread news).

Note that whenever xrn updates the newsrc file, it also saves all kill files. In between newsrc updates, xrn accumulates kill-file data in memory and therefore its memory usage will grow until that data is flushed by a newsrc update. Therefore, if you find that xrn is using too much memory for your tastes, you might find it useful to set "updateNewsrc" so that kill-file information will be flushed after every newsgroup is read.

-verboseKill actions
  By default, when processing kill files, the subject of each article that is marked read, marked unread, saved, or thread-killed is displayed, and a summary of all such articles is displayed when done processing the kill file. This option allows you to select which subjects and summaries to display. The actions specified should contain one or more of ‘l’, ‘j’, ‘m’ and ‘s’. ‘l’ means to display each kill-file pattern as it is processed. ‘j’ means to display articles that are marked read, ‘m’ means to display articles that are marked unread, ‘s’ means to display articles that are saved, and ‘t’ means to display articles whose subthreads or threads are added to the kill file. If actions is empty, then no information is displayed when processing kill files.
-watchUnread list
  Only check for unread news in groups matching one of the listed regular expressions when determining whether to display the unread icon name and/or pixmap. The listed regular expressions can be separated by spaces, tabs, commas and/or newlines.

KILL FILE FORMAT

xrn supports a super-subset of the kill-file commands supported by rn(1) (i.e., some of its features are a subset of rn’s and are compatible with it, and some are incompatible with rn and you should use them only if you have no interest in your xrn kill files being compatible with rn). For compatibility with rn, lines in kill files beginning with ‘&’ are ignored. Blank lines (or lines containing only whitespace) and lines beginning with ‘#’ are also ignored.

A line beginning with "THRU " is assumed to contain the last article number previously killed in the newsgroup, and this line is updated by xrn after processing the kill file for the newsgroup.

A line of the form "include name" directs xrn to read another kill file and process the commands in it as if they appear at that point in the including file. If "name" is the name of a newsgroup, the local kill file for that newsgroup is used. Otherwise, if "name" starts with ‘/’ or ‘~’, it is treated as an absolute file name to use. Otherwise, "name" is treated as a file name relative to the setting of the "saveDir" option (see above), which defaults to "~/News".

Kill-file inclusion is subject to the following constraints:
o "THRU" lines in nested include files are ignored (but will be written intact back to the included kill file if it is later saved by xrn, e.g., if kill-file entry timeouts in it have been updated).
o Loops and multiple inclusions of the same kill file are silently ignored.
o Kill files won’t necessarily be updated properly if the user does any of the following:
o Includes a newsgroup’s kill file by specifying its file name instead of by specifying its newsgroup name.
o Includes the global kill file in another kill file.
o Includes the same kill file using two different file names in two different files (e.g., with an absolute path in one and a relative path in another).

Any line in the format "/pattern/options:command" is interpreted as a kill-file command; its components are:

pattern A regular expression which is matched against article header fields to determine to which articles "command" should be applied. Slashes in the expression should be quoted with a backslash to prevent them from being interpreted as the end of the expression.
options The option ‘h’ affects which header fields the regular expression is matched against, as described below. If ‘h’ is not specified, the regular expression is matched against the "From" and "Subject" fields of the article.

The option ‘t’, followed by a positive integer, specifies the number of idle days after which the entry should automatically be expired. That is, any kill-file command which contains a ‘t’ option and does not match any articles for the number of days specified in that option is automatically removed from the kill file by xrn when the kill file is updated.

The option ‘u’, followed by a positive integer, is used by xrn to keep track of when a kill-file command was last used, for purposes of deciding when to expire it.

Any other values will cause xrn to display an error and ignore the command.

Note that the ‘t’ and ‘u’ options are incompatible with rn. Therefore, if you choose to use the ‘t’ option, either manually or automatically by setting the "killTimeout" X resource (see below), you will not be able to use your xrn kill files with rn. In this case, if you use both xrn and rn, you may wish to consider setting the "killFileName" X resource (see below) so that your xrn kill files are stored separately from your ir kill files.

command One of ‘j’ (mark the article read), ‘m’ (mark the article unread), or ‘s’ (save the article in the default save file for the newsgroup), ‘t’ (insert a kill-file entry for this subthread in the local kill file), or ‘T’ (insert a kill-file entry for this thread in the local kill file).
If the first character in the options field is ‘h’, then xrn will check to see if the regular expression starts with "^From:", "^Subject:", "^Newsgroups:", "^Date:", "^Message-ID:", "^References:", "^Xref:", or "Approved:". If it does, then the pattern will be matched against the corresponding header field in the article. The comparison will be "anchored", that is, the pattern must match from the beginning of the field value in order to be considered a match.

