newsgroups - List of newsgroups and their short descriptions


   The file pathdb/newsgroups contains a list of newsgroups for which a
   short description is available.  This file is generally updated by
   controlchan(8) whenever a control message is received; it is used by
   nnrpd in response to LIST NEWSGROUPS and is only meant to provide
   information to users.  News readers often show the list of carried
   newsgroups along with these descriptions.

   It is not necessary that all the groups carried by the news server
   (that is to say all the groups listed in the active file) be listed in
   the newsgroups file.  And it is also not necessary that all the groups
   listed in the newsgroups file be carried by the news server.
   Nonetheless, it is of course better if the active and newsgroups files
   have exactly the same newsgroups.

   If you use "ctlinnd newgroup" to manually create a group, only the
   active file is updated.  You should then edit the newsgroups file in
   order to add a short description for the created group.  The same goes
   for manually removing or changing the status of a newsgroup.

   Each line of the newsgroups file consists of two fields separated by at
   least one tabulation:


   The first field is the name of the newsgroup.  The second field is its

   You can get the newsgroups file of another NNTP server with getlist(1).


   As far as the format of the newsgroups file is concerned, there is a
   preferred format for each line.  Since news administrators do not
   generally have the time to fix up the lines that are being
   automatically included from newgroup or checkgroups messages, this
   information is provided so that control message senders can craft
   better control messages.  It will also be useful for news
   administrators to know how to format the description of their local

   There should be at least one hard tab (8 column tab stops) between the
   group name and the description.  If the group name is at least 16
   characters, it should be followed with one tab.  If the group name is
   at least 8 characters, it should be followed with two tabs.  And in the
   unlikely event the group name is less than 8 characters, it should be
   followed with three tabs.  For instance:

       misc.transport.rail.europe  Railroads & railways in all of Europe.
       news.admin.nocem    NoCeM protocol policy issues and information.
       news.groups         Discussions and lists of newsgroups.

   The total line length should be at most 79 columns.  The description
   should start with a capital and not be more than 55 characters (79 -
   24) long.  If the group name is longer than 24 characters, the
   description should be correspondingly shorter.  If the group is
   moderated, it should have " (Moderated)" (note the space before the
   opening parenthesis) at the very end of the description, not counted as
   part of the length of the description.  This text must be exactly that,
   with no variations, as it is used by news software to find moderated

   Here is an example of moderated newsgroup:

       news.lists.misc     News-related statistics and lists. (Moderated)

   Traditionally, all newsgroup descriptions ended with a period, but this
   is not necessary and steals away one character that is occasionally
   useful for forming a better description.

   Some over-long descriptions could be made to easily fit the length by
   dropping useless wordings like "Discussion of" which do not
   meaningfully contribute to the description.  Others are usually pretty
   easy to get to no more than column eighty, except when the group names
   start getting really long.  Hopefully then the group name itself
   contains quite a bit of description.

   In some cases, a longer description really will be necessary; they can
   of course be used within the newsgroups file.  However, they will
   probably be less readable and less useful for some Usenet users.

   Descriptions must not contain any control characters (octets between
   0x00 and 0x1F).


   There is, at present, no good mechanism for managing the character set
   of the newsgroup descriptions.  Many non-English hierarchies include
   newsgroup descriptions in their native languages, since this is more
   useful for their users, and those are included verbatim in the
   newsgroups file.  This unfortunately means that different lines of the
   file will require different character set settings to read properly,
   and those character sets are not documented in the file.  Hopefully
   some future standard will provide a way to address this; in the
   meantime, using UTF-8 for non-ASCII characters is recommended.


   The minimal newsgroups file shipped with INN is:

       control             Various control messages (no posting).
       control.cancel      Cancel messages (no posting).
       control.checkgroups Hierarchy check control messages (no posting).
       control.newgroup    Newsgroup creation control messages (no posting).
       control.rmgroup     Newsgroup removal control messages (no posting).
       junk                Unfiled articles (no posting).

   These lines must be tab-delimited, so please be careful in case you
   copy and paste them from above.


   Written by Julien Elie for InterNetNews.  The preferred format for a
   one-line newsgroup description is based on the policies by which the
   newsgroups file in <> is
   maintained; they were originally written by David Lawrence
   <> and updated by Russ Allbery <>.

   $Id: newsgroups.pod 10097 2016-11-04 22:19:07Z iulius $


   active(5), controlchan(8), ctlinnd(8), getlist(1), nnrpd(8).


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