[Docs] [txt|pdf] [Tracker] [WG] [Email] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 RFC 3977

NNTP                                                          C. Feather
Internet-Draft                                                  Thus plc
Expires: August 14, 2005                               February 10, 2005

                     Network News Transfer Protocol
                       draft-ietf-nntpext-base-25

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is subject to all provisions
   of Section 3 of RFC 3667.  By submitting this Internet-Draft, each
   author represents that any applicable patent or other IPR claims of
   which he or she is aware have been or will be disclosed, and any of
   which he or she become aware will be disclosed, in accordance with
   RFC 3668.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as
   Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt.

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.

   This Internet-Draft will expire on August 14, 2005.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).

Abstract

   The Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) has been in use in the
   Internet for a decade and remains one of the most popular protocols
   (by volume) in use today.  This document is a replacement for RFC 977
   and officially updates the protocol specification.  It clarifies some
   vagueness in RFC 977, includes some new base functionality, and
   provides a specific mechanism to add standardized extensions to NNTP.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 1]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

Administration

   This document is a product of the NNTP Working Group, chaired by Russ
   Allbery and Ned Freed.

   This is draft 25.

Author's Note

   This document is written in XML using an NNTP-specific DTD.  Custom
   software is used to convert this to RFC 2629 [RFC2629] format, and
   then the public "xml2rfc" package to further reduce this to text,
   nroff source, and HTML.

   No perl was used in producing this document.

Rights

   UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group.
















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 2]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    6
   2.  Notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    7
   3.  Basic Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    9
     3.1   Commands and Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    9
     3.2   Response Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   11
       3.2.1   Generic Response Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   12
         3.2.1.1   Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
     3.3   Capabilities and Extensions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   15
       3.3.1   Capability descriptions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   16
       3.3.2   Standard capabilities  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   16
       3.3.3   Extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   18
       3.3.4   Initial IANA register  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   19
     3.4   Mandatory and Optional Commands  . . . . . . . . . . . .   20
       3.4.1   Reading and Transit Servers  . . . . . . . . . . . .   21
       3.4.2   Mode switching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   22
     3.5   Pipelining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   23
       3.5.1   Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   24
     3.6   Articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   24
   4.  The WILDMAT format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   26
     4.1   Wildmat syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   26
     4.2   Wildmat semantics  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   26
     4.3   Extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   27
     4.4   Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   27
   5.  Session administration commands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   28
     5.1   Initial Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   28
     5.2   CAPABILITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   29
     5.3   MODE READER  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   31
     5.4   QUIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   33
   6.  Article posting and retrieval  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   35
     6.1   Group and article selection  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   35
       6.1.1   GROUP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   35
       6.1.2   LISTGROUP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   38
       6.1.3   LAST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   39
       6.1.4   NEXT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   40
     6.2   Retrieval of articles and article sections . . . . . . .   42
       6.2.1   ARTICLE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   42
       6.2.2   HEAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   45
       6.2.3   BODY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   47
       6.2.4   STAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   48
     6.3   Article posting  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   51
       6.3.1   POST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   51
       6.3.2   IHAVE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   53
   7.  Information commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   56
     7.1   DATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   56
     7.2   HELP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   56
     7.3   NEWGROUPS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   57


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 3]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

     7.4   NEWNEWS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   58
     7.5   Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   59
       7.5.1   Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   60
     7.6   The LIST commands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   60
       7.6.1   LIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   61
       7.6.2   Standard LIST keywords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   63
       7.6.3   LIST ACTIVE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   63
       7.6.4   LIST ACTIVE.TIMES  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   65
       7.6.5   LIST DISTRIB.PATS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   66
       7.6.6   LIST NEWSGROUPS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   66
   8.  Article field access commands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   68
     8.1   Article metadata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   68
       8.1.1   The :bytes metadata item . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   68
       8.1.2   The :lines metadata item . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   69
     8.2   Database consistency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   69
     8.3   OVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   70
     8.4   LIST OVERVIEW.FMT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   74
     8.5   HDR  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   75
     8.6   LIST HEADERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   79
   9.  Augmented BNF Syntax for NNTP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   83
     9.1   Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   83
     9.2   Command continuation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   85
     9.3   Responses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   85
       9.3.1   Generic responses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   85
       9.3.2   Initial response line contents . . . . . . . . . . .   86
       9.3.3   Multi-line response contents . . . . . . . . . . . .   87
     9.4   Capability lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   88
     9.5   LIST variants  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   88
     9.6   Articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   89
     9.7   General non-terminals  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   90
     9.8   Extensions and Validation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   91
   10.   IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   93
   11.   Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   94
     11.1  Personal and Proprietary Information . . . . . . . . . .   94
     11.2  Abuse of Server Log Information  . . . . . . . . . . . .   94
     11.3  Weak Authentication and Access Control . . . . . . . . .   94
     11.4  DNS Spoofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   95
     11.5  UTF-8 issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   95
     11.6  Caching of capability lists  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   96
   12.   Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   98
   13.   References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  100
     13.1  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  100
     13.2  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  100
       Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  101
   A.  Interaction with other specifications  . . . . . . . . . . .  102
     A.1   Header folding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  102
     A.2   Message-IDs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  102
     A.3   Article posting  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  103


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 4]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   B.  Summary of Commands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  105
   C.  Summary of Response Codes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  108
       Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . .  112
























Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 5]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

1.  Introduction

   This document specifies the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP),
   which is used for the distribution, inquiry, retrieval, and posting
   of Netnews articles using a reliable stream-based mechanism.  For
   news reading clients, NNTP enables retrieval of news articles that
   are stored in a central database, giving subscribers the ability to
   select only those articles they wish to read.

   The Netnews model provides for indexing, cross-referencing, and
   expiration of aged messages.  NNTP is designed for efficient
   transmission of Netnews articles over a reliable full duplex
   communication channel.

   Every attempt is made to ensure that the protocol specification in
   this document is compatible with the version specified in RFC 977
   [RFC977].  However, this version does not support the ill-defined
   SLAVE command and permits four digit years to be specified in the
   NEWNEWS and NEWGROUPS commands.  It changes the default character set
   to UTF-8 [RFC3629] instead of US-ASCII [ANSI1986] (note that US-ASCII
   is a subset of UTF-8).  It now requires all articles to have a
   message-id, eliminating the "<0>" placeholder used in RFC 977 in some
   responses.  It also extends the newsgroup name matching capabilities
   already documented in RFC 977.

   Generally, new functionality is made available using new commands.  A
   number of such commands (including some commands taken from RFC 2980
   [RFC2980]) are now mandatory.  Part of the new functionality involves
   a mechanism to discover what new functionality is available to
   clients from a server.  This mechanism can also be used to add more
   functionality as needs merit such additions.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

   An implementation is not compliant if it fails to satisfy one or more
   of the MUST requirements for this protocol.  An implementation that
   satisfies all the MUST and all the SHOULD requirements for its
   protocols is said to be "unconditionally compliant"; one that
   satisfies all the MUST requirements but not all the SHOULD
   requirements for NNTP is said to be "conditionally compliant".

   For the remainder of this document, the term "client" or "client
   host" refers to a host making use of the NNTP service, while the term
   "server" or "server host" refers to a host that offers the NNTP
   service.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 6]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

2.  Notation

   The following notational conventions are used in this document.

     UPPERCASE     indicates literal text to be included in the
                   command;
     lowercase     indicates a token described elsewhere;
     [brackets]    indicate that the argument is optional;
     ellipsis...   indicates that the argument may be repeated any
                   number of times (it must occur at least once);
     vertical|bar  indicates a choice of two mutually exclusive
                   arguments (exactly one must be provided).

   The name "message-id" for a command or response argument indicates
   that it is the message-id of an article as described in Section 3.6,
   including the angle brackets.

   The name "wildmat" for an argument indicates that it is a wildmat as
   defined in Section 4.  If the argument does not meet the requirements
   of that section (for example, if it does not fit the grammar of
   Section 4.1) the NNTP server MAY place some interpretation on it (not
   specified by this document) or otherwise MUST treat it as a syntax
   error.

   Responses for each command will be described in tables listing the
   required format of a response followed by the meaning that should be
   ascribed to that response.

   The terms "NUL", "TAB", "LF", "CR, and "space" refer to the octets
   %x00, %x09, %x0A, %x0D, and %x20 respectively (that is, the octets
   with those codes in US-ASCII [ANSI1986] and thus UTF-8 [RFC3629]).
   The term "CRLF" or "CRLF pair" means the sequence CR immediately
   followed by LF (that is, %x0D.0A).  A "printable US-ASCII character"
   is an octet in the range %x21-7E.  Quoted characters refer to the
   octets with those codes in US-ASCII (so "." and "<" refer to %x2E and
   %x3C) and will always be printable US-ASCII characters; similarly,
   "digit" refers to the octets %x30-39.

   A "keyword" MUST consist only of US-ASCII letters, digits, and the
   characters dot (".") and dash ("-"), and must begin with a letter.
   Keywords MUST be at least three characters and MUST NOT exceed 12
   characters.

   Examples in this document are not normative but serve to illustrate
   usages, arguments, and responses.  In the examples, a "[C]" will be
   used to represent the client host and a "[S]" will be used to
   represent the server host.  Most of the examples do not rely on a
   particular server state.  In some cases, however, they do assume that


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 7]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   the current selected newsgroup (see the GROUP command
   (Section 6.1.1)) is invalid; when so, this is indicated at the start
   of the example.  Examples may use commands or other keywords not
   defined in this specification (such as an XENCRYPT command).  These
   will be used to illustrate some point and do not imply that any such
   command is defined elsewhere or needs to exist in any particular
   implementation.

   Terms which might be read as specifying details of a client or server
   implementation, such as "database", are used simply to ease
   description.  Providing that implementations conform to the protocol
   and format specifications in this document, no specific technique is
   mandated.



















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 8]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

3.  Basic Concepts

3.1  Commands and Responses

   NNTP operates over any reliable data stream 8-bit-wide channel.
   Initially, the server host starts the NNTP service by listening on a
   TCP port.  When a client host wishes to make use of the service, it
   MUST establish a TCP connection with the server host by connecting to
   that host on the same port on which the server is listening.  When
   the connection is established, the NNTP server host MUST send a
   greeting.  The client host and server host then exchange commands and
   responses (respectively) until the connection is closed or aborted.

   The character set for all NNTP commands is UTF-8 [RFC3629].  Commands
   in NNTP MUST consist of a keyword, which MAY be followed by one or
   more arguments.  A CRLF pair MUST terminate all commands.  Multiple
   commands MUST NOT be on the same line.  Unless otherwise noted
   elsewhere in this document, arguments SHOULD consist of printable
   US-ASCII characters.  Keywords and arguments MUST be each separated
   by one or more space or TAB characters.  Command lines MUST NOT
   exceed 512 octets, which includes the terminating CRLF pair.  The
   arguments MUST NOT exceed 497 octets.  A server MAY relax these
   limits for commands defined in an extension.

   Where this specification permits UTF-8 characters outside the range
   U+0000 to U+007F, implementations MUST NOT use the Byte Order Mark
   (U+FEFF, encoding %xEF.BB.BF), and MUST use the Word Joiner (U+2060,
   encoding %xE2.91.A0) for the meaning Zero Width No-Break Space, in
   command lines and the initial lines of responses, and SHOULD apply
   these same principles throughout.

   The term "character" means a single Unicode code point and
   implementations are not required to carry out normalisation.  Thus
   U+0084 (A-dieresis) is one character while U+0041 U+0308 (A composed
   with dieresis) is two; the two need not be treated as equivalent.

   Commands may have variants, using a second keyword immediately after
   the first to indicate which variant is required.  The only such
   commands in this specification are LIST and MODE.  Note that such
   variants are sometimes referred to as if they were commands in their
   own right: "the LIST ACTIVE" command should be read as shorthand for
   "the ACTIVE variant of the LIST command".

   Keywords are case-insensitive; the case of keywords for commands MUST
   be ignored by the server.  Command and response arguments are case-
   or language-specific only when stated, either in this document or in
   other relevant specifications.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005                [Page 9]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Each response MUST start with a three-digit response code that is
   sufficient to distinguish all responses.  Certain valid responses are
   defined to be multi-line; for all others, the response is contained
   in a single line.  The first or only line of the response MUST NOT
   exceed 512 octets, which includes the response code and the
   terminating CRLF pair; an extension MAY specify a greater maximum for
   commands that it defines, but not for any other command.

   All multi-line responses MUST adhere to the following format:
   1.  The response consists of a sequence of one or more "lines", each
       being a stream of octets ending with a CRLF pair.  Apart from
       those line endings, the stream MUST NOT include the octets NUL,
       LF, or CR.
   2.  The first such line contains the response code as with a single
       line response.
   3.  If any subsequent line begins with the "termination octet" ("."
       or %x2E), that line MUST be "byte-stuffed" by pre-pending an
       additional termination octet to that line of the response.
   4.  The lines of the response MUST be followed by a terminating line
       consisting of a single termination octet followed by a CRLF pair
       in the normal way.  Thus a multi-line response is always
       terminated with the five octets CRLF "." CRLF (%x0D.0A.2E.0D.0A).
   5.  When interpreting a multi-line response, the "byte-stuffing" MUST
       be undone; i.e.  the client MUST ensure that, in any line
       beginning with the termination octet followed by octets other
       than a CRLF pair, that initial termination octet is disregarded.
   6.  Likewise, the terminating line ("." CRLF or %x2E.0D.0A) MUST NOT
       be considered part of the multi-line response; i.e.  the client
       MUST ensure that any line beginning with the termination octet
       followed immediately by a CRLF pair is disregarded; (the first
       CRLF pair of the terminating CRLF "." CRLF is, of course, part of
       the last line of the response).

   Note that texts using an encoding (such as UTF-16 or UTF-32) that may
   contain the octets NUL, LF, or CR other than a CRLF pair cannot be
   reliably conveyed in the above format (that is, they violate the MUST
   requirement above).  However, except when stated otherwise, this
   specification does not require the content to be UTF-8 and therefore
   it MAY include octets above and below 128 mixed arbitrarily.

   This document does not place any limit on the length of a subsequent
   line in a multi-line response.  However, the standards that define
   the format of articles may do so.

   An NNTP server MAY have an inactivity autologout timer.  Such a timer
   SHOULD be of at least three minutes duration, with the exception that
   there MAY be a shorter limit on how long the server is willing to
   wait for the first command from the client.  The receipt of any


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 10]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   command from the client during the timer interval SHOULD suffice to
   reset the autologout timer.  Similarly, the receipt of any
   significant amount of data from the client while in the midst of
   sending a multi-line message to the server (such as during a POST or
   IHAVE command) SHOULD suffice to reset the autologout timer.  When
   the timer expires, the server SHOULD close the TCP connection without
   sending any response to the client.

3.2  Response Codes

   Each response MUST begin with a three-digit status indicator.  These
   are status reports from the server and indicate the response to the
   last command received from the client.

   The first digit of the response broadly indicates the success,
   failure, or progress of the previous command:
      1xx - Informative message.
      2xx - Command completed OK.
      3xx - Command OK so far; send the rest of it.
      4xx - Command was syntactically correct but failed for some
      reason.
      5xx - Command unknown, unsupported, unavailable, or syntax error.

   The next digit in the code indicates the function response category:
      x0x - Connection, set-up, and miscellaneous messages
      x1x - Newsgroup selection
      x2x - Article selection
      x3x - Distribution functions
      x4x - Posting
      x8x - Reserved for authentication and privacy extensions
      x9x - Reserved for private use (non-standard extensions)

   Certain responses contain arguments such as numbers and names in
   addition to the status indicator.  In those cases, to simplify
   interpretation by the client the number and type of such arguments is
   fixed for each response code, as is whether or not the code
   introduces a multi-line response.  Any extension MUST follow this
   principle as well.  Note that, for historical reasons, the 211
   response code is an exception to this in that the response may be
   multi-line or not depending on the command (GROUP or LISTGROUP) that
   generated it.  In all other cases, the client MUST only use the
   status indicator itself to determine the nature of the response.  The
   exact response codes that can be returned by any given command are
   detailed in the description of that command.

   Arguments MUST be separated from the numeric status indicator and
   from each other by a single space.  All numeric arguments MUST be in
   base 10 (decimal) format, and MAY have leading zeros.  String


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 11]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   arguments MUST contain at least one character and MUST NOT contain
   TAB, LF, CR, or space.  The server MAY add any text after the
   response code or last argument as appropriate, and the client MUST
   NOT make decisions based on this text.  Such text MUST be separated
   from the numeric status indicator or the last argument by at least
   one space.

   The server MUST respond to any command with the appropriate generic
   response (given in Section 3.2.1) if it represents the situation.
   Otherwise, each recognized command MUST return one of the response
   codes specifically listed in its description or in an extension.  A
   server MAY provide extensions to this specification, including new
   commands, new variants or features of existing commands, and other
   ways of changing the internal state of the server.  However, the
   server MUST NOT produce any other responses to a client that does not
   invoke any of the additional features.  (Therefore a client that
   restricts itself to this specification will only receive the
   responses that are listed.)

   If a client receives an unexpected response, it SHOULD use the first
   digit of the response to determine the result.  For example, an
   unexpected 2xx should be taken as success and an unexpected 4xx or
   5xx as failure.

   Response codes not specified in this document MAY be used for any
   installation-specific additional commands also not specified.  These
   SHOULD be chosen to fit the pattern of x9x specified above.

   Neither this document nor any registered extension (see
   Section 3.3.3) will specify any response codes of the x9x pattern.
   (Implementers of extensions are accordingly cautioned not to use such
   responses for extensions that may subsequently be submitted for
   registration.)