For example "/jik/:j" will mark read any article containing the string "jik" in its "Subject" or "From" line; "/^From: .*jik/h:j" will mark read articles containing "jik" in their "From" lines (but not articles containing "jik" only in their "Subject" lines); and "/^Newsgroups:.*,.*,/h:j" will mark read any articles cross-posted to three or more newsgroups.

If the ‘h’ option is specified and the regular expression doesn’t start with one of the field names mentioned above, then it will be compared against all of the fields mentioned above.

Note that normally, xrn doesn’t fetch the "Newsgroups", "Date", "Message-ID", "References", "Xref", or "Approved" fields of articles; it fetches them only when it notices while processing a kill file entry that they are needed. Therefore, specifying kill file entries which must be matched against one of those fields may cause xrn to take longer to fetch newsgroups, since it will have to fetch extra data. However, if you’re using a sorting algorithm which uses some or all of these fields, as described in the documentation below for the "sortedSubjects" resource, then the fields being used for sorting are already being fetched and no additional data need be fetched in order to match kill file entries against them.

Note, furthermore, that some NNTP servers do not allow queries for some header fields, usually "Newsgroups" and "Approved" and possibly others as well. When xrn is talking to such a server and it encounters such a header field while processing the kill file entries for a newsgroup, it must ask the NNTP server for the entire header of every unread message in the newsgroup. This can cause a significant delay when you try to enter the newsgroup. You should keep this in mind when creating kill file entries which examine these header fields.

Any line not in one of the already mentioned formats will cause xrn to display an error.

X RESOURCES

xrn supports some X resources that do not have corresponding command line arguments (however, see the documentation of the -xrm command line argument in X(1) for information about setting any X resource from the command line):
authenticateOnConnect
  Some News servers expect you to send your authentication information when you connect, even though they don’t explicitly ask for it like they’re supposed to. If you are trying to use authentication as described above (see the "authenticatorCommand" option), and xrn never prompts for your authentication information (e.g., your username and password) or you can’t see all of the newsgroups that you’re supposed to see, try setting this resource to true, and xrn will always do authentication immediately after connecting to the News server.
buttonsOnTop
  By default, xrn arranges its window in such a way that button boxes are below the display areas they affect. However, some users do not like this behavior because it causes the frequently used buttons to be located in different areas of the xrn window in different modes.

If "buttonsOnTop" is set to True, then button boxes will be placed above, rather than below, the display areas they affect. They most significant result is that the most frequently used buttons will always be at the top of the xrn window, rather than changing positions depending on the mode.

cacheActive
  By default, xrn fetches a full newsgroup list from the NNTP server when it starts up and every time you execute the "ngRescan" command. However, this can take a long time if you are using a slow NNTP server, or if you are using a server with a very large number of newsgroups, or if you are talking to the NNTP server over a slow network (e.g., a SLIP or PPP Internet connection).

In such a situation, you can set the "cacheActive" resource to True, which will cause xrn to cache the newsgroup list. It will only retrieve a complete list from the server if either (a) it encounters a newsgroup that it can’t find in its cache (in some of these situations, it will ask you for confirmation before fetching the list, but in some it will not), or (b) you execute the "ngGetList" command.

When "cacheActive" is True, then the "ngRescan" command does a group-by-group rescan instead of retrieving a full newsgroup list; furthermore, it does the rescan in the background instead of pausing xrn for more information.

