[conspire] news-to-mail gateway

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Oct 11 12:44:05 PDT 2004

Revisiting a thread:

William R Ward <bill at wards.net> wrote:

> People still use newsgroups?  I thought Usenet was dead, thanks to all
> the spammers.

Just to clarify, for the benefit of those who were unaware:
linuxmafia.com has a publicly available NNTP news server, currently
running exactly one, strictly local, newsgroup:  cabal.conspire 

That is the NNTP (newsgroup) variant of what you probably think of as
this mailing list.  (You could alternatively say, looking form the other
end of the lens, that conspire at linuxmafia.com is the SMTP variant of 
linuxmafia.com's cabal.conspire newsgroup.)

Being local-only, cabal.conspire is not broadcast to other news servers
such a the thousands or tens of thousands of NNTP hosts that comprise
Usenet.  Partly in consequence, I am able to apply a pretty highly
effective anti-spam policy on both the newsgroup and mailing list
halves of this forum.  (Notice you see zero spam, here?  It's not a

One of the reasons I really like reading this "mailing list" in
newsgroup format is that pretty much every post (article, in newsgroup
lingo) ever posted is still present on the news spool -- and can be
followed up by anyone, at any time.

On the mailing list side of things, of course, you can really (as a
practical matter) follow up only posts made since you joined, that you
haven't yet deleted from your received mail.  Most people don't perceive
that limitation as a problem, because they've never not _had_ it.  With
newsgroup format, you needn't have that problem.

Mailman's news / mail gateway does have some faults:  It runs as a cron
job, and so transit through the gateway takes a few minutes.  Also,
threading pretty much breaks in transit through the gateway, as an
unavoidable consequence.  But I can't think of any other disadvantage.
(I'll stress that we are _not_ going newsgroup-only:  People who prefer 
mailing list format are not in danger of losing it.)

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