3.2.1  Generic Response Codes

   The server MUST respond to any command with the appropriate one of
   the following generic responses if it represents the situation.

   If the command is not recognized, or it is an optional command that
   is not implemented by the server, the response code 500 MUST be
   returned.

   If there is a syntax error in the arguments of a recognized command,
   including the case where more arguments are provided than the command
   specifies or the command line is longer than the server accepts, the
   response code 501 MUST be returned.  The line MUST NOT be truncated
   or split and then interpreted.  Note that where a command has


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 12]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   variants depending on a second keyword (e.g.  LIST ACTIVE and LIST
   NEWSGROUPS), then 501 MUST be used when the base command is
   implemented but the requested variant is not, and 500 MUST be used
   only when the base command itself is not implemented.

   As a special case, if an argument is required to be a base64-encoded
   string [RFC3548] (there are no such arguments in this specification,
   but there may be in extensions) and is not validly encoded, the
   response code 504 MUST be returned.

   If the server experiences an internal fault or problem that means it
   is unable to carry out the command (for example, a necessary file is
   missing or a necessary service could not be contacted), the response
   code 403 MUST be returned.  If the server recognizes the command but
   does not provide an optional feature (for example because it does not
   store the required information), or only handles a subset of
   legitimate cases (see the HDR command (Section 8.5) for an example),
   the response code 503 MUST be returned.

   If the client is not authorized to use the specified facility when
   the server is in its current state, then the appropriate one of the
   following response codes MUST be used.
   502: it is necessary to terminate the connection and start a new one
      with the appropriate authority before the command can be used.
      Historically, some mode-switching servers (see Section 3.4.1) have
      used this response to indicate that this command will become
      available after the MODE READER (Section 5.3) command is used, but
      this usage is not conforming to this specification and MUST NOT be
      used.  Note that the server MUST NOT close the TCP connection
      immediately after a 502 response except at the initial connection
      (Section 5.1) and with the MODE READER command.
   480: the client must authenticate itself to the server (that is,
      provide information as to the identity of the client) before the
      facility can be used on this connection.  This will involve the
      use of an authentication extension such as [NNTP-AUTH].
   483: the client must negotiate appropriate privacy protection on the
      connection.  This will involve the use of a privacy extension such
      as [NNTP-TLS].
   401: the client must change the state of the connection in some other
      manner.  The first argument of the response MUST be the capability
      label (see Section 5.2) of the facility (usually an extension,
      which may be a private extension) that provides the necessary
      mechanism.  The server MUST NOT use this response code except as
      specified by the definition of the capability in question.

   If the server has to terminate the connection for some reason, it
   MUST give a 400 response code to the next command and then
   immediately close the TCP connection.  Following a 400 response,


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 13]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   clients SHOULD NOT simply reconnect immediately and retry the same
   actions.  Rather, a client SHOULD either use an exponentially
   increasing delay between retries (e.g.  double the waiting time after
   each 400 response) or present any associated text to the user for
   them to decide whether and when to retry.

   The client MUST be prepared to receive any of these responses for any
   command (except, of course, that the server MUST NOT generate a 500
   response code for mandatory commands).

3.2.1.1  Examples

   Example of an unknown command:
      [C] MAIL
      [S] 500 Unknown command

   Example of an unsupported command:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER LISTGROUP
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS
      [S] .
      [C] OVER
      [S] 500 Unknown command

   Example of an unsupported variant:
      [C] MODE POSTER
      [S] 501 Unknown MODE option

   Example of a syntax error:
      [C] ARTICLE   a.message.id@no.angle.brackets
      [S] 501 Syntax error

   Example of an overlong command line:
      [C] HEAD   53 54 55
      [S] 501 Too many arguments

   Example of a bad wildmat:
      [C] LIST ACTIVE   u[ks].*
      [S] 501 Syntax error

   Example of a base64-encoding error (the second argument is meant to
   be base64-encoded):
      [C] XENCRYPT   RSA abcd=efg
      [S] 504 Base64 encoding error

   Example of an attempt to access a facility not available to this


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 14]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   connection:
      [C] MODE READER
      [S] 200 Reader mode, posting permitted
      [C] IHAVE   <i.am.an.article.you.will.want@example.com>
      [S] 500 Permission denied

   Example of an attempt to access a facility requiring authentication:
      [C] GROUP   secret.group
      [S] 480 Permission denied
   followed by a successful attempt following such authentication:
      [C] XSECRET   fred flintstone
      [S] 290 Password for fred accepted
      [C] GROUP   secret.group
      [S] 211 5 1 20 secret.group selected

   Example of an attempt to access a facility requiring privacy:
      [C] GROUP   secret.group
      [S] 483 Secure connection required
      [C] XENCRYPT
      [Client and server negotiate encryption on the link]
      [S] 283 Encrypted link established
      [C] GROUP   secret.group
      [S] 211 5 1 20 secret.group selected

   Example of a need to change mode before using a facility:
      [C] GROUP   binary.group
      [S] 401 XHOST Not on this virtual host
      [C] XHOST   binary.news.example.org
      [S] 290 binary.news.example.org virtual host selected
      [C] GROUP   binary.group
      [S] 211 5 1 77 binary.group selected

   Example of a temporary failure:
      [C] GROUP   archive.local
      [S] 403 Archive server temporarily offline

   Example of the server needing to close down immediately:
      [C] ARTICLE   123
      [S] 400 Power supply failed, running on UPS
      [Server closes connection.]

3.3  Capabilities and Extensions

   Not all NNTP servers provide exactly the same facilities, both
   because this specification allows variation and because servers may
   provide extensions.  A set of facilities that are related are called
   a "capability".  This specification provides a way to determine what
   capabilities are available, includes a list of standard capabilities,


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 15]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   and includes a mechanism (the extension mechanism) for defining new
   capabilities.

3.3.1  Capability descriptions

   A client can determine the available capabilities of the server by
   using the CAPABILITIES command (Section 5.2).  This returns a
   capability list, which is a list of capability lines.  Each line
   describes one available capability.

   Each capability line consists of one or more tokens, which MUST be
   separated by one or more space or TAB characters.  A token is a
   string of 1 or more printable UTF-8 characters (that is, either
   printable US-ASCII characters or any UTF-8 sequence outside the
   US-ASCII range, but not space or TAB).  Unless stated otherwise,
   tokens are case-insensitive.  Each capability line consists of:
   o  The capability label, which is a keyword indicating the
      capability.  A capability label may be defined by this
      specification or a successor, or may be defined by an extension.
   o  The label is then followed by zero or more tokens, which are
      arguments of the capability.  The form and meaning of these tokens
      is specific to each capability.

   The server MUST ensure that the capability list accurately reflects
   the capabilities (including extensions) currently available.  If a
   capability is only available with the server in a certain state (for
   example, only after authentication), the list MUST only include the
   capability label when in that state.  Similarly, if only some of the
   commands in an extension will be available, or if the behaviour of
   the extension will change in some other manner, according to the
   state of the server, this MUST be indicated by different arguments in
   the capability line.

   Note that a capability line can only begin with a letter.  Lines
   beginning with other characters are reserved for future versions of
   this specification.  In order to inter-work with such versions,
   clients MUST be prepared to receive lines beginning with other
   characters and MUST ignore any they do not understand.

3.3.2  Standard capabilities

   The following capabilities are defined by this specification.

   VERSION
      This capability MUST be advertised by all servers and MUST be the
      first capability in the capability list; it indicates the
      version(s) of NNTP that the server supports.  There must be at
      least one argument; each argument is a decimal number and MUST NOT


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 16]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      have a leading zero.  Version numbers are assigned only in RFCs
      which update or replace this specification; servers MUST NOT
      create their own version numbers.

      The version number of this specification is 2.

   IHAVE
      This capability indicates that the server implements the IHAVE
      command.

   READER
      This capability indicates that the server implements the various
      commands useful for reading clients.  If and only if the LISTGROUP
      command is implemented, there MUST be a single argument LISTGROUP.
      If and only if posting is permitted using the POST command, there
      MUST be a single argument POST.  (These arguments may appear in
      either order.)

   LIST
      This capability indicates that the server implements at least one
      variant of the LIST command.  There MUST be one argument for each
      variant of the LIST command supported by the server, giving the
      keyword for that variant.

   HDR
      This capability indicates that the server implements the header
      access commands (HDR and LIST HEADERS).

   OVER
      This capability indicates that the server implements the overview
      access commands (OVER and LIST OVERVIEW.FMT).  If and only if the
      server supports the message-id form of the OVER command, there
      must be a single argument MSGID.

   IMPLEMENTATION
      This capability MAY be provided by a server.  If so, the arguments
      SHOULD be used to provide information such as the server software
      name and version number.  The client MUST NOT use this line to
      determine capabilities of the server.  (While servers often
      provide this information in the initial greeting, clients need to
      guess whether this is the case; this capability makes it clear
      what the information is.)

   MODE-READER
      This capability indicates that the server is mode-switching
      (Section 3.4.2) and the MODE READER command needs to be used to
      enable the READER capability.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 17]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

3.3.3  Extensions

   Although NNTP is widely and robustly deployed, some parts of the
   Internet community might wish to extend the NNTP service.  It must be
   emphasized that any extension to NNTP should not be considered
   lightly.  NNTP's strength comes primarily from its simplicity.
   Experience with many protocols has shown that:
      Protocols with few options tend towards ubiquity, whilst protocols
      with many options tend towards obscurity.
   This means that each and every extension, regardless of its benefits,
   must be carefully scrutinized with respect to its implementation,
   deployment, and interoperability costs.  In many cases, the cost of
   extending the NNTP service will likely outweigh the benefit.

   An extension is a package of associated facilities, often but not
   always including one or more new commands.  Each extension MUST
   define at least one new capability label (this will often, but need
   not, be the name of one of these new commands).  While any additional
   capability information can normally be specified using arguments to
   that label, an extension MAY define more than one capability label.
   However, this SHOULD be limited to exceptional circumstances.

   An extension is either a private extension or else its capabilities
   are included in the IANA registry of capabilities (see Section 3.3.4)
   and it is defined in an RFC (in which case it is a "registered
   extension").  Such RFCs either must be on the standards track or must
   define an IESG-approved experimental protocol.

   The definition of an extension must include:
   o  a descriptive name for the extension;
   o  the capability label or labels defined by the extension; the
      capability label of a registered extension MUST NOT begin with
      "X";
   o  the syntax, values, and meanings of any arguments for each
      capability label defined by the extension;
   o  any new NNTP commands associated with the extension - the names of
      commands associated with registered extensions MUST NOT begin with
      "X";
   o  the syntax and possible values of arguments associated with the
      new NNTP commands;
   o  the response codes and possible values of arguments for the
      responses of the new NNTP commands;
   o  any new arguments the extension associates with any other
      pre-existing NNTP commands;
   o  any increase in the maximum length of commands and initial
      response lines over the value specified in this document;
   o  a specific statement about the effect on pipelining this extension
      may have (if any);


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 18]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   o  a specific statement about the circumstances when use of this
      extension can alter the contents of the capabilities list (other
      than the new capability labels it defines);
   o  the circumstances under which the extension can cause any
      pre-existing command to produce a 401, 480, or 483 response;
   o  how the use of MODE READER on a mode-switching server interacts
      with the extension;
   o  how support for the extension affects the behaviour of a server
      and NNTP client in any other manner not outlined above;
   o  formal syntax as described in Section 9.8.

   A private extension MAY or MAY NOT be included in the capabilities
   list.  If it is, the capability label MUST begin with "X".  A server
   MAY provide additional keywords - for new commands and also for new
   variants of existing commands - as part of a private extension.  To
   avoid the risk of a clash with a future registered extension, these
   keywords SHOULD begin with "X".

   If the server advertises a capability defined by a registered
   extension, it MUST implement the extension so as to fully conform
   with the specification (for example, it MUST implement all of the
   commands that the extension describes as mandatory).  If it does not
   implement the extension as specified, it MUST NOT list the extension
   in the capabilities list under its registered name; in this case it
   MAY, but SHOULD NOT, provide a private extension (not listed, or
   listed with a different name) that implements part of the extension
   or implements the commands of the extension with a different meaning.

   A server MUST NOT send different response codes to basic NNTP
   commands documented here or commands documented in registered
   extensions in response to the availability or use of a private
   extension.

3.3.4  Initial IANA register

   IANA is requested to maintain a registry of NNTP capability labels.
   All capability labels in the registry MUST be keywords and MUST NOT
   begin with X.







Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 19]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   The initial contents of the registry consists of these entries:

   +--------------------+-------------------------+--------------------+
   | Label              | Meaning                 | Definition         |
   +--------------------+-------------------------+--------------------+
   | AUTHINFO           | Authentication          | [NNTP-AUTH]        |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | HDR                | Batched header          | Section 3.3.2,     |
   |                    | retrieval               | Section 8.5, and   |
   |                    |                         | Section 8.6        |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | IHAVE              | IHAVE command available | Section 3.3.2 and  |
   |                    |                         | Section 6.3.2      |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | IMPLEMENTATION     | Server                  | Section 3.3.2      |
   |                    | implementation-specific |                    |
   |                    | information             |                    |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | LIST               | LIST command variants   | Section 3.3.2 and  |
   |                    |                         | Section 7.6.1      |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | MODE-READER        | Mode-switching server   | Section 3.4.2      |
   |                    | and MODE READER command |                    |
   |                    | available               |                    |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | OVER               | Overview support        | Section 3.3.2,     |
   |                    |                         | Section 8.3, and   |
   |                    |                         | Section 8.4        |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | READER             | Reader commands         | Section 3.3.2      |
   |                    | available               |                    |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | SASL               | Supported SASL          | [NNTP-AUTH]        |
   |                    | mechanisms              |                    |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | STARTTLS           | Transport layer         | [NNTP-TLS]         |
   |                    | security                |                    |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | STREAMING          | Streaming feeds         | [NNTP-STREAM]      |
   |                    |                         |                    |
   | VERSION            | Supported NNTP versions | Section 3.3.2      |
   +--------------------+-------------------------+--------------------+

 3.4   Mandatory and Optional Commands

   For a number of reasons, not all the commands in this specification
   are mandatory.  However, it is equally undesirable for every command


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 20]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   to be optional, since this means that a client will have no idea what
   facilities are available.  Therefore, as a compromise, some of the
   commands in this specification are mandatory - they must be supported
   by all servers - while the remainder are not.  The latter are then
   subdivided into groups, each indicated by a single capability label.
   o  If the label is included in the capability list returned by the
      server, the server MUST support all commands in that group.
   o  If the label is not included, the server MAY support none or some
      of the commands, but SHOULD NOT support all of them.  In general,
      there will be no way for a client to determine which commands are
      supported without trying them.
   The groups have been chosen to provide useful functionality, and
   therefore server authors are discouraged from implementing only part
   of a group.

   The description of each command will either indicate that it is
   mandatory, or will give, using the term "indicating capability", the
   capability label indicating whether or not the group including this
   command is available.

   Where a server does not implement a command, it MUST always generate
   a 500 generic response code (or a 501 generic response code in the
   case of a variant of a command depending on a second keyword where
   the base command is recognised).  Otherwise the command MUST be fully
   implemented as specified; a server MUST NOT only partially implement
   any of the commands in this specification.  (Client authors should
   note that some servers, not conforming to this specification, will
   return a 502 generic response code to some commands that are not
   implemented.)

   Note: some commands have cases that require other commands to be used
   first.  If the former command is implemented but the latter is not,
   the former MUST still generate the relevant specific response code.
   For example, if ARTICLE (Section 6.2.1) is implemented but GROUP
   (Section 6.1.1) is not, the correct response to "ARTICLE 1234"
   remains 412.

3.4.1  Reading and Transit Servers

   NNTP is traditionally used in two different ways.  The first use is
   "reading", where the client fetches articles from a large store
   maintained by the server for immediate or later presentation to a
   user, and sends articles created by that user back to the server (an
   action called "posting") to be stored and distributed to other stores
   and users.  The second use is for the bulk transfer of articles from
   one store to another.  Since the hosts doing this transfer tend to be
   peers in a network that transmit articles among one another, rather
   than end-user systems, this process is called "peering" or "transit"


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 21]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   (even so, one host is still the client and the other is the server).

   In practice these two uses are so different that some server
   implementations are optimised for reading or for transit and, as a
   result, do not offer the other facility or only offer limited
   features.  Other implementations are more general and offer both.
   This specification allows for this by grouping the relevant commands
   accordingly: the IHAVE command is designed for transit, while the
   commands indicated by the READER capability are designed for reading
   clients.

   Except as an effect of the MODE READER (Section 5.3) command on a
   mode-switching server, once a server advertises either or both of the
   IHAVE or READER capabilities, it MUST NOT cease to advertise them
   later in the session.

   A server MAY provide different modes of behaviour (transit, reader,
   or a combination) to different client connections and MAY use
   external information, such as the IP address of the client, to
   determine which mode to provide to any given connection.

   The official TCP port for the NNTP service is 119.  However, if a
   host wishes to offer separate servers for transit and reading
   clients, port 433 SHOULD be used for the transit server and 119 for
   the reading server.

3.4.2  Mode switching

   An implementation MAY, but SHOULD NOT, provide both transit and
   reader facilities on the same server but require the client to select
   which it wishes to use.  Such an arrangement is called a
   "mode-switching" server.

