Jeffrey M. Vinocur | 1 Mar 17:34 2003

Re: ietf-nntp Draft 17 pre-2

On Thu, 27 Feb 2003, Russ Allbery wrote:

> I can't think of a situation in which it would be useful to use it and 
> where the information returned would actually be reliable.

As it stands, I entirely agree that there's no benefit to LIST 
OVERVIEW.FMT (hmm...does anybody have a client that uses it?).

> I could see cases where it would be useful to know what fields one can
> expect from overview, particularly in the area of allowing negative
> assertions (if Content-Type is not present in the OVER response, the
> article is guaranteed to not contain it, that sort of thing).  But I don't
> see how we get there from LIST OVERVIEW.FMT.

Agreed.

Potentially this is sufficiently useful that we should aim for it, though?
It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult.  For example, we could 
return the header name alone (with no colon) to indicate that the header 
did not exist.

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Russ Allbery | 1 Mar 20:42 2003
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Re: ietf-nntp Draft 17 pre-2

Jeffrey M Vinocur <jeff <at> litech.org> writes:

> Potentially this is sufficiently useful that we should aim for it,
> though?  It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult.  For example,
> we could return the header name alone (with no colon) to indicate that
> the header did not exist.

I'm a bit worried about doing anything that changes the format of the
overview response, just because there are a *lot* of overview parsers out
there and I'm not sure what assumptions they're all making about the
format.

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Clive D.W. Feather | 1 Mar 23:31 2003
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ietf-nntp Draft 17

I have submitted draft 17 to the editors and put it on my web site.

This is not meant to preclude any further discussion about the draft, but
was just to meet the IETF deadline. Future changes will be part of draft
18.

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Joao Prado Maia | 2 Mar 06:03 2003

Re: ietf-nntp Virtual hosts in NNTP servers

On Thu, 27 Feb 2003, Clive D. W. Feather wrote:

> If you want something that works now, then a protocol change isn't going 
> to work for you. In that case, you need to do something like playing 
> games with AUTHINFO, since clients already know how to do that.
> 
> Or do you need to provide both servers on port 119? Is the ability to 
> specify the port number unique to Turnpike or does everyone offer it? If 
> it is common, then why not just use different ports?
> 

I don't mind running the servers in separate ports, but I would rather 
have them all in port 119. And I'll tell you why - if you put the 
following in a web page:

news://servername.org/[newsgroup]

Then if the user is running Outlook Express, it will try to open the NNTP 
server automatically for you (creating the appropriate news account and 
etc), but it doesn't seem to recognize port numbers in the URL. That is, 
if you put:

news://servername.org:4444/[newsgroup]

Then Outlook Express will basically just create a news account for server 
'servername.org' with the title 'servername.org:4444'. That's basically 
how I got into trying to run both servers in port 119 and getting into the 
obvious conclusion that it wouldn't be possible.

Now, I understand that most news clients allow the user to change the port 
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Russ Allbery | 2 Mar 06:12 2003
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Re: ietf-nntp Virtual hosts in NNTP servers

Joao Prado Maia <jpm <at> papercut.org> writes:

> I would prefer it to be part of the base protocol, but it seems like
> most people here are against that. It could work both ways, but having
> it in the document would help.

The difficulty there is partly procedural, in that it's out of scope right
now.  We have a very limited working group scope aimed at documenting
existing practice and standardizing a small number of widely implemented
extensions that nearly everyone already implements.  We're also discussing
authentication, which is technically out of scope, but it's sort of a
special situation since the IETF is very concerned with not introducing
new protocols without strong authentication support.

Since this is something brand new, it's not really eligible for the
current base document.  If it's published as an extension, though, it
could certainly be eligible for a future revision.

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Joao Prado Maia | 2 Mar 06:18 2003

Re: ietf-nntp Virtual hosts in NNTP servers

On Sat, 1 Mar 2003, Russ Allbery wrote:

> The difficulty there is partly procedural, in that it's out of scope right
> now.  We have a very limited working group scope aimed at documenting
> existing practice and standardizing a small number of widely implemented
> extensions that nearly everyone already implements.  We're also discussing
> authentication, which is technically out of scope, but it's sort of a
> special situation since the IETF is very concerned with not introducing
> new protocols without strong authentication support.
> 
> Since this is something brand new, it's not really eligible for the
> current base document.  If it's published as an extension, though, it
> could certainly be eligible for a future revision.
> 

That's fine by me, at least if we can agree that this new feature could be 
useful in certain situations. It would certainly be useful to me right 
now. :)

Cheers,
Joao

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Russ Allbery | 2 Mar 06:27 2003
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Re: ietf-nntp Virtual hosts in NNTP servers

Joao Prado Maia <jpm <at> papercut.org> writes:

> That's fine by me, at least if we can agree that this new feature could
> be useful in certain situations. It would certainly be useful to me
> right now. :)

I certainly agree on that point.  :)  I'm not sure that it's useful enough
in a large enough number of situations that clients would want to send it
all the time, but I don't really know either way, and it doesn't seem like
anything would be hurt by trying.

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Ade Lovett | 2 Mar 08:28 2003

Re: ietf-nntp Virtual hosts in NNTP servers

On 03/01/03 23:03, "Joao Prado Maia" <jpm <at> papercut.org> wrote:
> Then Outlook Express will basically just create a news account for server
> 'servername.org' with the title 'servername.org:4444'. That's basically
> how I got into trying to run both servers in port 119 and getting into the
> obvious conclusion that it wouldn't be possible.

So, let me see if I got this straight.  You want to go through the whole
pain of virtual hosts a la HTTP, purely because of one hugely broken client
that doesn't respect the full form of the news: URI?

-aDe

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Charles Lindsey | 2 Mar 16:55 2003
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Re: ietf-nntp Draft 17 pre-2

In <ylof4wuq5z.fsf <at> windlord.stanford.edu> Russ Allbery <rra <at> stanford.edu> writes:

>Another possible approach to this would be to state that LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
>is optional and should only be implemented if the implementation can
>guarantee that what it returns is consistent with the entire overview
>database.  But even this doesn't address the question of what happens if
>the headers that go into the overview database change during the course of
>a single NNTP session.

I think the OVERVIEW.FMT is no use at all if it doesn't tell the truth, so
I would agree with you on that basis.

But will someone please tell me why the overview database should ever
change during the course of a single NNTP session? Does this actually
happen, and is there some benefit in it?

The only case I can think of is where an NNTPserver is actually a
front-end for two news servers, some groups being on one and other on the
other. And they both supply operviews differently.

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Joao Prado Maia | 2 Mar 18:29 2003

Re: ietf-nntp Virtual hosts in NNTP servers

On Sun, 2 Mar 2003, Ade Lovett wrote:

> So, let me see if I got this straight.  You want to go through the whole
> pain of virtual hosts a la HTTP, purely because of one hugely broken client
> that doesn't respect the full form of the news: URI?
> 

Well, regardless as how I ended up looking for this kind of functionality 
from the protocol, the use case is quite obvious - there are people that 
want to run several NNTP servers by binding them to the same IP 
address and port number. Sami Koskinen gave another good example of when 
something like this would be appropriate.

Cheers,
Joao

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