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[] trn newsreader FAQ, part 2: Advanced

Frequently-asked questions (and answers) about trn, a powerful, command-based USENET newsreader, and associated utility programs.
Posted-By: auto-faq 3.3 beta (Perl 5.004)
Archive-name: usenet/software/trn-faq/part2
Posting-Frequency: Posted on the 11th and 26th of each month.
Last-Modified: August 12, 1998
Version: 3.5.3 (of FAQ)
Changes-This-Version: Cliff Adams's e-mail address <>;
	strn integrated into trn 4.0

These articles summarize some frequently-asked questions (and answers)
about the trn newsreader and associated programs such as Pnews and Rnmail.

Part 2 has information on more advanced usage questions and bug workarounds.
This FAQ is maintained by Peter J. Kappesser <>
and is archived at <URL:>.
Anyone wishing to take over maintenance, please write.

> Subject: BLYC: Patches for "leap year bug" (see Subject: UKAN)
> Subject: ATKS: I want to set up a simple news archive. How can I run TRN
>         non-interactively (e.g. as a cron job)?
> Subject: ICAU: If I read an article in one group, then mark it unread, how
>         can it still appear as unread in groups to which it is crossposted?
> Subject: MDCX: Is there a command similar to 'D' that marks everything on the
>         current page as read, but without chasing xrefs?
> Subject: KDHF: In a killfile, what's the difference between
>         /@domain-pattern/f:command and /@domain-pattern/Hfrom:command?
> Subject: MPAS: How do I write a macro to easily reply to the current article
>         with some canned piece of text (e.g., instructions for getting FAQs)?
> Subject: ADCU: In rn-compatibility mode, trn dumps core when I Unread
>         killed subjects.
> Subject: INLS: Is it possible to build trn so that it can use either nntp
>         or a local spool depending on the newsgroup concerned?
> Subject: BASP: Article selection problem in trn 3.4.1
> Subject: ASUS: Slow performance with trn using SLIP
> Subject: KIBF: trn 3.4.1 ignores some lines in big killfile
> Subject: ACNB: Trn thinks certain newsgroups are bogus; TIN doesn't
> Subject: APNU: Why might trn 3.6 prompt newsgroups with 0 unread articles?
> Subject: OSTR: What's strn?
> Subject: OVTC: I have an old version of trn. What changes have been made?


Subject: BLYC: Patches for "leap year bug"
Contributors: Duncan Gibson <>, 
	Erez Zadok <>, John Line <>,
	Peter Kappesser <>,
	Anne Bennett <>

Since January 1, 1996 on some systems, every time users run trn, they may be
asked whether they want to subscribe to new newsgroups which they have
previously declined by answering 'n' or 'N'. The reason is that, as of the
first second of 1996, trn miscomputed the number of leap years, and was
therefore off by one whole day, reporting that the date of the news server was
exactly 24 hours into the future, thus thinking that these "new" newsgroups
could not have been seen at all.

Either of two patches will fix the problem. The "simple patch" works until the
year 2100, and is preferred by Wayne Davison (since it uses a simple division,
instead of a loop, and he doesn't expect people to still be using trn at that
time anyway). The "fancy patch" is accurate until the year 2400.

Although the line numbers are for trn 3.6, the code will work in strn-0.9.2 at
the appropriate place.


Submitted by Miquel van Smoorenburg <>

---8<------8<------8<------8<---cut here--->8------>8------>8------>8---
------- nntp.c -------
*** /tmp/da005NK	Thu Jan  1 00:00:00 1970
--- nntp.c	Wed Jan  3 20:43:11 1996
*** 319,326 ****
      for (month--; month; month--)
  	day += maxdays[month];

!     ss = ((((year-1970) * 365 + (year-1968)/4 + day - 1) * 24L + hh) * 60
! 	  + mm) * 60 + ss;

      return ss;
--- 319,326 ----
      for (month--; month; month--)
  	day += maxdays[month];

!     ss = ((((year-1970) * 365 + (year-1969)/4 + day - 1) * 24L + hh) * 60
!         + mm) * 60 + ss;

      return ss;
---8<------8<------8<------8<---cut here--->8------>8------>8------>8---


