[conspire] Re: Newsreaders

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Oct 11 16:53:58 PDT 2004

I wrote:

> As you'll notice, I personally like tin a great deal.  A lot of people
> like Mozilla Mail/News -- and I would guess that Mozilla Thunderbird
> probably has NNTP support, too.

Having been idly curious about this, I checked, and, yes, Thunderbird
_did_ inherit the Mozilla Mail/News module's NNTP newsgroup support.

Even Mozilla's own Web pages downplay this capability -- not to mention
any number of reviews that fail to mention it completely, e.g.:

http://www.mozilla.org/ describes Thunderbird as "our latest email
program" (though its features list includes -- at the very end --
"newsgroups support").  The Mozilla Project seems to have inherited from
its Netscape ancestors a considerable amount of ambivalence about
newsgroups:  The old Netscape Mail/News program tried to pretend that
newsgroups were just funny-looking e-mail and called them "folders".
Thunderbird at least yields a _bit_ on this:  It still calls them
"folders" but at least refers to newsgroup articles as "news messages", 
which is almost correct.

Anyhow, I hope I didn't sound too annoyed at Bill Ward when he said:
"People still use newsgroups?  I thought Usenet was dead, thanks to all
the spammers."

As I hope is now clear, people _can and do_ operate NNTP news servers
that have nothing at all to do with Usenet.  E.g.,
news://linuxmafia.com:/cabal.conspire/ (the NNTP newsgroup side of this

But also, I just wanted to point out that Usenet itself is very much
still around.  I participate on the Usenet comp.os.linux.hardware
newsgroup (and, to a lesser extent, most of the other comp.os.linux.* 
groups) pretty nearly every day, answering questions, etc.  It's quite 
possible that many other groups are "dead thanks to spammers" in some
fashion, but those aren't.

If you have access to a Usenet news spool, come on in:  The water's

Cheers,                     "All power is delightful, but absolute power
Rick Moen                    is absolutely delightful."  - Kenneth Tynan
rick at linuxmafia.com

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