draft-ietf-nntpext-base-03.txt   draft-ietf-nntpext-base-04.txt 
INTERNET DRAFT S. Barber INTERNET DRAFT S. Barber
Expires: June 1, 1998 Academ Consulting Services Expires: September 30, 1998 Academ Consulting Services
December 1997 March 1998
Network News Transport Protocol Network News Transport Protocol
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-03.txt draft-ietf-nntpext-base-04.txt
1. Status of this Document 1. Status of this Document
This document is an Internet-Draft. Internet-Drafts are This document is an Internet-Draft. Internet-Drafts are
working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that other (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that other
groups may also distribute working documents as Internet- groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
Drafts. Drafts.
Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
months and may be updated, replaced, or made obsolete by other months and may be updated, replaced, or made obsolete by other
documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet- documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-
Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as
"work in progress." "work in progress."
To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please To view the entire list of current Internet-Drafts, please check
check the "1id-abstracts.txt" listing contained in the the "1id-abstracts.txt" listing contained in the Internet-Drafts
Internet-Drafts Shadow Directories on ftp.is.co.za (Africa), Shadow Directories on ftp.is.co.za (Africa), ftp.nordu.net
nic.nordu.net (Europe), munnari.oz.au (Pacific Rim), (Northern Europe), ftp.nis.garr.it (Southern Europe), munnari.oz.au
ds.internic.net (US East Coast), or ftp.isi.edu (US West (Pacific Rim), ftp.ietf.org (US East Coast), or ftp.isi.edu
Coast). (US West Coast).
This document is a product of the NNTP Working Group, chaired This document is a product of the NNTP Working Group, chaired
by Ned Freed and Stan Barber. by Ned Freed and Stan Barber.
2. Abstract 2. Abstract
The Network News Transport Protocol has been in use in the The Network News Transport Protocol has been in use in the
Internet for a decade and remains one of the most popular Internet for a decade and remains one of the most popular
protocols (by volume) in use today. This document is a protocols (by volume) in use today. This document is a
replacement for RFC 977 and officially updates the protocol replacement for RFC 977 and officially updates the protocol
specification. It clarifies some vagueness in RFC 977, specification. It clarifies some vagueness in RFC 977,
includes some new base functionality and provides a specific includes some new base functionality and provides a specific
mechanism to add standardized extensions to NNTP. mechanism to add standardized extensions to NNTP.
3. Introduction 3. Introduction
This document specifies the Network News Transport Protocol This document specifies the Network News Transport Protocol
(NNTP), which is used for the distribution, inquiry, (NNTP), which is used for the distribution, inquiry,
retrieval, and posting of Usenet articles using a reliable retrieval, and posting of net news articles using a reliable
stream-based mechanism. For news reading clients, NNTP enables stream-based mechanism. For news reading clients, NNTP enables
retrieval of news articles that are stored in a central retrieval of news articles that are stored in a central
database, giving subscribers the ability to select only those database, giving subscribers the ability to select only those
articles they wish to read. articles they wish to read.
The netnews model provides for indexing, cross-referencing, The netnews model provides for indexing, cross-referencing,
and expiration of aged messages. For server-to-server and expiration of aged messages. For server-to-server
interaction, NNTP is designed for efficient transmission of interaction, NNTP is designed for efficient transmission of
Usenet articles over a reliable full duplex communication
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net news articles over a reliable full duplex communication
method. method.
Every attempt is made to insure that the protocol Every attempt is made to insure that the protocol
specification in this document is compatible with the version specification in this document is compatible with the version
specified in RFC 977[1]. However, this version does not specified in RFC 977[1]. However, this version does not
support the ill-defined SLAVE command and permits four digit support the ill-defined SLAVE command and permits four digit
years to be specified in the NEWNEWS and NEWGROUPS commands. years to be specified in the NEWNEWS and NEWGROUPS commands.
It changes the default character set to UTF-8[2] instead of It changes the default character set to UTF-8[2] instead of
US-ASCII[3]. It also makes extends the newsgroup name matching US-ASCII[3]. It also makes extends the newsgroup name matching
capabilities already documented in RFC 977. capabilities already documented in RFC 977.
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or more of the MUST requirements for this protocol. An or more of the MUST requirements for this protocol. An
implementation that satisfies all the MUST and all the SHOULD implementation that satisfies all the MUST and all the SHOULD
requirements for its protocols is said to be "unconditionally requirements for its protocols is said to be "unconditionally
compliant"; one that satisfies all the MUST requirements but compliant"; one that satisfies all the MUST requirements but
not all the SHOULD requirements for NNTP is said to be not all the SHOULD requirements for NNTP is said to be
"conditionally compliant". "conditionally compliant".
For the remainder of this memo, the term "client host" refers For the remainder of this memo, the term "client host" refers
to a host making use of the NNTP service, while the term to a host making use of the NNTP service, while the term
"server host" refers to a host that offers the NNTP service. "server host" refers to a host that offers the NNTP service.
In addition, where examples of interactions between a client
host and a server host are provided a "[C]" will be used to
represent the client host and a "[S]" will be used to
represent the server host.
4. Basic Operation. 4. Basic Operation.
Every NNTP session MUST involve the following in this order: Every NNTP session MUST involve the following in this order:
CONNECTION CONNECTION
GREETING GREETING
DISCONNECTION DISCONNECTION
Other steps may occur between the GREETING and DISCONNECTION Other steps may occur between the GREETING and DISCONNECTION
step. They are: step. They are:
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CAPABILITIES DISCOVERY CAPABILITIES DISCOVERY
AUTHENTICATION AUTHENTICATION
NEWS TRANSFER NEWS EXCHANGE
CONCLUSION CONCLUSION
NNTP operates over any reliable data stream 8-bit-wide NNTP operates over any reliable data stream 8-bit-wide
channel. When running over TCP/IP, the official port for the channel. When running over TCP/IP, the official port for the
NNTP service is 119. Initially, the server host starts the NNTP service is 119. Initially, the server host starts the
NNTP service by listening on a TCP port. When a client host NNTP service by listening on a TCP port. When a client host
wishes to make use of the service, it MUST establish a TCP wishes to make use of the service, it MUST establish a TCP
connection with the server host by connecting to that host on connection with the server host by connecting to that host on
the same port on which the server is listening. This is the the same port on which the server is listening. This is the
CONNECTION step. When the connection is established, the NNTP CONNECTION step. When the connection is established, the NNTP
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commands and responses (respectively) until the connection is commands and responses (respectively) until the connection is
closed or aborted. This final step is called the DISCONNECTION closed or aborted. This final step is called the DISCONNECTION
step. step.
If there is a CONCLUSION step, it MUST immediately precede the If there is a CONCLUSION step, it MUST immediately precede the
DISCONNECTION step. There MUST be only one CONNECTION, DISCONNECTION step. There MUST be only one CONNECTION,
CONCLUSION and DISCONNECTION step for each NNTP session. All CONCLUSION and DISCONNECTION step for each NNTP session. All
other steps MAY be repeated as needed. other steps MAY be repeated as needed.
The character set for all NNTP commands is UTF-8. Commands in The character set for all NNTP commands is UTF-8. Commands in
the NNTP MUST consist of a US-ASCII case-insensitive keyword, the NNTP MUST consist of an US-ASCII case-insensitive keyword,
which MAY be followed by one or more arguments. All commands which MAY be followed by one or more arguments. An US-ASCII
MUST be terminated by a US-ASCII CRLF pair. Multiple commands CRLF pair MUST terminate all commands. Multiple commands MUST
MUST NOT be permitted on the same line. Keywords MUST consist NOT be permitted on the same line. Keywords MUST consist of
of printable US-ASCII characters. Unless otherwise noted printable US-ASCII characters. Unless otherwise noted
elsewhere in this document, Arguments SHOULD consist of elsewhere in this document, Arguments SHOULD consist of
printable US-ASCII characters. Keywords and arguments MUST be printable US-ASCII characters. Keywords and arguments MUST be
each separated by one or more US-ASCII SPACE or US-ASCII TAB each separated by one or more US-ASCII SPACE or US-ASCII TAB
characters. Keywords MUST be at least three US-ASCII characters. Keywords MUST be at least three US-ASCII
characters and MUST NOT exceed 12 US-ASCII characters. characters and MUST NOT exceed 12 US-ASCII characters.
Command lines MUST NOT exceed 512 octets, which includes the Command lines MUST NOT exceed 512 octets, which includes the
terminating US-ASCII CRLF pair. terminating US-ASCII CRLF pair.
