slrn very slow to load news

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Ted Heise

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Sep 13, 2020, 8:54:13 AM9/13/20
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Hi all,

I have used slrn for 20 years on various servers, but on one shell
account (nyx.net) I'm now seeing it take roughly two minutes to
load news when starting up.

The following messages come up instantly:


-------- begin quote -------------------

theise@nyx2:~$ slrn
slrn 1.0.2

Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/slrn.sl
Reading startup file /etc/news/slrn.rc.
Reading startup file /u/t/h/theise/.slrnrc.
Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/color.sl
Using newsrc file /u/t/h/theise/.jnewsrc for server news.nyx.net.
Connecting to host news.nyx.net ...
Connected to host. Posting ok.

-------- end quote ---------------------


From that point on, it's a *very* long time until the group
listing appears (as I said, about two minutes).

On the other hand, tin brings up the group selection listing quite
quickly (almost instantly), so the problem may be the way I have
slrn configured. The relevant part of my .slrnc is here:


-------- begin quote -------------------

set query_read_group_cutoff 500
set sorting_method 1
set unsubscribe_new_groups 0
set show_thread_subject 0
set confirm_actions 0
set query_next_group 0
set scorefile "News/Score"
% set use_xgtitle 1
% set read_active 1
set postpone_directory "News/postponed"
set non_Xbrowser "lynx"
set editor_command "pico -z -t -r66 -Q \"> \" %s"
set quote_string ">"
% set write_newsrc_flags 1
set save_directory "mail"
set hostname "nyx.net"
set followup_string "On %d,\n %r <%f> wrote:"
set reject_long_lines 2
visible_headers "From:,Subject:,Newsgroups:,Date:"
set organization "My own, such as it is"

-------- end quote ---------------------


Nothing here really differs from what I've used for decades, and
it also worked okay on Nyx until they moved Nyx to an Amazon
virtual server environment a few years ago.

There is one diffference I noticed from my Panix account, and it's
the read_active variable. I tried uncommenting and setting it
with values of 0 and 1, but this had no effect. I also tried with
sorting_method 0, with no improvement.

I'd really welcome any suggestions on what I might do to fix this!

--
Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> West Lafayette, IN, USA

Poprocks

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Sep 13, 2020, 4:23:31 PM9/13/20
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On 2020-09-13, Ted Heise wrote:
> I have used slrn for 20 years on various servers, but on one shell
> account (nyx.net) I'm now seeing it take roughly two minutes to
> load news when starting up.

Have you tried testing with a different newsserver, to make sure it's
not the server that's the culprit?

Neodome Admin

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Sep 13, 2020, 5:00:08 PM9/13/20
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I didn’t really use slrn much, but I suspect that read_active variable
controls whether ‘active’ list should be downloaded or not. ‘Active’ list
is the output of NNTP command LIST ACTIVE, and it can be quite big (few
Megabytes on big servers.) It’s a list of active newsgroups on the server.
One usually want to download it every once in a while, not every time one
connects to the server.

--
Neodome

Ted Heise

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Sep 13, 2020, 5:45:03 PM9/13/20
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On Sun, 13 Sep 2020 21:00:06 -0000 (UTC),
Neodome Admin <ad...@neodome.net> wrote:
> Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I have used slrn for 20 years on various servers, but on one shell
> > account (nyx.net) I'm now seeing it take roughly two minutes to
> > load news when starting up.

> > There is one diffference I noticed from my Panix account, and
> > it's the read_active variable. I tried uncommenting and
> > setting it with values of 0 and 1, but this had no effect. I
> > also tried with sorting_method 0, with no improvement.
> >
> > I'd really welcome any suggestions on what I might do to fix
> > this!
> >
> I didn???t really use slrn much, but I suspect that read_active
> variable controls whether ???active??? list should be
> downloaded or not. ???Active??? list is the output of NNTP
> command LIST ACTIVE, and it can be quite big (few Megabytes on
> big servers.) It???s a list of active newsgroups on the server.
> One usually want to download it every once in a while, not
> every time one connects to the server.

Well, I did try read_active set to 0, and it made no difference.

Ted Heise

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Sep 13, 2020, 5:47:40 PM9/13/20
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Good suggestion, thanks.

