Gmane

Frequently Answered Questions

About Gmane

  • Who's behind all this, then?
    Gmane is run by Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen, and the administrators are Tom Koelman, Jason R. Mastaler, Steinar Bang, Jon Ericson, Wolfgang Schnerring, Sebastian D.B. Krause, Nicolas Bareil, Raymond Scholz, and Adam Sjøgren.

  • How do you pronounce «Gmane»?
    The gee is silent, so it's quite like «mane», «main» or «mein», which explains why the main machine is called «ciao».

  • How do I get in contact with the administrators?
    Send a mail to Lars or post to the gmane.discuss newsgroup.

  • What's the brilliant business plan?
    There is none. I just thought it was a good idea.

  • Who pays for it, then?
    The hardware was paid for by my employer and me, and the network connectivity is also supplied by my employer.

  • Does your bandwidth suck?
    Not really. First of all, Gmane isn't a bandwidth hog -- it's just text and very few images. And we have Gbps connections to the world and 100Mbps connections to the ISPs we peer with. Gmane is in Norway, though, so your latency may vary.

  • The hardware, then?
    There's now five machines in the Gmane server farm doing various things. Gmane definitely could use more nifty hardware. If you wish to give us some, please write to sponsor <at> gmane.org.

Adding/removing lists

  • Ok, I want to add a public mailing list. Tell me how.
    If you have any doubts about whether the mailing list wants to be carried by Gmane, ask the people on the mailing list first. Or at least the mailing list administrator. Then you fill out the subscription page.

  • How long does it take before a new list is added?
    It depends on how fast the Gmane admins process the request. It's usually somewhere between five minutes and two weeks. If you enter your email address when submitting the request, you'll be notified when the admin processes the request.

  • I wanted the group to be called gmane.comp.fabuloze.haczkers, but you called it gmane.comp.cms.fabuloze.devel.
    Yes. We try to give group names that are logical and consistent, so that Gmane users can find the relevant groups. In particular, this means that "-dev", "-devel", "-development", "-hackers" and the like all become ".devel"; "-help" and "-users" become ".general" or ".user", depending on how many lists there are; and "-svn", "-commits" and the like become ".cvs".

  • Can you carry the foo.bar.zot newsgroup on Gmane?
    No. Gmane only carries mailing lists, not Usenet newsgroups.

  • You bastards! You archived my message!
    You can suppress your own articles if you follow the instructions here.

  • I'm a list administrator, and I don't think you should archive my list.
    No problem. Just send a mail to Lars, and he'll remove the list.

  • ...and the reason I want to remove the list is that I don't want unsubscribed people to be able to post to the list. Usenet sucks.
    True, but the Gmane can make the group read-only, and that way Gmane won't try to be a bidirectional gateway for your list.

  • Ok, but I still want to remove the list, because I don't want address harvesters to be able to grab email addresses.
    Have you considered whether the list could still be carried by Gmane, but with address encryption switched on?

  • I just don't want to, ok? Quit harassing me, or I'll have my lawyer sew you so hard!
    Sure, no problem. It's your list. Send a mail.

Posting

  • What happens after I post to a Gmane newsgroup?
    The Gmane auto-authorizer sends you an email.

  • I didn't get any email.
    Then the address you used in your From or Reply-To headers was invalid. Use a valid email address. And you can't use a "public.gmane.org" address when posting.

  • But I did use a valid email address.
    Perhaps you did in your From, but your Reply-To address pointed to the mailing list. Don't do that.

  • I got an email from the auto-authorizer, and I answered that. Then I didn't hear anything more.
    This means that your response didn't reach Gmane. Re-send your reply to the auth message.

  • I did re-send, but still no reply.
    Then I don't know. Did you really send a reply to the right address?

  • I sent a reply, and got a message back saying that Gmane would forward the message to the mailing list. But it didn't reach the mailing list.
    If Gmane says that will send the mail, it did. The matter is then out of Gmane's hands.

  • But, er, where's my mail?
    Impossible to say. Perhaps the mail transport is stalled somewhere, and the message will appear in a couple of hours on the list. Most likely the mailing list software rejected the message because you're not a subscriber. If that's the case, subscribe to the list. You can find the address of the list in question by searching via Google.

  • It must be your fault. I want you to check your mail logs.
    No.

  • Yes.
    Absolutely not. The problem lies elsewhere.

  • Except?
    Except when you send several messages to a group for the first time, and then ack the auth messages. Then all the messages, except the last one, are silently deleted.

  • And cancelling articles doesn't work.
    Yes, that's right. Gmane is an archive.

Gmane and the world

  • Will you start feeding the gmane.* hierarchy out any time soon?
    Yes, probably, but there are a few policy and technical questions that I want to give a bit more thought first. See the page on Reticule for details.