   A mode-switching server has two modes:
   o  Transit mode, which applies after the initial connection:
      *  it MUST advertise the MODE-READER capability;
      *  it MUST NOT advertise the READER capability.
      However, the server MAY cease to advertise the MODE-READER
      capability after the client uses any command except CAPABILITIES.
   o  Reading mode, after a successful MODE READER (Section 5.3)
      command:
      *  it MUST not advertise the MODE-READER capability;
      *  it MUST advertise the READER capability;
      *  it MAY NOT advertise the IHAVE capability even if it was
         advertising it in transit mode.

   A client SHOULD only issue a MODE READER command to a server if it is
   advertising the MODE-READER capability.  If the server does not


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 22]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   support CAPABILITIES (and therefore does not conform to this
   specification), the client MAY use the following heuristic:
   o  if the client wishes to use any "reader" commands, it SHOULD use
      the MODE READER command immediately after the initial connection;
   o  otherwise it SHOULD NOT use the MODE READER command.
   In each case it should be prepared for some commands to be
   unavailable that would have been available if it had made the other
   choice.

3.5  Pipelining

   NNTP is designed to operate over a reliable bi-directional connection
   such as TCP.  Therefore, if a command does not depend on the response
   to the previous one, it should not matter if it is sent before that
   response is received.  Doing this is called "pipelining".  However,
   certain server implementations throw away all text received from the
   client following certain commands before sending their response.  If
   this happens, pipelining will be affected because one or more
   commands will have been ignored or misinterpreted, and the client
   will be matching the wrong responses to each command.  Since there
   are significant benefits to pipelining, but also circumstances where
   it is reasonable or common for servers to behave in the above manner,
   this document puts certain requirements on both clients and servers.

   Except where stated otherwise, a client MAY use pipelining.  That is,
   it may send a command before receiving the response for the previous
   command.  The server MUST allow pipelining and MUST NOT throw away
   any text received after a command.  Irrespective of whether or not
   pipelining is used, the server MUST process commands in the order
   they are sent.

   If the specific description of a command says it "MUST NOT be
   pipelined", that command MUST end any pipeline of commands.  That is,
   the client MUST NOT send any following command until receiving the
   CRLF at the end of the response from the command.  The server MAY
   ignore any data received after the command and before the CRLF at the
   end of the response is sent to the client.

   The initial connection must not be part of a pipeline; that is, the
   client MUST NOT send any command until receiving the CRLF at the end
   of the greeting.

   If the client uses blocking system calls to send commands, it MUST
   ensure that the amount of text sent in pipelining does not cause a
   deadlock between transmission and reception.  The amount of text
   involved will depend on window sizes in the transmission layer, and
   is typically 4k octets for TCP.  (Since the server only sends data in
   response to commands from the client, the converse problem does not


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 23]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   occur.)

3.5.1  Examples

   Example of correct use of pipelining:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [C] STAT
      [C] NEXT
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [S] 223 3000234 <45223423@example.com> retrieved
      [S] 223 3000237 <668929@example.org> retrieved

   Example of incorrect use of pipelining (the MODE READER command may
   not be pipelined):
      [C] MODE READER
      [C] DATE
      [C] NEXT
      [S] 200 Server ready, posting allowed
      [S] 223 3000237 <668929@example.org> retrieved
   The DATE command has been thrown away by the server and so there is
   no 111 response to match it.

3.6  Articles

   NNTP is intended to transfer articles between clients and servers.
   For the purposes of this specification, articles are required to
   conform to the rules in this section and clients and servers MUST
   correctly process any article received from the other that does so.
   Note that this requirement applies only to the contents of
   communications over NNTP; it does not prevent the client or server
   from subsequently rejecting an article for reasons of local policy.
   Also see Appendix A for further restrictions on the format of
   articles in some uses of NNTP.

   An article consists of two parts: the headers and the body.  They are
   separated by a single empty line, or in other words by two
   consecutive CRLF pairs (if there is more than one empty line, the
   second and subsequent ones are part of the body).  In order to meet
   the general requirements of NNTP, an article MUST NOT include the
   octet NUL, MUST NOT contain the octets LF and CR other than as part
   of a CRLF pair, and MUST end with a CRLF pair.  This specification
   puts no further restrictions on the body; in particular, it MAY be
   empty.

   The headers of an article consist of one or more header lines.  Each
   header line consists of a header name, a colon, a space, the header
   content, and a CRLF in that order.  The name consists of one or more
   printable US-ASCII characters other than colon and, for the purposes


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 24]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   of this specification, is not case-sensitive.  There MAY be more than
   one header line with the same name.  The content MUST NOT contain
   CRLF; it MAY be empty.  A header may be "folded"; that is, a CRLF
   pair may be placed before any TAB or space in the line; there MUST
   still be some other octet between any two CRLF pairs in a header
   line.  (Note that folding means that the header line occupies more
   than one line when displayed or transmitted; nevertheless it is still
   referred to as "a" header line.) The presence or absence of folding
   does not affect the meaning of the header line; that is, the CRLF
   pairs introduced by folding are not considered part of the header
   content.  Header lines SHOULD NOT be folded before the space after
   the colon that follows the header name, and SHOULD include at least
   one octet other than %x09 or %x20 between CRLF pairs.  However, if an
   article has been received from elsewhere with one of these, clients
   and servers MAY transfer it to the other without re-folding it.

   The content of a header SHOULD be in UTF-8.  However, if a server
   receives an article from elsewhere that uses octets in the range 128
   to 255 in some other manner, it MAY pass it to a client without
   modification.  Therefore clients MUST be prepared to receive such
   headers and also data derived from them (e.g.  in the responses from
   the OVER (Section 8.3) command) and MUST NOT assume that they are
   always UTF-8.  How the client will then process those headers,
   including identifying the encoding used, is outside the scope of this
   document.

   Each article MUST have a unique message-id; two articles offered by
   an NNTP server MUST NOT have the same message-id.  For the purposes
   of this specification, message-ids are opaque strings that MUST meet
   the following requirements:
   o  A message-id MUST begin with "<" and end with ">", and MUST NOT
      contain the latter except at the end.
   o  A message-id MUST be between 3 and 250 octets in length.
   o  A message-id MUST NOT contain octets other than printable US-ASCII
      characters.
   Two message-ids are the same if and only if they consist of the same
   sequence of octets.

   This specification does not describe how the message-id of an article
   is determined.  If the server does not have any way to determine a
   message-id from the article itself, it MUST synthesize one (this
   specification does not require the article to be changed as a
   result).  See also Appendix A.2.




Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 25]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

4.  The WILDMAT format

   The WILDMAT format described here is based on the version first
   developed by Rich Salz [SALZ1992], which in turn was derived from the
   format used in the UNIX "find" command to articulate file names.  It
   was developed to provide a uniform mechanism for matching patterns in
   the same manner that the UNIX shell matches filenames.

4.1  Wildmat syntax

   A wildmat is described by the following ABNF [RFC2234] syntax, which
   is an extract of that in Section 9.7.

     wildmat = wildmat-pattern *("," ["!"] wildmat-pattern)
     wildmat-pattern = 1*wildmat-item
       ; must not begin with "!" if not immediately preceded by "!"
     wildmat-item = wildmat-exact / wildmat-wild
     wildmat-exact = %x21-29 / %x2B / %x2D-3E / %x40-5A / %x5E-7E /
          UTF8-non-ascii ; exclude * , ? [ \ ]
     wildmat-wild = "*" / "?"

   Note: the characters \ , [ and ] are not allowed in wildmats, while *
   and ? are always wildcards.  This should not be a problem since these
   characters cannot occur in newsgroup names, which is the only current
   use of wildmats.  Backslash is commonly used to suppress the special
   meaning of characters while brackets are used to introduce sets.
   However, these usages are not universal and interpretation of these
   characters in the context of UTF-8 strings is both potentially
   complex and differs from existing practice, so they were omitted from
   this specification.  A future extension to this specification may
   provide semantics for these characters.

4.2  Wildmat semantics

   A wildmat is tested against a string, and either matches or does not
   match.  To do this, each constituent <wildmat-pattern> is matched
   against the string and the rightmost pattern that matches is
   identified.  If that <wildmat-pattern> is not preceded with "!", the
   whole wildmat matches.  If it is preceded by "!", or if no
   <wildmat-pattern> matches, the whole wildmat does not match.

   For example, consider the wildmat "a*,!*b,*c*":
      the string "aaa" matches because the rightmost match is with "a*"
      the string "abb" does not match because the rightmost match is
      with "*b"
      the string "ccb" matches because the rightmost match is with "*c*"
      the string "xxx" does not match because no <wildmat-pattern>
      matches


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 26]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   A <wildmat-pattern> matches a string if the string can be broken into
   components, each of which matches the corresponding <wildmat-item> in
   the pattern; the matches must be in the same order, and the whole
   string must be used in the match.  The pattern is "anchored"; that
   is, the first and last characters in the string must match the first
   and last item respectively (unless that item is an asterisk matching
   zero characters).

   A <wildmat-exact> matches the same character (which may be more than
   one octet in UTF-8).

   "?" matches exactly one character (which may be more than one octet).

   "*" matches zero or more characters.  It can match an empty string,
   but it cannot match a subsequence of a UTF-8 sequence that is not
   aligned to the character boundaries.

4.3  Extensions

   An NNTP server or extension MAY extend the syntax or semantics of
   wildmats provided that all wildmats that meet the requirements of
   Section 4.1 have the meaning ascribed to them by Section 4.2.  Future
   editions of this document may also extend wildmats.

4.4  Examples

   In these examples, $ and @ are used to represent the two octets %xC2
   and %xA3 respectively; $@ is thus the UTF-8 encoding for the pound
   sterling symbol, shown as # in the descriptions.

     Wildmat    Description of strings that match
       abc      the one string "abc"
       abc,def  the two strings "abc" and "def"
       $@       the one character string "#"
       a*       any string that begins with "a"
       a*b      any string that begins with "a" and ends with "b"
       a*,*b    any string that begins with "a" or ends with "b"
       a*,!*b   any string that begins with "a" and does not end with
                "b"
     a*,!*b,c*  any string that begins with "a" and does not end with
                "b", and any string that begins with "c" no matter
                what it ends with
     a*,c*,!*b  any string that begins with "a" or "c" and does not
                end with "b"
       ?a*      any string with "a" as its second character
       ??a*     any string with "a" as its third character
       *a?      any string with "a" as its penultimate character
       *a??     any string with "a" as its antepenultimate character


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 27]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

5.  Session administration commands

5.1  Initial Connection

5.1.1  Usage

   This command MUST NOT be pipelined.
   Responses
      200   Service available, posting allowed [1]
      201   Service available, posting prohibited [1]
      400   Service temporarily unavailable [1][2]
      502   Service permanently unavailable [1][2]
   [1] These are the only valid response codes for the initial greeting;
      the server MUST not return any other generic response code.
   [2] Following a 400 or 502 response the server MUST immediately close
      the connection.

5.1.2  Description

   There is no command presented by the client upon initial connection
   to the server.  The server MUST present an appropriate response code
   as a greeting to the client.  This response informs the client
   whether service is available and whether the client is permitted to
   post.

   If the server will accept further commands from the client including
   POST, the server MUST present a 200 greeting code.  If the server
   will accept further commands from the client, but it is not
   authorized to post articles using the POST command, the server MUST
   present a 201 greeting code.

   Otherwise the server MUST present a 400 or 502 greeting code and then
   immediately close the connection.  400 SHOULD be used if the issue is
   only temporary (for example, because of load) and the client can
   expect to be able to connect successfully at some point in the future
   without making any changes.  502 MUST be used if the client is not
   permitted under any circumstances to interact with the server, and
   MAY be used if the server has insufficient information to determine
   whether the issue is temporary or permanent.

   Note: the distinction between the 200 and 201 response codes has
   turned out in practice to be insufficient; for example, some servers
   do not allow posting until the client has authenticated, while other
   clients assume that a 201 response means that posting will never be
   possible even after authentication.  Therefore clients SHOULD use the
   CAPABILITIES command (Section 5.2) rather than rely on this response.



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 28]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

5.1.3  Examples

   Example of a normal connection from an authorized client which then
   terminates the session (see Section 5.4):
      [Initial TCP connection set-up completed.]
      [S] 200 NNTP Service Ready, posting permitted
      [C] QUIT
      [S] 205 NNTP Service exits normally
      [Server closes connection.]

   Example of a normal connection from an authorized client that is not
   permitted to post; it also immediately terminates the session:
      [Initial TCP connection set-up completed.]
      [S] 201 NNTP Service Ready, posting prohibited
      [C] QUIT
      [S] 205 NNTP Service exits normally
      [Server closes connection.]

   Example of a normal connection from an unauthorized client:
      [Initial TCP connection set-up completed.]
      [S] 502 NNTP Service permanently unavailable
      [Server closes connection.]

   Example of a connection from a client where the server is unable to
   provide service:
      [Initial TCP connection set-up completed.]
      [S] 400 NNTP Service temporarily unavailable
      [Server closes connection.]

5.2  CAPABILITIES

5.2.1  Usage

   This command is mandatory.
   Syntax
      CAPABILITIES [keyword]
   Responses
      101   Capability list follows (multiline)
   Parameters
      keyword = additional feature, see description

5.2.2  Description

   The CAPABILITIES command allows a client to determine the
   capabilities of the server at any given time.

   This command MAY be issued at any time; the server MUST NOT require
   it to be issued in order to make use of any capability.  The response


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 29]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   generated by this command MAY change during a session because of
   other state information (which in turn may be changed by the effects
   of other commands or by external events).  An NNTP client is only
   able to get the current and correct information concerning available
   capabilities at any point during a session by issuing a CAPABILITIES
   command at that point of that session and processing the response.

   The capability list is returned as a multi-line response following
   the 101 response code.  Each capability is described by a separate
   capability line.  The server MUST NOT list the same capability twice
   in the response, even with different arguments.  Except that the
   VERSION capability MUST be the first line, the order in which the
   capability lines appears is not significant; the server need not even
   consistently return the same order.

   While some capabilities are likely to be always available or never
   available, others - notably extensions - will appear and disappear
   depending on server state changes within the session or external
   events between sessions.  An NNTP client MAY cache the results of
   this command, but MUST NOT rely on the correctness of any cached
   results, whether from earlier in this session or from a previous
   session, MUST cope gracefully with the cached status being out of
   date, and SHOULD (if caching results) provide a way to force the
   cached information to be refreshed.  Furthermore, a client MUST NOT
   use cached results in relation to security, privacy, and
   authentication extensions.  See Section 11.6 for further discussion
   of this topic.

   The keyword argument is not used by this specification.  It is
   provided so that extensions or revisions to this specification can
   include extra features for this command without requiring the
   CAPABILITIES command to be used twice (once to determine if the extra
   features are available and a second time to make use of them).  If
   the server does not recognise the argument (and it is a keyword), it
   MUST respond with the 101 response code as if the argument had been
   omitted.  If an argument is provided that the server does recognise,
   it MAY use the 101 response code or MAY use some other response code
   (which will be defined in the specification of that feature).  If the
   argument is not a keyword, the 501 generic response code MUST be
   returned.  The server MUST NOT generate any other response code to
   the CAPABILITIES command.

5.2.3  Examples

   Example of a minimal response (a read-only server):
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 30]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [S] READER
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS
      [S] .

   Example of a response from a server that has a range of facilities
   and also describes itself:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER
      [S] IHAVE
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS ACTIVE.TIMES OVERVIEW.FMT
      [S] IMPLEMENTATION INN 4.2 2004-12-25
      [S] OVER MSGID
      [S] STREAMING
      [S] XSECRET
      [S] .

   Example of a server that supports more than one version of NNTP:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2 3
      [S] READER
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS
      [S] .

   Example of a client attempting to use a feature of the CAPABILITIES
   command that the server does not support:
      [C] CAPABILITIES AUTOUPDATE
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER LISTGROUP
      [S] IHAVE
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS OVERVIEW.FMT HEADERS
      [S] OVER MSGID
      [S] HDR
      [S] .

5.3  MODE READER

5.3.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: MODE-READER
   This command MUST NOT be pipelined.
   Syntax
      MODE READER



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 31]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Responses
      200   Posting allowed
      201   Posting prohibited
      502   Reading service permanently unavailable [1]
   [1] Following a 502 response the server MUST immediately close the
      connection.

5.3.2  Description

   The MODE READER command instructs a mode-switching server to switch
   modes, as described in Section 3.4.2.

   If the server is mode-switching, it switches from its transit mode to
   its reader mode, indicating the fact by changing the capability list
   accordingly, and then MUST return a 200 or 201 response with the same
   meaning as for the initial greeting (as described in Section 5.1.1);
   note that the response need not be the same as the one presented
   during the initial greeting.  The client MUST NOT issue MODE READER
   more than once in a session or after any security or privacy commands
   are issued.  When the MODE READER command is issued, the server MAY
   reset its state to that immediately after the initial connection
   before switching mode.

   If the server is not mode-switching, then:
   o  If it advertises the READER capability, it MUST return a 200 or
      201 response with the same meaning as for the initial greeting; in
      this case the command MUST NOT affect the server state in any way.
   o  If it does not advertise the READER capability, it MUST return a
      502 response and then immediately close the connection.

5.3.3  Examples

   Example of use of the MODE READER command on a transit-only server
   (which therefore does not providing reading facilities):
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] IHAVE
      [S] .
      [C] MODE READER
      [S] 502 Transit service only
      [Server closes connection.]

   Example of use of the MODE READER command on a server that provides
   reading facilities:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 32]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [S] READER LISTGROUP
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS
      [S] .
      [C] MODE READER
      [S] 200 Reader mode, posting permitted
      [C] IHAVE   <i.am.an.article.you.have@example.com>
      [S] 500 Permission denied
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
   Note that in both these situations the client SHOULD NOT use MODE
   READER.