Submitted by Paul Close <>

---8<------8<------8<------8<---cut here--->8------>8------>8------>8---
--- trn-3.6/nntp.c	Fri Nov 18 22:01:23 1994
+++ nntp.c.leap	Fri Jan  5 16:38:33 1996
@@ -285,12 +285,13 @@
 /* This is a 1-relative list */
 static int maxdays[] = { 0, 31, 28, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31 };
+#define isleap(y) ((((y) % 4) == 0 && ((y) % 100) != 0) || ((y) % 400) == 0)
     char *s;
-    int year, month, day, hh, mm;
+    int year, month, day, hh, mm, y;
     time_t ss;
     nntp_command("XDATE" + (CompliantServer? 0 : 1));
@@ -306,11 +307,11 @@
     s[4] = '\0';
     year = atoi(s);
-    /* This simple algorithm will be valid until the year 2400 */
-    if (year % 4)
-	maxdays[2] = 28;
-    else
+    if (isleap(year))
 	maxdays[2] = 29;
+    else
+	maxdays[2] = 28;
     if (month < 1 || month > 12 || day < 1 || day > maxdays[month]
      || hh < 0 || hh > 23 || mm < 0 || mm > 59
      || ss < 0 || ss > 59)
@@ -319,8 +320,12 @@
     for (month--; month; month--)
 	day += maxdays[month];
-    ss = ((((year-1970) * 365 + (year-1968)/4 + day - 1) * 24L + hh) * 60
-	  + mm) * 60 + ss;
+    for (y = 1970; y < year; y++)
+	if (isleap(y))
+	    day += 366;
+	else
+	    day += 365;
+    ss += (((day - 1) * 24L + hh) * 60 + mm) * 60;
     return ss;
---8<------8<------8<------8<---cut here--->8------>8------>8------>8---


Subject: ATKS: I want to set up a simple news archive. How can I run TRN
        non-interactively (e.g. as a cron job)?
Contributors: Michael Owings <>,
        Wayne Davison <>,
        Peter J. Kappesser <>

Run the "trnkill" script included below from cron and it will enter
every subscribed group you have just long enough to run the kill file,
and then exit.

---8<------8<------8<------8<---cut here--->8------>8------>8------>8---
# trnkill - shell script to apply trn KILL files in the background
# 14 Mar 89  created for rn by Jim Olsen <olsen@XN.LL.MIT.EDU>
# 10 Sep 93  modified for trn 3 (or 2) by Wayne Davison <>
# Options: -d	debug mode -- you see all gory action as it happens.

# Visit all newsgroups (if trn asks about anything else, just say no)
TRNINIT='-q -s -T -t -x +X'

# support for trn 2.x

# support for versions older than 3.6 on some systems
TERM=dumb ; export TERM

trap 'rm -f $TRNMACRO; exit' 1 2 3 15
cat >$TRNMACRO <<'EOF'
z  %(%m=[nf]?.q^J:n)^(z^)
^m ^(z^)
^j ^(z^)
if test X$1 = X-d; then
	echo "z" | trn
	echo "z" | trn >/dev/null 2>&1
exit 0
---8<------8<------8<------8<---cut here--->8------>8------>8------>8---

If trn crashes when you try to run it as a cron job, it's a problem with
no terminal being set in the cron-run environment, which is confusing
trn.  Trn 3.6 fixes this problem by assuming that if you don't have TERM
set in your environment that your terminal is "dumb". The commands
"TERM=dumb" and "export TERM" in the trnkill script gets this to work
with older trns.

One application of this is to run trnkill in the background when you
login, so it will "pre-kill" all your newsgroups and you won't have to
wait as long for trn to process the killfiles when you're actually
reading news, especially in high-volume, high-noise newsgroups. (Read
your mail first, since you won't be able to run trn until trnkill
finishes; or set up a cron job to run shortly before you usually login.)

You can set up a simple news archive by setting the envariables DOTDIR,
KILLGLOBAL and KILLLOCAL to point to a directory with a special-purpose
.newsrc and killfiles. The killfiles contain commands to select and save
the desired articles. (See Subject: CVNF and Subject: CSKF in Part 1 of
this FAQ.) The maintainer of this FAQ uses this method to archive all
articles that mention trn in


Subject: ICAU: If I read an article in one group, then mark it unread, how
        can it still appear as unread in groups to which it is crossposted?
Contributors: David Joslin <>,
        Wayne Davison <>

This is the MCHASE compile option in the common.h file.  I turned
this off in trn ages ago because I couldn't stand it.  If I use
'M' to set an article as unread in a group, I want it to be there
when I get back, even if I visit a group to which it is cross-
posted and 'X' the whole group.  With MCHASE on I have to be
careful to always 'M' it in every cross-posted group I read until
I actually finish with it.


Subject: MDCX: Is there a command similar to 'D' that marks everything on the
        current page as read, but without chasing xrefs?
Contributors: David Joslin <>,
        Wayne Davison <>,
        Mike Castle <>, Paul Clark <>,
        Steven King, Software Archaeologist <>

One thing you can do is to turn off the chasing of xrefs in both
the D and the X command via the -o switch.  You could even do this
via some macros (put them in your .trnmac file):

D	%(%m=t?&+o^JD:D)
X	%(%m=t?&+o^JX:X)
*D	%(%m=t?&-o^JD:)
*X	%(%m=t?&-o^JX:)

How they work:

When "D" is hit, if current mode (%m) is thread selector (t) then
do the following (&+ocontrol-jD) else do (D)