  • Is Gmane free software?
    Yes, and you can download the software here, but mainly Gmane is a service, and as such isn't very downloadable. The major pieces are we:search, The Weaver Daemon, weft, and Loom.

  • Can you import an old mailing list archive?
    Sure. It's easy. Just follow the instructions here.

  • Can you export a list archive?
    Sure. It's easy. Just follow the instructions here.

  • Why are all the articles out of order after doing an import?
    They aren't on the news server. On the web server they'll remain out of order until weaverd has rethreaded them, which'll happen six months later.

  • Six months later? Are you kidding?
    Not really. That's how often the messages are rethreaded in weaverd, just about.

  • Can I read news via secure NNTP (nntps)?
    Yes. Point your news reader towards nntps://news.gmane.org/.

  • How do I link to a group on Gmane?
    There are two addresses you can give.

    1. nntp://news.gmane.org/gmane.group.name: This is the newsgroup.

    2. http://dir.gmane.org/gmane.group.name: This is the web interface.

    Use either or both.

  • Can't I link to lists on Gmane without knowing the Gmane group name?
    Yes, you can. http://list.gmane.org/the@list.address will redirect you to the correct dir.gmane.org URL.

  • I just wonder, do you by any chance have a web interface that looks just like a blog?
    I'm glad you asked. http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.group.name looks kinda like a blog, but it has all the same articles as the other interfaces.

  • Has the previous question really been asked frequently?
    Would I joke about something like that?

  • How do I link to a specific article?
    http://article.gmane.org/gmane.group.name/435

  • How do I link to a specific article if I just know the Message-ID?
    http://mid.gmane.org/1234567890.1234567890@example.com

  • How do I link to a specific thread?
    http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.group.name/435

  • How do I get an RSS feed for a list?
    http://rss.gmane.org/gmane.group.name

  • What's with those cutoff= in the news.gmane.org links?
    They mean "don't show me any articles newer than this". This is useful if you want to point somebody at a specific "snapshot" of the group.

  • Can I look at a raw article, without any HTML magic?
    Yes, just add
    /raw
    to the end of the article URL.

  • Do you expire articles?
    No, articles are forever.

  • But I saw an article once, and now it's gone.
    Yes. Articles with X-No-Archive and the like disappear after a while. And you can't find articles like that in the search engine.

  • What's up with all those charts that litter the web site?
    They're generated by Chart, a PHP class written by somebody whose name I can't quite place.

  • And where do those small images that adorn the articles come from?
    They're fetched from all available sources I could think of: The Picons archive, Gravatar, and favicon.ico files from the equivalent web page of the address in the From header. If you want to ensure that your messages have nicer images, put some high-resolution images into your favicon.ico bundle.

  • Can I use the list activity chart on my own web page?
    Sure. The HTML to use is:
    <img src="http://gmane.org/plot-rate.php?group=gmane.discuss" width=500 height=150>
    

    Substitute the group name you're interested in, of course.

  • Can I include a box displaying the latest topics on my mailing list on my web page?
    Ok, nobody has ever asked that, but, sure! Why not!

    The easiest way is to use an iframe:

    <iframe src="http://blog.gmane.org/recent.php?group=gmane.linux.kernel&type=topics" 
            width=800px height=200px />
    
    You can like totally control the look of the contents by listing the CSS elements in the URL:
    <iframe src="http://blog.gmane.org/recent.php?group=gmane.linux.kernel&
    type=topics&content=from,subject&td.author.background=green&
    td.author.color=white&table.border=1px+solid+black&td.background=red" 
    width=800px height=200px />
    
    See this page for an overview of the available style parameters.

    You can also just download the HTML in question from a cron job, and then just include the HTML into your own page directly, if you don't like iframes.

  • When I connect to the news server, I get no groups, but they are visible on the web server.
    Perhaps you're reading from a domain or network that has been blocked due to excessive news article downloads.

Spam

  • What's your policy on spam?
    We don't like it. Spam bad.

  • I figured out how to crack the address obfuscation in the web interface! You just replace "<at>" with "@"! You guys are obviously not 3l33+!
    Er, yes. However, current accepted wisdom in the anti-spam community is that spam harvesting bots do not do even trivial unobfuscation, so nothing more than this trivial scheme is necessary. If that changes, the obfuscation scheme will change, too.

  • What happens when I click the "This is spam" button?
    Your report is queued, and a Gmane admin will later inspect your report to see whether the message in question really does look like spam. If the admin agrees that this is, indeed, spam, the article is immediately removed from the web interface. At a later date, the article is also cross-posted to the spam group, so that people using the news interface will also be able to avoid seeing the spam.