   Example of use of the MODE READER command on a mode-switching server:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] IHAVE
      [S] MODE-READER
      [S] .
      [C] MODE READER
      [S] 200 Reader mode, posting permitted
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS
      [S] STARTTLS
      [S] .
   In this case the server offers (but does not require) TLS privacy in
   its reading mode but not its transit mode.

   Example of use of the MODE READER command where the client is not
   permitted to post:
      [C] MODE READER
      [S] 201 NNTP Service Ready, posting prohibited

5.4  QUIT

5.4.1  Usage

   This command is mandatory.
   Syntax
      QUIT
   Responses
      205   Connection closing



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 33]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

5.4.2  Description

   The client uses the QUIT command to terminate the session.  The
   server MUST acknowledge the QUIT command and then close the
   connection to the client.  This is the preferred method for a client
   to indicate that it has finished all its transactions with the NNTP
   server.

   If a client simply disconnects (or the connection times out or some
   other fault occurs), the server MUST gracefully cease its attempts to
   service the client, disconnecting from its end if necessary.

   The server MUST NOT generate any response code to the QUIT command
   other than 205 or, if any arguments are provided, 501.

5.4.3  Examples

      [C] QUIT
      [S] 205 closing connection
      [Server closes connection.]
















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 34]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.  Article posting and retrieval

   News reading clients have available a variety of mechanisms to
   retrieve articles via NNTP.  The news articles are stored and indexed
   using three types of keys.  One key is the message-id of an article.
   Another key is composed of the newsgroup name and the article number
   within that newsgroup.  That key MUST be unique to a particular
   server (there will be only one article with that number within a
   particular newsgroup), but is not required to be globally unique.
   Additionally, because the same article can be cross-posted to
   multiple newsgroups, there may be multiple keys that point to the
   same article on the same server.  The final key is the arrival
   timestamp, giving the time that the article arrived at the server.

   The server MUST ensure that article numbers are issued in order of
   arrival timestamp; that is, articles arriving later MUST have higher
   numbers than those that arrive earlier.  The server SHOULD allocate
   the next sequential unused number to each new article.

   Article numbers MUST lie between 1 and 4,294,967,295 inclusive.  The
   client and server MAY use leading zeroes in specifying article
   numbers, but MUST NOT use more than 16 digits.  In some situations,
   the value zero replaces an article number to show some special
   situation.

6.1  Group and article selection

   The following commands are used to set the "current selected
   newsgroup" and the "current article number", which are used by
   various commands.  At the start of an NNTP session, both of these
   values are set to the special value "invalid".

6.1.1  GROUP

6.1.1.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER
   Syntax
      GROUP group
   Responses
      211 number low high group   Group successfully selected
      411                         No such newsgroup
   Parameters
      group  = name of newsgroup
      number = estimated number of articles in the group
      low    = reported low water mark
      high   = reported high water mark


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 35]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.1.1.2  Description

   The required argument is the name of the newsgroup to be selected
   (e.g.  "news.software.b").  A list of valid newsgroups may be
   obtained by using the LIST ACTIVE command (see Section 7.6.3).

   The successful selection response will return the article numbers of
   the first and last articles in the group at the moment of selection
   (these numbers are referred to as the "reported low water mark" and
   the "reported high water mark"), and an estimate of the number of
   articles in the group currently available.

   If the group is not empty, the estimate MUST be at least the actual
   number of articles available, and MUST be no greater than one more
   than the difference between the reported low and high water marks.
   (Some implementations will actually count the number of articles
   currently stored.  Others will just subtract the low water mark from
   the high water mark and add one to get an estimate.)

   If the group is empty, one of the following three situations will
   occur.  Clients MUST accept all three cases; servers MUST NOT
   represent an empty group in any other way.
   o  The high water mark will be one less than the low water mark, and
      the estimated article count will be zero.  Servers SHOULD use this
      method to show an empty group.  This is the only time that the
      high water mark can be less than the low water mark.
   o  All three numbers will be zero.
   o  The high water mark is greater than or equal to the low water
      mark.  The estimated article count might be zero or non-zero; if
      non-zero, the same requirements apply as for a non-empty group.

   The set of articles in a group may change after the GROUP command is
   carried out.  That is:
   o  articles may be removed from the group
   o  articles may be reinstated in the group with the same article
      number, but those articles MUST have numbers no less than the
      reported low water mark (note that this is a reinstatement of the
      previous article, not a new article reusing the number)
   o  new articles may be added with article numbers greater than the
      reported high water mark (if an article that was the one with the
      highest number has been removed and the high water mark adjusted
      accordingly, the next new article will not have the number one
      greater than the reported high water mark)

   Except when the group is empty and all three numbers are zero,
   whenever a subsequent GROUP command for the same newsgroup is issued,
   either by the same client or a different client, the reported low
   water mark in the response MUST be no less than that in any previous


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 36]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   response for that newsgroup in any session, and SHOULD be no less
   than that in any previous response for that newsgroup ever sent to
   any client.  Any failure to meet the latter condition SHOULD be
   transient only.  The client may make use of the low water mark to
   remove all remembered information about articles with lower numbers,
   as these will never recur.  This includes the situation when the high
   water mark is one less than the low water mark.  No similar
   assumption can be made about the high water mark, as this can
   decrease if an article is removed, and then increase again if it is
   reinstated or if new articles arrive.

   When a valid group is selected by means of this command, the current
   selected newsgroup MUST be set to that group and the current article
   number MUST be set to the first article in the group.  If an empty
   newsgroup is selected, the current article pointer is made invalid.
   If an invalid group is specified, the current selected newsgroup and
   current article number MUST NOT be changed.

   The GROUP or LISTGROUP command (see Section 6.1.2) MUST be used by a
   client and a successful response received before any other command is
   used that depends on the value of the current selected newsgroup or
   current article number.

   If the group specified is not available on the server, a 411 response
   MUST be returned.

6.1.1.3  Examples

   Example for a group known to the server:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test

   Example for a group unknown to the server:
      [C] GROUP   example.is.sob.bradner.or.barber
      [S] 411 example.is.sob.bradner.or.barber is unknown

   Example of an empty group using the preferred response:
      [C] GROUP   example.currently.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 4000 3999 example.currently.empty.newsgroup

   Example of an empty group using an alternative response:
      [C] GROUP   example.currently.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.currently.empty.newsgroup

   Example of an empty group using a different alternative response:
      [C] GROUP   example.currently.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 4000 4321 example.currently.empty.newsgroup


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 37]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.1.2  LISTGROUP

6.1.2.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER with argument LISTGROUP
   Syntax
      LISTGROUP [group]
   Responses
      211 number low high group   Article numbers follow (multiline)
      411                         No such newsgroup
      412                         No newsgroup selected [1]
   Parameters
      group  = name of newsgroup
      number = estimated number of articles in the group
      low    = reported low water mark
      high   = reported high water mark
   [1] The 412 response can only occur if no group has been specified.

6.1.2.2  Description

   The LISTGROUP command is used to get a listing of all the article
   numbers in a particular newsgroup.  As a side effect, it also selects
   the group in the same way as the GROUP command (see Section 6.1.1).

   The optional argument is the name of the newsgroup to be selected
   (e.g.  "news.software.misc").  If no group is specified, the current
   selected newsgroup is used.

   On success, the list of article numbers is returned as a multi-line
   response following the 211 response code (the arguments on the
   initial response line are the same as for the GROUP command).  The
   list contains one number per line, is in numerical order, and lists
   precisely those articles that exist in the group at the moment of
   selection.

   If the group specified is not available on the server, a 411 response
   MUST be returned.  If no group is specified and the current selected
   newsgroup is invalid, a 412 response MUST be returned.

   In all other aspects the LISTGROUP command behaves identically to the
   GROUP command.

6.1.2.3  Examples

   Example of LISTGROUP on an empty group:
      [C] LISTGROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup list follows
      [S] .


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 38]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Example of LISTGROUP on a valid current selected newsgroup:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 2000 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] LISTGROUP
      [S] 211 2000 3000234 3002322 misc.test list follows
      [S] 3000234
      [S] 3000237
      [S] 3000238
      [S] 3000239
      [S] 3002322
      [S] .

   Example of LISTGROUP failing because no group has been selected:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] LISTGROUP
      [S] 412 no current group
      [C] GROUP   example.is.sob.bradner.or.barber
      [S] 411 no such group
      [C] LISTGROUP
      [S] 412 no current group

6.1.3  LAST

6.1.3.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER
   Syntax
      LAST
   Responses
      223 n message-id   Article found
      412                No newsgroup selected
      420                Current article number is invalid
      422                No previous article in this group
   Parameters
      n          = article number
      message-id = article message-id

6.1.3.2  Description

   If the current selected newsgroup is valid, the current article
   number MUST be set to the previous article in that newsgroup (that
   is, the highest existing article number less than the current article
   number).  If successful, a response indicating the new current
   article number and the message-id of that article MUST be returned.
   No article text is sent in response to this command.

   There MAY be no previous article in the group, although the current
   article number is not the reported low water mark.  There MUST NOT be


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 39]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   a previous article when the current article number is the reported
   low water mark.

   Because articles can be removed and added, the results of multiple
   LAST and NEXT commands MAY not be consistent over the life of a
   particular NNTP session.

   If the current article number is already the first article of the
   newsgroup, a 422 response MUST be returned.  If the current article
   number is invalid, a 420 response MUST be returned.  If the current
   selected newsgroup is invalid, a 412 response MUST be returned.  In
   all three cases the current selected newsgroup and current article
   number MUST NOT be altered.

6.1.3.3  Examples

   Example of a successful article retrieval using LAST:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] NEXT
      [S] 223 3000237 <668929@example.org> retrieved
      [C] LAST
      [S] 223 3000234 <45223423@example.com> retrieved

   Example of an attempt to retrieve an article without having selected
   a group (via the GROUP command) first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] LAST
      [S] 412 no newsgroup selected

   Example of an attempt to retrieve an article using the LAST command
   when the current article number is that of the first article in the
   group:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] LAST
      [S] 422 No previous article to retrieve

   Example of an attempt to retrieve an article using the LAST command
   when the current selected newsgroup is empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] LAST
      [S] 420 No current article selected

6.1.4  NEXT



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 40]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.1.4.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER
   Syntax
      NEXT
   Responses
      223 n message-id   Article found
      412                No newsgroup selected
      420                Current article number is invalid
      421                No next article in this group
   Parameters
      n          = article number
      message-id = article message-id

6.1.4.2  Description

   If the current selected newsgroup is valid, the current article
   number MUST be set to the next article in that newsgroup (that is,
   the lowest existing article number greater than the current article
   number).  If successful, a response indicating the new current
   article number and the message-id of that article MUST be returned.
   No article text is sent in response to this command.

   If the current article number is already the last article of the
   newsgroup, a 421 response MUST be returned.  In all other aspects
   (apart, of course, from the lack of 422 response) this command is
   identical to the LAST command (Section 6.1.3).

6.1.4.3  Examples

   Example of a successful article retrieval using NEXT:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] NEXT
      [S] 223 3000237 <668929@example.org> retrieved

   Example of an attempt to retrieve an article without having selected
   a group (via the GROUP command) first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] NEXT
      [S] 412 no newsgroup selected

   Example of an attempt to retrieve an article using the NEXT command
   when the current article number is that of the last article in the
   group:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] STAT   3002322


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 41]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [S] 223 3002322 <411@example.net> retrieved
      [C] NEXT
      [S] 421 No next article to retrieve

   Example of an attempt to retrieve an article using the NEXT command
   when the current selected newsgroup is empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] NEXT
      [S] 420 No current article selected

6.2  Retrieval of articles and article sections

   The ARTICLE, BODY, HEAD, and STAT commands are very similar.  They
   differ only in the parts of the article that are presented to the
   client and in the successful response code.  The ARTICLE command is
   described here in full, while the other commands are described in
   terms of the differences.  As specified in Section 3.6, an article
   consists of two parts: the article headers and the article body.
   When responding to one of these commands, the server MUST present the
   entire article or appropriate part and MUST NOT attempt to alter or
   translate it in any way.

6.2.1  ARTICLE

6.2.1.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER
   Syntax
      ARTICLE message-id
      ARTICLE number
      ARTICLE
   Responses
      First form (message-id specified)
         220 0|n message-id   Article follows (multiline)
         430                  No article with that message-id
      Second form (article number specified)
         220 n message-id     Article follows (multiline)
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         423                  No article with that number
      Third form (current article number used)
         220 n message-id     Article follows (multiline)
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         420                  Current article number is invalid
   Parameters
      number     = Requested article number
      n          = Returned article number
      message-id = Article message-id


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 42]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.2.1.2  Description

   The ARTICLE command selects an article based on the arguments and
   presents the entire article (that is, the headers, an empty line, and
   the body in that order).  The command has three forms.

   In the first form, a message-id is specified and the server presents
   the article with that message-id.  In this case, the server MUST NOT
   alter the current selected newsgroup or current article number.  This
   is both to facilitate the presentation of articles that may be
   referenced within another article being read, and because of the
   semantic difficulties of determining the proper sequence and
   membership of an article that may have been cross-posted to more than
   one newsgroup.

   In the response, the article number MUST be replaced with zero,
   except that if there is a current selected group and the article is
   present in that group, the server MAY use that article number.  (The
   server is not required to determine whether the article is in the
   current selected newsgroup or, if so, what article number it has; the
   client MUST always be prepared for zero to be specified.) The server
   MUST NOT provide an article number unless use of that number in a
   second ARTICLE command immediately following this one would return
   the same article.  Even if the server chooses to return article
   numbers in these circumstances, it need not do so consistently; it
   MAY return zero to any such command (also see the STAT examples
   (Section 6.2.4.3)).

   In the second form, an article number is specified.  If there is an
   article with that number in the current selected newsgroup, the
   server MUST set the current article number to that number.

   In the third form, the article indicated by the current article
   number in the current selected newsgroup is used.

   Note that a previously valid article number MAY become invalid if the
   article has been removed.  A previously invalid article number MAY
   become valid if the article has been reinstated, but such an article
   number MUST be no less than the reported low water mark for that
   group.

   The server MUST NOT change the current selected newsgroup as a result
   of this command.  The server MUST NOT change the current article
   number except when an article number argument was provided and the
   article exists; in particular, it MUST NOT change it following an
   unsuccessful response.

   Since the message-id is unique for each article, it may be used by a


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 43]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   client to skip duplicate displays of articles that have been posted
   more than once, or to more than one newsgroup.

   The article is returned as a multi-line response following the 220
   response code.

   If the argument is a message-id and no such article exists, a 430
   response MUST be returned.  If the argument is a number or is omitted
   and the current selected newsgroup is invalid, a 412 response MUST be
   returned.  If the argument is a number and that article does not
   exist in the current selected newsgroup, a 423 response MUST be
   returned.  If the argument is omitted and the current article number
   is invalid, a 420 response MUST be returned.

6.2.1.3  Examples

   Example of a successful retrieval of an article (using no article
   number):
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] ARTICLE
      [S] 220 3000234 <45223423@example.com>
      [S] Path: pathost!demo!whitehouse!not-for-mail
      [S] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.net>
      [S] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [S] Subject: I am just a test article
      [S] Date: 6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500
      [S] Organization: An Example Net, Uncertain, Texas
      [S] Message-ID: <411@example.net>
      [S]
      [S] This is just a test article.
      [S] .

   Example of a successful retrieval of an article by message-id:
      [C] ARTICLE   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 220 0 <45223423@example.com>
      [S] Path: pathost!demo!whitehouse!not-for-mail
      [S] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.net>
      [S] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [S] Subject: I am just a test article
      [S] Date: 6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500
      [S] Organization: An Example Net, Uncertain, Texas
      [S] Message-ID: <411@example.net>
      [S]
      [S] This is just a test article.
      [S] .

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of an article by message-id:


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 44]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [C] ARTICLE   <i.am.not.there@example.com>
      [S] 430 No Such Article Found

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of an article by number:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 news.groups
      [C] ARTICLE   300256
      [S] 423 No article with that number

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of an article by number because
   no newsgroup was selected first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] ARTICLE   300256
      [S] 412 No newsgroup selected

   Example of an attempt to retrieve an article when the current
   selected newsgroup is empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] ARTICLE
      [S] 420 No current article selected

6.2.2  HEAD

6.2.2.1  Usage

   This command is mandatory.
   Syntax
      HEAD message-id
      HEAD number
      HEAD
   Responses
      First form (message-id specified)
         221 0|n message-id   Headers follow (multiline)
         430                  No article with that message-id
      Second form (article number specified)
         221 n message-id     Headers follow (multiline)
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         423                  No article with that number
      Third form (current article number used)
         221 n message-id     Headers follow (multiline)
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         420                  Current article number is invalid
   Parameters
      number     = Requested article number
      n          = Returned article number
      message-id = Article message-id


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 45]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.2.2.2  Description

   The HEAD command behaves identically to the ARTICLE command except
   that, if the article exists, the response code is 221 instead of 220
   and only the headers are presented (the empty line separating the
   headers and body MUST NOT be included).

6.2.2.3  Examples

   Example of a successful retrieval of the headers of an article (using
   no article number):
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] HEAD
      [S] 221 3000234 <45223423@example.com>
      [S] Path: pathost!demo!whitehouse!not-for-mail
      [S] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.net>
      [S] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [S] Subject: I am just a test article
      [S] Date: 6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500
      [S] Organization: An Example Net, Uncertain, Texas
      [S] Message-ID: <411@example.net>
      [S] .