See also the "fullNewsrc" command-line option and resource, which you may wish to use in conjunction with "cacheActive" to prevent xrn’s cache file from becoming too large.

cacheFilesMaxFiles
  xrn keeps a rotating cache of recently retrieved articles in the temporary directory (see the "tmpDir" option, above). By default, up to 50 files will be kept in the cache. Specifying this resource will raise or lower that limit. xrn silently enforces a minimum of 10 for this resource.
cacheFilesMaxSize
  Although xrn will limit the number of files in its article cache as described above, it will not by default limit the total size of the cache. If you specify this resource, xrn will attempt to keep the total size of the cache lower than the specified number of bytes.
complainAboutBadDates (class Debug )
  See "sortedSubjects", below.
courtesyCopyMessage
  When you both post and mail an article, the mailed copy of the article will have a message at the top indicating that it is a courtesy copy of an article which was also posted. The default message depends on the language for which XRN was compiled. You may change the message by setting this resource, or you may set this resource to an empty string to disable the message entirely.
domainName Your internet domain (e.g., ".Berkeley.EDU", ".orst.edu"). Equivalent to setting the DOMAIN environment variable. You probably don’t have to specify this; if you do, xrn will tell you so when you try to post or send mail.
hiddenHost The host name which you wish to appear in the "From" lines of messages you compose. Note that your real host name (or, at least, xrn’s idea of your real host name) may appear in a "Sender" line in your messages, regardless of what you specify for this resource.

This resource is overridden by the "HIDDENHOST" environment variable (see below).

If the host name you specify here or with "HIDDENHOST" does not have a period in it, the domain name (either configured into the program or specified as described above) is appended to it.

killFileName
  Tells xrn to name each of its kill files as specified instead of using the default name "KILL". This is useful, e.g., if you use another News reader besides xrn whose kill-file format is incompatible with xrn’s, but which uses "KILL" as the name of its kill files.
killTimeout
  Specifies the number of days after which to automatically expire (i.e., remove from the kill file) unused kill-file entries.

Note that this is only the default timeout which is placed in new kill-file entries created by xrn as the value of the ‘t’ option. This resource will not affect kill-file entries which already exist and do not contain a ‘t’ option.

See the "KILL FILE FORMAT" section above for more information.

nntpPort Specifies the TCP/IP port number to use to connect to the NNTP server. Defaults to the port number for the TCP "nntp" service.
saveSentMail
saveSentPostings
  Save mail messages (articles) which are successfully sent (posted) in the indicated file. By default, these resources are unset (i.e., outgoing messages are not saved automatically). If these resources are both set to the same file, messages which are both posted and mailed will be saved in the indicated file only once. Both of these resources have the class "SaveSent".
sortedSubjects
  Tells xrn how to sort articles before displaying them in the subject list in Article mode. Should contain a list of one or more of "date" "subject" and "thread", separated by commas or whitespace. More preferred sorting should be listed first, e.g., if you want articles sorted by subject, and within each subject by date, you should specify "subject date". It doesn’t make mush sense to specify any sorting types after "date", since most articles in a newsgroup will have different dates, which means that a "date" sort will mostly undo any other sort. It also doesn’t make much sense to specify "thread" after "subject", since subject sorting will to some extent undo thread sorting Therefore, values for this option which make sense are "date", "subject", "subject date", "thread", "thread date", and "thread subject date" (which is what the author of xrn uses).

For backward-compatibility reasons, "true", "on" and "1" (case insensitive) are all equivalent to "subject", and "false, "off" and "0" are eqivaulent to specifying no sorting at all.

If no sorting is specified, articles are sorted by article number.

Note that xrn needs to retrieve articles’ "Date" fields from the server in order to sort by date, and it doesn’t normally do this, so sorting by date may cause some degradation in performance, especially when talking to a server over a slow network connection. Similarly, "Message-ID" and "References" fields must be retrieved from the server in order to do thread sorting.

If you want xrn to tell you when it encounters a date that it can’t parse (usually because it contains an invalid timezone or a new timezone that xrn’s date-parsing routines don’t know about), then set the "complainAboutBadDates" resource to true. If you do this and xrn tells you that it can’t parse a date, please forward the entire message about which it complains (including all of its headers) to the xrn bug address given below.