Turns out the panix newserver loads articles almost instantly when
called from the slrn on nyx, so it's something to do with the nyx
server and how it interacts with slrn. As I said in the OP, tin
loads the group selection window almost instantly on nyx, though
maybe it doesn't ask for the same things from the server.

Lewis

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Sep 13, 2020, 6:26:42 PM9/13/20
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slrn is what I use and I have never ha problems with speed. That said,
nyx.net is pretty damn old and creaky and I don't know how good any of
their hardware is anymore. Unless Trygve has not posted about hardware
changes, the last upgrade was more than 15 years ago to a machine with a
MASSIVE 2GB of RAM.

(I use to be an admin on nyx many many years ago).

--
At 20:43 the dome of St. Elvis Cathedral shattered... and the Devil
walked the earth again. He'd never really left.

J.B. Nicholson

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Sep 13, 2020, 7:54:47 PM9/13/20
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Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> wrote:
> slrn 1.0.2

You could try switching to the latest version of slrn. I doubt this
will change what's on the connection between your slrn and the NNTP
server, but it's generally good to use the latest available production
version.

> Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/slrn.sl
> Reading startup file /etc/news/slrn.rc.
> Reading startup file /u/t/h/theise/.slrnrc.
> Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/color.sl

Try disabling any macros you're loading (like
/usr/share/slrn/slang/color.sl and /usr/share/slrn/slang/slrn.sl) so
that you can be sure your settings in your own slrnrc are the only
settings you're using.

Try running slrn with:

--debug FILE

where FILE is a filename of your choosing. This will get make a log
of the NNTP chatter between slrn and your NNTP server. I doubt
you'll find anything slrn-specific in there as clients don't
generally identify themselves to an NNTP server until an article is
posted. You should not need to do anything but wait for slrn to
launch, then quit slrn gracefully in the normal way, and read what's
in that file.

If you decide to share what's that file, be sure to remove your
credentials from the file. If you need to authenticate to your NNTP
server you should find the credentials in the "AUTHINFO USER" and
"AUTHINFO PASS" commands sent from slrn to your NNTP server.

-n

to turn off checking for new newsgroups.

Ted Heise

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Sep 14, 2020, 12:43:25 PM9/14/20
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On Sun, 13 Sep 2020 22:26:38 -0000 (UTC),
Lewis <g.k...@gmail.dont-email.me> wrote:
> In message <slrnrlsvu1...@logancomp.rathbonelaw.com> Poprocks <ple...@replytogroup.com> wrote:
> > On 2020-09-13, Ted Heise wrote:
> >> I have used slrn for 20 years on various servers, but on one
> >> shell account (nyx.net) I'm now seeing it take roughly two
> >> minutes to load news when starting up.
>
> > Have you tried testing with a different newsserver, to make
> > sure it's not the server that's the culprit?
>
> slrn is what I use and I have never ha problems with speed.
> That said, nyx.net is pretty damn old and creaky and I don't
> know how good any of their hardware is anymore. Unless Trygve
> has not posted about hardware changes, the last upgrade was
> more than 15 years ago to a machine with a MASSIVE 2GB of RAM.
>
> (I use to be an admin on nyx many many years ago).

Actually, they moved Nyx to an Amazon virtual environment a number
of years ago. The move made my login profile barf, and I've had
to go back and retune it. So part of my problem may be improper
environment. I did try calling slrn with the server in the
command line, but no improvement.

Lewis

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Sep 14, 2020, 1:08:13 PM9/14/20
to
In message <slrnrlv7db...@panix2.panix.com> Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 13 Sep 2020 22:26:38 -0000 (UTC),
> Lewis <g.k...@gmail.dont-email.me> wrote:
>> In message <slrnrlsvu1...@logancomp.rathbonelaw.com> Poprocks <ple...@replytogroup.com> wrote:
>> > On 2020-09-13, Ted Heise wrote:
>> >> I have used slrn for 20 years on various servers, but on one
>> >> shell account (nyx.net) I'm now seeing it take roughly two
>> >> minutes to load news when starting up.
>>
>> > Have you tried testing with a different newsserver, to make
>> > sure it's not the server that's the culprit?
>>
>> slrn is what I use and I have never ha problems with speed.
>> That said, nyx.net is pretty damn old and creaky and I don't
>> know how good any of their hardware is anymore. Unless Trygve
>> has not posted about hardware changes, the last upgrade was
>> more than 15 years ago to a machine with a MASSIVE 2GB of RAM.
>>
>> (I use to be an admin on nyx many many years ago).

