News: anywhere vs. NNTP: to-server, eh?

Al Gilman <> Sat, 16 August 1997 21:44 UTC

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From: Al Gilman <>
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Subject: News: anywhere vs. NNTP: to-server, eh?
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 17:16:27 -0400 (EDT)
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> X-URL:
>      * Subject: Re: LYNX-DEV Re: news: vs. nntp: scheme
>      * From: Klaus Weide <[5]>

> To me "news:" means "at any USENET site".  For practical use in accessing
> data, the "any" has to be translated into a specific machine and access
> protocol.  It's just a useful optimization to use a local server if you
> have one.
> There are useful differences in meaning.  USENET vs. NNTP.  A community of
> people (which may not all use NNTP) vs. access to a specific machine
> (which may not exchange any messages with USENET).  Even though Lynx
> (following others) extends the syntax of RFC 1738 in various ways, so that
> it understands several strings to mean the same string, this doesn't mean
> for example that it's a good idea to give out to other people an URL for a
> USENET message in the "nntp:" form.

I like it.  Let's see if I get it.  IF we were to put the
lynx-dev archive into a NewsGroup local to Flora.ORG, THEN that
would be a resource which should be referred to with an nntp: URL
(according to your semantics), right?  It would be useless to go
looking for the resource in any other location.

At least I like the fact that this makes the news: scheme a
de_facto example of an URI which is really a resource Name and
not a resource Location.  That's good.  The HTML 4.0 draft thinks
that URIs are all URLs and transport is all HTTP.  We need
somehow to broaden their vision...

On the other hand, I support the extension of "localhost"
defaulting across schemes other than http: so it would be easy
enough to fold these URNs and URLs under one syntax where if you
don't provide a path the URI is dereferenced by a
client-side-determined search strategy starting with [the usual

This would give you permission to search for nntp:group.subgroup
anywhere you find an NNTP server and still know where to look
when provided with a resource identification with a path as in
nntp:// ?

The [news | nntp] converged scheme so defined would be always a
resource name with optional location cues embedded.

Al Gilman