DosLynx News URLs

DosLynx now honors three forms of news: . . . URL. Each of these forms has two variations. You may note that all six variations start with news: However, none of them continues with //. The three forms and six variations are as follows:


These two variations both bring a list of the news groups your news server maintains. The difference between the two is that news:? brings a simple list with one line per group. While news:* brings an HTML list with an anchor or link for each group. The groups in this list will also be presented one per line. However, inside the HTML, there will be two copies of each group name on separate lines.

If the news server you contact is anything like the one my ISP retails to me, these lists will be way too long for DosLynx to display in full. The news server I contact has over 29 thousand news groups in its list! Even with the short (news:?) form, DosLynx can only display the first 15,800 groups listed.

To access your news server's whole list, you may need to use the DosLynx Navigate|Download Selection or File|Save Source menu entry to copy the list into a local file. DosLynx makes an exception to its usual practice when either of these menu entries are applied to the news:? URL or its presentation. In this case, it does not prefix the local file copy written with a <BASE HREF= . . . > HTML tag. That leaves this local file copy unencumbered for sorting, if desired.

I select one of this document's news:? links and use Navigate|Download Selection to receive my news server's list into a .TXT file. Next, I sort the file. I might then use EDLIN, or another editor or file splitting utility that is up to handling a file of this size, to split the sorted file into two halves that I could view and search with DosLynx. However, I usually simply use the DOS FIND command to search the whole file for key words of interest. Or, to exclude certain key words. The DOS FIND command's results may be redirected into a small file which is much more convenient for viewing. I might eventually add my favorites to my HotList file.

These two variations both bring a list of up to 20 to 40 news article, or note, "headers". The short variation brings a list of up to 20 of the specified news group's most recent note headers. The long variation allows you to request the headers for older notes by specifying a range of notes by their numbers. The resulting lists also carry links to requests for any earlier and later note headers available.

If you use the long variation to specify a range that includes more than 40 headers, the 20 headers ending at lastnotenumber will be listed. So, you might simply use a shorter variation of this URL.

The headers presented in these lists are links which may be selected to retrieve the underlying notes. Each header's presentation displays up to twelve octets of the author's e-mail address, the size of the underlying note in lines, and up to 150 octets of the note's Subject.

These two variations are equivalent and both bring a news article, or note, itself. The tend to get quite long and cryptic. However, you won't need to be typing (m)any of these. Rather, you'll simply be selecting headers from the lists described in the section above.

Fred C. Macall
12 October 2002
E-Mail address updated.
17 June 2005