Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reading the Gnus

In addition to writing and modifying text files with Emacs, you can use this application to connect to different news servers and to read postings from the newsgroups housed there. Newsgroups are Internet message boards on a wide variety of topics. When you subscribe to a newsgroup, you can read messages posted by other users and post replies of your own. Basically, it is like a worldwide forum where people can ask questions, find answers, and debate ideas.

Emacs provides you with a built-in news reader called Gnus. To use this, you must first create a configuration file called .gnus that will be saved in your home directory. Of course, we can create that file using Emacs! So let’s open a new file, and we will name it .gnus. In the buffer, enter the following:

(setq gnus-select-method ' (nntp ""))
(setq user-full-name "yourname")
(setq user-email-address "your email address")

Now write the file to disk using your key bindings.

Now that your server is set up, go to the toolbar and select Tools | Read Net News (Gnus). Emacs will now download the list of newsgroups available to you. This could take some time, so be patient.

Once the groups have been loaded, select Groups | Listing | Describe All Groups. Now you should see a long list of the different groups you can subscribe to, along with a brief description of what each group is all about. Once you find a group or two that you wish to subscribe to, from the toolbar select Groups | Subscribe | Subscribe To A Group. In the message area, Emacs will ask you which group you would like to subscribe to. Type the name of the group and press ENTER, and you will be a new subscriber! When you restart Gnus, you will see all of the groups that you subscribed to (plus a few extras that Gnus thinks you may find interesting). If Gnus is still running, from the toolbar select Buffer | Group, and the Group buffer will open in a new window.

To read the articles in a newsgroup, double-click on the newsgroup name, and you will be presented with a list of articles. Navigate to the article you wish to read and double-click it. You can move to the next article or the previous article by using the navigation arrows on the toolbar. You can also post a response to an article by selecting Post | Reply and then clicking the Send This Message icon from the toolbar.

There are many different news servers that you can choose from. is one that is used for demonstration purposes, so you can substitute whichever server you like here. It is important to note that news servers often do not censor the groups that they host, so some groups may provide content that you find inappropriate. To avoid this, search for servers that host only groups that you find acceptable, or make sure to monitor the group subscriptions if you have children using this service.

A newsgroup topic is called a thread. A thread is generally started by one person who posts a question or comment; then others reply to this posting. It is considered proper etiquette to keep postings related to the thread. If you have a new topic, start a new thread.
You can navigate among the different threads by selecting the Threads menu from the toolbar and then choosing either Go To Next Thread or Go To Previous Thread.

Source of Information : McGraw Hill Osborne Media How to Do Everything

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