In short, if  you press "D" in thread selector, it acts as if you
had pressed the keys "&+o^JD", other wise it acts like you
pressed the "D" key by itself. The ones for "X" work analagously.
in pseudo code:
 when "D" is pressed
  if mode=thread_selector then
     pretend "&+o^JD" was hit
     pretend "D" was hit

(These are in fact sideways pictures of gorillas in clown outfits in
four different states of inebriation.  The fact that they make trn do
something weird and wonderful is a particular piece of brilliance on Mr.
Davison's part  ;-) Just like in the Olden Days when your name performed
some magical sequence of operations in TECO, we can feed the smiley
dictionary to trn's macro processor and see what different smiley faces
evoke strange and useful behavior. "I didn't like to use smilies at
all," says Jethro Bodine of Beverly Hills, CA, "until I found that the
sideways grinning cheshire cat smoking a cigar smiley actually causes
trn to kill all posts mentioning Dave Rhodes.  Great work, Mr. Davison!")


Subject: KDHF: In a killfile, what's the difference between
        /@domain-pattern/f:command and /@domain-pattern/Hfrom:command?
Contributor: Wayne Davison <>

You're matching an Internet address. The Hfrom: form ensures that trn
has the full address, even if you're using a an mthreads database that
only caches the real name.  For non-mthreads-using people, use either
one, but the rule is simple: /Hfrom: always matches the full From: line
while /f matches whatever is cached by your database (if you don't have
a database then the full From: line is all you have).


Subject: MPAS: How do I write a macro to easily reply to the current article
        with some canned piece of text (e.g., instructions for getting FAQs)?
Contributors: Jamshid Afshar <>,
        Jeffrey Hurwit <>,
        Peter J. Kappesser <>

If you have formail (part of the procmail mail filter package) at your
site, you can use the "|" command to stuff the article into the front
end of a pipeline such as:

| (formail -rk; cat canned.text.file) | /usr/lib/sendmail -t

In your .trnmac file, assign this string to the key of your choice,
substituting the correct location for sendmail your site. If you don't
have formail, you can write a script, perhaps using perl, which will at
least eat the piped-in article, change Reply-To: (if it exists,
otherwise change From:) to To:, tack it on to your canned.text.file
(which should have the Subject: and From: headers), and pipe the result
to sendmail.


Subject: ADCU: In rn-compatibility mode, trn dumps core when I Unread
        killed subjects.
Steven M. Schultz <sms@WLV.IIPO.GTEGSC.COM>,
Wayne Davison <>

> Here's the scenario:
>       rn  # which is a hard link to trn 3.6
>       (enter a group)
>       =
>       read an article
>       k   # to kill the subject
>       U   # oops, I changed my mind
>       (get the "+tasn" prompt)
>       t
>       <dump!>
>The "SIGSEGV, restoring .newsrc" message is given.

The "Ut" command erroneously assumes that the group is threaded.  Tell
your rn users to be brave and start running "rn -X -x" or "rn -X +x" and
all will be well.  :-)

Alternatively, the following patch should fix the problem (the line number
may well be wrong -- this is based on something newer than 3.6):

@@ -540,5 +540,8 @@
 	    return AS_ASK;
 	else if (*buf == 't' && u_help_thread != nullstr) {
-	    unkill_thread(artp->subj->thread);
+	    if (artp->subj->thread)
+		unkill_thread(artp->subj->thread);
+	    else
+		unkill_subject(artp->subj);
 	    if ((artp = first_art(artp->subj)) != NULL)
 		art = article_num(artp);


Subject: INLS: Is it possible to build trn so that it can use either nntp
        or a local spool depending on the newsgroup concerned?
Contributors: David West <>,
        Wayne Davison <>

No, it's not yet possible. For now what you need to do is to Configure
it once to read things locally, compile it and save the trn executable
under some other name. Then Configure it for NNTP access and compile and
install that (the NNTP scripts are usable locally but not visa versa, so
this order is important).  Finally, rename the installed trn executable
trrn and move the saved-off local version to trn.

Once you've done that you'll need to create a directory for your local
newsrc that is in a different place than your NNTP newsrc and use the
DOTDIR environment variable to tell trn which directory to use.  A
simple alias or a shell file in your local bin dir will take care of
all the details.

Trn 4.0 will allow multiple, simultaneous news sources to be open at the
same time (both local and remote) with full control over what
servers/local-directories are to be used available to each user (each
source needs its own .newsrc file).  You may either switch from server
to server, or have multiple newsrcs open at the same time (if a group is
available from multiple sources, it is read from the first newsrc that
has it available).  It even allows you to use a remote news source and a
local (or nfs-mounted) active file, all configurable at run-time.


