Re: Proposal: WIT over USENET or Mail

Tim Berners-Lee <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 1994 13:14:37 +0200
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From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: Proposal: WIT over USENET or Mail
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas

> > From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
> > > From: Ehud Shapiro <>
> > > - A general news URL which allows access to any news server on the
> > > 	Internet, in the form of "news://nntpserver_address/article".
> > > 	Owners of the news group may decide  whether to flood it
> > > 	through Usenet (i.e. make it global), and whether to allow
> > > 	remote browser access and posting, through standard NNTP/INN
> > > 	mechanisms.
> > 

> > This has been discussed on the URI list.  (If it were WIT it would
> > be easy to refer to.!)  I am against the idea as it is a perversion
> > of the NNTP protocol for uses which eth HTTP protocol was designed.
> > You can do the same thing just by running a local HTTP gateway
> > into a local newsgroup.

> I haven't followed the URI discussion, and  "perversion" is a loaded
> term.  What are the reasons against remote NNTP clients?
> And how does an HHTP proxy overcome these reasons?

Sorry, "perversion" is loaded.  I feel that the point of the NNTP
protocol is that it is a global flooding protocol.  It has certain
properties.  If an NNTP server says to you "IHAVE xxxx" you can check
to see whether you have xxxx from any other site, you can pass it on,
you can refer to it just as xxxx.  Either people have that message
or they don't.  Looking at the Message-ID is all you need.

By contast, in a system with private news servers, you would have to
use the full URI of style nntp://host/message-id as a reference
instead.  NNTP doesn't use those URLs.  Not in the "References:", not
in the protocol.

On the other hand, you are just using NNTP to give HTTP
functionality, so why not use HTTP?  That does use URIs,
and has the model of retieval directly or indirectly from a 

home server.

You can run cern-httpd with lines like

	map	/*	news:/*
in the config file to allow your local news groups

to be visible as

True, you have to write a script if you want to allow posting.
(And you need a client with posting)