> Actually, they moved Nyx to an Amazon virtual environment a number
> of years ago.

Ah, interesting. I must have missed that (or the info page has not been
updated).

> The move made my login profile barf, and I've had to go back and
> retune it. So part of my problem may be improper environment. I did
> try calling slrn with the server in the command line, but no
> improvement.

Are there nyx local groups that you need to access? If not, I'd just use
eternal-september. Oh wait, I do use eternal-september! :)


--
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"I think so, Brain, but would Danish flies work just as well?"

Ted Heise

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Sep 14, 2020, 1:10:40 PM9/14/20
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On Sun, 13 Sep 2020 23:54:44 -0000 (UTC),
J.B. Nicholson <j...@forestfield.org> wrote:
> Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> wrote:
> > slrn 1.0.2
>
> You could try switching to the latest version of slrn. I doubt this
> will change what's on the connection between your slrn and the NNTP
> server, but it's generally good to use the latest available production
> version.

I will ask if it can be installed. Since you posted with
slrn/1.0.3 I assume that's the latest version?


> > Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/slrn.sl
> > Reading startup file /etc/news/slrn.rc.
> > Reading startup file /u/t/h/theise/.slrnrc.
> > Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/color.sl
>
> Try disabling any macros you're loading (like
> /usr/share/slrn/slang/color.sl and /usr/share/slrn/slang/slrn.sl) so
> that you can be sure your settings in your own slrnrc are the only
> settings you're using.

I've never attempted use of slrn macros, so feel pretty sure
that's not a factor.


> Try running slrn with:
>
> --debug FILE
>
> where FILE is a filename of your choosing. This will get make a log
> of the NNTP chatter between slrn and your NNTP server. I doubt
> you'll find anything slrn-specific in there as clients don't
> generally identify themselves to an NNTP server until an article is
> posted. You should not need to do anything but wait for slrn to
> launch, then quit slrn gracefully in the normal way, and read what's
> in that file.
>
> If you decide to share what's that file, be sure to remove your
> credentials from the file. If you need to authenticate to your NNTP
> server you should find the credentials in the "AUTHINFO USER" and
> "AUTHINFO PASS" commands sent from slrn to your NNTP server.

I'll insert the result below. On seeing the output, it reminds me
that in one of my tests I got some message about the nyx server
not providing/accepting XHDR process. Sorry I can't recall the
exact message.


> -n
>
> to turn off checking for new newsgroups.

Adding the -n switch had no noticeable effect.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Ted


---------- begin slrn.log --------------------


!Connecting to server...
<200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
>MODE READER
>

<200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
>XOVER
>

<412 Not in a newsgroup
>XHDR Path
>

!Disconnecting from server.
!Disconnecting from server.
!Disconnecting from server.
!Disconnecting from server.
!Connecting to server...
<200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
>MODE READER
>

<200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
>LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
>

<215
<Subject:
<From:
<Date:
<Message-ID:
<References:
<Bytes:
<Lines:
<Xref:full
<.
>NEWGROUPS 200914 005752 GMT
>

<231 List of newgroups follows
<.
>GROUP nyx.misc
>

<211 4706 297 5041 nyx.misc
>GROUP nyx.chat
>

>GROUP nyx.projects
>

>GROUP nyx.help
>

>GROUP nyx.stats
>

>GROUP nyx.announce
>

>GROUP nyx.people
>

>GROUP nyx.outreach
>

>GROUP nyx.forsale
>

>GROUP nyx.education
>

>GROUP nyx.intro
>

>GROUP nyx.test
>

>GROUP nyx.jobs
>

>GROUP nyx.policy
>

>GROUP alt.recovery.aa
>

>GROUP rec.outdoors.rv-travel
>

<211 3 1 3 nyx.chat
<211 116 7 122 nyx.projects
<211 2278 82 2374 nyx.help
<211 0 1 0 nyx.stats
<211 14 5 18 nyx.announce
<211 5 1 5 nyx.people
<211 0 1 0 nyx.outreach
<211 6 1 6 nyx.forsale
<211 0 1 0 nyx.education
<211 0 1 0 nyx.intro
<211 271 27 314 nyx.test
<211 0 1 0 nyx.jobs
<211 0 1 0 nyx.policy
<211 526445 2 526446 alt.recovery.aa
<211 874693 2 874694 rec.outdoors.rv-travel
>GROUP nyx.help
>