Each response MUST start with a three-digit status indicator Each response MUST start with a three-digit status indicator
that is sufficient to distinguish all responses. Responses to that is sufficient to distinguish all responses. Responses to
certain commands MAY be multi-line. In these cases, which are certain commands MAY be multi-line. In these cases, which are
clearly indicated below, after sending the first line of the clearly indicated below, after sending the first line of the
response and a US-ASCII CRLF, any additional lines are sent, response and an US-ASCII CRLF, any additional lines are sent,
each terminated by a US-ASCII CRLF pair. When all lines of the each terminated by an US-ASCII CRLF pair. When all lines of
response have been sent, a final line MUST be sent, consisting the response have been sent, a final line MUST be sent,
of a termination octet (US-ASCII decimal code 046, ".") and a consisting of a termination octet (US-ASCII decimal code 046,
US-ASCII CRLF pair. If any line of the multi-line response ".") and an US-ASCII CRLF pair. If any line of the multi-line
begins with the termination octet, the line MUST be "byte- response begins with the termination octet, the line MUST be
stuffed" by pre-pending the termination octet to that line of "byte-stuffed" by pre-pending the termination octet to that
the response. Hence, a multi-line response is terminated with line of the response. Hence, a multi-line response is
the five octets "CRLF.CRLF" (in US-ASCII). When examining a terminated with the five octets "CRLF.CRLF" (in US-ASCII).
multi-line response, the client MUST check to see if the line When examining a multi-line response, the client MUST check to
begins with the termination octet. If so and if octets other see if the line begins with the termination octet. If so and
than US-ASCII CRLF follow, the first octet of the line (the if octets other than US-ASCII CRLF follow, the first octet of
termination octet) MUST be stripped away. If so and if US-
ASCII CRLF immediately follows the termination character, then Barber [Page 3]
the response from the NNTP server is ended and the line the line (the termination octet) MUST be stripped away. If so
containing ".CRLF" (in US-ASCII) MUST NOT considered part of and if US-ASCII CRLF immediately follows the termination
the multi-line response. character, then the response from the NNTP server is ended and
the line containing ".CRLF" (in US-ASCII) MUST NOT considered
part of the multi-line response.
A NNTP server MAY have an inactivity autologout timer. Such a A NNTP server MAY have an inactivity autologout timer. Such a
timer MUST be of at least three minutes duration. The receipt timer MUST be of at least three minutes duration. The receipt
of any command from the client during that interval should of any command from the client during that interval should
suffice to reset the autologout timer. When the timer suffice to reset the autologout timer. When the timer
expires, the server should close the TCP connection without expires, the server should close the TCP connection without
sending any response to the client. sending any response to the client.
4.1 Responses Codes 4.1 Responses Codes
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The exact response codes that MUST be expected from each The exact response codes that MUST be expected from each
command are detailed in the description of the keyword that is command are detailed in the description of the keyword that is
the first part of the command. In addition, below is listed a the first part of the command. In addition, below is listed a
general set of response codes that MAY be received at any general set of response codes that MAY be received at any
time. time.
Certain status responses contain parameters such as numbers Certain status responses contain parameters such as numbers
and names. In those cases, the number and type of such and names. In those cases, the number and type of such
parameters MUST be fixed for each response code to simplify parameters MUST be fixed for each response code to simplify
interpretation of the response. In all other cases, the client interpretation of the response. In all other cases, the client
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MUST only use the response code itself to determine the nature MUST only use the response code itself to determine the nature
of the response. of the response.
Parameters MUST be separated from the numeric response code Parameters MUST be separated from the numeric response code
and from each other by a single US-ASCII space. All numeric and from each other by a single US-ASCII space. All numeric
parameters MUST be in base 10 (decimal) format, and may have parameters MUST be in base 10 (decimal) format, and may have
leading zeros. All string parameters MUST begin after the leading zeros. All string parameters MUST begin after the
separating space, and MUST end before the following separating separating space, and MUST end before the following separating
space or the US-ASCII CRLF pair at the end of the line. space or the US-ASCII CRLF pair at the end of the line.
(Therefore, string parameters MUST NOT contain US-ASCII (Therefore, string parameters MUST NOT contain US-ASCII
spaces.) All text, if any, in the response which is not a spaces.) All text, if any, in the response which is not a
parameter of the response must follow and be separated from parameter of the response must follow and be separated from
the last parameter by a US-ASCII space. Also, note that the the last parameter by an US-ASCII space. Also, note that the
text following a response number may vary in different text following a response number may vary in different
implementations of the server. The 3-digit numeric code should implementations of the server. The 3-digit numeric code should
be used to determine what response was sent. be used to determine what response was sent.
Response codes not specified in this standard MAY be used for Response codes not specified in this standard MAY be used for
any installation-specific additional commands also not any installation-specific additional commands also not
specified. These SHOULD be chosen to fit the pattern of x8x specified. These SHOULD be chosen to fit the pattern of x8x
specified above. (Note that debugging is provided for specified above. (Note that debugging is provided for
explicitly in the x9x response codes.) explicitly in the x9x response codes.)
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either the 4XX or 5XX group as appropriate. either the 4XX or 5XX group as appropriate.
5. The WILDMAT format 5. The WILDMAT format
The WILDMAT format[5] was first developed by Rich Salz based The WILDMAT format[5] was first developed by Rich Salz based
on the format used in the UNIX "find" command to articulate on the format used in the UNIX "find" command to articulate
file names. It was developed to provide a uniform mechanism file names. It was developed to provide a uniform mechanism
for matching patterns in the same manner that the UNIX shell for matching patterns in the same manner that the UNIX shell
matches filenames. Patterns are implicitly anchored at the matches filenames. Patterns are implicitly anchored at the
beginning and end of each string when testing for a match. beginning and end of each string when testing for a match.
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There are five pattern-matching operations other than a strict There are five pattern-matching operations other than a strict
one-to-one match between the pattern and the source to be one-to-one match between the pattern and the source to be
checked for a match. The first is an asterisk (*) to match any checked for a match. The first is an asterisk (*) to match any
sequence of zero or more UTF-8 characters. The second is a sequence of zero or more UTF-8 characters. The second is a
question mark (?) to match any single UTF-8 character. The question mark (?) to match any single UTF-8 character. The
third specifies a specific set of characters. The set is third specifies a specific set of characters. The set is
specified as a list of characters, or as a range of characters specified as a list of characters, or as a range of characters
where the beginning and end of the range are separated by a where the beginning and end of the range are separated by a
minus (or dash) character, or as any combination of lists and minus (or dash) character, or as any combination of lists and
ranges. The dash can also be included in the set as a ranges. The dash can also be included in the set as a
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alphanumeric ASCII character. alphanumeric ASCII character.
d) a??d -- matches any four character string which d) a??d -- matches any four character string which
begins with a and ends with d. begins with a and ends with d.
6. Format for Keyword Descriptions 6. Format for Keyword Descriptions
On the following pages are descriptions of each keyword On the following pages are descriptions of each keyword
recognized by the NNTP server and the responses that will be recognized by the NNTP server and the responses that will be
returned by those commands. These keywords are grouped by the returned by those commands. These keywords are grouped by the
functional step in which they are used. functional step in which they are used.
Each keyword is shown in upper case for clarity, although case Each keyword is shown in upper case for clarity, although the
is ignored in the interpretation of commands by the NNTP NNTP server ignores case in the interpretation of commands.
server. Any parameters are shown in lower case. A parameter Any parameters are shown in lower case. A parameter shown in
shown in [square brackets] is optional. For example, [GMT] [square brackets] is optional. For example, [GMT] indicates
indicates that the triglyph GMT may present or omitted. A that the triglyph GMT may present or omitted. A parameter that
parameter that may be repeated is followed by an ellipsis. may be repeated is followed by an ellipsis. Mutually exclusive
Mutually exclusive parameters are separated by a vertical bar parameters are separated by a vertical bar (|) character. For
(|) character. For example, ggg|<message-id> indicates that a example, ggg|<message-id> indicates that a group name or a
group name or a <message-id> may be specified, but not both. <message-id> may be specified, but not both. Some parameters
Some parameters may be case or language specific. See RFC may be case or language specific. See RFC 1036[6] for these
1036[6] for these details. details.
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In addition, certain commands make use of a pattern for In addition, certain commands make use of a pattern for
selection of multiple news groups. The pattern in all cases is selection of multiple news groups. The pattern in all cases is
based on the WILDMAT format introduced by Rich Salz in 1986. based on the WILDMAT format introduced by Rich Salz in 1986.
Arguments expected to be in wildmat format will be represented Arguments expected to be in wildmat format will be represented
by the string wildmat. This format is discussed in detail in by the string wildmat. This format is discussed in detail in
section 5 of this memo. section 5 of this memo.
7. The GREETING Step 7. The GREETING Step
7.1 Initial Connection 7.1 Initial Connection
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MODE READER MAY be used by the client to indicate to the MODE READER MAY be used by the client to indicate to the
server that it is a news reading client. This command may be server that it is a news reading client. This command may be
entered at any time. The server must present a greeting code entered at any time. The server must present a greeting code
(as described in section 7.1.1.1) appropriate to the server's (as described in section 7.1.1.1) appropriate to the server's
ability to provide service to this client in this mode. ability to provide service to this client in this mode.
7.1.1.1 Responses 7.1.1.1 Responses
200 Hello, you can post 200 Hello, you can post
201 Hello, you can't post 201 Hello, you can't post
205 Authentication required 205 Authentication required
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400 Service temporarily unavailable 400 Service temporarily unavailable
502 Service unavailable 502 Service unavailable
8. The CAPABILITIES DISCOVERY Step 8. The CAPABILITIES DISCOVERY Step
A client NNTP supporting NNTP service extensions should query A client NNTP supporting NNTP service extensions should query
a server early in the session for extensions session by a server early in the session for extensions session by
issuing the LIST EXTENSIONS command. If the NNTP server issuing the LIST EXTENSIONS command. If the NNTP server
supports the NNTP service extensions it MUST give a successful supports the NNTP service extensions it MUST give a successful
response (see section 8.1.1), a failure response (see section response (see section 8.1.1), a failure response (see section
8.1.2), or an error response (see section 8.1.3). If the NNTP 8.1.2), or an error response (see section 8.1.3). If the NNTP
server does not support any NNTP service extensions, it MUST server does not support any NNTP service extensions, it MUST
generate an error response (see section 8.1.4). generate an error response (see section 8.1.4).
