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using news

	I'd like to set up some kind of news system on my 
Debian 1.3.1 system.  I've been looking at the various *.deb 
packages that came on my InfoMagic CD.  I'd like to understand
how news works before I go about deciding what packages to
use.  I checked out the HOWTO's, but the news howto is 
not currently maintained and  around 2 years old.

	If anyone can help me with the following questions, it
would be greatly appreciated.  I'm not so much interested in
specific packages at the moment.  I'd rather learn about the
generalities of news for now, and hear about packages later.

	So far, this is what I understand.  There are readers
and servers.  Servers maintain a list of the various groups
(or a subset thereof), and bushels and bushels of posts (and
spam) to these groups.  The server sets a time to live after 
which an expired post is sent down a big pipe into oblivion.
Servers trade posts using NNTP.

	Readers allow people to read the posts on the servers.
A user tells his reader where to get the news.  One downloads
a list of available groups, and tells the reader which ones 
are of interest.  The reader then goes and gets all the 
messages for those interesting groups.  When a post is read,
the reader marks it so that it won't show up again in a

	How am I doing so far ?  Assuming that this is OK, I
press on to the questions arising out of the package 

	Where does the news transport system fit into the 
greater scheme of things ? between reader and server ? between
post sharing servers ?  Is the NNTP protocol a transport ?

	Is a news spool part of the reader's set up, or the
server's ?

	Can anyone give me a clearer idea of how the pieces fit
together ?


Gerald Crimp	

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