Just in case anyone wonders how a newsgroup work in real life, here is an example.

This is a mailing list with several familiar people from this forum and RMS himself, gatewayed to the newsgroup nntp://news.gmane.org/gmane.linux.distributions.gnu-linux-libre

Instead of subscribing to the relevant mailing list, just subscribe to the newsgroup above and you will have these instant benefits:

(1) You will get only the headers for each message, and that will show up in your newsreader as if a complete mail. Whenever you click on any one of them, the message will be fetched on the spot (and stored permanently in hard disk just like an email). That means, you won't be force-fed *all* the messages, including the ones you will never read. You get just the headers, and you get the message body only when you explicitly clicked on it.

(2) Headers will be fetched in a single digest-like stream, as opposed to separate GET request (quite a background chat!) for each mail in mailing lists.

(3) Once you get in the news server (news.gmane.org) through your news reader, *all* the discussion groups hosted by the server are at your fingertips, a thousand of them at gmane, in a tree presentation. Just click on any one or more of them to subscribe or unsubscribe. A lot less hassle than mailing lists.

Here is a quick how-to with Claws-Mail (mail and news reader). It should be similar in any news reader. Your mail reader (whatever it is) most probably also works as a news reader. To check this, try to create a new account and see whether it offers a newsgroup (nntp) account type. If yes, then it is a news reader as well as a mail client.

Claws-Mail :: Configuration -> Create new account
Give the account a name (e.g. "Gmane"), enter your name and an (any) email address that will be shown with the messages sent by you.

Server information ::
        Protocol: [News (NNTP)]
        Server for receiving: news.gmane.org
Press [Auto-configure] button
Press [OK] - this gets you out of Configuration dialog.

Now at the left pane (servers and folders) pane you should see a server named "Gmane" (whatever name you have given in the config dialog). Right click on it. In the pop up window click on "Subscribe to newsgroup". You will be presented with an exhaustive list of *all* the mailing lists (that are converted into newsgroups) hosted by Gmane. Select any of them. You can select multiple groups in one go. Press [OK] and all the subscribed groups will be shown as separate folders under the server "Gmane". Just like as if you used sub-folders under a mail server.

Make no mistake. Server looks like a mail server, but it isn't. Subfolders look like mail subfolders, but they aren't (they are separate newsgroups akin to mailing lists). Messages look like email messages but they aren't (they are just headers - the message will download when you actually read it).

And make no mistake again. The group(s) you have subscribed to are not mailing lists. They are proper newsgroups working over NNTP protocol. They just shadow (or follow) the relevant mailing lists, and import the new messages as they are added from them. When you send a message, you send it to the newsgroup, not to the mailing list. But gmane exports (forwards) any new NNTP messages to the relevant mailing lists, the same way it imports new mails from the mailing list. So, there will be a small time lag between someone posts a message to the mailing list and you get it from Gmane NNTP server, and vice versa.

The technology (nntp) is so facilitating that you can subscribe to enormous number of busy newsgroups, and still neither your network nor hard disk, nor CPU will suffer from it. Because only the headers are downloaded, and because they are downloaded in streaming mode (like digests).

There are hudreds of newsgroups there, but I would recommend particularly the one below. Some familiar participants: onpon4, adfeno, alimiracle, jxself, calher, John Sullivan, Richard Stallman, ...

You will feel at home :)


@heyjoe I think you will find this newsgroup quite stimulating. ツ

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