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EXTENSIONS command succeeds. That is, a client NNTP MUST issue EXTENSIONS command succeeds. That is, a client NNTP MUST issue
the LIST EXTENSIONS command at least once during each session the LIST EXTENSIONS command at least once during each session
to get the current and correct information concerning to get the current and correct information concerning
available extensions during that session. available extensions during that session.
8.1.1 Successful response 8.1.1 Successful response
If the server NNTP implements and is able to perform the LIST If the server NNTP implements and is able to perform the LIST
EXTENSIONS command, it MUST return code 202. EXTENSIONS command, it MUST return code 202.
This response MUST be a multi-line reply. Each line of the Text following the return code on the first line of the reply
response MUST contain a supported keyword and, if required, is free form, and not interpreted, and has no practical use,
one or more verbs that fully specify a single supported as this text is not expected to be revealed to end users. The
extension. Extensions that are specified by multiple keywords syntax of other reply lines is precisely defined, and if
or multiple keyword/verb combination MUST have each of those present, MUST be exactly as specified.
keywords and/or keyword/verb combinations in the list to
correctly and fully indicate support for a particular
extension. The list MUST end with a period on a line by
itself.
Although LIST EXTENSIONS keywords may be specified in upper, Each line listing an extension in the extension-listing begins
lower, or mixed case, they must always be recognized and with a single space. That space is not optional, nor does it
processed in a case-insensitive manner. indicate general white space. This space guarantees that the
line can never be misinterpreted as the end of the extension-
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listing, but is required even where there is no possibility of
ambiguity.
Each extension supported must be listed on a separate line to
facilitate the possible inclusion of parameters supported by
each extension command. The extension-label to be used in the
response to the LIST EXTENSIONS command will be specified as
each new extension is added to the NNTP command set. Often it
will be the name of a new command added; however this is not
required. In fact it is not required that a new feature
actually add a new command. Any parameters included are to be
specified with the definition of the command concerned.
That specification shall also specify how any parameters
present are to be interpreted.
The extension-label is nominally case sensitive, however the
definitions of specific labels and parameters specify the
precise interpretation, and it is to be expected that those
definitions will usually specify the label in a case
independent manner. Where this is done, implementations are
recommended to use upper case letters when transmitting the
extension response.
The LIST EXTENISONS command itself is not included in the list
of features supported, support for the LIST EXTENSIONS command
is indicated by return of a reply other than a 500 or 502
reply.
The end of the list is defined by the usual period on a line
by itself.
A typical example reply to the LIST EXTENSIONS command might
be a multiline reply of the form:
[C] LIST EXTENSIONS
[S] 202-Extensions supported:
[S] OVER
[S] AUTHINFO-GENERIC
[S] PAT
[S] LISTGROUP
[S] AUTHINFO
[S] .
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The particular extensions shown here are simply examples of
what may be defined in other places, no particular meaning
should be attributed to them. Recall also, that the extension
names returned are not command names, as such, but simply
indications that the server possesses some attribute or other.
The order in which the extensions are returned is of no
importance, NNTP Servers processes are not required to
implement any particular order, or even to consistently return
the same order when the command is repeated.
8.1.2 Failure response 8.1.2 Failure response
If for some reason the server NNTP is unable to list the If for some reason the server NNTP is unable to list the
service extensions it supports, it MUST return code 503. service extensions it supports, it MUST return code 503.
In the case of a failure response, the client NNTP may try the In the case of a failure response, the client NNTP may try the
extensions either as the need arises or configure itself for extensions either as the need arises or configure itself for
the basic NNTP functionality defined in this document. the basic NNTP functionality defined in this document.
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In the case of an error response, the client NNTP should issue In the case of an error response, the client NNTP should issue
the QUIT command (see section 11.1). the QUIT command (see section 11.1).
8.1.4 Responses from servers without extensions 8.1.4 Responses from servers without extensions
A server NNTP that conforms to this memo but does not support A server NNTP that conforms to this memo but does not support
the extensions specified here will not recognize the LIST the extensions specified here will not recognize the LIST
EXTENSIONS command and MUST consequently return code 500 or EXTENSIONS command and MUST consequently return code 500 or
code 501. The server NNTP SHALL stay in the same state after code 501. The server NNTP SHALL stay in the same state after
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returning this code. The client NNTP may try the extensions returning this code. The client NNTP may try the extensions
either as the need arises or configure itself for the basic either as the need arises or configure itself for the basic
NNTP functionality defined in this document. NNTP functionality defined in this document.
8.1.5 Responses from improperly implemented servers 8.1.5 Responses from improperly implemented servers
A server NNTP that improperly implements the LIST EXTENSIONS A server NNTP that improperly implements the LIST EXTENSIONS
command may return an empty list. Clients SHALL accommodate command may return an empty list. Clients SHALL accommodate
this protocol violation and interpret it as a response code this protocol violation and interpret it as a response code
402. 402.
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response requesting authorization from the client. The client response requesting authorization from the client. The client
MUST enter AUTHINFO USER username in order to make use of the MUST enter AUTHINFO USER username in order to make use of the
AUTHINFO authentication step. If the server will accept this AUTHINFO authentication step. If the server will accept this
form of authentication and a password is required to complete form of authentication and a password is required to complete
the authentication step, the server MUST respond with a 350 the authentication step, the server MUST respond with a 350
response. The client MUST then send AUTHINFO PASS followed by response. The client MUST then send AUTHINFO PASS followed by
one or more space characters followed by the password. If the one or more space characters followed by the password. If the
username/password combination is valid or no password is username/password combination is valid or no password is
required, the server MUST return a 250 response and the client required, the server MUST return a 250 response and the client
should then retry the original command to which the server should then retry the original command to which the server
responded with the 450 response. The command SHALL then be responded with the 450 response. The server SHALL then process
processed by the server normally. If the combination is not the command normally. If the combination is not valid, the
valid, the server MUST return a 452 response. server MUST return a 452 response.
If the server returns 501, this means that the authenticator If the server returns 501, this means that the authenticator
invocation was syntactically incorrect, or that this form of invocation was syntactically incorrect, or that this form of
AUTHINFO is not supported. AUTHINFO is not supported.
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If the requested authenticator capability is not found or If the requested authenticator capability is not found or
there is some other unspecified server program error, the there is some other unspecified server program error, the
server MUST return the 503 response code. server MUST return the 503 response code.
9.1.1.1 Responses 9.1.1.1 Responses
250 Authorization accepted 250 Authorization accepted
350 Continue with authorization sequence 350 Continue with authorization sequence
450 Authorization required for this command 450 Authorization required for this command
452 Authorization rejected 452 Authorization rejected
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initiate authentication using the NNTP sockets (if appropriate initiate authentication using the NNTP sockets (if appropriate
for that authentication protocol), using the protocol for that authentication protocol), using the protocol
specified by the authenticator name. These authentication specified by the authenticator name. These authentication
protocols are not included in this document, but are similar protocols are not included in this document, but are similar
in structure to those referenced in RFC 1731[7] for the IMAP-4 in structure to those referenced in RFC 1731[7] for the IMAP-4
protocol. protocol.
If the server returns 501, this means that the authenticator If the server returns 501, this means that the authenticator
invocation was syntactically incorrect, or that AUTHINFO invocation was syntactically incorrect, or that AUTHINFO
GENERIC is not supported. The client should retry using the GENERIC is not supported. The client should retry using the
AUTHINFO GENERIC command. AUTHINFO USER command.
If the requested authenticator capability is not found or If the requested authenticator capability is not found or
there is some other unspecified server program error, the there is some other unspecified server program error, the
server returns the 503 response code. server returns the 503 response code.
The authenticators converse using their protocol until The authenticators converse using their protocol until
complete. If the authentication succeeds, the server complete. If the authentication succeeds, the server
authenticator will terminate with a 250, and the client can authenticator will terminate with a 250, and the client can
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continue by reissuing the command that prompted the 350. If continue by reissuing the command that prompted the 350. If
the authentication fails, the server will respond with a 452. the authentication fails, the server will respond with a 452.
The client must provide authentication when requested by the The client must provide authentication when requested by the
server. The server may request authentication at any time. server. The server may request authentication at any time.
Servers may request authentication more than once during a Servers may request authentication more than once during a
single session. single session.
When the server authenticator completes, it provides to the When the server authenticator completes, it provides to the
server (by a mechanism herein undefined) the email address of server (by a mechanism herein undefined) the email address of
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During this step, two basic types of transactions occur: During this step, two basic types of transactions occur:
article retrieval from the server and article posting to the article retrieval from the server and article posting to the
server. server.
