BRN 0.1 (beta) - threaded newsreader is available. 
Author Message
 BRN 0.1 (beta) - threaded newsreader is available.

BRN: Budi and Vic's Threaded Newsreader for MS-DOS and UNIX
is available from anonymous ftp : /pub/msdos/waffle/brn01.zoo

Here is the README file :
        BRN: Budi and Vic's Threaded Newsreader for MS-DOS and UNIX
                Version 0.1 Beta, August 1992

        BRN is a subject-threaded newsreader designed to work identically
on both UNIX and MS-DOS platforms. It was inspired by a need for a visual
newsreader to work on MS-DOS in conjunction with Tom Dell's Waffle 1.64
and other USENET agents.

        We have tried to implement enough goodies to make the program
comfortable to use. These include:
        - threading based on message subject
        - full screen interface
        - message posting and subject following with quotes


        BRN was tested on Sun OS 4.1.2. BRN is written in Perl by Larry
Wall. Aside from that, it relies on some visual editor, the USENET posting
news agent "inews" and is hard-coded to work on terminals that handle
VT-100 cursor positioning codes.

        Perl for MSDOS is FTPable from under
/pub/perl/perlexe.zoo. The version by Len Reed was used for development,
but it should work with other versions as well.

        The program uses an ANSI.SYS driver to do screen cursor control and
also to re-map the keyboard. Few ANSI.SYS drivers have worked due to this
but the one that comes with Digital Research's DR-DOS 5.0 and 6.0 have
worked well.

        Perl is a memory hog. This program has been tested on an 80286
with 1 megabyte of RAM, an 80386-SX with 20 megabytes of RAM and an 80386-DX33
with 4 megabytes of RAM. Versions of DOS this is know to work with include
DR-DOS 6.0, MS-DOS 4.01, MS-DOS 3.3 and MS-DOS 5.0.

        You will need a visual editor. I use "Calvin" by Paul
Vojta. Since Perl swaps itself out of memory when calling DOS programs
you can use any sized editor you want.  

        The header of the program must be modified based on what platform
you are running on. For UNIX, the first few lines should read:

#!/usr/local/bin/perl                   (or wherever you keep perl)
(comment out next 4 MS-DOS lines)

        For MS-DOS, to allow the program to execute as a batch file
the first 4 lines should read:

        The program relies on certain global variables. In UNIX these
are usually set, and include:

        VISUAL                  visual editor
        HOME                    user home directory
        USER                    user login ID

        These can be set as environment variables in MS-DOS as well, or
can be defined explicity in the program if you don't have enough free
environment variable slots. These are defined by:


        Note the consistent use of path backslashes "\\" for MS-DOS. While
this is not needed, it pereserves consistency.

        Other globals that should be set for both platforms include:

        $environment_organization               Organization
        $environment_site                       Internet address
        $newsdir_sun                            News path for UNIX
        $newsdir_dos                            News path for MS-DOS
        $dos_post                               Dos posting agent
        $unix_post                              UNIX posting agent

        The program creates "brn.dat" in HOME. This contains the list of
all groups subscribed to and the last message read. This file is updated
every time BRN is used. This file CAN be manually edited to "unsubscribe"
from groups (another feature to add later...).

        There are several ways of invoking BRN:

1. No command line parameters: BRN
        This will examine "brn.dat" for currently subscribed newsgroups
and start newsreading on them in sequential order.

2. Command line parameters: BRN group group group
        This will read only groups specified in the command line, adding them
to "brn.dat" if needed and updating them otherwise.

3. Post-only command: BRN +p group group group
        This puts BRN into a post-only mode. It will prompt for a subject
and prepare a header for all newsgroups listed in the command line. It will
exit when the posting operation is complete or aborted.

        When posting BRN creates a minimal message header. Distribution
is defaulted to "world", and time is expressed in GMT. It relies on the
posting agent to generate a Message-ID.

        Among things to add include:
                - saving articles to message folders
                - forwarding via mail
                - reply via mail
                - printer support
                - message signatures    
                - terminal independance
                - faster thread constuction
                - smarter thread construction

        This program is still under development. If you make changes to
the code, have suggestions or anything else, please contact us via the

                                                Budi Rahardjo

                                                Vic Spicer


Unix Support - Computer Services - University of Manitoba

Sun, 29 Jan 1995 00:23:17 GMT  
 BRN 0.1 (beta) - threaded newsreader is available.

:       - threading based on message subject

Very interesting.

One nit: I very much prefer threading to mean building a tree out
message-ids and reference lines.  What you're talking about here is mere
subject sorting, or rn's ^N behaviour.  For real threading, look at what
trn does.


    It won't be covered in the book.  The source code has to be useful for
    something, after all...  :-)

Sun, 29 Jan 1995 04:42:38 GMT  
 [ 2 post ] 

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