Subject: BASP: Article selection problem in trn 3.4.1
Contributors: Jesus R. Aguillon <>,
        Wayne Davison <>

> When I do an article selection with 'A' and then '+' using trn 3.3 I get
> the following in my kill-file:
> /: *test/:++
> Assuming the title is "test". When I enter the newsgroup it does the
> selection properly. With trn 3.4.1 I get:
> /: *test/:I:++
> When I enter the newsgroup I get:
> Processing memorized commands...
> /: *test/:I:++
> 9220    ???I:++
> (Interrupted at article 9220)
> And no articles get selected.  If I remove the :I then it works just like
> trn 3.3.  Is there something different in this case between 3.3 and 3.4.1?

This is a slight botch in 3.4.1 that got fixed in version 3.5 --
the 'I' is a modifier to ignore the THRU line and should have read:
"/: *test/I:++", but an extra ':' got stuck in there.


Subject: ASUS: Slow performance with trn using SLIP
Contributors: Jim Kaufman <>,
        Wayne Davison <>

> I am running a Linux system that occassionally connects to the
> University's machine so I can read news or mail. This is a 14.4Kbps
> SLIP connection.
> I notice that when trn starts up it reads the entire active file,
> which is over 400K long. Also, when I then post news, the Pnews
> script seems to want to do the same thing, as well as read the
> newsgroups file. Is there some way to avoid this? Maybe point
> trn at an older active file (or is this a really bad idea?)

Yeah, this is a drag over a slip line.  Version 3.6 supports a new
server command to grab the active file in smaller chunks (as small as
one newsgroup) which will improve this if your server upgrades their
nntp server to either nntp-1.5.12 (scheduled for release soon), INN 1.5
(ask Rich Salz for a release date), or a slightly-patched INN 1.4 (ask
Wayne Davison <> for the patch).

If you post from within trn Pnews should be sharing the active file that
trn grabbed.  If it's not, you probably have a trn/Pnews combination
that is either too old or out of sync.

As for the newsgroups file, people on a slip line would do well to
modify Pnews to point to a local copy that they update from time to time
(at least through version 3.5).

Trn 3.6 has an improved Pnews that defaults to not grabbing the files
(instead getting the info in an interactive session), but since this is
_slower_ over a fast net connection there is an option to do things the
old way that each user can specify.


Subject: KIBF: trn 3.4.1 ignores some lines in big killfile
Contributors: James Buster <>,
        Wayne Davison <>, Larry W. Virden <>

> I have a local killfile for news.answers, which is 772 lines long. It seems
> that two or three patterns in the killfile are ignored each time that I
> read news.answers (I read it once per day, usually). Exactly which
> patterns is different each time, but the result is that I must (K)ill
> that subject again, producing a duplicate entry in news/answers/KILL.
> I use sort and uniq on the killfile to help me identify and delete those
> duplicate entries. This on a Sun running SunOS Release 4.1.3_U1.
> Is this a known bug that's been fixed in later releases?

I've never heard of this problem before.  Using 'K' to deposit the kill
commands in the killfile puts a fairly specific version of the subject
into the kill file -- are you sure that the subjects aren't changing
slightly, maybe in spacing or something minor so that the kill commands
look similar but aren't quite the same?

One thing you might do is to modify your kill file to make it more
generic on the subjects you want to kill.  Another option is to switch
to using "Tj" (if you are using trn 3.5) to kill the subjects by thread
instead of subject.  This is useful if you're trying to weed out all the
stuff you're not interested in in news.answers because the thread-kill
commands automatically expire after the discussion dies.

What COULD be done is to split the kills up between all the smaller
*.answer groups so that no kill file is so large.  After you get done
doing all the comp.answers, rec.answers , etc. then you can go into
news.answers and see what is left.


Subject: ACNB: Trn thinks certain newsgroups are bogus; TIN doesn't
Contributors: Daniel Jacobs <>,
        Wayne Davison <>

> I have a user who just switched to trn from tin. Some groups that show
> up fine in tin, trn calls bogus and marks them as unsubscribed in
> .newsrc, so if he goes back into tin after not being able to read them
> in trn, he has to resubscribe again. Any ideas?

What version of trn are you using?  In older versions trn used to
complain about redirected newsgroups as bogus (those with '=' in the 4th
field of the active file), but a modern trn reports the redirection and
allows the user to finish reading the remaining articles before they
expire.  It might be that the groups are on their last legs.

The only other thing I can think of is that you're not using the same
server for both tin and trn, but then you'd REALLY be messed up using
the same .newsrc file due to the lack of a common numbering system.


Subject: APNU: Why might trn 3.6 prompt newsgroups with 0 unread articles?
Contributors: Fletcher Mattox <>
        Wayne Davison <>,
        Mike Iglesias <>

> If you specify a restriction on the command line, trn 3.6 prompts you
> to read a newsgroup even when there are no unread articles in it.
> Trn 3.5 didn't do this.  Is there any way to get the old behavior?

