RFC: Bionet <=> LISTSERV gateway

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Wed Apr 21 04:14:00 EST 1993

Una Smith (smith-una at edu.yale) wrote:
: This is a semi-formal request for comments (RFC).  Below, I have outlined
: a proposal for establishing gateways between existing "LISTSERV" mailing
: lists and bionet newsgroups:
: [...]
: Actually, there's no reason why people can't integrate the two systems
: locally.  Using the "tin" package, as Tony Travis in bionet.plants has
: often said, it is easy to set up a subscription to any mailing list and
: have it distributed "downstream" as a local Usenet group.  But it would
: be nice if everyone had that.

I'm in the process of putting together an FAQ about how to do this.


1. The user <news at site> subscribes to the BIOSCI mailing lists
2. The "procmail" package splits incoming mail into folders by news group
3. A local script posts articles using cnews
4. Everyone at the site reads news using "tin"
5. Responses are posted to the 'moderators' mail address (BIOSCI address)
   by cnews using the "mailpaths" database.

As Una said - it's easy to set this up and anyone with enough knowledge
to acquire and install the packages could do it.  I also use the same
system to make mailing lists that do not have equivalent USENET news
groups available locally as news to reduce the number of duplicate

Mail to news conversion is supported by "cnews" (a widely used news
system) and by packages like "newsgate" by Rich Salz.  My setup is a
lot simpler but not as well integrated into cnews.  It is possible to
read mail/news articles using "tin" without installing "cnews" and a
convergent evolution of combined mail/newsreaders is taking place.

Reading mailing lists as news allows people, like me, who cannot obtain
a newsfeed to avoid the very real problems of dealing with huge
mailboxes and reduce the traffic into a site caused by dozens of users
subscribing to the same lists (netiquette dictates that mailing lists
should be re-distributed locally, but multiple subscriptions at the
same site are almost inevitable).

Watch out for the FAQ :-)

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  JANET: <ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri>
Rowett Research Institute,            |  other: <ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  phone: +44 (0)224 712751
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |    fax: +44 (0)224 715349

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