NTTP retrieval problem, was: support for setext, the structure-enhanced text format, in WWW

Tim Berners-Lee (
Mon, 3 May 93 13:19:36 +0100


Your www program is not contacting a www server at all. When the
document address specifies "news:..." the it talks NNTP.
NNTP says nothing about how articles are stored, but allows
one to ask for them by Message-id. Sounds like your newsreader
doesn't have the articles. There should be an error message.
www -v
to see what is going on.

Begin forwarded message:

Date: Mon, 3 May 93 11:03:37 BST
From: (Peter Flynn)
Subject: Re: support for setext, the structure-enhanced text format,
in WWW

Ian writes:

> forgive me for barging in on like this, infrequent listener on
> this list that I am, but I'd like you to cast an eye on a dis-
> cussion now underway in alt.hypertext, comp.text.sgml and several
> other crossposted groups, which may be of interest in regard to
> adding an ability to the WWW line-browser to recognize and access
> _implicitly_coded_ anchors in otherwise plaintext documents (the
> setext graphic markup method).
> Try this first:
> 18K, 309 lines
> 24K, 507 lines
> else

I have found a problem in retrieving news thru both www (linemode)
xmosaic. Both correctly pick up my news server name, and if I follow
links from `By Type' thru `Network News' to a specific group, both
correctly list the articles, but cannot access the article texts,
me instead the message `Connecting to NewsHost ...' and then coming
with `Back, Quit or Help:'

It is clear that both programs are expecting articles to be stored in
with names set to the message-id. I have never encountered a system
does this, and my own server runs plain vanilla nntp and Cnews, which
articles in files whose names are the article numbers (sequential,

As the www server is capable of finding the directory (and is
grepping for 'Subject:' and piping the results back into HTML---or is
actually opening each file in turn?) could not a simple addition to
the code
see if the files are named (=message-ID) or numbered
(=message-number) and
act accordingly?

If this is not possible, where do I find a news system which stores
under message-ID filenames instead?