This is a restoration of the old behavior. Instead of typing "trn group"
start trn and type "O group" (capital O). Another solution is to
reinstall trn, removing the only line in sw.c that sets "emptyOnly" to
TRUE. Here's the patch in case someone needs it, from Mike Iglesias:

*** sw.c.dist	Fri Nov 18 22:01:26 1994
--- sw.c	Thu Dec  8 22:27:48 1994
*** 164,170 ****
      if (*s != '-' && *s != '+') {	/* newsgroup pattern */
- 	emptyOnly = TRUE;
      else {				/* normal switch */
  	bool upordown = *s == '-' ? TRUE : FALSE;
--- 164,169 ----


Subject: OSTR: What's strn?
Contributor: Clifford A. Adams <>

Strn was written by Clifford A. Adams <>. It's
based on trn 3.4.1, but adds many new capabilities to trn, such as a
newsgroup browser, virtual newsgroups, scoring/rating of articles, and
easy configuration menus. Strn has been developed and tested over the
past year with the help of more than 50 alpha testers. The beta release
is intended to make the current version more widely available, test out
some of the new concepts (such as index-moderation using virtual
newsgroups), and gather suggestions for improvement.

Strn is still under development, although most of its planned features
are implemented. Future versions of strn will mainly improve the
documentation, scoring ease-of-use, and configurability of the program.
Version 1.0 release is expected in a finite amount of time.

More information, as well as source code for the beta-test version
0.9.2, is available from the following FTP sites:
(North America, Eastern US): <URL:>
(North America, Southwest US): <URL:>
(United Kingdom):
(Europe, Netherlands): <URL:>
(South Africa): <URL:>


Subject: OVTC: I have an old version of trn. What changes have been made?
Contributors: Peter J. Kappesser <>,
        Wayne Davison <>

Well, you could find out by ftp'ing the latest version of trn, uncompressing
and de-tar-ing the NEW file... or I could just append most of it here.
(Changes from trn 3.5 to 3.6 are listed in Part 1, Subject: OLVW.)

If you're upgrading from trn 2.x see the discussion of the -a option,
the 't' command (newsgroup selection level), and the 'T' command
(article level & in kill files) for slight incompatibilities between
trn 2.5 and trn 3.0.

Changes from trn 3.4.1 to trn 3.5:

   o	Enhanced the -p option to allow you to select how you'd like
	your postings to be selected.  The default (which works the same
	as before) is -p (select your posting and its replies).  Also
	available is -p+ (select all postings in the thread) and -pp
	(select the *parent* article and its replies).
   o	Added the forward (^F) command to forward an article via mail.
   o	Improved the tab command (skip cited text) to skip empty lines
	and choose the quotation character more intelligently.
   o	You can now junk an article in just the current group via
	a search command using 'x'.  E.g.  /subject/:x
   o	Included some code from Olaf Titz <>
	that allows you to tell trn to transform high-bit characters
	into their 7-bit ascii equivilents.  See the _C command and
	the -Q option.
   o	Added the back-scroll command: 'B'.
   o	Added the -J<n> option to allow you to join truncated subjects
	into a common thread.  The default for -J is 30 chars, not counting
	the Re: portion.  I have the lines "&-J27" and "X&+J" in my Babylon
	5 kill file to join all the Genie posts that get truncated into the
	proper thread.
   o	Added the -K option to keep a group static (no new articles) while
	you read it.  Useful for people who have a really slow kill file
	for a group -- use "&-K" and "X&+K" in such a kill file to make
	only that group stop growing until you exit the group and re-enter.
   o	Added optional mouse support in an xterm window.
   o	Added a new intrp (%q) to get the value of the last quoted input
	(%").  Useful for using elm for forwarding articles as it needs
	the answer to the question "To?" on the command line:
		-EFORWARDPOSTER="elm -i %h -s '%'[subject]' %q"
	(though you may wish to redefine the FORWARDHEADER variable too).
   o	Fixed bugs in the handling of thread kills in partially-threaded
	groups (Tj now works even if the -a option wasn't specified) and
	and in the handling of the subject-kill command (Aj).
   o	New files, HINTS.TRN is like HINTS but in a better format.
	(I renamed it to avoid conflicts with the directory "hints").
   o	Portability enhancements to Configure and the support scripts.
   o	Some fairly major and minor bugs fixed.

Changes from trn 3.3 to trn 3.4.1:

