Reading news via WWW browsers

Sheaffer Gad (
Mon, 1 Mar 1993 13:18:30 +0200

A couple of suggestions on better ways of reading news via WWW browsers.

Disclaimer: The only browser I used so far is Viola.

1 - Most discussions in most newsgroups consist of threads. Someone starts a
thread, others respond, and so forth. We are using here a newsreader called
TIN (written by that whenever a news
group in entered, it first indexes all the postings into threads, and then
presents a view of the group traffic as a collection of threads.
You pick a thread, and start from the first posting. The next posting you
will get will be the next one along the thread.

This approach lends itself very well to a hypertext browser. Using the
same indexing method as TIN, it will embed a link into the end of each
article that will point to the next one in the thread, in addition to
links in the beginning of the article that point to the previous article
in the thread and to the start of the thread.

Also having a menu of threads instead of a menu of postings at the
news group entrance, makes the menu more compact and the access more

Again, the credit goes to Iain Lea and his newsreader is the best I have
seen so far.

2 - The newsreader part should in my opinion be part of WWW, not the browser.
That way the effort will not be duplicated in each and every browser. In
the same way that WWW uses gophers and WAIS servers, it can use distributed
news servers, that know how to feed it hypertext.

3 - Is there a way to read news groups not carried locally via the WWW ?
We have here a rather limited selection on newsgroups (only 1500 or so :-)
Some people are not that fortunate, and I know of many groups we do not
carry either. Additionally, postings are kept here only for about 3 days.

So - how about a facility to read news at the source?

4 - At least in viola there is no way to save locally a news article, thread
or any remote file (sort of FTP it over). How about other browsers ?

Do I have to go outside browser to bring it over, pick it with the mouse
from the screen or is there a way to do it from within?

I am new to this list, so please - hold your flame throwers.