10.1 Article Retrieval 10.1 Article Retrieval
News reading clients have available a variety of mechanisms to News reading clients have available a variety of mechanisms to
retrieve articles via NNTP. The news articles are stored and retrieve articles via NNTP. The news articles are stored and
indexed using three types of keys. One key is the message id indexed using three types of keys. One key is the message id
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of an article. According to RFC 1036, this identifier should of an article. According to RFC 1036, this identifier should
be globally unique. Another key is composed of the news group be globally unique. Another key is composed of the news group
name and the article number within that news group. That key name and the article number within that news group. That key
MUST be unique to a particular server (there will be only one MUST be unique to a particular server (there will be only one
article with that number within a particular news group), but article with that number within a particular news group), but
is not required to be globally unique. Additionally, because is not required to be globally unique. Additionally, because
the same article can be cross-posted to multiple news groups, the same article can be cross-posted to multiple news groups,
there may be multiple keys that point to the same article on there may be multiple keys that point to the same article on
the same server. The final key is the arrival timestamp, the same server. The final key is the arrival timestamp,
giving the time that the article arrived at the server. giving the time that the article arrived at the server.
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numbers of the first and last articles in the group at the numbers of the first and last articles in the group at the
moment of selection (these numbers are referred to as the moment of selection (these numbers are referred to as the
"reported low water mark" and the "reported high water mark"), "reported low water mark" and the "reported high water mark"),
and an estimate of the number of articles on file in the and an estimate of the number of articles on file in the
group. group.
If the group is not empty, the estimate MUST be at least the If the group is not empty, the estimate MUST be at least the
actual number of articles available, and MUST be no greater actual number of articles available, and MUST be no greater
than one more than the difference between the reported low and than one more than the difference between the reported low and
high water marks. (Some implementations will actually count high water marks. (Some implementations will actually count
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the number of articles on file. Others will just subtract the the number of articles on file. Others will just subtract the
low water mark from the high water mark and add one to get an low water mark from the high water mark and add one to get an
estimate.) estimate.)
If the group is empty, one of the following three situations If the group is empty, one of the following three situations
will occur. Clients MUST accept all three cases; servers MUST will occur. Clients MUST accept all three cases; servers MUST
NOT represent an empty group in any other way. NOT represent an empty group in any other way.
. The high water mark will be one less than the low water mark, . The high water mark will be one less than the low water mark,
and the estimated article count will be zero. Servers SHOULD and the estimated article count will be zero. Servers SHOULD
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No similar assumption can be made about the high water mark, No similar assumption can be made about the high water mark,
as this can decrease if an article is removed, and then as this can decrease if an article is removed, and then
increase again if it is reinstated or if new articles arrive. increase again if it is reinstated or if new articles arrive.
When a valid group is selected by means of this command, the When a valid group is selected by means of this command, the
internally maintained "current article pointer" MUST be set to internally maintained "current article pointer" MUST be set to
the first article in the group and the name of the current the first article in the group and the name of the current
news group MUST be set to the selected news group name. If an news group MUST be set to the selected news group name. If an
invalid group is specified, the previously selected group and invalid group is specified, the previously selected group and
article MUST remain selected. If an empty news group is article MUST remain selected. If an empty news group is
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selected, the "current article pointer" is in an indeterminate selected, the "current article pointer" is in an indeterminate
state and MUST NOT be used. state and MUST NOT be used.
The GROUP keyword MUST be used by a client and a successful The GROUP keyword MUST be used by a client and a successful
response received before the any other command is used that response received before the any other command is used that
depends on having the "current article pointer" be valid. depends on having the "current article pointer" be valid.
10.1.1.1.1 Responses 10.1.1.1.1 Responses
211 n f l s group selected 211 n f l s group selected
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response to this command. response to this command.
10.1.1.2.1 Responses 10.1.1.2.1 Responses
223 n a article retrieved - request text separately (n = 223 n a article retrieved - request text separately (n =
article number, a = unique article id) article number, a = unique article id)
412 no news group selected 412 no news group selected
420 no current article has been selected 420 no current article has been selected
422 no previous article in this group 422 no previous article in this group
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10.1.1.3 NEXT 10.1.1.3 NEXT
NEXT NEXT
The internally maintained "current article pointer" MUST be The internally maintained "current article pointer" MUST be
advanced to the next article in the current news group. If no advanced to the next article in the current news group. If no
more articles remain in the current group, an error message more articles remain in the current group, an error message
MUST be returned and the current article MUST remain selected. MUST be returned and the current article MUST remain selected.
The internally-maintained "current article pointer" MUST be The internally-maintained "current article pointer" MUST be
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contents and does not attempt to alter or translate them in contents and does not attempt to alter or translate them in
any way. any way.
10.2.1 ARTICLE 10.2.1 ARTICLE
ARTICLE [<message-id>|nnn] ARTICLE [<message-id>|nnn]
This response displays the header, a blank line, then the body This response displays the header, a blank line, then the body
(text) of the specified article. The optional parameter nnn is (text) of the specified article. The optional parameter nnn is
the numeric id of an article in the current news group and the numeric id of an article in the current news group and
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SHOULD be chosen from the range of articles provided when the SHOULD be chosen from the range of articles provided when the
news group was selected. If it is omitted, the current news group was selected. If it is omitted, the current
article is assumed. Message-id is the message id of an article article is assumed. Message-id is the message id of an article
as shown in that article's header. as shown in that article's header.
Please note that the internally-maintained "current article Please note that the internally-maintained "current article
pointer" MUST NOT be altered when the message-id argument is pointer" MUST NOT be altered when the message-id argument is
used. This is both to facilitate the presentation of articles used. This is both to facilitate the presentation of articles
that may be referenced within an article being read, and that may be referenced within an article being read, and
because of the semantic difficulties of determining the proper because of the semantic difficulties of determining the proper
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220 n <a> article retrieved - head and body follow (n = 220 n <a> article retrieved - head and body follow (n =
article number, <a> = message-id) article number, <a> = message-id)
412 no news group has been selected 412 no news group has been selected
420 no current article has been selected 420 no current article has been selected
423 no such article number in this group 423 no such article number in this group
430 no such article found 430 no such article found
10.2.2 HEAD 10.2.2 HEAD
HEAD [<message-id>|nnn] HEAD [<message-id>|nnn]
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This response displays the header of the specified article. This response displays the header of the specified article.
The optional parameter nnn is the numeric id of an article in The optional parameter nnn is the numeric id of an article in
the current news group and SHOULD be chosen from the range of the current news group and SHOULD be chosen from the range of
articles provided when the news group was selected. If it is articles provided when the news group was selected. If it is
omitted, the current article is assumed. Message-id is the omitted, the current article is assumed. Message-id is the
message id of an article as shown in that article's header. message id of an article as shown in that article's header.
Please note that the internally-maintained "current article Please note that the internally-maintained "current article
pointer" MUST NOT be altered when the message-id argument is pointer" MUST NOT be altered when the message-id argument is
used. This is both to facilitate the presentation of articles used. This is both to facilitate the presentation of articles
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of articles that have been posted more than once, or to more of articles that have been posted more than once, or to more
than one news group. than one news group.
10.2.2.1 Responses 10.2.2.1 Responses
221 n <a> article retrieved - head follows 221 n <a> article retrieved - head follows
412 no news group has been selected 412 no news group has been selected
420 no current article has been selected 420 no current article has been selected
423 no such article number in this group 423 no such article number in this group
430 no such article found 430 no such article found
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10.2.3 BODY 10.2.3 BODY
BODY [<message-id>|nnn] BODY [<message-id>|nnn]
This response displays the body (text) of the specified This response displays the body (text) of the specified
article. The optional parameter nnn is the numeric id of an article. The optional parameter nnn is the numeric id of an
article in the current news group and SHOULD be chosen from article in the current news group and SHOULD be chosen from
the range of articles provided when the news group was the range of articles provided when the news group was
selected. If it is omitted, the current article is assumed. selected. If it is omitted, the current article is assumed.
Message-id is the message id of an article as shown in that Message-id is the message id of an article as shown in that
article's header. article's header.
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Since the message-id field is unique for each article, it may Since the message-id field is unique for each article, it may
be used by a news reading program to skip duplicate displays be used by a news reading program to skip duplicate displays
of articles that have been posted more than once, or to more of articles that have been posted more than once, or to more
than one news group. than one news group.
10.2.3.1 Responses 10.2.3.1 Responses
222 n <a> article retrieved - body follows 222 n <a> article retrieved - body follows
412 no news group has been selected 412 no news group has been selected
420 no current article has been selected 420 no current article has been selected
423 no such article number in this group 423 no such article number in this group
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430 no such article found 430 no such article found
10.2.4 STAT 10.2.4 STAT
STAT [<message-id>|nnn] STAT [<message-id>|nnn]
This response returns only status information; no article This response returns only status information; no article
contents are returned. The optional parameter nnn is the contents are returned. The optional parameter nnn is the
numeric id of an article in the current news group and SHOULD numeric id of an article in the current news group and SHOULD
be chosen from the range of articles provided when the news be chosen from the range of articles provided when the news
group was selected. If it is omitted, the current article is group was selected. If it is omitted, the current article is
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be supplied within the angle brackets. be supplied within the angle brackets.
Since the message-id field is unique for each article, it may Since the message-id field is unique for each article, it may
be used by a news reading program to skip duplicate displays be used by a news reading program to skip duplicate displays
of articles that have been posted more than once, or to more of articles that have been posted more than once, or to more
than one news group. than one news group.