<211 2278 82 2374 nyx.help
>XOVER 2374-2374
>

<224 Overview information for 2374-2374 follows
<2374 Re: testing Theodore Heise <the...@nyx.net> Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:57:53 +0000 (UTC) <slrnrkkgm1...@nyx2.nyx.net> <slrnrkkgi8...@nyx2.nyx.net> 1207 16 Xref: iris.nyx.net nyx.test:314 nyx.help:2374
<.
>QUIT
>

!Closing the server connection.

Ted Heise

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Sep 14, 2020, 1:15:54 PM9/14/20
to
On Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:08:10 -0000 (UTC),
Lewis <g.k...@gmail.dont-email.me> wrote:
> In message <slrnrlv7db...@panix2.panix.com> Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> wrote:
> > On Sun, 13 Sep 2020 22:26:38 -0000 (UTC),
> > Lewis <g.k...@gmail.dont-email.me> wrote:
> >> In message <slrnrlsvu1...@logancomp.rathbonelaw.com> Poprocks <ple...@replytogroup.com> wrote:
> >> > On 2020-09-13, Ted Heise wrote:
> >> >> I have used slrn for 20 years on various servers, but on
> >> >> one shell account (nyx.net) I'm now seeing it take roughly
> >> >> two minutes to load news when starting up.
> >>
> >> > Have you tried testing with a different newsserver, to make
> >> > sure it's not the server that's the culprit?
> >>
> >> slrn is what I use and I have never ha problems with speed.
> >> That said, nyx.net is pretty damn old and creaky and I don't
> >> know how good any of their hardware is anymore. Unless
> >> Trygve has not posted about hardware changes, the last
> >> upgrade was more than 15 years ago to a machine with a
> >> MASSIVE 2GB of RAM.
> >>
> >> (I use to be an admin on nyx many many years ago).
>
> > Actually, they moved Nyx to an Amazon virtual environment a
> > number of years ago.
>
> Ah, interesting. I must have missed that (or the info page has
> not been updated).

Yeah, I missed it too, until someone on a panix.* newsgroup
mentioned in an offhand way. The Nyx website is horribly
outdated. I offered to help update it a while back, but they
wanted me to use CSS and I didn't have time to learn it. On top
of that, I didn't (and don't) know the content well enough to
really be much help.


> > The move made my login profile barf, and I've had to go back
> > and retune it. So part of my problem may be improper
> > environment. I did try calling slrn with the server in the
> > command line, but no improvement.
>
> Are there nyx local groups that you need to access? If not, I'd
> just use eternal-september. Oh wait, I do use
> eternal-september! :)

Yeah, that's a good suggestion. But I get a really good news feed
from Panix, and the nyx.* groups are really the only reason I
would use news there.

Lewis

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Sep 14, 2020, 2:53:09 PM9/14/20
to
I loaded it up again and it was last updated in 2005, but then I saw t
was Trygve's site. The nyx.net page does feature largely that the moved
to AWS 4 years ago, but the History pages stop when the servers were
moved to Trygve's basement (Yes, I have been in that basement with Nyx
and Nox and Nyx10 and... others).

>> > The move made my login profile barf, and I've had to go back
>> > and retune it. So part of my problem may be improper
>> > environment. I did try calling slrn with the server in the
>> > command line, but no improvement.
>>
>> Are there nyx local groups that you need to access? If not, I'd
>> just use eternal-september. Oh wait, I do use
>> eternal-september! :)

> Yeah, that's a good suggestion. But I get a really good news feed
> from Panix, and the nyx.* groups are really the only reason I
> would use news there.

Yeah, if you ant the nyx groups you need to use nyx. Wish I has some
suggestions other than those other's have made to minimize load ...

No wait, if you are using scoring rules, make sure that you are not
using anything that scores outside the XOVER headers. That can really
slow things down on some smaller servers.

Hmmm... I wonder if I still have my aburt button (Autogrpahed!) around
somewhere?