   o	Made the kill-file handling more consistent in how it
	deals with the THRU line.  It now only ignores the THRU
	line for all selection commands.  You can turn off this
	exception (and thus make all commands obey the THRU line)
	by turning off the -k option (using +k).  You can also
	specify the 'I' modifier or the 'N' modifier to killfile
	searches to have them either ignore or not-ignore the
	THRU line, respectively.
   o	Changed the %'s interp to not supply the leading and
	trailing single quotes to make it more useful.
   o	The NNTP trn attempts to reconnect to the news server
	after it times out.  If it is successful, trn continues.
   o	The command /subj/M no longer assumes you meant /subj/r:M.
   o	Automatically-generated killfile commands (e.g. the 'K'
	command) now escape a '/' that occurs in the subject string.
   o	The _+ command (select whole thread) now starts reading
	the thread from the first unread article.
   o	The -p self-matching code was improved to match a user's
	name more exactly so that people with short login names
	don't get improper matches.
   o	Pnews was enhanced to deal with Followup-To: poster better
	when you choose to post anyway -- it now puts the user's
	address into the Cc: header and automatically corrects the
	Newsgroups: line.
   o	Pnews returns to the prompt after an inews error instead of
	aborting.  You can still choose to 'a'bort, if you like.
   o	Speller now passes the ispell_options from Configure to
	spell, and Configure has been enhanced to prompt you for
	the options if either ispell or (new!) vspell can't be
   o	Added the file that puts your policy choices
	from the file into hints/  This allows
	you to use the file to prime the Configure choices
	on multiple machines or in the mthreads package without
	machine-specific selections getting in the way.
   o	Upgraded Configure to the latest metaconfig release.
   o	Fixed some MIME bugs and made the handling a little smarter.
   o	Nested comment warnings removed from various include files.
   o	Fixed several crash bugs and several nusiance bugs, including:
	   *	the problem with the NNTP trn mangling the date of
		new news groups (which caused either groups to get missed
		or groups to be re-offered).
	   *	the problem with the NNTP trn that caused it to think
		certain lines that begin with a '.' are the end of the
		list marker and quit when it got confused.
	   *	and lots more...

Changes from trn 3.2 to trn 3.3:

   o	Newsetup now looks for NEWSLIB/subscriptions for a default list
	of groups to subscribe the user to.  If the file doesn't exist
	the NNTP version will attempt to grab it via the LIST SUBSCRIPTIONS
	command (available in INN and some nntp patches).
	[HINT:  if you want your subscription file to default to all
	groups in the active file, link your subscription file to your
	active file -- trn will strip the info past the first space
	when it processes the .newsrc.]
   o	The file newsnews will now default to a simple version update
	message instead of a welcome-to trn message (which is now provided
	by the newsetup file when creating a new .newsrc for a user).
	I still encourage you to install your own custom newsnews
	when trn is updated (and trn still doesn't install newsnews
	automatically -- you have to make this decision for your self).
   o	Redirected and disabled groups (marked by '=' or 'x' in the active
	file) are now handled better, allowing you to read any remaining
	articles after a group gets redirected or disabled and warning you
	to either start using the new group name or that the group will
	not be receiving any new news.
   o	Mime support is now prompted for in Configure and your system's
	display/store commands are remembered.  We also handle a continued
	Content-Type header correctly now.
   o	The tick (') interp modifier will generate a tick-quoted string
	with all ticks inside the string quoted.  For example, %'s might
	generate (INCLUDING the "'"s)  'Ticks aren\'t a problem.'
   o	If the environment variable FAST_PNEWS == y Pnews skips the "Are
	you sure?" question and the "include file" prompt.  You can put
	-EFAST_PNEWS=y in the global INIT file, if you so desire.
   o	Various bug fixes.

Changes from trn 3.1 to trn 3.2:

   o	Configure and the include file structure has been improved to
	install easier on more systems.
   o	Fixed some non-portable test statements in Pnews.
   o	Added the -Z option to allow you to turn on/off support for the
	two different database formats (-Zt, -Zo, -Zot, or +Z).
   o	Configure now allows you set the default database support to
	thread files, overview files, both or none.
   o	Trn and its support scripts handle ~/dirs in the newslib or
	rnlib better.
   o	Various bug fixes.

Changes from trn 3.0 to trn 3.1:

   o	Added a new header-searching syntax:  /string/Hheader:cmd.
	This allows you to match a string on any header that trn
	knows about and is faster on the NNTP side than full-header
	matching.  Example:  /: .../Hlines:j  would junk all postings
	longer than 99 lines.
   o	Two new commands can be put into a group's kill file: *j
	(kill all articles from THRU to the end of the group) and *X
	(kill all unselected articles from THRU to the end of the group).
   o	Pnews (using artcheck) now checks the active file as well as
	the newsgroups file for each group on the Newsgroups line.  This
	lets you know whenever you specify a group that doesn't exist.
	Also, the NNTP version has been fixed to provide full checking.
   o	Pnews/Rnmail have been modified to allow you to type either upper
	or lower case for the response letters, and use "sp*ell" in addition
	to "c*heck" for the spelling checker ("s*end" is unchanged).
   o	Pnews/Rnmail each have a pre-edit signature appending option.
	If you use the file DOTDIR/.news_sig INSTEAD of .signature Pnews
	will append your signature before you edit the file.  Rnmail uses
	the file DOTDIR/.mail_sig.  Note also that the names may be
	customized with the environment variables NEWSSIGNATURE and
	MAILSIGNATURE, if desired (allowing a per-group signature).
   o	Added the modifiers '>' and ')' to interpreted strings.  For
	example:  %>f gives you the address only on the From line,
	while %)f gives you the real name portion.
   o	Added the 'O' command (newsgroup level) that works just like 'o'
	except that it does not visit empty groups.
   o	The killfile is fully saved before manual editing with Ctrl-K
	(message-id commands used to be saved only on exit from the group).
   o	The screen is now refreshed when the window size changes.
   o	Trn now makes use of stdlib.h, unistd.h (if available) and does a
	more intelligent inclusion of time.h & sys/time.h (as needed).
   o	Trn doesn't loop through the current thread if unread articles
	still exist in it.  Also fixed various problems with '>' & 'P'.
   o	The 'D' command in the selector no longer jumps back to the top.
   o	The NNTP version has a different new-article aquisition strategy.
	Your nntp server must send up-to-date information in response to
	the GROUP command (INN's nnrpd does) for a group to expand while
	you're in it.  Also, you can now set the minimum time for trn to
	wait (see -z) before it refetches the active file at the end of
	the newsgroups.  The default is 5 minutes.
   o	Optional metamail support pauses between the headers and the
	metamail-interpreted article.  Also, the 'v' command displays the
	raw article without metamail processing.
   o	Numerous portability changes and bug fixes.