10.2.4.1 Responses 10.2.4.1 Responses
223 n <a> article retrieved - request text separately 223 n <a> article retrieved - request text separately
412 no news group has been selected 412 no news group has been selected
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420 no current article has been selected 420 no current article has been selected
423 no such article number in this group 423 no such article number in this group
430 no such article found 430 no such article found
10.3 Article Posting 10.3 Article Posting
Article posting is done in one of two modes: individual Article posting is done in one of two modes: individual
article posting from news reading clients and article transfer article posting from news reading clients and article transfer
from other news servers. from other news servers.
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240 article received ok 240 article received ok
340 send article to be posted. End with <CR-LF>.<CR-LF> 340 send article to be posted. End with <CR-LF>.<CR-LF>
440 posting not allowed 440 posting not allowed
441 posting failed 441 posting failed
10.3.2 IHAVE 10.3.2 IHAVE
IHAVE <message-id> IHAVE <message-id>
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The IHAVE command informs the server that the client has an The IHAVE command informs the server that the client has an
article whose id is <message-id>. If the server desires a copy article whose id is <message-id>. If the server desires a copy
of that article, it MUST return a response instructing the of that article, it MUST return a response instructing the
client to send the entire article. If the server does not want client to send the entire article. If the server does not want
the article (if, for example, the server already has a copy of the article (if, for example, the server already has a copy of
it), a response indicating that the article is not wanted MUST it), a response indicating that the article is not wanted MUST
be returned. be returned.
If transmission of the article is requested, the client MUST If transmission of the article is requested, the client MUST
send the entire article, including header and body, in the send the entire article, including header and body, in the
manner specified for text transmission from the server. A manner specified for text transmission from the server. The
response code indicating success or failure of the transferal server MUST return a response code indicating success or
of the article MUST be returned by the server. failure of the transferal of the article.
This function differs from the POST command in that it is This function differs from the POST command in that it is
intended for use in transferring already-posted articles intended for use in transferring already-posted articles
between hosts. Normally it will not be used when the client is between hosts. Normally it will not be used when the client is
a personal news reading program. In particular, this function a personal news reading program. In particular, this function
will invoke the server's news posting program with the will invoke the server's news posting program with the
appropriate settings (flags, options, etc.) to indicate that appropriate settings (flags, options, etc.) to indicate that
the forthcoming article is being forwarded from another host. the forthcoming article is being forwarded from another host.
However, the server may elect not to post or forward the However, the server may elect not to post or forward the
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Because some host news posting software may not be able to Because some host news posting software may not be able to
immediately render status on the whether an article is immediately render status on the whether an article is
inappropriate for posting or forwarding, an NNTP server MAY inappropriate for posting or forwarding, an NNTP server MAY
acknowledge the successful transfer of the article and later acknowledge the successful transfer of the article and later
silently discard it. Thus an NNTP server may return the 235 silently discard it. Thus an NNTP server may return the 235
acknowledgment code and later discard the received article. acknowledgment code and later discard the received article.
10.4 The LIST Keyword 10.4 The LIST Keyword
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10.4.1 LIST 10.4.1 LIST
LIST [ACTIVE [wildmat]] LIST [ACTIVE [wildmat]]
The response to the LIST keyword with no parameters returns a The response to the LIST keyword with no parameters returns a
list of valid news groups and associated information. Each list of valid news groups and associated information. Each
news group is sent as a line of text in the following format: news group is sent as a line of text in the following format:
group last first status group last first status
where <group> is the name of the news group, <last> is the where <group> is the name of the news group, <last> is the
number of the last known article currently in that news group, number of the last known article currently in that news group,
<first> is the number of the first article currently in the <first> is the number of the first article currently in the
news group, and <status> indicates the current status of the news group, and <status> indicates the current status of the
group on this server. Typically, the <status> will be consist group on this server. Typically, the <status> will be consist
of the ASCII character `y' where posting is permitted, `n' of the US-ASCII character `y' where posting is permitted, `n'
where posting is not permitted and `m' where postings will be where posting is not permitted and `m' where postings will be
forwarded to the news group moderator by the news server. forwarded to the news group moderator by the news server.
Other status strings exist and their definition is outside the Other status strings may exist. The definition of these other
scope of this specification. values are covered in other specifications.
The <first> and <last> fields will always be numeric. They The <first> and <last> fields will always be numeric. They
may have leading zeros. If the <last> field evaluates to less may have leading zeros. If the <last> field evaluates to less
than the <first> field, there are no articles currently on than the <first> field, there are no articles currently on
file in the news group. file in the news group.
Note that posting may still be prohibited to a client although Note that posting may still be prohibited to a client although
the LIST command indicates that posting is permitted to a the LIST command indicates that posting is permitted to a
particular news group. See the POST command for an explanation particular news group. See the POST command for an explanation
of client prohibitions. The posting flag exists for each news of client prohibitions. The posting flag exists for each news
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If the optional matching parameter is specified, the list is If the optional matching parameter is specified, the list is
limited to only the groups that match the pattern. limited to only the groups that match the pattern.
Specifying a single group is usually very efficient for the Specifying a single group is usually very efficient for the
server, and multiple groups may be specified by using wildmat server, and multiple groups may be specified by using wildmat
patterns (described in section 5), not regular expressions. patterns (described in section 5), not regular expressions.
10.4.1.1 Responses 10.4.1.1 Responses
215 list of news groups follows 215 list of news groups follows
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10.4.2 LIST ACTIVE.TIMES 10.4.2 LIST ACTIVE.TIMES
LIST ACTIVE.TIMES [wildmat] LIST ACTIVE.TIMES [wildmat]
The active.times file is maintained by some news transports The active.times file is maintained by some news transports
systems to contain information about the when and who created systems to contain information about the when and who created
a particular news group. The format of this file generally a particular news group. The format of this file generally
includes three fields. The first field is the name of the news includes three fields. The first field is the name of the news
group. The second is the time when this group was created on group. The second is the time when this group was created on
this news server measured in seconds since January 1, 1970. this news server measured in seconds since January 1, 1970.
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10.4.3.1 Responses 10.4.3.1 Responses
215 information follows 215 information follows
503 program error, function not performed 503 program error, function not performed
10.4.4 LIST DISTRIB.PATS 10.4.4 LIST DISTRIB.PATS
LIST DISTRIB.PATS LIST DISTRIB.PATS
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The distrib.pats file is maintained by some news transport The distrib.pats file is maintained by some news transport
systems to contain default values for the Distribution: line systems to contain default values for the Distribution: line
in a news article header when posting to particular news in a news article header when posting to particular news
groups. This information could be used to provide a default groups. This information could be used to provide a default
value for the Distribution: line in the header when posting an value for the Distribution: line in the header when posting an
article. The information returned contains three fields article. The information returned contains three fields
separated by colons. The first column is a weight. The second separated by colons. The first column is a weight. The second
is a group name or a wildmat pattern that can be used to match is a group name or a wildmat pattern that can be used to match
a group name. The third is the value of the Distribution: a group name. The third is the value of the Distribution:
line that should be used when the group name matches and the line that should be used when the group name matches and the
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usually very efficient for the server, and multiple groups usually very efficient for the server, and multiple groups
may be specified by using wildmat patterns (see section 5), may be specified by using wildmat patterns (see section 5),
not regular expressions. If nothing is matched an empty list not regular expressions. If nothing is matched an empty list
is returned, not an error. is returned, not an error.
10.4.5.1 Responses 10.4.5.1 Responses
215 information follows 215 information follows
503 program error, function not performed 503 program error, function not performed
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10.4.6 LIST OVERVIEW.FMT 10.4.6 LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
LIST OVERVIEW.FMT LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
The overview.fmt file is maintained by some news transport The overview.fmt file is maintained by some news transport
systems to contain the order in which header information is systems to contain the order in which header information is
stored in the overview databases for each news group. When stored in the overview databases for each news group. When
executed, news article header fields are displayed one line at executed, news article header fields are displayed one line at
a time in the order in which they are stored in the overview a time in the order in which they are stored in the overview
database[8] following the 215 response. When display is database[8] following the 215 response. When display is
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10.4.8 LISTGROUP 10.4.8 LISTGROUP
LISTGROUP [ggg] LISTGROUP [ggg]
The LISTGROUP command is used to get a listing of all the The LISTGROUP command is used to get a listing of all the
article numbers in a particular news group. article numbers in a particular news group.
The optional parameter ggg is the name of the news group to The optional parameter ggg is the name of the news group to
be selected (e.g. "news.software.b"). A list of valid news be selected (e.g. "news.software.b"). A list of valid news
groups may be obtained from the LIST command. If no group is groups may be obtained from the LIST command. If no group is
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specified, the current group is used as the default specified, the current group is used as the default
argument. argument.
The successful selection response will be a list of the The successful selection response will be a list of the
article numbers in the group followed by a period on a line article numbers in the group followed by a period on a line
by itself. by itself.