   Example of a successful retrieval of the headers of an article by
   message-id:
      [C] HEAD   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 221 0 <45223423@example.com>
      [S] Path: pathost!demo!whitehouse!not-for-mail
      [S] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.net>
      [S] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [S] Subject: I am just a test article
      [S] Date: 6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500
      [S] Organization: An Example Net, Uncertain, Texas
      [S] Message-ID: <411@example.net>
      [S] .

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of the headers of an article by
   message-id:
      [C] HEAD   <i.am.not.there@example.com>
      [S] 430 No Such Article Found

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of the headers of an article by
   number:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] HEAD   300256
      [S] 423 No article with that number


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 46]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of the headers of an article by
   number because no newsgroup was selected first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] HEAD   300256
      [S] 412 No newsgroup selected

   Example of an attempt to retrieve the headers of an article when the
   current selected newsgroup is empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] HEAD
      [S] 420 No current article selected

6.2.3  BODY

6.2.3.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER
   Syntax
      BODY message-id
      BODY number
      BODY
   Responses
      First form (message-id specified)
         222 0|n message-id   Body follows (multiline)
         430                  No article with that message-id
      Second form (article number specified)
         222 n message-id     Body follows (multiline)
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         423                  No article with that number
      Third form (current article number used)
         222 n message-id     Body follows (multiline)
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         420                  Current article number is invalid
   Parameters
      number     = Requested article number
      n          = Returned article number
      message-id = Article message-id

6.2.3.2  Description

   The BODY command behaves identically to the ARTICLE command except
   that, if the article exists, the response code is 222 instead of 220
   and only the body is presented (the empty line separating the headers
   and body MUST NOT be included).



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 47]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.2.3.3  Examples

   Example of a successful retrieval of the body of an article (using no
   article number):
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] BODY
      [S] 222 3000234 <45223423@example.com>
      [S] This is just a test article.
      [S] .

   Example of a successful retrieval of the body of an article by
   message-id:
      [C] BODY   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 222 0 <45223423@example.com>
      [S] This is just a test article.
      [S] .

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of the body of an article by
   message-id:
      [C] BODY   <i.am.not.there@example.com>
      [S] 430 No Such Article Found

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of the body of an article by
   number:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] BODY   300256
      [S] 423 No article with that number

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of the body of an article by
   number because no newsgroup was selected first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] BODY   300256
      [S] 412 No newsgroup selected

   Example of an attempt to retrieve the body of an article when the
   current selected newsgroup is empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] BODY
      [S] 420 No current article selected

6.2.4  STAT

6.2.4.1  Usage



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 48]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   This command is mandatory.
   Syntax
      STAT message-id
      STAT number
      STAT
   Responses
      First form (message-id specified)
         223 0|n message-id   Article exists
         430                  No article with that message-id
      Second form (article number specified)
         223 n message-id     Article exists
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         423                  No article with that number
      Third form (current article number used)
         223 n message-id     Article exists
         412                  No newsgroup selected
         420                  Current article number is invalid
   Parameters
      number     = Requested article number
      n          = Returned article number
      message-id = Article message-id

6.2.4.2  Description

   The STAT command behaves identically to the ARTICLE command except
   that, if the article exists, it is NOT presented to the client and
   the response code is 223 instead of 220.  Note that the response is
   NOT multi-line.

   This command allows the client to determine whether an article
   exists, and in the second and third forms what its message-id is,
   without having to process an arbitrary amount of text.

6.2.4.3  Examples

   Example of STAT on an existing article (using no article number):
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] STAT
      [S] 223 3000234 <45223423@example.com>

   Example of STAT on an existing article by message-id:
      [C] STAT   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 223 0 <45223423@example.com>

   Example of STAT on an article not on the server by message-id:
      [C] STAT   <i.am.not.there@example.com>
      [S] 430 No Such Article Found


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 49]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Example of STAT on an article not in the server by number:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] STAT   300256
      [S] 423 No article with that number

   Example of STAT on an article by number when no newsgroup was
   selected first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] STAT   300256
      [S] 412 No newsgroup selected

   Example of STAT on an article when the current selected newsgroup is
   empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] STAT
      [S] 420 No current article selected

   Example of STAT by message-id on a server which sometimes reports the
   actual article number:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] STAT
      [S] 223 3000234 <45223423@example.com>
      [C] STAT   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 223 0 <45223423@example.com>
      [C] STAT   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 223 3000234 <45223423@example.com>
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] STAT   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 223 0 <45223423@example.com>
      [C] GROUP   alt.crossposts
      [S] 211 9999 111111 222222 alt.crossposts
      [C] STAT   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 223 123456 <45223423@example.com>
      [C] STAT
      [S] 223 111111 <23894720@example.com>
   The first STAT command establishes the identity of an article in the
   group.  The second and third show that the server may, but need not,
   give the article number when the message-id is specified.  The fourth
   STAT command shows that zero must be specified if the article isn't
   in the current selected group, the fifth shows that the number, if
   provided, must be that relating to the current selected group, and
   the last one shows that the current selected article is still not
   changed by the use of STAT with a message-id even if it returns an
   article number.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 50]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.3  Article posting

   Article posting is done in one of two ways: individual article
   posting from news reading clients using POST, and article transfer
   from other news servers using IHAVE.

6.3.1  POST

6.3.1.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER with argument POST
   This command MUST NOT be pipelined.
   Syntax
      POST
   Responses
      Initial responses
         340   Send article to be posted
         440   Posting not permitted
      Subsequent responses
         240   Article received OK
         441   Posting failed

6.3.1.2  Description

   If posting is allowed, a 340 response MUST be returned to indicate
   that the article to be posted should be sent.  If posting is
   prohibited for some installation-dependent reason, a 440 response
   MUST be returned.

   If posting is permitted, the article MUST be in the format specified
   in Section 3.6 and MUST be sent by the client to the server in the
   manner specified (in Section 3.1) for multi-line responses (except
   that there is no initial line containing a response code).  Thus a
   single dot (".") on a line indicates the end of the text, and lines
   starting with a dot in the original text have that dot doubled during
   transmission.

   Following the presentation of the termination sequence by the client,
   the server MUST return a response indicating success or failure of
   the article transfer.  Note that response codes 340 and 440 are used
   in direct response to the POST command.  Others are returned
   following the sending of the article.

   A response of 240 SHOULD indicate that, barring unforeseen server
   errors, the posted article will be made available on the server
   and/or transferred to other servers as appropriate, possibly
   following further processing.  In other words, articles not wanted by
   the server SHOULD be rejected with a 441 response and not accepted


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 51]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   and silently discarded.  However, the client SHOULD NOT assume that
   the article has been successfully transferred unless it receives an
   affirmative response from the server, and SHOULD NOT assume that it
   is being made available to other clients without explicitly checking
   (for example using the STAT command).

   If the session is interrupted before the response is received, it is
   possible that an affirmative response was sent but has been lost.
   Therefore, in any subsequent session, the client SHOULD either check
   whether the article was successfully posted before resending or
   ensure that the server will allocate the same message-id to the new
   attempt (see Appendix A.2) - the latter approach is preferred since
   the article might not have been made available for reading yet (for
   example, it may have to go through a moderation process).

6.3.1.3  Examples

   Example of a successful posting:
      [C] POST
      [S] 340 Input article; end with <CR-LF>.<CR-LF>
      [C] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.net>
      [C] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [C] Subject: I am just a test article
      [C] Organization: An Example Net
      [C]
      [C] This is just a test article.
      [C] .
      [S] 240 Article received OK

   Example of an unsuccessful posting:
      [C] POST
      [S] 340 Input article; end with <CR-LF>.<CR-LF>
      [C] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.net>
      [C] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [C] Subject: I am just a test article
      [C] Organization: An Example Net
      [C]
      [C] This is just a test article.
      [C] .
      [S] 441 Posting failed

   Example of an attempt to post when posting is not allowed:
      [Initial TCP connection set-up completed.]
      [S] 201 NNTP Service Ready, posting prohibited
      [C] POST
      [S] 440 Posting not permitted



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 52]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

6.3.2  IHAVE

6.3.2.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: IHAVE
   This command MUST NOT be pipelined.
   Syntax
      IHAVE message-id
   Responses
      Initial responses
         335   Send article to be transferred
         435   Article not wanted
         436   Transfer not possible; try again later
      Subsequent responses
         235   Article transferred OK
         436   Transfer failed; try again later
         437   Transfer rejected; do not retry
   Parameters
      message-id = Article message-id

6.3.2.2  Description

   The IHAVE command informs the server that the client has an article
   with the specified message-id.  If the server desires a copy of that
   article a 335 response MUST be returned, instructing the client to
   send the entire article.  If the server does not want the article
   (if, for example, the server already has a copy of it), a 435
   response MUST be returned, indicating that the article is not wanted.
   Finally, if the article isn't wanted immediately but the client
   should retry later if possible (if, for example, another client is in
   the process of sending the same article to the server), a 436
   response MUST be returned.

   If transmission of the article is requested, the client MUST send the
   entire article, including headers and body, in the format defined
   above (Section 3.1) for multi-line responses (except that there is no
   initial line containing a response code).  Thus a single dot (".") on
   a line indicates the end of the text, and lines starting with a dot
   in the original text have that dot doubled during transmission.  The
   server MUST return either a 235 response, indicating that the article
   was successfully transferred, a 436 response, indicating that the
   transfer failed but should be tried again later, or a 437 response,
   indicating that the article was rejected.

   This function differs from the POST command in that it is intended
   for use in transferring already-posted articles between hosts.  It
   SHOULD NOT be used when the client is a personal news reading
   program, since use of this command indicates that the article has


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 53]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   already been posted at another site and is simply being forwarded
   from another host.  However, despite this, the server MAY elect not
   to post or forward the article if, after further examination of the
   article, it deems it inappropriate to do so.  Reasons for such
   subsequent rejection of an article may include such problems as
   inappropriate newsgroups or distributions, disc space limitations,
   article lengths, garbled headers, and the like.  These are typically
   restrictions enforced by the server host's news software and not
   necessarily the NNTP server itself.

   The client SHOULD NOT assume that the article has been successfully
   transferred unless it receives an affirmative response from the
   server.  A lack of response (such as a dropped network connection or
   a network timeout) SHOULD be treated the same as a 436 response.

   Because some news server software may not be able immediately to
   determine whether or not an article is suitable for posting or
   forwarding, an NNTP server MAY acknowledge the successful transfer of
   the article (with a 235 response) but later silently discard it.

6.3.2.3  Examples

   Example of successfully sending an article to another site:
      [C] IHAVE   <i.am.an.article.you.will.want@example.com>
      [S] 335 Send it; end with <CR-LF>.<CR-LF>
      [C] Path: pathost!demo!somewhere!not-for-mail
      [C] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.com>
      [C] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [C] Subject: I am just a test article
      [C] Date: 6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500
      [C] Organization: An Example Com, San Jose, CA
      [C] Message-ID: <i.am.an.article.you.will.want@example.com>
      [C]
      [C] This is just a test article.
      [C] .
      [S] 235 Article transferred OK

   Example of sending an article to another site that rejects it.  Note
   that the message-id in the IHAVE command is not the same as the one
   in the article headers; while this is bad practice and SHOULD NOT be
   done, it is not forbidden.
      [C] IHAVE   <i.am.an.article.you.will.want@example.com>
      [S] 335 Send it; end with <CR-LF>.<CR-LF>
      [C] Path: pathost!demo!somewhere!not-for-mail
      [C] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.com>
      [C] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [C] Subject: I am just a test article
      [C] Date: 6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 54]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [C] Organization: An Example Com, San Jose, CA
      [C] Message-ID: <i.am.an.article.you.have@example.com>
      [C]
      [C] This is just a test article.
      [C] .
      [S] 437 Article rejected; don't send again

   Example of sending an article to another site where the transfer
   fails:
      [C] IHAVE   <i.am.an.article.you.will.want@example.com>
      [S] 335 Send it; end with <CR-LF>.<CR-LF>
      [C] Path: pathost!demo!somewhere!not-for-mail
      [C] From: "Demo User" <nobody@example.com>
      [C] Newsgroups: misc.test
      [C] Subject: I am just a test article
      [C] Date: 6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500
      [C] Organization: An Example Com, San Jose, CA
      [C] Message-ID: <i.am.an.article.you.will.want@example.com>
      [C]
      [C] This is just a test article.
      [C] .
      [S] 436 Transfer failed

   Example of sending an article to a site that already has it:
      [C] IHAVE   <i.am.an.article.you.have@example.com>
      [S] 435 Duplicate

   Example of sending an article to a site that requests the article be
   tried again later:
      [C] IHAVE   <i.am.an.article.you.defer@example.com>
      [S] 436 Retry later










Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 55]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

7.  Information commands

   This section lists other commands that may be used at any time
   between the beginning of a session and its termination.  Using these
   commands does not alter any state information, but the response
   generated from their use may provide useful information to clients.

7.1  DATE

7.1.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER
   Syntax
      DATE
   Responses
      111 yyyymmddhhmmss   server date and time
   Parameters
      yyyymmddHHmmss = Current UTC date and time on server

7.1.2  Description

   This command exists to help clients find out the current Coordinated
   Universal Time [TF.686-1] from the server's perspective.  This
   command SHOULD NOT be used as a substitute for NTP [RFC1305] but to
   provide information that might be useful when using the NEWNEWS
   command (see Section 7.4).

   The DATE command MUST return a timestamp from the same clock as is
   used for determining article arrival and group creation times (see
   Section 6).  This clock SHOULD be monotonic, and adjustments SHOULD
   be made by running it fast or slow compared to "real" time rather
   than by making sudden jumps.  A system providing NNTP service SHOULD
   keep the system clock as accurate as possible, either with NTP or by
   some other method.

   The server MUST return a 111 response specifying the date and time on
   the server in the form yyyymmddhhmmss.  This date and time is in
   Coordinated Universal Time.

7.1.3  Examples

      [C] DATE
      [S] 111 19990623135624

7.2  HELP



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 56]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

7.2.1  Usage

   This command is mandatory.
   Syntax
      HELP
   Responses
      100   Help text follows (multiline)

7.2.2  Description

   This command provides a short summary of the commands that are
   understood by this implementation of the server.  The help text will
   be presented as a multiline response following the 100 response code.

   This text is not guaranteed to be in any particular format and MUST
   NOT be used by clients as a replacement for the CAPABILITIES command
   described in Section 5.2

7.2.3  Examples

      [C] HELP
      [S] 100 Help text follows
      [S] This is some help text.  There is no specific
      [S] formatting requirement for this test, though
      [S] it is customary for it to list the valid commands
      [S] and give a brief definition of what they do
      [S] .

7.3  NEWGROUPS

7.3.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER
   Syntax
      NEWGROUPS date time [GMT]
   Responses
      231   List of new newsgroups follows (multiline)
   Parameters
      date = Date in yymmdd or yyyymmdd format
      time = Time in hhmmss format

7.3.2  Description

   This command returns a list of newsgroups created on the server since
   the specified date and time.  The results are in the same format as
   the LIST ACTIVE command (see Section 7.6.3).  However, they MAY
   include groups not available on the server (and so not returned by
   LIST ACTIVE) and MAY omit groups for which the creation date is not


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 57]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   available.

   The date is specified as 6 or 8 digits in the format [xx]yymmdd,
   where xx is the first two digits of the year (19-99), yy is the last
   two digits of the year (00-99), mm is the month (01-12), and dd is
   the day of the month (01-31).  Clients SHOULD specify all four digits
   of the year.  If the first two digits of the year are not specified
   (this is supported only for backwards compatibility), the year is to
   be taken from the current century if yy is smaller than or equal to
   the current year, otherwise the year is from the previous century.

   The time is specified as 6 digits in the format hhmmss, where hh is
   the hours in the 24-hour clock (00-23), mm is the minutes (00-59),
   and ss is the seconds (00-60, to allow for leap seconds).  The token
   "GMT" specifies that the date and time are given in Coordinated
   Universal Time [TF.686-1]; if it is omitted then the date and time
   are specified in the server's local timezone.  Note that there is no
   way using the protocol specified in this document to establish the
   server's local timezone.

   Note that an empty list is a possible valid response and indicates
   that there are no new newsgroups since that date-time.

   Clients SHOULD make all queries using Coordinated Universal Time
   (i.e.  by including the "GMT" argument) when possible.

7.3.3  Examples

   Example where there are new groups:
      [C] NEWGROUPS   19990624 000000 GMT
      [S] 231 list of new newsgroups follows
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 4 1 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 89 56 y
      [S] .

   Example where there are no new groups:
      [C] NEWGROUPS   19990624 000000 GMT
      [S] 231 list of new newsgroups follows
      [S] .

7.4  NEWNEWS

7.4.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: READER



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 58]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Syntax
      NEWNEWS wildmat date time [GMT]
   Responses
      230   List of new articles follows (multiline)
   Parameters
      wildmat = Newsgroups of interest
      date    = Date in yymmdd or yyyymmdd format
      time    = Time in hhmmss format

7.4.2  Description

   This command returns a list of message-ids of articles posted or
   received on the server, in the newsgroups whose names match the
   wildmat, since the specified date and time.  One message-id is sent
   on each line; the order of the response has no specific significance
   and may vary from response to response in the same session.  A
   message-id MAY appear more than once; if it does so, it has the same
   meaning as if it appeared only once.

   Date and time are in the same format as the NEWGROUPS command (see
   Section 7.3).

   Note that an empty list is a possible valid response and indicates
   that there is currently no new news in the relevant groups.

   Clients SHOULD make all queries in Coordinated Universal Time (i.e.
   by using the "GMT" argument) when possible.