Changes from trn 2.5 to trn 3.0:

   o	Trn is now capable of reading more news database formats.  It
	currently supports news overview (.overview files), mthreads
	(.thread files), and direct threading of the articles.  The
	NNTP version supports the XTHREAD and XOVER NNTP extensions.
	If you compile trn with support for both formats it will figure
	out which groups (or which server) has which type of data and
	act accordingly.
   o	Mthreads is now a separate package from trn since not everyone
	will need to use it.  Look for it in the same place you found
   o	Trn attempts to build some useful default macros for your
	terminal's arrow keys.  On the article level they move around
	in the thread; in the selector they change pages (left/right)
	and switch selections (up/down); on the newsgroup level they
	move by group (up/down) and enter a group (right).  If you
	don't like this, turn it off with the +A option.
   o	There's a new search scope -- the from line.  For example:
	use /author/f+ to search for and select 'author's articles.
   o	The thread selector has been extended to be a subject and
	article selector.  Use the 'S'et selector command to change
	modes or use '=' to toggle between the article selector and
	the subject/thread selector (whichever was last in use).
   o	The selector can now be sorted in a variety of ways:  by date,
	subject, author, article count (in the subject/thread selector),
	or a combination of subject and date (in the article selector).
	The default is date order of the oldest unread article in a thread.
	Use the 'O'rder command to pick a new one or use 'R' to reverse
	the sort.  See also the "-O<mode><order>" option to set your
	favorite mode and order.  You can even put a "&-Oas" command (for
	example) into a group's kill file to set a per-group default.
   o	The selector allows you to exclude all the non-selected articles
	from the display (i.e. narrow it) -- use 'E' to toggle this mode.
   o	The selector has two new selection commands:  '*' is used to select
	(or deselect) the current item and all other items with the same
	subject (useful in the article selector); '#' is used to make an
	overriding selection that immediately reads the current item
	ignoring all other selections.
   o	You can now type 'M' in the selector to mark the current item's
	articles as read-but-returning and press 'Y' to yank back and
	select these articles before exiting the group.
   o	Selections via searches are article-oriented (/subj/+) or
	thread-/subject-oriented (/subj/++).  The article selector's
	default command is "+", while the thread/subject selector's is
	"++".  In other words doing a "/subj" search with no specified
	command selects whatever type of object you're looking at in the
   o	If you specify the "-p" option, your postings and any replies to
	them are auto-selected whenever trn encounters them.
   o	The '+' command in a non-threaded group visits the subject selector.
	You can also use "_a", "_s", "_t" or "_T" to force the article,
	subject, thread, or thread-but-I'll-settle-for-subject selector.
   o	The selector displays subjects/threads that are partially-selected
	with a '*'.  Fully-selected items are marked with a '+', as before.
	Use the article selector (possibly with 'E'xclusive set) to see
	which articles are selected in a partially-selected group (or just
	read them).
   o	The selector remembers which subjects you selected (and didn't kill)
	and marks any newly-arriving articles in these subjects as selected
	until you exit the group.
   o	The medium display mode of the thread selector has been improved
	to make it more readable.
   o	The selector will leave out the middle portion of a subject that is
	too long to display the last two words of the subject.  If you don't
	like this, use the -u option to leave them unbroken.
   o	'T'hread KILL commands now use message-ids to either junk
	or select articles.  The 'T' command has been extended to be
	more flexible on the article level and has been added to the
   o	Another new command 'A'dds selection or kill commands to the KILL
	file, and works from both the article level and the selector.
   o	The tree display has been updated to display unread-but-not-
	selected articles as <x>.  Other unread articles are still [x],
	while read articles still display as (x).
   o	Trn can enter a group without thread information available and
	thread it in the background while you read.  Articles that have
	references that may or may not exist show up as "(?)".  If you
	visit an article like this and wait there, the screen will update
	when we know for sure one way or the other (after processing more
	of the group).
   o	The -a option is used to tell trn to thread all of the
	articles on entry to the group.  If you don't specify this
	option a group may have a few (or many) articles that get
	threaded in the background and won't show up on the tree
	display until trn processes them.
   o	Pressing "_+" on the article level will select the entire thread
	associated with the current article -- useful if you've selected
