[TUHS] Old Usenet newsreader source code?

Grant Taylor gtaylor at tnetconsulting.net
Wed May 9 08:55:31 AEST 2018

On 05/08/2018 02:54 PM, Daniel Camolês wrote:
> I got in quite late in the game, in 2001, but as of today I still 
> remember it as the best way to discuss over the internet that I have 
> experienced. I agree on the lack of moderation being the weakness that 
> made the noise surpass the signal. All the web forum software that 
> surfaced on the 00's and beyond was mostly a response to that. If it 
> weren't for this weakness, people nowadays would probably be using web 
> interfaces to nntp just like they do to email, and we old farts could 
> still be happily using our preferred news clients.

As much as I want to agree with you, I think that the stand alone 
islands still would have gotten more popular than Usenet at least for 
the following reason:

1)  Web sites can control what the site looks like, thus the GUI people 
can fiddle to their hearts content.
2)  It's much simpler to build some random database to hold comments for 
a web forum than it is to comply with / inter operate with / adhere to 
(arguably simple) standards.

> So while I applaud the ones who are trying to keep the system alive, 
> this weakness (and maybe others), if not addressed, will pose a natural 
> limit to Usenet growth and quality. If we start putting servers up and 
> manage to attract good contributors back, the spam will follow and then 
> the noise will drive them away again.

I don't know how many people can be brought back to Usenet.  Further, I 
don't know how many people I want brought back to Usenet.

IMHO Usenet works for those that want it to work.  It provides the 
desired service and is IMHO just obscure enough that the mainstream is 
not on it.  I'm cool with that.

> But yet, we are at such a point where bandwidth and storage is so cheap 
> that reviving Usenet could be accomplished by a bunch of hobbists 
> spending little money. If at least we could solve the moderation 
> weakness. Does someone have any idea if there were any attempts at 
> cracking this problem that were open source and effective?

I think there are a number of people / hobbyists that run (text only) 
news servers (like myself) doing exactly that.

I think there are some efforts at reducing spam and making moderation 
work.  I don't know any details about them.

I think that we need to hold server operators accountable for people 
that post crap through them.  I routinely see lots of crap posted to 
specific Linux newsgroups, and almost all of it passes through a 
specific server (network).  Just about the time that I get motivated to 
contact the abuse contact, the crap stops.

Grant. . . .
unix || die

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