When a valid group is selected by means of this command, the When a valid group is selected by means of this command, the
internally maintained "current article pointer" MUST be set internally maintained "current article pointer" MUST be set
to the first article in the group. If an invalid group is to the first article in the group. If an invalid group is
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. an article number followed by a dash to indicate all following . an article number followed by a dash to indicate all following
. an article number followed by a dash followed by another . an article number followed by a dash followed by another
article number article number
If no argument is specified, then information from the current If no argument is specified, then information from the current
article is displayed. Successful responses start with a 224 article is displayed. Successful responses start with a 224
response followed by the overview information for all matched response followed by the overview information for all matched
messages. Once the output is complete, a period is sent on a messages. Once the output is complete, a period is sent on a
line by itself. If no argument is specified, the information line by itself. If no argument is specified, the information
for the current article is returned. A news group must have for the current article is returned. A news group must have
been selected earlier, else a 412 error response is returned. been selected earlier, else a 412 error response is returned.
If no articles are in the range specified, a 420 error If no articles are in the range specified, the server returns
response is returned by the server. A 502 response will be a 420 error response. A 502 response will be returned if the
returned if the client only has permission to transfer client only has permission to transfer articles.
articles.
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Each line of output MUST be formatted with the article number, Each line of output MUST be formatted with the article number,
followed by each of the headers in the overview database or followed by each of the headers in the overview database or
the article itself (when the data is not available in the the article itself (when the data is not available in the
overview database) for that article separated by a US-ASCII overview database) for that article separated by a US-ASCII
tab character. The sequence of fields must be in this order: tab character. The sequence of fields must be in this order:
subject, author, date, message-id, references, byte count, and subject, author, date, message-id, references, byte count, and
line count. Other optional fields may follow line count. These line count. Other optional fields may follow line count. These
fields are specified by examining the response to the LIST fields are specified by examining the response to the LIST
OVERVIEW.FMT command. Where no data exists, a null field must OVERVIEW.FMT command. Where no data exists, a null field must
be provided (i.e. the output will have two tab characters be provided (i.e. the output will have two tab characters
adjacent to each other). Servers should not output fields for adjacent to each other). Servers should not output fields for
articles that have been removed since the overview database articles that have been removed since the overview database
was created. was created.
Note that all US-ASCII tab characters in any header data that Note that all US-ASCII tab characters in any header data that
is returned will be converted to a single US-ASCII space is returned will be converted to a single US-ASCII space
character. character. A contiguous sequence of US-ASCII non-printing
characters will be compressed to a single US-ASCII space
character in any output response.
10.4.9.1 Responses 10.4.9.1 Responses
224 Overview information follows 224 Overview information follows
412 No news group current selected 412 No news group current selected
420 No article(s) selected 420 No article(s) selected
502 no permission 502 no permission
10.4.10 PAT 10.4.10 PAT
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. an article number . an article number
. an article number followed by a dash to indicate all following . an article number followed by a dash to indicate all following
. an article number followed by a dash followed by another . an article number followed by a dash followed by another
article number. article number.
The required message-id argument indicates a specific article. The required message-id argument indicates a specific article.
The range and message-id arguments are mutually exclusive. If The range and message-id arguments are mutually exclusive. If
there are additional arguments, they are joined together there are additional arguments, they are joined together
separated by a single space to form one complete pattern. If separated by a single space to form one complete pattern. If
there are no additional arguments, a wildmat "*" is the there are no additional arguments, a wildmat "*" is the
default. Successful responses start with a 221 response default. Successful responses start with a 221 response
followed by article number, a US-ASCII space, and the header followed by article number, an US-ASCII space, and the header
from that message in which the pattern matched the contents of from that message in which the pattern matched the contents of
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the specified header line. A valid response includes an empty the specified header line. A valid response includes an empty
list (indicating that there was no matches). Once the output list (indicating that there was no matches). Once the output
is complete, a period is sent on a line by itself. If the is complete, a period is sent on a line by itself. If the
optional argument is a message-id and no such article exists, optional argument is a message-id and no such article exists,
the 430 error response shall be returned. A 502 response shall the 430 error response shall be returned. A 502 response shall
be returned if the client only has permission to transfer be returned if the client only has permission to transfer
articles. articles.
10.4.10.1 Responses 10.4.10.1 Responses
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generated from the use of these keywords may provide useful generated from the use of these keywords may provide useful
information to clients that use them. information to clients that use them.
12.1 DATE 12.1 DATE
DATE DATE
This command exists to help clients find out the current time This command exists to help clients find out the current time
from the server's perspective. This command should not be from the server's perspective. This command should not be
used as a substitute for NTP[9], but to provide information used as a substitute for NTP[9], but to provide information
Barber [Page 30]
that might be useful when using the NEWNEWS command (see that might be useful when using the NEWNEWS command (see
section 12.4). section 12.4).
This command returns a one-line response code of 111 followed This command returns a one-line response code of 111 followed
by the UTC (or GMT) date and time on the server in the form by the UTC (or GMT) date and time on the server in the form
YYYYMMDDhhmmss. YYYYMMDDhhmmss.
12.1.1 Responses 12.1.1 Responses
111 YYYYMMDDhhmmss 111 YYYYMMDDhhmmss
skipping to change at page 30, line 29 skipping to change at line 1617
NEWGROUPS date time [GMT|UTC] [<distributions>] NEWGROUPS date time [GMT|UTC] [<distributions>]
A list of newsgroups created since <date and time> MUST be A list of newsgroups created since <date and time> MUST be
listed in the same format as the LIST command. listed in the same format as the LIST command.
The date is sent as 6 or 8 digits in the format [XX]YYMMDD, The date is sent as 6 or 8 digits in the format [XX]YYMMDD,
where XX is the first two digits of the year, YY is the last where XX is the first two digits of the year, YY is the last
two digits of the year, MM is the two digits of the month two digits of the year, MM is the two digits of the month
(with leading zero, if appropriate), and DD is the day of the (with leading zero, if appropriate), and DD is the day of the
month (with leading zero, if appropriate). If the first two month (with leading zero, if appropriate). If the first two
digits of the year are not specified, the year is taken to be digits of the year are not specified, the year is to be taken
in the range 1951 to 2050 inclusive. from the current century if YY is smaller than or equal to the
current year, otherwise the year is from the previous century.
Time must also be specified. It must be as 6 digits HHMMSS Time must also be specified. It must be as 6 digits HHMMSS
with HH being hours in the 24-hour clock 00-23, MM minutes 00- with HH being hours in the 24-hour clock 00-23, MM minutes 00-
59, and SS seconds 00-60, which allows for leap seconds. The 59, and SS seconds 00-60, which allows for leap seconds. The
tokens "GMT" and "UTC" specifies that the date and time are tokens "GMT" and "UTC" specifies that the date and time are
given in UTC. If the tokens "GMT" and "UTC" are omitted then given in UTC. If the tokens "GMT" and "UTC" are omitted then
the date and time are specified in the server's local the date and time are specified in the server's local
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timezone. Note that there is no way within this specification timezone. Note that there is no way within this specification
of NNTP to establish the server's local timezone. of NNTP to establish the server's local timezone.
The optional parameter "distributions" is a list of The optional parameter "distributions" is a list of
distribution groups, enclosed in angle brackets. If distribution groups, enclosed in angle brackets. If
specified, the distribution portion of an article's header specified, the distribution portion of an article's header
will be examined for a match with the distribution categories will be examined for a match with the distribution categories
listed, and only those articles which have a distribution in listed, and only those articles which have a distribution in
the list will be listed. If more than one distribution is to the list will be listed. If more than one distribution is to
be supplied, they must be separated by commas within the angle be supplied, they must be separated by commas within the angle
brackets.. brackets.
Note that an empty list (i.e., the text body returned by this Note that an empty list (i.e., the text body returned by this
command consists only of the terminating period) is a possible command consists only of the terminating period) is a possible
valid response, and indicates that there are currently no new valid response, and indicates that there are currently no new
newsgroups. newsgroups.
Clients SHOULD make all queries using GMT/UTC time when
possible.
12.3.1 Responses 12.3.1 Responses
231 list of new newsgroups follows 231 list of new newsgroups follows
12.4 NEWNEWS 12.4 NEWNEWS
NEWNEWS newsgroups date time [GMT] [<distributions>] NEWNEWS newsgroups date time [GMT] [<distributions>]
A list of message-ids of articles posted or received to the A list of message-ids of articles posted or received to the
specified news group since "date" will be listed. The format specified news group since "date" will be listed. The format
of the listing will be one message-id per line, as though text of the listing will be one message-id per line, as though text
were being sent. A single line consisting solely of one were being sent. A single line consisting solely of one
period followed by CR-LF will terminate the list. period followed by CR-LF will terminate the list.
Date and time are in the same format as the NEWGROUPS command. Date and time are in the same format as the NEWGROUPS command.
The newsgroups parameter must be in wildmat format and may The newsgroups parameter must be in wildmat format and may
consist of multiple wildmat constructs separated by a US-ASCII consist of multiple wildmat constructs separated by an US-
comma character. ASCII comma character.
The optional parameter "distributions" is a list of The optional parameter "distributions" is a list of
distribution groups, enclosed in angle brackets. If distribution groups, enclosed in angle brackets. If
specified, the distribution portion of an article's header specified, the distribution portion of an article's header
will be examined for a match with the distribution categories will be examined for a match with the distribution categories
listed, and only those articles which have a distribution in listed, and only those articles which have a distribution in
the list will be listed. If more than one distribution is to the list will be listed. If more than one distribution is to
be supplied, they must be separated by commas within the angle be supplied, they must be separated by commas within the angle
brackets. brackets.