	individual articles and wish to read the rest of the discussion.
	Use "_-" to deselect the current thread.
   o	The commands _N and _P move to the next and previous article
	in numberical (arrival) order (article level).  Thus, you can
	use the command "._P" on the newsgroup level to start reading
	a group from the very last article to arrive.
   o	The 't' command on the newsgroup level now turns OFF reading a
	group with threads (this setting is stored in the .newsrc file,
	so it is remembered from session to session).  Trn 2.x used this
	to force threading to be turned ON, but it wasn't usually needed
	for normal operation.  To temporarily turn threads on once inside
	a non-threaded group, use the 't' or "_t" commands (article level)
	or the "St" command (selector).
   o	Trn now checks for the environment variable TRNMACRO on startup
	(which defaults to DOTDIR/.trnmac) before checking for the usual
	RNMACRO (DOTDIR/.rnmac) file.  If you're running trn in its rn-
	compatible mode, only RNMACRO is tried.
   o	The threaded and non-threaded data in a group has been unified,
	resulting in more cached information on the non-threaded side
	(such as the from line) and more efficient handling of missing
	articles, just to name two benefits.
   o	The newsgroup information is freed when we enter a new group,
	not when we exit the current group.  This means that if you
	quit out of a group (even accidentally), you can go back in
	and everything is still there except the selections, which
	get cleared on group exit.
   o	KILL file processing will now ignore the THRU line as much as
	possible without slowing down the handling of KILL files.
	If you have really slow searches (header or article searches)
	or you use trn without a database it will use the THRU line
	to only search an article one time (as it would in rn).  This
	means that if you have subject-oriented selection commands you
	don't have to worry about missing articles if you don't read all
	of them the first time you enter a group after they arrive.  This
	also means that you won't have to edit your local kill file to
	remove the THRU line to force a re-scan -- this is now unnecessary.
   o	Header parsing is now done in-memory, making threading and
	caching of articles much faster.  This especially helps out
	NNTP users because trn used to write a tmp file for every
	header parse.
   o	Several new mode letters (accessed by %m in macros) were added.
	The most significant are 'f' for the end (Finis) of the newsgroup
	selection level (instead of 'n') and 'e' for the end of the article
	reading level (instead of 'a').
   o	A new % modifier has been introduced: "%:FMTx".  This allows you
	to apply a printf-style column format to a regular %x expansion.
	For example, %:-50.50s would left-justify the subject into 50
	characters, exactly.
   o	The -f option will make trn go a little faster by getting rid of the
	delay/prompt after kill file processing, printing the "skipping
	article" message, and printing the "Depositing KILL command" message.
	This is the default if -t (terse) is specified, but can be overriden
	by specifying +f after the -t option.
   o	A new option for the gadget-conscious (-B) displays a spinner when
	trn is processing articles in the background.
   o	Added the -G option to make the newsgroup 'g'o command look for
	near matches (for those typing mistakes).
   o	New newsgroups that are left unsubscribed are not appended to the
	.newsrc unless you use the -I option or you're running an NNTP
	version that does not use the NEWGROUPS code.
   o	Support for metamail's mime handling is now built into the code --
	see the METAMAIL define in common.h.
   o	Pnews does more checking of your article before posting, has a
	spelling-check option, and allows the Cc: header to be used to
	send mail while posting the article.

Changes from trn 1.0.3 to trn 2.5:

   o	Added the '(' and ')' commands (article level) to move to an
	article's previous/next sibling, including "cousin" siblings.
   o	The 'A'bandon command (newsgroup level) forgets all changes to the
	current newsgroup since you first started trn.
   o	The thread selector now allows you type type 'c'/'y' to catchup
	the group without chasing cross-references.
   o	Added 'z' and 'Z' commands (article level) supersede the current
	article ('Z' also including the original text).
   o	The g command (newsgroup level) will go to a newsgroup by number
	where the the number corresponds to that shown in the 'L'ist
   o	Added the "-o" option to use the old method of junking articles in
	the thread commands (they didn't chase cross-references in trn 1.x)
   o	Added the "-b" option to read articles in a breadth-first descent
	of the article tree.  You can specify this command at runtime to
	switch from breadth-first (type "&-b") to depth-first ("&+b).
   o	Added the "-j" option to tell trn to pass control characters through
	the pager unharmed.

End of trn newsreader FAQ, part 2/2.

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