7.4.3  Examples

   Example where there are new articles:
      [C] NEWNEWS   news.*,sci.* 19990624 000000 GMT
      [S] 230 list of new articles by message-id follows
      [S] <i.am.a.new.article@example.com>
      [S] <i.am.another.new.article@example.com>
      [S] .

   Example where there are no new articles:
      [C] NEWNEWS   alt.* 19990624 000000 GMT
      [S] 230 list of new articles by message-id follows
      [S] .

7.5  Time

   As described in Section 6, each article has an arrival timestamp.
   Each newsgroup also has a creation timestamp.  These timestamps are
   used by the NEWNEWS and NEWGROUP commands to construct their
   responses.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 59]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Clients can ensure that they do not have gaps in lists of articles or
   groups by using the DATE command in the following manner:
   First session:
      Issue DATE command and record result
      Issue NEWNEWS command using a previously chosen timestamp
   Subsequent sessions:
      Issue DATE command and hold result in temporary storage
      Issue NEWNEWS command using timestamp saved from previous session
      Overwrite saved timestamp with that currently in temporary storage
   In order to allow for minor errors, clients MAY want to adjust the
   timestamp back by two or three minutes before using it in NEWNEWS.

7.5.1  Examples

   First session:
      [C] DATE
      [S] 111 20010203112233
      [C] NEWNEWS   local.chat 20001231 235959 GMT
      [S] 230 list follows
      [S] <article.1@local.service>
      [S] <article.2@local.service>
      [S] <article.3@local.service>
      [S] .
   Second session (the client has subtracted 3 minutes from the
   timestamp returned previously):
      [C] DATE
      [S] 111 20010204003344
      [C] NEWNEWS   local.chat 20010203 111933 GMT
      [S] 230 list follows
      [S] <article.3@local.service>
      [S] <article.4@local.service>
      [S] <article.5@local.service>
      [S] .
   Note how <article.3@local.service> arrived in the 3 minute gap and so
   is listed in both responses.

7.6  The LIST commands

   The LIST family of commands all return information that is multi-line
   and, in general, can be expected not to change during the session.
   Often the information is related to newsgroups, in which case the
   response has one line per newsgroup and a wildmat MAY be provided to
   restrict the groups for which information is returned.

   The set of available keywords (including those provided by
   extensions) is given in the capability list with capability label
   LIST.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 60]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

7.6.1  LIST

7.6.1.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: LIST
   Syntax
      LIST [keyword [wildmat|argument]]
   Responses
      215   Information follows (multiline)
   Parameters
      keyword  = information requested [1]
      argument = specific to keyword
      wildmat  = groups of interest
   [1] If no keyword is provided, it defaults to ACTIVE.

7.6.1.2  Description

   The LIST command allows the server to provide blocks of information
   to the client.  This information may be global or may be related to
   newsgroups; in the latter case, the information may be returned
   either for all groups or only for those matching a wildmat.  Each
   block of information is represented by a different keyword.  The
   command returns the specific information identified by the keyword.

   If the information is available, it is returned as a multi-line
   response following the 215 response code.  The format of the
   information depends on the keyword.  The information MAY be affected
   by the additional argument, but the format MUST NOT be.

   If the information is based on newsgroups and the optional wildmat
   argument is specified, the response is limited to only the groups (if
   any) whose names match the wildmat and for which the information is
   available.

   Note that an empty list is a possible valid response; for a
   newsgroup-based keyword, it indicates that there are no groups
   meeting the above criteria.

   If the keyword is not recognised, or if an argument is specified and
   the keyword does not expect one, a 501 response code MUST BE
   returned.  If the keyword is recognised but the server does not
   maintain the information, a 503 response code MUST BE returned.

   The LIST command MUST NOT change the visible state of the server in
   any way; that is, the behaviour of subsequent commands MUST NOT be
   affected by whether the LIST command was issued or not.  For example,
   it MUST NOT make groups available that otherwise would not have been.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 61]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

7.6.1.3  Examples

   Example of LIST with the ACTIVE keyword:
      [C] LIST ACTIVE
      [S] 215 list of newsgroups follows
      [S] misc.test 3002322 3000234 y
      [S] comp.risks 442001 441099 m
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 4 1 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 89 56 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery.d 11 9 n
      [S] .

   Example of LIST with no keyword:
      [C] LIST
      [S] 215 list of newsgroups follows
      [S] misc.test 3002322 3000234 y
      [S] comp.risks 442001 441099 m
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 4 1 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 89 56 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery.d 11 9 n
      [S] .
   The output is identical to that of the previous example.

   Example of LIST on a newsgroup-based keyword with and without
   wildmat:
      [C] LIST ACTIVE.TIMES
      [S] 215 information follows
      [S] misc.test 930445408 <creatme@isc.org>
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 930562309 <m@example.com>
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 930678923 <sob@academ.com>
      [S] .
      [C] LIST ACTIVE.TIMES   tx.*
      [S] 215 information follows
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 930678923 <sob@academ.com>
      [S] .

   Example of LIST returning an error where the keyword is recognized
   but the software does not maintain this information:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS ACTIVE.TIMES XTRA.DATA
      [S] .
      [C] LIST XTRA.DATA
      [S] 503 Data item not stored

   Example of LIST where the keyword is not recognised:


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 62]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS ACTIVE.TIMES XTRA.DATA
      [S] .
      [C] LIST DISTRIB.PATS
      [S] 501 Syntax Error

7.6.2  Standard LIST keywords

   This specification defines the following LIST keywords:

   +----------------------+----------------------+---------------------+
   | Keyword              | Definition           | Status              |
   +----------------------+----------------------+---------------------+
   | ACTIVE               | Section 7.6.3        | Mandatory if the    |
   |                      |                      | READER capability   |
   |                      |                      | is advertised       |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | ACTIVE.TIMES         | Section 7.6.4        | Optional            |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | DISTRIB.PATS         | Section 7.6.5        | Optional            |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | HEADERS              | Section 8.6          | Mandatory if the    |
   |                      |                      | HDR capability is   |
   |                      |                      | advertised          |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | NEWSGROUPS           | Section 7.6.6        | Mandatory if the    |
   |                      |                      | READER capability   |
   |                      |                      | is advertised       |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | OVERVIEW.FMT         | Section 8.4          | Mandatory if the    |
   |                      |                      | OVER capability is  |
   |                      |                      | advertised          |
   +----------------------+----------------------+---------------------+

   Where one of these LIST keywords is supported by a server, it MUST
   have the meaning given in the following sub-sections.

7.6.3  LIST ACTIVE

   This keyword MUST be supported by servers advertising the READER
   capability.

   LIST ACTIVE returns a list of valid newsgroups and associated
   information.  If no wildmat is specified, the server MUST include
   every group that the client is permitted to select with the GROUP


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 63]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   (Section 6.1.1) command.  Each line of this list consists of four
   fields separated from each other by one or more spaces:
   o  the name of the newsgroup;
   o  the reported high water mark for the group;
   o  the reported low water mark for the group;
   o  the current status of the group on this server.

   The reported high and low water marks are as described in the GROUP
   command (see Section 6.1.1).

   The status field is typically one of:
   "y" posting is permitted
   "n" posting is not permitted
   "m" postings will be forwarded to the newsgroup moderator
   The server SHOULD use these values when these meanings are required
   and MUST NOT use them with any other meaning.  Other values for the
   status may exist; the definition of these other values and the
   circumstances under which they are returned may be specified in an
   extension or may be private to the server.  A client SHOULD treat an
   unrecognized status as giving no information.

   The status of a newsgroup only indicates how posts to that newsgroup
   are normally processed and is not necessarily customised to the
   specific client.  For example, if the current client is forbidden
   from posting, then this will apply equally to groups with status "y".
   Conversely, a client with special privileges (not defined by this
   specification) might be able to post to a group with status "n".

   For example:

      [C] LIST ACTIVE
      [S] 215 list of newsgroups follows
      [S] misc.test 3002322 3000234 y
      [S] comp.risks 442001 441099 m
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 4 1 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 89 56 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery.d 11 9 n
      [S] .

   or, on an implementation that includes leading zeroes:

      [C] LIST ACTIVE
      [S] 215 list of newsgroups follows
      [S] misc.test 0003002322 0003000234 y
      [S] comp.risks 0000442001 0000441099 m
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 0000000004 0000000001 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 0000000089 0000000056 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery.d 0000000011 0000000009 n


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 64]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [S] .

   The information is newsgroup-based and a wildmat MAY be specified, in
   which case the response is limited to only the groups (if any) whose
   names match the wildmat.  For example:

      [C] LIST ACTIVE   *.recovery
      [S] 215 list of newsgroups follows
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 4 1 y
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 89 56 y
      [S] .

7.6.4  LIST ACTIVE.TIMES

   This keyword is optional.

   The active.times list is maintained by some NNTP servers to contain
   information about who created a particular newsgroup and when.  Each
   line of this list consists of three fields separated from each other
   by one or more spaces.  The first field is the name of the newsgroup.
   The second is the time when this group was created on this news
   server, measured in seconds since the start of January 1, 1970.  The
   third is plain text intended to describe the entity that created the
   newsgroup; it is often a mailbox as defined in RFC 2822 [RFC2822].
   For example:

      [C] LIST ACTIVE.TIMES
      [S] 215 information follows
      [S] misc.test 930445408 <creatme@isc.org>
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery 930562309 <m@example.com>
      [S] tx.natives.recovery 930678923 <sob@academ.com>
      [S] .

   The list MAY omit newsgroups for which the information is unavailable
   and MAY include groups not available on the server; in particular, it
   MAY omit all groups created before the date and time of the oldest
   entry.  The client MUST NOT assume that the list is complete or that
   it matches the list returned by the LIST ACTIVE (Section 7.6.3)
   command.  The NEWGROUPS command (Section 7.3) may provide a better
   way to access this information, and the results of the two commands
   SHOULD be consistent except that, if the latter is invoked with a
   date and time earlier than the oldest entry in active.times list, its
   result may include extra groups.

   The information is newsgroup-based and a wildmat MAY be specified, in
   which case the response is limited to only the groups (if any) whose
   names match the wildmat.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 65]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

7.6.5  LIST DISTRIB.PATS

   This keyword is optional.

   The distrib.pats list is maintained by some NNTP servers to assist
   clients to choose a value for the content of the Distribution header
   of a news article being posted.  Each line of this list consists of
   three fields separated from each other by a colon (":").  The first
   field is a weight, the second field is a wildmat (which may be a
   simple group name), and the third field is a value for the
   Distribution header content.  For example:

      [C] LIST DISTRIB.PATS
      [S] 215 information follows
      [S] 10:local.*:local
      [S] 5:*:world
      [S] 20:local.here.*:thissite
      [S] .

   The client MAY use this information to construct an appropriate
   Distribution header given the name of a newsgroup.  To do so, it
   should determine the lines whose second field matches the newsgroup
   name, select from among them the line with the highest weight (with 0
   being the lowest), and use the value of the third field to construct
   the Distribution header.

   The information is not newsgroup-based and an argument MUST NOT be
   specified.

7.6.6  LIST NEWSGROUPS

   This keyword MUST be supported by servers advertising the READER
   capability.

   The newsgroups list is maintained by NNTP servers to contain the name
   of each newsgroup that is available on the server and a short
   description about the purpose of the group.  Each line of this list
   consists of two fields separated from each other by one or more space
   or TAB characters (the usual practice is a single TAB).  The first
   field is the name of the newsgroup and the second is a short
   description of the group.  For example:

      [C] LIST NEWSGROUPS
      [S] 215 information follows
      [S] misc.test General Usenet testing
      [S] alt.rfc-writers.recovery RFC Writers Recovery
      [S] tx.natives.recovery Texas Natives Recovery
      [S] .


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 66]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   The list MAY omit newsgroups for which the information is unavailable
   and MAY include groups not available on the server.  The client MUST
   NOT assume that the list is complete or that it matches the list
   returned by LIST ACTIVE.

   The information is newsgroup-based and a wildmat MAY be specified, in
   which case the response is limited to only the groups (if any) whose
   names match the wildmat.






















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 67]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

8.  Article field access commands

   This section lists commands that may be used to access specific
   article fields; that is, headers of articles and metadata about
   articles.  These commands typically fetch data from an "overview
   database", which is a database of headers extracted from incoming
   articles plus metadata determined as the article arrives.  Only
   certain fields are included in the database.

   This section is based on the Overview/NOV database [ROBE1995]
   developed by Geoff Collyer.

8.1  Article metadata

   Article "metadata" is data about articles that does not occur within
   the article itself.  Each metadata item has a name which MUST begin
   with a colon (and which MUST NOT contain a colon elsewhere within
   it).  As with header names, metadata item names are not
   case-sensitive.

   When generating a metadata item, the server MUST compute it for
   itself and MUST NOT trust any related value provided in the article.
   (In particular, a Lines or Bytes header in the article MUST NOT be
   assumed to specify the correct number of lines or bytes in the
   article.) If the server has access to several non-identical copies of
   an article, the value returned MUST be correct for any copy of that
   article retrieved during the same session.

   This specification defines two metadata items: ":bytes" and ":lines".
   Other metadata items may be defined by extensions.  The names of
   metadata items defined by registered extensions MUST NOT begin with
   ":x-".  To avoid the risk of a clash with a future registered
   extension, the names of metadata items defined by private extensions
   SHOULD begin with ":x-".

8.1.1  The :bytes metadata item

   The :bytes metadata item for an article is a decimal integer.  It
   SHOULD equal the number of octets in the entire article - headers,
   body, and separating empty line (counting a CRLF pair as two octets,
   and excluding both the "." CRLF terminating the response and any "."
   added for "byte-stuffing" purposes).

   Note to client implementers: some existing servers return a value
   different to that above.  The commonest reasons for this are:
   o  counting a CRLF pair as one octet;
   o  including the "." character used for byte-stuffing in the number;


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 68]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   o  including the terminating "." CRLF in the number;
   o  using one copy of an article for counting the octets but then
      returning another one that differs in some (permitted) manner.
   Implementations should be prepared for such variation and MUST NOT
   rely on the value being accurate.

8.1.2  The :lines metadata item

   The :lines metadata item for an article is a decimal integer.  It
   MUST equal the number of lines in the article body (excluding the
   empty line separating headers and body); equivalently, it is two less
   than the number of CRLF pairs that the BODY command would return for
   that article (the extra two are those following the response code and
   the termination octet).

8.2  Database consistency

   The information stored in the overview database may change over time.
   If the database records the content or absence of a given field (that
   is, a header or metadata item) for all articles, it is said to be
   "consistent" for that field.  If it records the content of a header
   for some articles but not for others that nevertheless included that
   header, or records a metadata item for some articles but not others
   to which that item applies, it is said to be "inconsistent" for that
   field.

   The LIST OVERVIEW.FMT command SHOULD list all the fields for which
   the database is consistent at that moment.  It MAY omit such fields
   (for example if it is not known whether the database is consistent or
   inconsistent).  It MUST NOT include fields for which the database is
   inconsistent or which are not stored in the database.  Therefore if a
   header appears in the LIST OVERVIEW.FMT output but not the OVER
   output for a given article, that header does not appear in the
   article, and similarly for metadata items.

   These rules assume the fields being stored in the database remain
   constant for long periods of time, with the database therefore being
   consistent.  When the set of fields to be stored is changed, it will
   be inconsistent until either the database is rebuilt or the only
   articles remaining are those received since the change.  Therefore
   the output from LIST OVERVIEW.FMT needs to be altered twice: before
   any fields stop being stored, they MUST be removed from the output,
   then when the database is once more known to be consistent, the new
   fields SHOULD be added to the output.

   If the HDR command uses the overview database rather than taking
   information directly from the articles, the same issues of
   consistency and inconsistency apply and the and the LIST HEADERS


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 69]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   command SHOULD take the same approach as the LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
   command in resolving them.

8.3  OVER

8.3.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: OVER
   Syntax
      OVER message-id
      OVER range
      OVER
   Responses
      First form (message-id specified)
         224   Overview information follows (multiline)
         430   No article with that message-id
      Second form (range specified)
         224   Overview information follows (multiline)
         412   No newsgroup selected
         423   No articles in that range
      Third form (current article number used)
         224   Overview information follows (multiline)
         412   No newsgroup selected
         420   Current article number is invalid
   Parameters
      range      = number(s) of articles
      message-id = message-id of article

8.3.2  Description

   The OVER command returns the contents of all the fields in the
   database for an article specified by message-id, or from a specified
   article or range of articles in the current selected newsgroup.

   The message-id argument indicates a specific article.  The range
   argument may be any of the following:
   o  an article number
   o  an article number followed by a dash to indicate all following
   o  an article number followed by a dash followed by another article
      number
   If neither is specified, the current article number is used.

   Support for the first (message-id) form is optional.  If is is
   supported, the OVER capability line MUST include the argument
   "MSGID".  Otherwise, the capability line MUST NOT include this
   argument, and the OVER command MUST return the the generic response
   code 503 when this form is used.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 70]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   If the information is available, it is returned as a multi-line
   response following the 224 response code and contains one line per
   article, sorted in numerical order of article number (note that
   unless the argument is a range including a dash, there will only be
   one line but it will still be in multi-line format).  Each line
   consists of a number of fields separated by a TAB.  A field may be
   empty (in which case there will be two adjacent TABs), and a sequence
   of trailing TABs may be omitted.

