News: discussion groups, similar to bulletin boards, which forward
all messages to all readers of that group.
- There are more than 10000 news groups. They are organized in hierarchies
according to their topic.
german group . computer . operating system . linux
science . mathematics . research
- Some important categories:
||alternative groups (lots of)
||information about news groups
- New news groups are created, when their are enough people interested in it.
The process consists of a formalized poll.
- Many news groups are distributed world wide, others only in a special
country or domain (e.g. a university).
- Some groups are moderated, which means that a special person, the moderator,
decides, whether an article should be posted (according e.g. to the topic of
the group or the relevance of the article). Other groups are open,
i.e. every posting is accepted.
- News (i.e. articles in news groups) are stored on the news server of a
domain. Due to the huge amount of data old articles are deleted after
several days or weeks.
Newsreader: program to read and post news articles.
- nn, tin, xrn, netscape
- Newsreader usually have at least the following functions:
- organisation of news groups:
subscription of groups one wants to read (subscribe function)
announcement of new groups
- reading articles:
sorting of articles according to their subject
display of all subjects for a quick overview
tagging articles as read or unread
- writing articles:
posting into one or several groups
email to the author of a posting
- In many news groups the same questions appear agian and again. To avoid too
many repetitions, lists of "Frequently Asked Questions" with answers
(FAQ lists) have been collected for many groups and are posted
- A set of rules (called netiquette) have been established, which
everybody should follow, e.g.:
- Be careful when writing about other people.
- Use informative subject lines.
- Keep it short.
Peter Junglas 8.3.2000