--
'What is this thing, anyway?' said the Dean, inspecting the implement
in his hands. 'It's called a shovel', said the Senior Wrangler.
'I've seen the gardeners use them. You stick the sharp end in the
ground. Then it gets a bit technical.' --Reaper Man

J.B. Nicholson

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Sep 14, 2020, 6:16:30 PM9/14/20
to
Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> wrote:
> I will ask if it can be installed. Since you posted with
> slrn/1.0.3 I assume that's the latest version?

I think you and your provider would be better off getting whatever the
latest is from upstream -- https://slrn.info/ has good information and
https://slrn.info/download.html has a pointer to the latest with
install directions. This might coincide with what I'm using but the
authoritative info comes from slrn upstream.

Earlier Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> quoted slrn's startup text
and that text included the following lines:
> Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/slrn.sl
> Reading startup file /etc/news/slrn.rc.
> Reading startup file /u/t/h/theise/.slrnrc.
> Loading /usr/share/slrn/slang/color.sl

In response, I recommended:
> [...] disabling any macros you're loading (like
> /usr/share/slrn/slang/color.sl and /usr/share/slrn/slang/slrn.sl)
> so that you can be sure your settings in your own slrnrc are the
> only settings you're using.

Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> replied:
> I've never attempted use of slrn macros, so feel pretty sure
> that's not a factor.

But /usr/share/slrn/slang/*.sl files are being loaded as per the slrn
startup text above. Those are slrn macros and/or slrn settings. It's
usually a good idea to remove as many variables as possible when
trying to figure out what's really going on.

If you can compile and run your own copy of slrn, you could make it
not read any other slrn rc file but yours. That would help debugging
here, just to eliminate variables.



Let's look at the log data you posted.

Unfortunately the log slrn makes doesn't come with time/date stamps so
we don't have that information in the log to identify where things are
slow. I've asked slrn's author John E. Davis to consider adding this
for a future version of slrn.

For now we can work around this if you telnet to the NNTP port (port
119/TCP) of your news server, nyx2.nyx.net:

$ telnet nyx2.nyx.net nntp

or

$ telnet nyx2.nyx.net 119

and issue the same commands slrn issued, in the same order, manually
by typing them in or copy/paste. Each command should give you feedback
and you can look to see how long each command takes to process.

Quoting the log data posted:
> ---------- begin slrn.log --------------------
>
>
> !Connecting to server...
><200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
>>MODE READER
>>
>
><200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
>>XOVER
>>
>
><412 Not in a newsgroup
>>XHDR Path
>>
>
> !Disconnecting from server.
> !Disconnecting from server.
> !Disconnecting from server.
> !Disconnecting from server.

This makes me wonder what's going on server-side: it's not normal for
the client to have to reconnect to the server at this point.

Resuming quoting the log, slrn reconnects and:
> !Connecting to server...
><200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
>>MODE READER

Now slrn is telling your NNTP server it's a newsreader for the second
time. This too should not be needed but is needed because of the
earlier disconnect.

The rest of the log struck me as normal, but the aforementioned
disconnects are suspicious to me because when I connect to NNTP
servers I don't have to reconnect at that point in a session.

From what I'm seeing in your posted log data there's nothing slrn is
doing that would identify slrn specifically. Perhaps other newsreaders
don't issue the "MODE READER" command. You could try the other
commands slrn issues and skip "MODE READER" to see if that speeds
things up.



With regard to NNTPCache, I suspect this program is not being actively
developed in a typical public-facing way. I'm not able to connect to
any of:

http://www.nntpcache.org
https://www.nntpcache.org
http://nntpcache.org
https://nntpcache.org

and get a useful webpage in return. I see it's a JS-based website
(with data from cloudfront.net and Google AdSense) but even on a
system with JS enabled for all domains I get a blank page in
Firefox. So if this is a known problem, I'm not sure where NNTPCache's
current bug database is, for instance.

It looks like there's a mailing list archive at
https://www.spinics.net/lists/nntpcache/ if you want to see if other
users see this disconnecting behavior or experience slow access.

Ted Heise

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Sep 14, 2020, 8:32:42 PM9/14/20
to
On Mon, 14 Sep 2020 18:53:02 -0000 (UTC),
Fascinating. What a small world it is!


