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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  NEWS (5)

NAME

news - USENET network news articles and batches

CONTENTS

Description
Examples
See Also
History
Bugs

DESCRIPTION

There are two formats of news articles: A and B. A format is obsolete, but looks like this:





Aarticle-ID
newsgroups
path
date
title
Body of article






A B format article consists of a series of header lines (collectively referred to as the message header), followed by an empty line, followed by the body. A header line must begin with a word (consisting of alphanumerics and dashes), a colon, and at least one space, in that order. This is a specialisation of RFC 822 format. Continued headers are as per RFC 822. Unrecognized headers are ignored. News is stored in the same format transmitted, see ‘‘Standard for the Interchange of USENET Messages’’ (RFC 1036 nee 850) and ‘‘Standard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text Messages’’ (RFC 822, but note amendments in RFC 1123) for a full description. The following headers are among those recognized:

From: user@host.domain[.domain ...] ( Full Name)
Newsgroups: news groups
Message-ID: <Unique RFC822 message-id>
Subject: descriptive title
Date: date posted
Expires: expiration date
Reply-To: address for mail replies
References: Message-ID of article this is a follow-up to.
Control: text of a control message

A news batch consists of zero or more articles, each preceded by a line of the form






#! rnews byte-count 






where byte-count is the number of bytes in the following article, where each newline is counted as a single byte, even if it is stored as a CR-LF or some other representation. Spaces are significant: one before and one after rnews. News batches are usually transmitted compressed.

Various peculiar optional encapsulations of news batches exist which consist of doing something to the (probably compressed) batch, then prepending a #! goo line to the output, where goo reflects the form of encapsulation; known values of goo include cunbatch (the null encapsulation), and c7unbatch (encode the batch using only seven bits per character).

EXAMPLES

An article.





Path: att!eagle!jerry
From: jerry@eagle.uucp (Jerry Schwarz)
Newsgroups: news.announce
Subject: Usenet Etiquette -- Please Read
Message-ID: <642@eagle.UUCP>
Date: Friday, 19 Nov 82 16:14:55 EST
Followup-To: news.misc
Expires: Saturday, 1 Jan 83 00:00:00 EST
Organization: Bell Labs, Murray Hill

The body of the article comes here, after an empty line.

SEE ALSO

checknews(1CN), compress(1), inews(1CN), nn(1), postnews(1CN), readnews(1CN), rn(1), vnews(1), getabsdate(3), newsctl(5), newssys(5), expire(8CN), newsbatch(8CN), newsmail(8CN), relaynews(8CN), rnews(8CN), newsinvaders(9.1)
DARPA RFCs 1036, 850, 822, 1123

HISTORY

Convoluted.

BUGS

B format articles must not start with A, to distinguish them from A format; this is only a problem if moderators put Approved: first.

Processing would be easier and potentially faster if Control: (if present) and Newsgroups: were required to be the first headers.

People insist on making their whacko local encapsulation schemes (cunbatch, etc.) rnews’s problem.

One could argue that RFC 822 is less than an ideal base for article format. (On the other hand, at least it’s textual, unlike ISO messages.)

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--> NEWS (5) 9 Sept 1994

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