The use of the IHAVE, NEWNEWS, and NEWGROUPS commands to The use of the IHAVE, NEWNEWS, and NEWGROUPS commands to
distribute news is discussed in an earlier part of this distribute news is discussed in an earlier part of this
document. document.
Barber [Page 32]
Note that an empty list (i.e., the text body returned by this Note that an empty list (i.e., the text body returned by this
command consists only of the terminating period) is a possible command consists only of the terminating period) is a possible
valid response, and indicates that there is currently no new valid response, and indicates that there is currently no new
news. news.
Clients SHOULD make all queries in GMT/UTC time when possible.
12.4.1 Responses 12.4.1 Responses
230 list of new articles by message-id follows 230 list of new articles by message-id follows
13. Framework for NNTP Extensions 13. Framework for NNTP Extensions
Although NNTP is widely and robustly deployed, some parts of Although NNTP is widely and robustly deployed, some parts of
the Internet community might wish to extend the NNTP service. the Internet community might wish to extend the NNTP service.
This memo defines a means whereby an extended NNTP client may This memo defines a means whereby an extended NNTP client may
query the server to determine the service extensions that it query the server to determine the service extensions that it
skipping to change at page 32, line 31 skipping to change at line 1730
b) a registry of NNTP service extensions b) a registry of NNTP service extensions
The LIST EXTENSIONS command is described in section 8.1 of The LIST EXTENSIONS command is described in section 8.1 of
this memo and is the mechanism for clients to use to determine this memo and is the mechanism for clients to use to determine
what extensions are available for client use. what extensions are available for client use.
The IANA shall maintain a registry of NNTP service extensions. The IANA shall maintain a registry of NNTP service extensions.
Associated with each such extension is a corresponding NNTP Associated with each such extension is a corresponding NNTP
keyword value. Each service extension registered with the IANA keyword value. Each service extension registered with the IANA
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MUST be defined in an RFC. Such RFCs either must be on the MUST be defined in an RFC. Such RFCs either must be on the
standards-track or must define an IESG-approved experimental standards-track or must define an IESG-approved experimental
protocol. The definition must include: protocol. The definition must include:
. the textual name of the NNTP service extension; . the textual name of the NNTP service extension;
. the NNTP keyword value associated with the extension; . the label that is returned by LIST EXTENSIONS that would
indicate to the client that the server supports this
particular extension.
. any new NNTP keywords associated with the extension;
. the syntax and possible values of parameters associated with . the syntax and possible values of parameters associated with
the NNTP keyword value; the new NNTP keywords;
. any additional NNTP verbs associated with the extension
. (additional verbs will usually be, but are not required to be,
the same as the NNTP keyword value);
. any new parameters the extension associates with any other . any new parameters the extension associates with any other
NNTP verbs; pre-existing NNTP verbs;
. how support for the extension affects the behavior of a server . how support for the extension affects the behavior of a server
and client NNTP; and, and client NNTP; and,
. the increment by which the extension is increasing the maximum . the increment by which the extension is increasing the maximum
length of the any commands over that specified in this length of the any commands over that specified in this
document. document.
In addition, any NNTP keyword value that starts with an upper In addition, any NNTP keyword value that starts with an upper
or lower case "X" refers to a local NNTP service extension, or lower case "X" refers to a local NNTP service extension,
which is used through bilateral, rather than standardized, which is used through bilateral, rather than standardized,
agreement. Keywords beginning with "X" may not be used in a agreement. Keywords beginning with "X" may not be used in a
registered service extension. registered service extension.
skipping to change at page 33, line 18 skipping to change at line 1773
Additional verbs are bound by the same rules as NNTP keywords; Additional verbs are bound by the same rules as NNTP keywords;
specifically, verbs beginning with "X" are local extensions specifically, verbs beginning with "X" are local extensions
that may not be registered or standardized and verbs not that may not be registered or standardized and verbs not
beginning with "X" must always be registered. beginning with "X" must always be registered.
13.1 Initial IANA Registry 13.1 Initial IANA Registry
The IANA's initial registry of NNTP service extensions The IANA's initial registry of NNTP service extensions
consists of these entries: consists of these entries:
Service Extension NNTP Keyword(s) Added Behavior Service Extension NNTP Extension Label Added Behavior
Overview Support OVER Defined in this Overview Support OVER Defined in this
LIST OVERVIEW.FMT document document
Specific Article LISTGROUP Defined in this Specific Article LISTGROUP Defined in this
Numbers document Numbers document
Identification and AUTHINFO Defined in this Barber [Page 34]
Authentication AUTHINFO GENERIC document Simple AUTHINFO Defined in this
Identification and document
Authentication
Character Set CHARSET Defined in this Generic AUTHINFO-GENERIC Defined in this
Selection document Identification and document
Authentication
Header Pattern PAT Defined in this Header Pattern PAT Defined in this
Matching document Matching document
14. Augmented BNF[10] Syntax for NNTP Commands 14. Augmented BNF[10] Syntax for NNTP Commands
This syntax defines the non-terminal "command". The non-terminal This syntax defines the non-terminal "command". The non-terminal
"parameter" is used for command parameters whose syntax is "parameter" is used for command parameters whose syntax is
specified elsewhere. The syntax is in alphabetical order. Note specified elsewhere. The syntax is in alphabetical order. Note
that ABNF strings are case insensitive. that ABNF strings are case insensitive.
skipping to change at page 34, line 5 skipping to change at line 1812
article-number = 1*16DIGIT article-number = 1*16DIGIT
augument = parameter ; excluding sequence ".." augument = parameter ; excluding sequence ".."
authenticator = parameter ; excluding sequence ".." authenticator = parameter ; excluding sequence ".."
authinfo-generic-command = "AUTHINFO" 1*WSP "GENERIC" 1*WSP authinfo-generic-command = "AUTHINFO" 1*WSP "GENERIC" 1*WSP
authenticator *(1*WSP argument) *WSP CRLF authenticator *(1*WSP argument) *WSP CRLF
authinfo-pass-command = "AUTHINFO" 1*WSP "PASS" 1*WSP password authinfo-pass-command = "AUTHINFO" 1*WSP "PASS" 1*WSP password
*WSP CRLF *WSP CRLF
authinfo-user-command = "AUTHINFO" 1*WSP "USER" 1*WSP username authinfo-user-command = "AUTHINFO" 1*WSP "USER" 1*WSP username
*WSP CRLF *WSP CRLF
body-command = "BODY" [1*WSP (msg-id / article-number)] *WSP body-command = "BODY" [1*WSP (msg-id / article-number)] *WSP
CRLL CRLF
command = article-command / command = article-command /
authinfo-generic-command / authinfo-generic-command /
authinfo-pass-command / authinfo-pass-command /
authinfo-user-command / authinfo-user-command /
body-command / body-command /
date-command / date-command /
group-command / group-command /
head-command / head-command /
help-command / help-command /
ihave-command / ihave-command /
last-command / last-command /
list-active-times-command / list-active-times-command /
list-distrib-pats-command / list-distrib-pats-command /
list-distributions-command / list-distributions-command /
list-extensions-command / list-extensions-command /
list-newsgroups-command / list-newsgroups-command /
list-overview-fmt-command / list-overview-fmt-command /
list-subscriptions-command / list-subscriptions-command /
list-command / list-command /
listgroup-command / listgroup-command /
Barber [Page 35]
mode-reader-command / mode-reader-command /
newgroups-command / newgroups-command /
newnews-command / newnews-command /
next-command / next-command /
over-command / over-command /
pat-command / pat-command /
post-command / post-command /
quit-command / quit-command /
stat-command stat-command
CR = %x0D CR = %x0D
skipping to change at page 35, line 26 skipping to change at line 1889
"GMT"/"UTC"][1*WSP "<" distribution *("," distribution) "GMT"/"UTC"][1*WSP "<" distribution *("," distribution)
">"] *WSP CRLF ">"] *WSP CRLF
newnews-command = "NEWNEWS" 1*WSP newsgroup *("," newsgroup) newnews-command = "NEWNEWS" 1*WSP newsgroup *("," newsgroup)
1*WSP date 1*WSP time [1*WSP "GMT"/"UTC"] 1*WSP date 1*WSP time [1*WSP "GMT"/"UTC"]
[1*WSP "<" distribution *("," distribution) ">"] [1*WSP "<" distribution *("," distribution) ">"]
*WSP CRLF *WSP CRLF
newsgroup = parameter newsgroup = parameter
next-command = "NEXT" *WSP CRLF next-command = "NEXT" *WSP CRLF
over-command = "OVER" [1*WSP range] *WSP CRLF over-command = "OVER" [1*WSP range] *WSP CRLF
parameter = 1*(%x21-FF) ; generic command parameter parameter = 1*(%x21-FF) ; generic command parameter
Barber [Page 36]
password = parameter password = parameter
pat-command = "PAT" 1*WSP header 1*WSP (range / msg-id) pat-command = "PAT" 1*WSP header 1*WSP (range / msg-id)
*(1*WSP wildmat) *WSP CRLF *(1*WSP wildmat) *WSP CRLF
post-command = "POST" *WSP CRLF post-command = "POST" *WSP CRLF
quit-command = "QUIT" *WSP CRLF quit-command = "QUIT" *WSP CRLF
range = article-number ["-" [article-number]] range = article-number ["-" [article-number]]
SP = %x20 SP = %x20
stat-command = "STAT" [1*WSP (msg-id / article-number)] *WSP stat-command = "STAT" [1*WSP (msg-id / article-number)] *WSP
CRLF CRLF
time = 6DIGIT time = 6DIGIT
username = parameter username = parameter
wildmat = 1*("*" / "?" / wildmat-exact / wildmat-set / "\" UTF-8-non-ascii = %xC0-FF 1*(%x80-BF) ; UTF-8 encoding of non-
%x21-FF) ASCII character
wildmat-exact = %x21-29 / %x2B-3E / %x40-5A / %x5D-FF wildmat = 1*("*" / "?" / wildmat-exact / wildmat-set /
"\" (%x21-7F / UTF-8-non-ascii))
wildmat-exact = %x21-29 / %x2B-3E / %x40-5A / %x5D-7F / UTF-8-
non-ascii
; exclude space * ? [ \ ; exclude space * ? [ \
wildmat-non-hyphen = %x21-2C / %x2E-FF ; exclude space - wildmat-non-hyphen = %x21-2C / %x2E-7F / UTF-8-non-ascii ;
wildmat-set = "[" ["^"] ["]" / "-"] exclude space -
*(wildmat-non-hyphen ["-" wildmat-non-hyphen]) wildmat-set = "[" ["^"] ["]" / "-"] *(wildmat-non-hyphen ["-"
["-"] "]"
WSP = SP / HT WSP = SP / HT
15. Security Considerations 15. Security Considerations
The use of the AUTHINFO is optional. This command as The use of the AUTHINFO is optional. This command as
documented has a number of security implications. In the documented has a number of security implications. In the
original form, all passwords are passed in plain text and original form, all passwords are passed in plain text and
could be discovered by various forms of network or system could be discovered by various forms of network or system
surveillance. The AUTHINFO GENERIC command has the potential surveillance. The AUTHINFO GENERIC command has the potential
for the same problems if a mechanism is used that also passes for the same problems if a mechanism is used that also passes
clear text passwords. RFC 1731 discusses these issues in clear text passwords. RFC 1731 discusses these issues in
greater detail. greater detail.