warnings.followup.followupTo (class warnings.Followup)
  By default, when you start composing a followup to a previous message, xrn will warn you if the default "Newsgroups" line of your followup is different from the "Newsgroups" line of the previous message because of a "Followup-To" line in that message. To disable this warning, set this resource to "False" or the class to "0".
warnings.followup.crossPost (class warnings.Followup)
  By default, when you start composing a followup to a previous message, xrn will warn you if your followup is being cross-posted to multiple newsgroups. If you set this resource to ‘0’, this warning will be disabled completely; if you set it to a non-zero value, this warning will occur only if your article is being cross-posted to that many groups or more.
warnings.posting.crossPost (class warnings.Posting)
  This resource controls the number of newsgroups in the Newsgroups line of your posting at which xrn will suggest that you remove some groups. The default is 10. See "COMPOSING MESSAGES", above, for more information.
warnings.posting.followupTo (class warnings.Posting)
  This resource controls the number of newsgroups in the Newsgroups and Followup-To line of your posting at which xrn will suggest that you remove some. The default is 5. See "COMPOSING MESSAGES", above, for more information.
validNewsgroups
  A comma- or whitespace-separated list of regular expressions to be matched against the server’s list of newsgroups. Any newsgroup which does not match one of the specified regular expressions is treated as an invalid group. For example, specifying a list containing "^talk\. ^rec\." would cause only the newsgroups in the "talk" and "rec" hierarchies to be considered valid, while all others would be ignored.

"validNewsgroups" and "ignoreNewsgroups" (described above) can be used together, in which case the latter takes precedence over the former. For example, specifying "validNewsgroups" as above and "ignoreNewsgroups" as "^rec\.games\." would cause all "talk" and "rec" groups except for the "rec.games" groups to be considered valid. "validNewsgroups" is empty by default, which causes all groups (except for those that match "ignoreNewsgroups" to be considered valid.

When specifying "validNewsgroups" in your X resources, you should put two backslashes whenever you want a single backslash to appear in a regular expression, because the backslash is interpreted as a quoting character when X resources are parsed.

verifyFrom By default, xrn will verify that the address in the "From" line of each outgoing posting is valid (according to sendmail). You can set this resource to false to disable the check. Note, however, that the use of invalid addresses in "From" lines is strongly discouraged. Furthermore, note that even if you change your "From" line, xrn will still insert a "Sender" line with your real address in it.
Furthermore, xrn takes a number of specifications for colors, fonts, border widths, and other program options. The format for an xrn X resource is

xrn.x.y....z.a: value

where x.y....z specifies the path from the top level of xrn to a particular item (think of xrn as a hierarchical collection of windows, panes, and buttons, and x.y....z is a path from the top of the hierarchy to a node in the hierarchy), a is the type of default (i.e., font, border, foreground, background, borderWidth), and value is the value of the default (i.e,. a color name or hex representation, a font name, a numeric value). Specifying a default for a item at some point in the hierarchy will set that default for all items from that point down in the hierarchy. A higher level default can be overridden by specifying a default at a lower level directly.

The xrn widget hierarchy is as follows:

xrn (Shell)
  ngFrame for Newsgroup mode (Paned)
    newsgroups (Text)
    info (Label)
    buttons (Box)
      button names listed above, e.g., ngQuit (Command)
    grip (Grip, not usually visible)
  artFrame for Article mode (Paned)
    subjects (Text)
    info (Label)
    buttons (Box)
      button names listed above, e.g., artQuit (Command)
    text (Text)
    artInfo (Label)
    artButtons (Box)
      button names listed above, e.g., artSave (Command)
    grip (Grip, two of them, with the one on bottom not usually visible)
  allFrame for All mode (Paned)
    list (Text)
    info (Label)
    buttons (Box)
      button names listed above, e.g., allQuit (Command)
      grip (Grip, not usually visible)
  addFrame for Add mode (Paned)
    list (Text)
    info (Label)
    buttons (Box)
      button names listed above, e.g., addQuit (Command)
      grip (Grip, not usually visible)

Composition (TopLevelShell, separate window) pane (Paned) label (Label) text (Text) box (Box) compAbort (Command) compSend (Command) compSave (Command) compIncludeFile (Command) compIncludeArticle (Command) grip (Grip, two of them, not usually visible)

Various dialogs

For example xrn resources, see the application-defaults file included in the xrn distribution and installed with xrn (probably in /usr/local/share/X11/app-defaults).

