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Shlomi Fish (918)

Shlomi Fish
  shlomif@iglu.org.il
http://www.shlomifish.org/
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I'm a hacker of Perl, C, Shell, and occasionally other languages. Perl is my favourite language by far. I'm a member of the Israeli Perl Mongers, and contribute to and advocate open-source technologies. Technorati Profile [technorati.com]

Journal of Shlomi Fish (918)

Saturday May 06, 2006
02:50 PM

Web-based Newsreader in the Work

[ #29538 ]

Ever since the Perl mailing lists web archive system got switched from the old develooper format to the new one at www.nntp.perl.org, I have been irritated from the lack of threading and other navigation features that I came to expect from most mail archives.

I contacted the perl.org administrators about it and as it turns out, the interface used there is just a web-based newsreader. They wanted to keep it this way, but still allow for better controls. I emailed them about writing a better interface a long time ago, and got a reply for some requirements.

A few weeks ago, I got my act together, and started working on a better web-based newsreader. After a few days of hacking, I came up with the first working version of CGI-Application-NetNewsIface, which I uploaded to CPAN. Version 0.0100_01 contained most of the features of the www.nntp.perl.org version except for RSS support.

In order to implement threading efficiently, I decided to implement a local cache using the perl DBI and DBD-SQLite. In the process, I bugged the DBD-SQLite maintainer about two bugs I ran into in the past and present. He fixed one of them, and one of them is luckily just a warning, and one which I provided a patch to the sources for a way to disable. (Which I'll hope will get applied.)

So, Version 0.0100_02 of CGI-Application-NetNewsIface which I uploaded to CPAN today, (and which is temporarily available here) displays the current thread in the active message, which should be a huge improvement.

My goal is to make CGI-App-NNI a viable alternative for the current www.nntp.perl.org web-interface, and as an NNTP web interface for other sites that would like to implement similar interfaces. There is still quite a lot to do, but it should be doable.

It would be nice if you try to set it up on your web server and let me know if it works. Patches are also welcome, of course. (see the Subversion repository). We waited too much for a decent web-interface to the Perl mailing lists, and I don't want to wait much longer.

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