Where do the "bionet.followup" munges come from?

Roy Smith roy at alanine.phri.nyu.edu
Mon Oct 21 15:05:32 EST 1991

mroussel at alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca (Marc Roussel) writes:
> Recently, I noticed that followups on bionet.general articles munge the
> Newsgroups line to say "bionet.followup" even in the absence of a
> Followup-To line in the original message header.

	The problme is indeed in the rn sources, specifically in intrp.c.
In the version I have (intrp.c,v 90/12/31 11:47:44 sob Exp), It's
the following code at lines 664-670:

			if (h = instr(s,"net.general")) {
			    off = h-s;
			    s = scrbuf;

	What's going on is that there used to be the convention that
followups to articles in the newsgroup net.general (which doesn't exist
anymore and hasn't for something like 5 years) should be placed in
net.followup.  For better or for worse, the rn code attempted to enforce
this convention.  What's going on in the above code is that the string
"net.general" in the Newsgroups line of an article being follow-ed-up to
gets changed to "net.followup".  Unfortunately, that means "bionet.general"
gets changed to "bionet.followup".  I would suggest simply deleting the
above code entirely.  I'm not even sure why it's still there, other than
nobody bothered to take it out, and until bionet.general came around, it
never bit anybody.

	Old code never dies.  It simply gets integrated into the host
genome of the program it's part of waiting for the right environmental
conditions to appear.

roy at alanine.phri.nyu.edu (Roy Smith)
Public Health Research Institute
455 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA
"Arcane?  Did you say arcane?  It wouldn't be Unix if it wasn't arcane!"

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