16. References 16. References
[1] Kantor, B and P. Lapsley, "Network News Transfer Protocol", 1 Kantor, B and P. Lapsley, "Network News Transfer Protocol",
RFC-977, U.C. San Diego and U.C. Berkeley. RFC-977, U.C. San Diego and U.C. Berkeley.
[2] Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of Unicode and 2 Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of Unicode and
ISO 10646", RFC 2044, Alis Technologies. ISO 10646", RFC 2044, Alis Technologies.
[3] Coded Character Set-7-bit American Standard Code for 3 Coded Character Set-7-bit American Standard Code for
Information Interchange, ANSI x3.4-1986. Information Interchange, ANSI x3.4-1986.
[4] Bradner, Scott, "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate 4 Bradner, Scott, "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", RFC-2119, Harvard University. Requirement Levels", RFC-2119, Harvard University.
[5] Salz, Rich, Manual Page for wildmat(3) from the INN 1.4 5 Salz, Rich, Manual Page for wildmat(3) from the INN 1.4
distribution, UUNET Technologies, Revision 1.10, April, 1992. distribution, UUNET Technologies, Revision 1.10, April, 1992.
[6] Horton, M.R. and R. Adams, "Standard for interchange of 6 Horton, M.R. and R. Adams, "Standard for interchange of
USENET messages", RFC-1036, AT&T Bell Laboratories and Center USENET messages", RFC-1036, AT&T Bell Laboratories and Center
for Seismic Studies, December, 1987. for Seismic Studies, December, 1987.
[7] Meyers, J, "IMAP4 Authentication Mechanisms", RFC-1731, Barber [Page 37]
7 Meyers, J, "IMAP4 Authentication Mechanisms", RFC-1731,
Carnegie Mellon, December, 1994. Carnegie Mellon, December, 1994.
[8] Robertson, Rob, "FAQ: Overview database / NOV General 8 Robertson, Rob, "FAQ: Overview database / NOV General
Information", ftp://ftp.uu.net/networking/news/nntp/inn/faq- Information", ftp://ftp.uu.net/networking/news/nntp/inn/faq-
nov.Z, January, 1995. nov.Z, January, 1995.
[9] Mills, David L., "Network Time Protocol (Version 3), 9 Mills, David L., "Network Time Protocol (Version 3),
Specification,Implementation and Analysis", RFC-1305, Specification,Implementation and Analysis", RFC-1305,
University of Delaware, March 1992. University of Delaware, March 1992.
[10] Crocker, D. and Overell, P., "Augmented BNF for Syntax 10 Crocker, D. and Overell, P., "Augmented BNF for Syntax
Specifications: ABNF", RFC-2234, Internet Mail Consortium and Specifications: ABNF", RFC-2234, Internet Mail Consortium and
Demon Internet, Ltd. Demon Internet, Ltd.
17. Notes
DEC is a registered trademark of Digital Equipment
Corporation.
UNIX is a registered trademark of the X/Open Consortium.
VMS is a registered trademark of Digital Equipment
Corporation.
18. Acknowledgments
The author acknowledges the original authors of NNTP as
documented in RFC 977: Brian Kantor and Phil Lapsey.
The author gratefully acknowledges the work of the NNTP
committee chaired by Eliot Lear. The organization of this
document was influenced by the last available draft from this
working group. A special thanks to Eliot for generously
providing the original machine readable sources for that
document.
The author gratefully acknowledges the work of the Marshall The author gratefully acknowledges the work of the Marshall
Rose & John G. Meyers in RFC 1939 and the work of the DRUMS Rose & John G. Meyers in RFC 1939 and the work of the DRUMS
working group, specifically RFC 1869, which is the basis of working group, specifically RFC 1869, which is the basis of
the NNTP extensions mechanism detailed in this document. the NNTP extensions mechanism detailed in this document.
The author gratefully acknowledges the comments and additional The author gratefully acknowledges the comments and additional
information provided by the following individuals in preparing information provided by the following individuals in preparing
one of the progenitors of this document: one of the progenitors of this document:
. Wayne Davison <davison@armory.com> . Wayne Davison <davison@armory.com>
skipping to change at page 37, line 4 skipping to change at line 1999
The author gratefully acknowledges the comments and additional The author gratefully acknowledges the comments and additional
information provided by the following individuals in preparing information provided by the following individuals in preparing
one of the progenitors of this document: one of the progenitors of this document:
. Wayne Davison <davison@armory.com> . Wayne Davison <davison@armory.com>
. Clive D.W. Feather <clive@demon.net> . Clive D.W. Feather <clive@demon.net>
. Chris Lewis <clewis@bnr.ca> . Chris Lewis <clewis@bnr.ca>
. Tom Limoncelli <tal@mars.superlink.net> . Tom Limoncelli <tal@mars.superlink.net>
. Eric Schnoebelen <eric@egsner.cirr.com> . Eric Schnoebelen <eric@egsner.cirr.com>
. Rich Salz <rsalz@osf.org> . Rich Salz <rsalz@osf.org>
This work was precipitated by the work of various newsreader This work was precipitated by the work of various newsreader
authors and newsserver authors, which includes those listed authors and newsserver authors, which includes those listed
below: below:
. Rick Adams -- Original author of the NNTP extensions to the RN . Rick Adams-Original author of the NNTP extensions to the RN
newsreader and last maintainer of Bnews newsreader and last maintainer of Bnews
. Stan Barber -- Original author of the NNTP extensions to the . Stan Barber-Original author of the NNTP extensions to the
newsreaders that are part of Bnews. newsreaders that are part of Bnews.
. Geoff Collyer -- Original author of the OVERVIEW database
Barber [Page 38]
. Geoff Collyer-Original author of the OVERVIEW database
proposal and one of the original authors of CNEWS proposal and one of the original authors of CNEWS
. Dan Curry -- Original author of the xvnews newsreader . Dan Curry-Original author of the xvnews newsreader
. Wayne Davision -- Author of the first threading extensions to the . Wayne Davision"Author of the first threading extensions to the
RN newsreader (commonly called TRN). RN newsreader (commonly called TRN).
. Geoff Huston -- Original author of ANU NEWS . Geoff Huston-Original author of ANU NEWS
. Phil Lapsey -- Original author of the UNIX reference . Phil Lapsey-Original author of the UNIX reference
implementation implementation
. Ian Lea -- Maintainer of the TIN newsreader . Ian Lea-Former Maintainer of the TIN newsreader
. Chris Lewis -- First known implementor of the AUTHINFO GENERIC . Chris Lewis-First known implementor of the AUTHINFO GENERIC
extension extension
. Rich Salz -- Original author of INN . Rich Salz-Original author of INN
. Henry Spencer -- One of the original authors of CNEWS . Henry Spencer-One of the original authors of CNEWS
. Kim Storm -- Original author of the NN newsreader . Kim Storm-Original author of the NN newsreader
19. Author's Address 19. Author's Address
Stan Barber Stan Barber
P.O. Box 300481 P.O. Box 300481
Houston, Texas, 77230 Houston, Texas, 77230
Email: <sob@academ.com> Email: <sob@academ.com>
This document expires June 1, 1998. This document expires September 30, 1998.
Barber [Page 39]
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