   The first 8 fields MUST be the following, in order:
      "0" or article number (see below)
      Subject header content
      From header content
      Date header content
      Message-ID header content
      References header content
      :bytes metadata item
      :lines metadata item
   If the article is specified by message-id (the first form of the
   command), the article number MUST be replaced with zero, except that
   if there is a current selected group and the article is present in
   that group, the server MAY use that article number (see the ARTICLE
   command (Section 6.2.1) and STAT examples (Section 6.2.4.3) for more
   details).  In the other two forms of the command, the article number
   MUST be returned.

   Any subsequent fields are the contents of the other headers and
   metadata held in the database.

   For the five mandatory headers, the content of each field MUST be
   based on the content of the header (that is, with the header name and
   following colon and space removed).  If the article does not contain
   that header, or if the content is empty, the field MUST be empty.
   For the two mandatory metadata items, the content of the field MUST
   be just the value, with no other text.

   For all subsequent fields that contain headers, the content MUST be
   the entire header line other than the trailing CRLF.  For all
   subsequent fields that contain metadata, the field consists of the
   metadata name, a single space, and then the value.

   For all fields, the value is processed by first removing all CRLF
   pairs (that is, undoing any folding and removing the terminating
   CRLF) and then replacing each TAB with a single space.  If there is
   no such header in the article, or no such metadata item, or no header
   or item stored in the database for that article, the corresponding
   field MUST be empty.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 71]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Note that, after unfolding, the characters NUL, LF, and CR cannot
   occur in the header of an article offered by a conformant server.
   Nevertheless, servers SHOULD check for these characters and replace
   each one by a single space (so that, for example, CR LF LF TAB will
   become two spaces, since the CR and first LF will be removed by the
   unfolding process).  This will encourage robustness in the face of
   non-conforming data; it is also possible that future versions of this
   specification could permit these characters to appear in articles.

   The server SHOULD NOT produce output for articles that no longer
   exist.

   If the argument is a message-id and no such article exists, a 430
   response MUST be returned.  If the argument is a range or is omitted
   and the current selected newsgroup is invalid, a 412 response MUST be
   returned.  If the argument is a range and no articles in that number
   range exist in the current selected newsgroup, a 423 response MUST be
   returned.  If the argument is omitted and the current article number
   is invalid, a 420 response MUST be returned.

8.3.3  Examples

   In the first three examples, TAB has been replaced by vertical bar
   and some lines have been folded for readability.

   Example of a successful retrieval of overview information for an
   article (using no article number):
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] OVER
      [S] 224 Overview information follows
      [S] 300234|I am just a test article|"Demo User"
      <nobody@example.com>|6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500|
      <45223423@example.com>|<45454@example.net>|1234|
      17|Xref: news.example.com misc.test:3000363
      [S] .

   Example of a successful retrieval of overview information for an
   article by message-id:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER
      [S] OVER MSGID
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS OVERVIEW.FMT
      [S] .
      [C] OVER   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 224 Overview information follows


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 72]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [S] 0|I am just a test article|"Demo User"
      <nobody@example.com>|6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500|
      <45223423@example.com>|<45454@example.net>|1234|
      17|Xref: news.example.com misc.test:3000363
      [S] .
   Note that the article number has been replaced by "0".

   Example of the same commands on a system that does not implement
   retrieval by message-id:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER
      [S] OVER
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS OVERVIEW.FMT
      [S] .
      [C] OVER   <45223423@example.com>
      [S] 503 Overview by message-id unsupported

   Example of a successful retrieval of overview information for a range
   of articles:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] OVER   3000234-3000240
      [S] 224 Overview information follows
      [S] 300234|I am just a test article|"Demo User"
      <nobody@example.com>|6 Oct 1998 04:38:40 -0500|
      <45223423@example.com>|<45454@example.net>|1234|
      17|Xref: news.example.com misc.test:3000363
      [S] 3000235|Another test article|nobody@nowhere.to
      (Demo User)|6 Oct 1998 04:38:45 -0500|<45223425@to.to>||
      4818|37||Distribution: fi
      [S] 3000238|Re: I am just a test article|somebody@elsewhere.to|
      7 Oct 1998 11:38:40 +1200|<kfwer3v@elsewhere.to>|
      <45223423@to.to>|9234|51
      [S] .
   Note the missing "References" and Xref headers in the second line,
   the missing trailing field(s) in the first and last lines, and that
   there are only results for those articles that still exist.

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of overview information on an
   article by number:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] OVER   300256
      [S] 423 No such article in this group

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of overview information by


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 73]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   number because no newsgroup was selected first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] OVER
      [S] 412 No newsgroup selected

   Example of an attempt to retrieve information when the current
   selected newsgroup is empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] OVER
      [S] 420 No current article selected

8.4  LIST OVERVIEW.FMT

8.4.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: OVER
   Syntax
      LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
   Responses
      215   Information follows (multiline)

8.4.2  Description

   See Section 7.6.1 for general requirements of the LIST command.

   The LIST OVERVIEW.FMT command returns a description of the fields in
   the database for which it is consistent (as described above).  The
   information is returned as a multi-line response following the 215
   response code.  The information contains one line per field in the
   order they are returned by the OVER command; the first 7 lines MUST
   (except for the case of letters) be exactly:

       Subject:
       From:
       Date:
       Message-ID:
       References:
       :bytes
       :lines

    except that, for compatibility with existing implementations, the
   last two lines MAY instead be:

       Bytes:
       Lines:

    even though they refer to metadata, not headers.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 74]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   All subsequent lines MUST consist of either a header name followed by
   ":full", or the name of a piece of metadata.

   There are no leading or trailing spaces in the output.

   Note that the 7 fixed lines describe the 2nd to 8th fields of the
   OVER output.  The "full" suffix (which may use either uppercase,
   lowercase, or a mix) is a reminder that the corresponding fields
   include the header name.

   This command MAY generate different results if used more than once in
   a session.

8.4.3  Examples

   Example of LIST OVERVIEW.FMT output corresponding to the example OVER
   output above, using the preferred format:
      [C] LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
      [S] 215 Order of fields in overview database.
      [S] Subject:
      [S] From:
      [S] Date:
      [S] Message-ID:
      [S] References:
      [S] :bytes
      [S] :lines
      [S] Xref:full
      [S] Distribution:full
      [S] .

   Example of LIST OVERVIEW.FMT output corresponding to the example OVER
   output above, using the alternative format:
      [C] LIST OVERVIEW.FMT
      [S] 215 Order of fields in overview database.
      [S] Subject:
      [S] From:
      [S] Date:
      [S] Message-ID:
      [S] References:
      [S] Bytes:
      [S] Lines:
      [S] Xref:FULL
      [S] Distribution:FULL
      [S] .

8.5  HDR



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 75]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

8.5.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: HDR
   Syntax
      HDR field message-id
      HDR field range
      HDR field
   Responses
      First form (message-id specified)
         225   Headers follow (multiline)
         430   No article with that message-id
      Second form (range specified)
         225   Headers follow (multiline)
         412   No newsgroup selected
         423   No articles in that range
      Third form (current article number used)
         225   Headers follow (multiline)
         412   No newsgroup selected
         420   Current article number is invalid
   Parameters
      field      = name of field
      range      = number(s) of articles
      message-id = message-id of article

8.5.2  Description

   The HDR command provides access to specific fields from an article
   specified by message-id, or from a specified article or range of
   articles in the current selected newsgroup.  It MAY take the
   information directly from the articles or from the overview database.
   In the case of headers, an implementation MAY restrict the use of
   this command to a specific list of headers or MAY allow it to be used
   with any header; it may behave differently when it is used with a
   message-id argument and when it is used with a range or no argument.

   The required field argument is the name of a header with the colon
   omitted (e.g.  "subject"), or the name of a metadata item including
   the leading colon (e.g.  ":bytes"), and is case-insensitive.

   The message-id argument indicates a specific article.  The range
   argument may be any of the following:
   o  an article number
   o  an article number followed by a dash to indicate all following
   o  an article number followed by a dash followed by another article
      number
   If neither is specified, the current article number is used.

   If the information is available, it is returned as a multi-line


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 76]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   response following the 225 response code and contains one line for
   each article in the range that exists (note that unless the argument
   is a range including a dash, there will be at most one line but it
   will still be in multi-line format).  The line consists of the
   article number, a space, and then the contents of the field.  In the
   case of a header, the header name, colon, and the first space after
   the colon are all omitted.

   If the article is specified by message-id (the first form of the
   command), the article number MUST be replaced with zero, except that
   if there is a current selected group and the article is present in
   that group, the server MAY use that article number (see the ARTICLE
   command (Section 6.2.1) and STAT examples (Section 6.2.4.3) for more
   details).  In the other two forms of the command, the article number
   MUST be returned.

   Header contents are modified as follows: all CRLF pairs are removed,
   and then each TAB is replaced with a single space (note that this is
   the same transformation as is performed by the OVER command
   (Section 8.3.2), and the same comment concerning NUL, CR, and LF
   applies).

   Note the distinction between headers and metadata appearing to have
   the same meaning.  Headers are always taken unchanged from the
   article; metadata are always calculated.  For example, a request for
   "Lines" returns the contents of the "Lines" header of the specified
   articles, if any, no matter whether or not they accurately state the
   number of lines, while a request for ":lines" returns the line count
   metadata, which is always the actual number of lines irrespective of
   what any header may state.

   If the requested header is not present in the article or if it is
   present but empty, a line for that article is included in the output
   but the header content portion of the line is empty (the space after
   the article number MAY be retained or omitted).  If the header occurs
   in a given article more than once, only the content of the first
   occurrence is returned by HDR.  If any article number in the provided
   range does not exist in the group, no line for that article number is
   included in the output.

   If the second argument is a message-id and no such article exists, a
   430 response MUST be returned.  If the second argument is a range or
   is omitted and the current selected newsgroup is invalid, a 412
   response MUST be returned.  If the second argument is a range and no
   articles in that number range exist in the current selected
   newsgroup, a 423 response MUST be returned.  If the second argument
   is omitted and the current article number is invalid, a 420 response
   MUST be returned.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 77]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   A server MAY only allow HDR commands for a limited set of fields; it
   may behave differently in this respect for the first (message-id)
   form than for the other forms.  If so, it MUST respond with the
   generic 503 response to attempts to request other fields, rather than
   returning erroneous results such as a successful empty response.

   If HDR uses the overview database and it is inconsistent for the
   requested field, the server MAY return what results it can or it MAY
   respond with the generic 503 response; in the latter case, the field
   MUST NOT appear in the output from LIST HEADERS.

8.5.3  Examples

   Example of a successful retrieval of subject lines from a range of
   articles (3000235 has no Subject header, and 3000236 is missing):
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] HDR   Subject 3000234-300238
      [S] 225 Headers follow
      [S] 3000234 I am just a test article
      [S] 3000235
      [S] 3000237 Re: I am just a test article
      [S] 3000238 Ditto
      [S] .

   Example of a successful retrieval of line counts from a range of
   articles:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] HDR   :lines 3000234-300238
      [S] 225 Headers follow
      [S] 3000234 42
      [S] 3000235 5
      [S] 3000237 11
      [S] 3000238 2378
      [S] .

   Example of a successful retrieval of the subject line from an article
   by message-id:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] HDR   subject <i.am.a.test.article@example.com>
      [S] 225 Header information follows
      [S] 0 I am just a test article
      [S] .

   Example of a successful retrieval of the subject line from the
   current article:


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 78]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] HDR   subject
      [S] 225 Header information follows
      [S] 3000234 I am just a test article
      [S] .

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of a header from an article by
   message-id:
      [C] HDR   subject <i.am.not.there@example.com>
      [S] 430 No Such Article Found

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of headers from articles by
   number because no newsgroup was selected first:
      [Assumes current selected newsgroup is invalid.]
      [C] HDR   subject 300256-
      [S] 412 No newsgroup selected

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of headers because the current
   selected newsgroup is empty:
      [C] GROUP   example.empty.newsgroup
      [S] 211 0 0 0 example.empty.newsgroup
      [C] HDR   subject 1-
      [S] 423 No articles in that range

   Example of an unsuccessful retrieval of headers because the server
   does not allow HDR commands for that header:
      [C] GROUP   misc.test
      [S] 211 1234 3000234 3002322 misc.test
      [C] HDR   Content-Type 3000234-300238
      [S] 503 HDR not permitted on Content-Type

8.6  LIST HEADERS

8.6.1  Usage

   Indicating capability: HDR
   Syntax
      LIST HEADERS [MSGID|RANGE]
   Responses
      215   Field list follows (multiline)
   Parameters
      MSGID = requests list for access by message-id
      RANGE = requests list for access by range

8.6.2  Description

   See Section 7.6.1 for general requirements of the LIST command.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 79]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   The LIST HEADERS command returns a list of fields that may be
   retrieved using the HDR command.

   The information is returned as a multi-line response following the
   215 response code and contains one line for each field name
   (excluding the trailing colon for headers and including the leading
   colon for metadata items).  If the implementation allows any header
   to be retrieved, it MUST NOT include any header names in the list but
   MUST include the special entry ":" (a single colon on its own); it
   MUST still explicitly list any metadata items that are available.
   The order of items in the list is not significant; the server need
   not even consistently return the same order.  The list MAY be empty
   (though in this circumstance there is little point in providing the
   HDR command).

   An implementation that also supports the OVER command SHOULD at least
   permit all the headers and metadata items listed in the output from
   the LIST OVERVIEW.FMT command.

   If the server treats the first form of the HDR command (message-id
   specified) differently to the other two forms (range specified or
   current article number used) in respect of which headers or metadata
   items are available, then:
   o  if the MSGID argument is specified, the results MUST be those
      available for the first form of the HDR command;
   o  if the RANGE argument is specified, the results MUST be those
      available for the second and third forms of the HDR command;
   o  if no argument is specified, the results MUST be those available
      in all forms of the HDR command (that is, it MUST only list those
      items listed in both the previous cases).

   If the server does not treat the various forms differently, then it
   MUST always produce the same results and ignore any argument.

8.6.3  Examples

   Example of an implementation providing access to only a few headers:
      [C] LIST HEADERS
      [S] 215 headers supported:
      [S] Subject
      [S] Message-ID
      [S] Xref
      [S] .

   Example of an implementation providing access to the same fields as
   the first example in Section 8.4.3:
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 80]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER
      [S] OVER
      [S] HDR
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS HEADERS OVERVIEW.FMT
      [S] .
      [C] LIST HEADERS
      [S] 215 headers and metadata items supported:
      [S] Date
      [S] Distribution
      [S] From
      [S] Message-ID
      [S] References
      [S] Subject
      [S] Xref
      [S] :bytes
      [S] :lines
      [S] .

   Example of an implementation providing access to all headers:
      [C] LIST HEADERS
      [S] 215 metadata items supported:
      [S] :
      [S] :lines
      [S] :bytes
      [S] :x-article-number
      [S] .

   Example of an implementation distinguishing the first form of the HDR
   command from the other two forms:
      [C] LIST HEADERS RANGE
      [S] 215 metadata items supported:
      [S] :
      [S] :lines
      [S] :bytes
      [S] .
      [C] LIST HEADERS MSGID
      [S] 215 headers and metadata items supported:
      [S] Date
      [S] Distribution
      [S] From
      [S] Message-ID
      [S] References
      [S] Subject
      [S] :lines
      [S] :bytes
      [S] :x-article-number
      [S] .


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 81]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [C] LIST HEADERS
      [S] 215 headers and metadata items supported:
      [S] Date
      [S] Distribution
      [S] From
      [S] Message-ID
      [S] References
      [S] Subject
      [S] :lines
      [S] :bytes
      [S] .
   Note how :x-article-number does not appear in the last set of output.




















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 82]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

9.  Augmented BNF Syntax for NNTP

   Each of the following sections describes the syntax of a major
   element of NNTP.  This syntax extends and refines the descriptions
   elsewhere in this specification, and should be given precedence when
   resolving apparent conflicts.  Note that ABNF [RFC2234] strings are
   case-insensitive.  Non-terminals used in several places are defined
   in a separate section at the end.

   The non-terminals <command-line>, <command-continuation>, and
   <response> between them specify the text that flows between client
   and server.  For each command, the sequence is:
   o  the client sends an instance of <command-line>;
   o  if the client is one that immediately streams data [1], it sends
      an instance of <command-datastream>;
   o  the server sends an instance of <response>;
   o  while the latest response is one that indicates more data is
      required (in general, a 3xx response):
      *  the client sends an instance of <command-continuation>;
      *  the server sends an instance of <response>.

   [1] There are no commands in this specification that immediately
   stream data, but this non-terminal is defined for the convenience of
   extensions.

