Distributed archiving of netnews

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Nov 18, 1982, 3:27:06 AM11/18/82
People have asked whether news is archived by anyone. This is an unfair
burden to the site that has to keep all the news around. I would
like to propose an alternate archiving scheme.

Every site should keep all the articles it posted, forever. There
should be a netnews control message which will command a site to
automatically mail the item to the requestor, or re-post the article
if there is a general interest.

To make this more useful there must be a complete index of article id's
and keywords. The keywords should be more meaningful than the nonsense
that appears in some titles. Each site maintains a copy of the index.
A program exists which extracts article id's which match the desired subject.
This list is sent out as a control message, and each system which has
an article in the list mails it to the requestor.

This way, we could be spared seeing the same questions and jokes from
new nusers (I just made that term up - pronounce it "news-ers").
They would just have to say "get me articles on the meaning of foobar"
or "send all lightbulb jokes" .

The news posting programs would have to request keywords and a summary
line. It could even print a list of all articles matching the keywords
when a new one is posted. For example:
"There are already 73 articles containing the meaning of foobar.
Are you sure you want to post #74?"

That's a little beyond most programs (other than the trb project),
but you get the idea.

Scott Orshan
Bell Labs Piscataway

Summary: New method for archiving newtnews articles
Keywords: archiving,foobar,trb project


Nov 18, 1982, 3:54:25 AM11/18/82
Even this proposal is a burden to sites that post a lot of news.
Take, for example, sites like ucbvax that act as gateways. Would
you have them store all the ARPA digests? I for one would not want
to have our sites store every article submitted by our users. This
is not to say they are worthless (on the contrary!), but it just
uses up too much disk space. If you see an article you like, save
it, but don't force other people to save it for you.
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