FILES

~/.newsrc[-hostname]
  description of the groups and the articles read in each group
~/.xrncache-hostname
  internal cache containing xrn variable settings and/or cached newsgroup data
~/.oldnewsrc[-hostname]
  backup of ~/.newsrc (created at startup)
~/.signature* signatures for use when sending messages
~/News directory where articles are saved
~/Articles where saved postings and messages are stored
~/dead.letter where failed postings and messages are stored
~/.xrnlock[-hostname]
  lock file
/usr/sbin/sendmail -oi -t               command for sending mail
 

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES

NNTPSERVER hostname of the news server
TMPDIR temporary directory
DOMAIN name of your internet domain (".Berkeley.EDU", ".orst.edu")
HIDDENHOST name of the host that you want your return path to be from (e.g., "decvax.dec.com", "Berkeley.EDU")
HIDDENPATH name of the host that you want put in the Path field of messages
USER login name of the user
HOME home directory of the user
FULLNAME full name of the user, used for the From field of messages

SEE ALSO

emacs(1), readnews(1), rn(1), sh(1) sprintf(3), vnews(1), X(1), nntpd(8)

COMMENTS

The name (xrn) is a bit of a misnomer. xrn is not an X interface to "rn" (the terminal-based news reading program by Larry Wall), but is an X-based news reader that has had part of the functionality of "rn" added since a number of our users are (were?) "rn" users (all of the code is new). Much of the "rn" funcionality that xrn currently has was not in the original plan (kill files, for example).

The user interface look and feel is modeled after that of "XMH" (by Terry Weissman).

The .newsrc file is updated on executing the "quit" command in Newsgroup mode, during every "rescan", and by "checkpoint". If the "updateNewsrc" option is set, the .newsrc file will be updated every time Article mode is exited.

xrn catches signals and X errors and will clean up on error exit (remove temporary files, update the .newsrc file). The cleanup will be done and then a death notifier box will be posted (if the signal is SIGHUP or SIGINT, the death notifier will be skipped and the program will exit). The "click to exit" button must be pressed in the death notifier box for the program to exit.

XREFS are handled by xrn, however only articles that are actually read (not marked as read by "catchup" or "mark as read") have their XREFS chased and only groups that are currently subscribed to have XREFed articles marked as read.

The default specifications for color and fonts can be confusing (thousands of different X resources can be specified for xrn, no two users’ xrn displays need to be the same).

xrn uses the XHDR command of the Berkeley NNTP news server (XHDR is not part of the protocol defined by RFC 977). xrn will detect the presence of this command and complain if it does not exist.

Since the NNTP protocol does not define a unique response code for server timeout, timeout recovery may not work if the format of the timeout error message changes.

xrn assumes a mailer that understands domain-based mail addresses.

xrn notices that the .newsrc file has been updated by another program while xrn is running and informs the user (and gives the user the option to quit without updating the .newsrc or to continue on).

Article temporary files can be removed and xrn will recover.

xrn strips "<character>^H" from articles.

The v{f,s}printf implementation included with xrn is from Robert A. Larson <blarson@skat.usc.edu>.

The strtok implementation included with xrn is from Henry Spencer <henry@zoo.toronto.edu>.

PointerForeground is the resource name for the color of the cursor (pointer). Some other programs use PointerColor/CursorColor.

BUGS

See TODO for a larger list of bugs and things that need to be done.

Incomplete kill file support.

See config.h for a list of defines you may want to use based on problems that may exist in your version of the X11 toolkit and widgets.

See COMMON-PROBLMS for a list of common problems and solutions to the problems.

Report bugs and requests for features to "bug-xrn@kamens.brookline.ma.us".

Requests to be placed on the xrn users mailing list should be sent to "xrn-users-request@kamens.brookline.ma.us". The only thing that comes across this mailing list is announcements of new releases and patches for serious problems so don’t expect very much traffic.

AUTHORS

Jonathan Kamens (American Internet Corp., jik@kamens.brookline.ma.us)

Ellen M Sentovich (UC Berkeley, ellen@ic.berkeley.edu)

Rick L Spickelmier (formerly UC Berkeley, now Objectivity, Inc., ricks@berkeley.edu, ricks@objy.com)

See the ChangeLog file for other people who have contributed to xrn.

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X XRN (1) $Date: 2010-02-03 12:54:24 -0500 (Wed, 03 Feb 2010) $

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