Expiration Dates On Articles

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Mikel Manitius

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Jul 10, 1986, 3:05:38 PM7/10/86
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I was recently approched by the administrator of a neighboring site, and
asked why the command "find /usr/spool/news -mtime +X -print" (where X
was some number larger than the number of days given to expire) will find
articles. The answer was obvious, pre-set expiration dates. However our
curriosity had us look up such articles. We found articles that won't
expire UNTIL THE TURN OF THE CENTURY! And they come from such passive
newsgroups as net.jokes and net.women (passive because you wouldn't
expect anything there to last that long, unlinke net.announce or
mod.announce.newusers) Below is a list of six articles I found, the
search consisted of all articles I had on my system that were posted
before the month of June this year. My default expiration date is 14 days:

article id date posted expiration date
-------------------------- ---------------------- ----------------------
<3...@phred.UUCP> 1 May 86 04:38:28 GMT 31 Dec 99 06:00:00 GMT
<2...@ubu.warwick.UUCP> 10 May 86 18:51:09 GMT 1 Aug 86 00:00:00 GMT
<4933EV9@PSUVMA> 15 Apr 86 05:15:30 GMT 6 Oct 86 07:00:00 GMT
<3...@phred.UUCP> 17 Apr 86 09:51:56 GMT 31 Dec 99 08:00:00 GMT
<2...@phred.UUCP> 17 Mar 86 17:50:41 GMT 31 Dec 99 08:00:00 GMT
<1...@sphinx.UChicago.UUCP> 7 May 86 12:38:30 GMT 21 Dec 99 02:00:00 GMT

I would like to hear from the people who posted these, why they
set such extrenuous (1 Aug 86 isn't as bad as 31 Dec 99) expiration
dates.

(Yes, I *do* know about "-I" on expire, that's not the point).
--
___
/ \ Mikel Manitius @ AT&T-IS Altamonte Springs, FL
| RPI | ...{seismo!akgua|ihnp4|cbosgd|mcnc}!codas!mikel
| . |
\\-------//

Joe Buck

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Jul 10, 1986, 8:24:22 PM7/10/86
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In article <6...@codas.ATT.UUCP> mi...@codas.ATT.UUCP (Mikel Manitius) writes:
>I was recently approched by the administrator of a neighboring site, and
>asked why the command "find /usr/spool/news -mtime +X -print" (where X
>was some number larger than the number of days given to expire) will find
>articles. The answer was obvious, pre-set expiration dates. However our
>curriosity had us look up such articles. We found articles that won't
>expire UNTIL THE TURN OF THE CENTURY! ...Below is a list of six ...

grep '<id>' ~news/history will find them, so let's see...

>article id date posted expiration date

><3...@phred.UUCP> 1 May 86 04:38:28 GMT 31 Dec 99 06:00:00 GMT

In this article, Jeffe Parke asks for a vt200 termcap. I wonder for
how many years he'll continue to get answers. It's such a
self-defeating thing to do that maybe someone forged the article to
abuse him.

><2...@ubu.warwick.UUCP> 10 May 86 18:51:09 GMT 1 Aug 86 00:00:00 GMT

This article announces a faculty position available in the fall. I
guess this isn't so bad, but people getting free advertising should
be satisfied with two weeks worth.

><4933EV9@PSUVMA> 15 Apr 86 05:15:30 GMT 6 Oct 86 07:00:00 GMT
><3...@phred.UUCP> 17 Apr 86 09:51:56 GMT 31 Dec 99 08:00:00 GMT
><2...@phred.UUCP> 17 Mar 86 17:50:41 GMT 31 Dec 99 08:00:00 GMT

I don't have these articles around anymore, because of a disk
problem; I don't do daily or weekly backups of news.

><1...@sphinx.UChicago.UUCP> 7 May 86 12:38:30 GMT 21 Dec 99 02:00:00 GMT

A semi-flame about keyboard design for left-handers. This guy'll give us
lefties a bad name.

>(Yes, I *do* know about "-I" on expire, that's not the point).

Exactly. There are good reasons to make an article stay around
longer (like the index to the mod.sources archive, for example).
On the other hand, six questionable Expires: lines in several
months is hardly major abuse ... maybe alerting people who didn't
know about Expires: does more harm than good.
--
- Joe Buck {ihnp4!pesnta,oliveb,csi}!epimass!jbuck
Entropic Processing, Inc., Cupertino, California

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