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NEWSGROUPS(5)		  InterNetNews Documentation		 NEWSGROUPS(5)

       newsgroups - List of newsgroups and their short descriptions

       The file	pathdb/newsgroups contains a list of newsgroups	for which a
       short description is available.	This file is generally updated by
       controlchan(8) whenever a control message is received; it is used by
       nnrpd in	response to LIST NEWSGROUPS and	is only	meant to provide
       information to users.  News readers often show the list of carried
       newsgroups along	with these descriptions.

       It is not necessary that	all the	groups carried by the news server
       (that is	to say all the groups listed in	the active file) be listed in
       the newsgroups file.  And it is also not	necessary that all the groups
       listed in the newsgroups	file be	carried	by the news server.
       Nonetheless, it is of course better if the active and newsgroups	files
       have exactly the	same newsgroups.

       If you use "ctlinnd newgroup" to	manually create	a group, only the
       active file is updated.	You should then	edit the newsgroups file in
       order to	add a short description	for the	created	group.	The same goes
       for manually removing or	changing the status of a newsgroup.

       Each line of the	newsgroups file	consists of two	fields separated by at
       least one tabulation:


       The first field is the name of the newsgroup.  The second field is its

       You can get the newsgroups file of another NNTP server with getlist(1).

       As far as the format of the newsgroups file is concerned, there is a
       preferred format	for each line.	Since news administrators do not
       generally have the time to fix up the lines that	are being
       automatically included from newgroup or checkgroups messages, this
       information is provided so that control message senders can craft
       better control messages.	 It will also be useful	for news
       administrators to know how to format the	description of their local

       There should be at least	one hard tab (8	column tab stops) between the
       group name and the description.	If the group name is at	least 16
       characters, it should be	followed with one tab.	If the group name is
       at least	8 characters, it should	be followed with two tabs.  And	in the
       unlikely	event the group	name is	less than 8 characters,	it should be
       followed	with three tabs.  For instance:

	   misc.transport.rail.europe  Railroads & railways in all of Europe.
	   news.admin.nocem    NoCeM protocol policy issues and	information.
	   news.groups	       Discussions and lists of	newsgroups.

       The total line length should be at most 79 columns.  The	description
       should start with a capital and not be more than	55 characters (79 -
       24) long.  If the group name is longer than 24 characters, the
       description should be correspondingly shorter.  If the group is
       moderated, it should have " (Moderated)"	(note the space	before the
       opening parenthesis) at the very	end of the description,	not counted as
       part of the length of the description.  This text must be exactly that,
       with no variations, as it is used by news software to find moderated

       Here is an example of moderated newsgroup:

	   news.lists.misc     News-related statistics and lists. (Moderated)

       Traditionally, all newsgroup descriptions ended with a period, but this
       is not necessary	and steals away	one character that is occasionally
       useful for forming a better description.

       Some over-long descriptions could be made to easily fit the length by
       dropping	useless	wordings like "Discussion of" which do not
       meaningfully contribute to the description.  Others are usually pretty
       easy to get to no more than column eighty, except when the group	names
       start getting really long.  Hopefully then the group name itself
       contains	quite a	bit of description.

       In some cases, a	longer description really will be necessary; they can
       of course be used within	the newsgroups file.  However, they will
       probably	be less	readable and less useful for some Usenet users.

       Descriptions must not contain any control characters (octets between
       0x00 and	0x1F).

       There is, at present, no	good mechanism for managing the	character set
       of the newsgroup	descriptions.  Many non-English	hierarchies include
       newsgroup descriptions in their native languages, since this is more
       useful for their	users, and those are included verbatim in the
       newsgroups file.	 This unfortunately means that different lines of the
       file will require different character set settings to read properly,
       and those character sets	are not	documented in the file.	 Hopefully
       some future standard will provide a way to address this;	in the
       meantime, using UTF-8 for non-ASCII characters is recommended.

       The minimal newsgroups file shipped with	INN is:

	   control	       Various control messages	(no posting).
	   control.cancel      Cancel messages (no posting).
	   control.checkgroups Hierarchy check control messages	(no posting).
	   control.newgroup    Newsgroup creation control messages (no posting).
	   control.rmgroup     Newsgroup removal control messages (no posting).
	   junk		       Unfiled articles	(no posting).

       These lines must	be tab-delimited, so please be careful in case you
       copy and	paste them from	above.

       Written by Julien Elie for InterNetNews.	 The preferred format for a
       one-line	newsgroup description is based on the policies by which	the
       newsgroups file in <> is
       maintained; they	were originally	written	by David Lawrence
       <> and updated by Russ Allbery <>.

       $Id: newsgroups.pod 10097 2016-11-04 22:19:07Z iulius $

       active(5), controlchan(8), ctlinnd(8), getlist(1), nnrpd(8).

INN 2.6.3			  2016-11-06			 NEWSGROUPS(5)


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