> >> Are there nyx local groups that you need to access? If not,
> >> I'd just use eternal-september. Oh wait, I do use
> >> eternal-september! :)
>
> > Yeah, that's a good suggestion. But I get a really good news
> > feed from Panix, and the nyx.* groups are really the only
> > reason I would use news there.
>
> Yeah, if you ant the nyx groups you need to use nyx. Wish I has
> some suggestions other than those other's have made to minimize
> load ...
>
> No wait, if you are using scoring rules, make sure that you are
> not using anything that scores outside the XOVER headers. That
> can really slow things down on some smaller servers.

Okay, I tried that idea. Commenting out the config line of where
the score is made no difference either.


> Hmmm... I wonder if I still have my aburt button (Autogrpahed!)
> around somewhere?

:)

Ted Heise

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Sep 14, 2020, 9:08:50 PM9/14/20
to
On Mon, 14 Sep 2020 22:16:28 -0000 (UTC),
J.B. Nicholson <j...@forestfield.org> wrote:
> Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> wrote:
> > I will ask if it can be installed. Since you posted with
> > slrn/1.0.3 I assume that's the latest version?
>
> I think you and your provider would be better off getting
> whatever the latest is from upstream -- https://slrn.info/ has
> good information and https://slrn.info/download.html has a
> pointer to the latest with install directions. This might
> coincide with what I'm using but the authoritative info comes
> from slrn upstream.

Noted, thanks.


> Ted Heise <the...@panix.com> replied:
> > I've never attempted use of slrn macros, so feel pretty sure
> > that's not a factor.
>
> But /usr/share/slrn/slang/*.sl files are being loaded as per
> the slrn startup text above. Those are slrn macros and/or slrn
> settings. It's usually a good idea to remove as many variables
> as possible when trying to figure out what's really going on.

Good point. I'm not sure where that came from, but editing out
the config line for macros had no effect on the time to render a
list of groups.


> If you can compile and run your own copy of slrn, you could
> make it not read any other slrn rc file but yours. That would
> help debugging here, just to eliminate variables.

Also a good idea and noted for future attempts.



> Let's look at the log data you posted.
>
> Unfortunately the log slrn makes doesn't come with time/date
> stamps so we don't have that information in the log to identify
> where things are slow. I've asked slrn's author John E. Davis
> to consider adding this for a future version of slrn.
>
> For now we can work around this if you telnet to the NNTP port
> (port 119/TCP) of your news server, nyx2.nyx.net:
>
> $ telnet nyx2.nyx.net nntp

> and issue the same commands slrn issued, in the same order,
> manually by typing them in or copy/paste. Each command should
> give you feedback and you can look to see how long each command
> takes to process.
>
> Quoting the log data posted:
> > ---------- begin slrn.log --------------------
> >
> >
> > !Connecting to server...
> ><200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
> >>MODE READER
> >>
> >
> ><200 nyx2.nyx.net NNTPCache server V3.0.1 [see www.nntpcache.org] (c) 1996-2002 Julian Assange <pr...@iq.org> Feb 21 2004 ready (posting ok, 110715 groups available).
> >>XOVER
> >>
> >
> ><412 Not in a newsgroup
> >>XHDR Path

This is the point at which it hung, and everything after on the
second go went quickly. Looking again at this last command is why
I noted a previous error message about the nyx server not
providing or accepting XHDR processes.

Poking around on the web, I found the slrn shows the prefer_head
config variable has something to do with XOVER vs. XHDR. I tried
it set to 0, no joy. I tried it set to 1, and so far that seems
to have turned the trick!


> With regard to NNTPCache, I suspect this program is not being
> actively developed in a typical public-facing way. I'm not able
> to connect to any of:
>
> http://www.nntpcache.org
> https://www.nntpcache.org
> http://nntpcache.org
> https://nntpcache.org
>
> and get a useful webpage in return. I see it's a JS-based
> website (with data from cloudfront.net and Google AdSense) but
> even on a system with JS enabled for all domains I get a blank
> page in Firefox. So if this is a known problem, I'm not sure
> where NNTPCache's current bug database is, for instance.
>
> It looks like there's a mailing list archive at
> https://www.spinics.net/lists/nntpcache/ if you want to see if
> other users see this disconnecting behavior or experience slow
> access.

Sorry, this is all well over my head. But thanks.

I really appreciate the thoughtful suugestions, J.B.!
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