9.1  Commands

   This syntax defines the non-terminal <command-line>, which represents
   what is sent from the client to the server.

     command-line = command EOL
     command = X-command
     X-command = keyword *(WS token)

     command =/ article-command /
           body-command /
           capabilities-command /
           date-command /
           group-command /
           hdr-command /
           head-command /
           help-command /
           ihave-command /
           last-command /
           list-command /
           listgroup-command /
           mode-reader-command /
           newgroups-command /


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 83]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

           newnews-command /
           next-command /
           over-command /
           post-command /
           quit-command /
           stat-command

     article-command = "ARTICLE" [WS article-ref]
     body-command = "BODY" [WS article-ref]
     capabilities-command = "CAPABILITIES" [WS keyword]
     date-command = "DATE"
     group-command = "GROUP" WS newsgroup-name
     hdr-command = "HDR" WS header-meta-name [WS range-ref]
     head-command = "HEAD" [WS article-ref]
     help-command = "HELP"
     ihave-command = "IHAVE" WS message-id
     last-command = "LAST"
     list-command = "LIST" [WS list-arguments]
     listgroup-command = "LISTGROUP" [WS newsgroup-name]
     mode-reader-command = "MODE" WS "READER"
     newgroups-command = "NEWGROUPS" WS date-time
     newnews-command = "NEWNEWS" WS wildmat WS date-time
     next-command = "NEXT"
     over-command = "OVER" [WS range-ref]
     post-command = "POST"
     quit-command = "QUIT"
     stat-command = "STAT" [WS article-ref]

     article-ref = article-number / message-id
     date = date2y / date4y
     date4y = 4DIGIT 2DIGIT 2DIGIT
     date2y = 2DIGIT 2DIGIT 2DIGIT
     date-time = date WS time [WS "GMT"]
     header-meta-name = header-name / metadata-name
     list-arguments = keyword [WS token]
     metadata-name = ":" 1*A-NOTCOLON
     range = article-number ["-" [article-number]]
     range-ref = range / message-id
     time = 2DIGIT 2DIGIT 2DIGIT






Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 84]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

9.2  Command continuation

   This syntax defines the further material sent by the client in the
   case of multi-stage commands and those that stream data.

     command-datastream = UNDEFINED
       ; not used, provided as a hook for extensions
     command-continuation = ihave-continuation /
           post-continuation

     ihave-continuation = encoded-article
     post-continuation = encoded-article

     encoded-article = content-lines termination
       ; after undoing the "byte-stuffing", this MUST match <article>

9.3  Responses

9.3.1  Generic responses

   This syntax defines the non-terminal <response>, which represents the
   generic form of responses - that is, what is sent from the server to
   the client in response to a <command> or a<command-continuation>.

     response = simple-response / multiline-response
     multiline-response = simple-response content-lines termination

     simple-response =
           simple-response-content [SP trailing-comment] CRLF
     simple-response-content = X-simple-response-content
     X-simple-response-content = 3DIGIT *(SP response-argument)
     response-argument = 1*A-CHAR
     trailing-comment = *U-CHAR









Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 85]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

9.3.2  Initial response line contents

   This syntax defines the specific initial response lines for the
   various commands in this specification.  Only those response codes
   with arguments are listed.

     simple-response-content =/ response-111-content
           response-211-content
           response-22x-content
           response-401-content

     response-111-content = "111" SP date4y time
     response-211-content = "211" 3(SP article-number) SP newsgroup-name
     response-22x-content = ("220" / "221" / "222" / "223")
           SP article-number SP message-id
     response-401-content = "401" SP capability-label


















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 86]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

9.3.3  Multi-line response contents

   This syntax defines the content of the various multi-line responses
   (more precisely, the part of the response in <content-lines>), in
   each case after any "byte-stuffing" has been undone.

     multiline-response-content = article-response /
           body-response /
           capabilities-response /
           hdr-response /
           head-response /
           help-response /
           list-response /
           listgroup-response /
           newgroups-response /
           newnews-response /
           over-response

     article-response = article
     body-response = body
     capabilities-response = 1*(capability-line CRLF)
     hdr-response = *(article-number SP hdr-content CRLF)
     head-response = 1*header
     help-response = *(*B-CHAR CRLF)
     list-response = body
     listgroup-response = *(article-number CRLF)
     newgroups-response = *(newsgroup-name SPA article-number
           SPA article-number SPA newsgroup-status CRLF)
     newnews-response = *(message-id CRLF)
     over-response = *(article-number over-content CRLF)

     hdr-content = *S-NONTAB
     hdr-n-content = [(header-name ":" / metadata-name) SP hdr-content]
     newsgroup-status = %x79 / %x6E / %x6D / private-status
     over-content = 1*6(TAB hdr-content) /
           7(TAB hdr-content) *(TAB hdr-n-content)
     private-status = token ; except the values in newsgroup-status







Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 87]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

9.4  Capability lines

   This syntax defines the generic form of a capability line in the
   capabilities list (see Section 3.3.1).

     capability-line = capability-entry
     capability-entry = X-capability-entry
     X-capability-entry = capability-label *(WS capability-argument)
     capability-label = keyword
     capability-argument = token

   This syntax defines the specific capability entries for the
   capabilities in this specification.

     capability-entry =/
           hdr-capability /
           ihave-capability /
           implementation-capability /
           list-capability /
           mode-reader-capability /
           over-capability /
           reader-capability /
           version-capability

     hdr-capability = "HDR"
     ihave-capability = "IHAVE"
     implementation-capability = "IMPLEMENTATION" *(WS token)
     list-capability = "LIST" 1*(WS keyword)
     mode-reader-capability = "MODE-READER"
     over-capability = "OVER" [WS "MSGID"]
     reader-capability = "READER" *(WS reader-option)
     reader-option = "POST" / "LISTGROUP"  ; each to appear at most once
     version-capability = "VERSION" 1*(WS version-number)
     version-number = nzDIGIT *5DIGIT

9.5  LIST variants

   This section defines more specifically the keywords for the LIST
   command and the syntax of the corresponding responses.

     ; active
     list-arguments =/ "ACTIVE" [WS wildmat]
     list-response =/ list-active-response
     list-active-response = newgroups-response

     ; active.times
     list-arguments =/ "ACTIVE.TIMES" [WS wildmat]


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 88]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

     list-response =/ list-active-times-response
     list-active-times-response =
           *(newsgroup-name SPA 1*DIGIT SPA newsgroup-creator CRLF)
     newsgroup-creator = U-TEXT

     ; distrib.pats
     list-arguments =/ "DISTRIB.PATS"
     list-response =/ list-distrib-pats-response
     list-distrib-pats-response =
           *(1*DIGIT ":" wildmat ":" distribution CRLF)
     distribution = token

     ; headers
     list-arguments =/ "HEADERS" [WS ("MSGID" / "RANGE")]
     list-response =/ list-headers-response
     list-headers-response = *(header-meta-name CRLF) /
           *((metadata-name / ":") CRLF)

     ; newsgroups
     list-arguments =/ "NEWSGROUPS" [WS wildmat]
     list-response =/ list-newsgroups-response
     list-newsgroups-response =
           *(newsgroup-name WS newsgroup-description CRLF)
     newsgroup-description = S-TEXT

     ; overview.fmt
     list-arguments =/ "OVERVIEW.FMT"
     list-response =/ list-overview-fmt-response
     list-overview-fmt-response = "Subject:" CRLF
           "From:" CRLF
           "Date:" CRLF
           "Message-ID:" CRLF
           "References:" CRLF
           ( ":bytes" CRLF ":lines" / "Bytes:" CRLF "Lines:") CRLF
           *((header-name ":full" / metadata-name) CRLF)

9.6  Articles

   This syntax defines the non-terminal <article>, which represents the
   format of an article as described in Section 3.6.

     article = 1*header CRLF body
     header = header-name ":" [CRLF] SP header-content CRLF
     header-content = *(S-CHAR / [CRLF] WS)
     body = *(*B-CHAR CRLF)



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 89]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

9.7  General non-terminals

   These non-terminals are used at various places in the syntax and are
   collected here for convenience.  A few of these non-terminals are not
   used in this specification but are provided for the consistency and
   convenience of extension authors.

     article-number = 1*16DIGIT
     content-lines = *([content-text] CRLF)
     content-text = (".." / B-NONDOT) *B-CHAR
     header-name = 1*A-NOTCOLON
     keyword = ALPHA 2*11(ALPHA / DIGIT / "." / "-")
     message-id = "<" 1*248A-NOTGT ">"
     newsgroup-name = 1*wildmat-exact
     termination = "." CRLF
     token = 1*P-CHAR

     wildmat = wildmat-pattern *("," ["!"] wildmat-pattern)
     wildmat-pattern = 1*wildmat-item
       ; must not begin with "!" if not immediately preceded by "!"
     wildmat-item = wildmat-exact / wildmat-wild
     wildmat-exact = %x21-29 / %x2B / %x2D-3E / %x40-5A / %x5E-7E /
          UTF8-non-ascii  ; exclude * , ? [ \ ]
     wildmat-wild = "*" / "?"

     base64 = *(4base64-char) [base64-terminal]
     base64-char = UPPER / LOWER / DIGIT / "+" / "/"
     base64-terminal = 2base64-char "==" / 3base64-char "="

     ; Assorted special character sets
     ;   A- means based on US-ASCII, excluding controls and SP
     ;   P- means based on UTF-8, excluding controls and SP
     ;   U- means based on UTF-8, excluding NUL CR and LF
     ;   B- means based on bytes, excluding NUL CR and LF
     A-CHAR     = %x21-7E
     A-NOTCOLON = %x21-39 / %x3B-7E  ; exclude ":"
     A-NOTGT    = %x21-3D / %x3F-7E  ; exclude ">"
     P-CHAR     = A-CHAR / UTF8-non-ascii
     U-CHAR     = CTRL / TAB / SP / A-CHAR / UTF8-non-ascii
     U-NONTAB   = CTRL /       SP / A-CHAR / UTF8-non-ascii
     U-TEXT     = P-CHAR *U-CHAR
     B-CHAR     = CTRL / TAB / SP / %x21-FF
     B-NONDOT   = CTRL / TAB / SP / %x21-2D / %x2F-FF  ; exclude "."

     ALPHA = UPPER / LOWER   ; use only when case-insensitive
     CR = %x0D
     CRLF = CR LF
     CTRL = %x01-08 / %x0B-0C / %x0E-1F


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 90]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

     DIGIT = %x30-39
     nzDIGIT = %x31-39
     EOL = *(SP / TAB) CRLF
     LF = %x0A
     LOWER = %x61-7A
     SP = %x20
     SPA = 1*SP
     TAB = %x09
     UPPER = %x41-5A
     UTF8-non-ascii = UTF8-2 / UTF8-3 / UTF8-4
     UTF8-2    = %xC2-DF UTF8-tail
     UTF8-3    = %xE0 %xA0-BF UTF8-tail / %xE1-EC 2UTF8-tail /
                 %xED %x80-9F UTF8-tail / %xEE-EF 2UTF8-tail
     UTF8-4    = %xF0 %x90-BF 2UTF8-tail / %xF1-F3 3UTF8-tail /
                 %xF4 %x80-8F 2UTF8-tail
     UTF8-tail = %x80-BF
     WS = 1*(SP / TAB)

   The following non-terminals require special consideration.  They
   represent situations where material SHOULD be restricted to UTF-8,
   but implementations MUST be able to cope with other character
   encodings.  Therefore there are two sets of definitions for them.

   Implementations MUST accept any content that meets this syntax:

     S-CHAR   = %x21-FF
     S-NONTAB = CTRL / SP / S-CHAR
     S-TEXT   = (CTRL / S-CHAR) *B-CHAR

   Implementations SHOULD only generate content that meets this syntax:

     S-CHAR   = P-CHAR
     S-NONTAB = U-NONTAB
     S-TEXT   = U-TEXT

9.8  Extensions and Validation

   The specification of a registered extension MUST include formal
   syntax that defines additional forms for the following non-terminals:

   command
      for each new command other than a variant of the LIST command -
      the syntax of each command MUST be compatible with the definition
      of <X-command>;



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 91]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   command-datastream
      for each new command that immediately streams data;
   command-continuation
      for each new command that sends further material after the initial
      command line - the syntax of each continuation MUST be exactly
      what is sent to the server, including any escape mechanisms such
      as "byte-stuffing";
   simple-response-content
      for each new response code that has arguments - the syntax of each
      response MUST be compatible with the definition of
      <X-simple-response-content>;
   multiline-response-content
      for each new response code that has a multi-line response - the
      syntax MUST show the response after the lines containing the
      response code and the terminating octet have been removed and any
      "byte-stuffing" undone;
   capability-entry
      for each new capability label - the syntax of each entry MUST be
      compatible with the definition of <X-capability-entry>;
   list-arguments
      for each new variant of the LIST command - the syntax of each
      entry MUST be compatible with the definition of <X-command>;
   list-response
      for each new variant of the LIST command - the syntax MUST show
      the response after the lines containing the 215 response code and
      the terminating octet have been removed and any "byte-stuffing"
      undone.

   The =/ notation of ABNF [RFC2234] SHOULD be used for this.

   When validating the syntax in this specification, or syntax based on
   it, it should be noted that:
   o  the non-terminals <command-line>, <command-datastream>,
      <command-continuation>, <response>, and
      <multiline-response-content> describe basic concepts of the
      protocol and are not referred to by any other rule;
   o  the non-terminal <base64> is provided for the convenience of
      extension authors and is not referred to by any rule in this
      specification;
   o  for the reasons given above, the non-terminals <S-CHAR>,
      <S-NONTAB>, and <S-TEXT> each have two definitions;
   o  the non-terminal <UNDEFINED> is deliberately not defined.





Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 92]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

10.  IANA Considerations

   This specification requires IANA to keep a registry of capability
   labels.  The initial contents of this registry are specified in
   Section 3.3.4.  As described in Section 3.3.3, labels beginning with
   X are reserved for private use while all other names are expected to
   be associated with a specification in an RFC on the standards-track
   or defining an IESG-approved experimental protocol.

   Different entries in the registry MUST use different capability
   labels.

   Different entries in the registry MUST NOT use the same command name.
   For this purpose, variants distinguished by a second or subsequent
   keyword (e.g.  "LIST HEADERS" and "LIST OVERVIEW.FMT") count as
   different commands.  If there is a need for two extensions to use the
   same command, a single harmonised specification MUST be registered.

















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 93]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

11.  Security Considerations

   This section is meant to inform application developers, information
   providers, and users of the security limitations in NNTP as described
   by this document.  The discussion does not include definitive
   solutions to the problems revealed, though it does make some
   suggestions for reducing security risks.

11.1  Personal and Proprietary Information

   NNTP, because it was created to distribute network news articles,
   will forward whatever information is stored in those articles.
   Specification of that information is outside this scope of this
   document, but it is likely that some personal and/or proprietary
   information is available in some of those articles.  It is very
   important that designers and implementers provide informative
   warnings to users so personal and/or proprietary information in
   material that is added automatically to articles (e.g.  in headers)
   is not disclosed inadvertently.  Additionally, effective and easily
   understood mechanisms to manage the distribution of news articles
   SHOULD be provided to NNTP Server administrators, so that they are
   able to report with confidence the likely spread of any particular
   set of news articles.

11.2  Abuse of Server Log Information

   A server is in the position to save session data about a user's
   requests that might identify their reading patterns or subjects of
   interest.  This information is clearly confidential in nature and its
   handling can be constrained by law in certain countries.  People
   using the NNTP protocol to provide data are responsible for ensuring
   that such material is not distributed without the permission of any
   individuals that are identifiable by the published results.

11.3  Weak Authentication and Access Control

   There is no user-based or token-based authentication in the basic
   NNTP specification.  Access is normally controlled by server
   configuration files.  Those files specify access by using domain
   names or IP addresses.  However, this specification does permit the
   creation of extensions to the NNTP protocol itself for such purposes;
   one such extension is [NNTP-AUTH].  While including such mechanisms
   is optional, doing so is strongly encouraged.

   Other mechanisms are also available.  For example, a proxy server
   could be put in place that requires authentication before connecting
   via the proxy to the NNTP server.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 94]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

11.4  DNS Spoofing

   Many existing NNTP implementations authorize incoming connections by
   checking the IP address of that connection against the IP addresses
   obtained via DNS lookups of lists of domain names given in local
   configuration files.  Servers that use this type of authentication,
   and clients that find a server by doing a DNS lookup of the server
   name, rely very heavily on the Domain Name Service, and are thus
   generally prone to security attacks based on the deliberate
   misassociation of IP addresses and DNS names.  Clients and servers
   need to be cautious in assuming the continuing validity of an IP
   number/DNS name association.

   In particular, NNTP clients and servers SHOULD rely on their name
   resolver for confirmation of an IP number/DNS name association,
   rather than caching the result of previous host name lookups.  Many
   platforms already can cache host name lookups locally when
   appropriate, and they SHOULD be configured to do so.  It is proper
   for these lookups to be cached, however, only when the TTL (Time To
   Live) information reported by the name server makes it likely that
   the cached information will remain useful.

   If NNTP clients or servers cache the results of host name lookups in
   order to achieve a performance improvement, they MUST observe the TTL
   information reported by DNS.  If NNTP clients or servers do not
   observe this rule, they could be spoofed when a previously accessed
   server's IP address changes.  As network renumbering is expected to
   become increasingly common, the possibility of this form of attack
   will grow.  Observing this requirement thus reduces this potential
   security vulnerability.

   This requirement also improves the load-balancing behaviour of
   clients for replicated servers using the same DNS name and reduces
   the likelihood of a user's experiencing failure in accessing sites
   that use that strategy.

11.5  UTF-8 issues

   UTF-8 [RFC3629] permits only certain sequences of octets and
   designates others as either malformed or "illegal".  The Unicode
   standard identifies a number of security issues related to illegal
   sequences and forbids their generation by conforming implementations.

   Implementations of this specification MUST NOT generate malformed or
   illegal sequences and SHOULD detect them and take some appropriate
   action.  This could include:
   o  generating a 501 response code.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 95]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   o  replacing such sequences by the sequence %xEF.BF.BD, which encodes
      the "replacement character" U+FFFD;
   o  closing the connection;
   o  replacing such sequences by a "guessed" valid sequence (based on
      properties of the UTF-8 encoding);
   In the last case, the implementation MUST ensure that any replacement
   cannot be used to bypass validity or security checks.  For example,
   the illegal sequence %xC0.A0 is an over-long encoding for space
   (%x20).  If it is replaced by the latter in a command line, this
   needs to happen before the command line is parsed into individual
   arguments.  If the replacement came after parsing, it would be
   possible to generate an argument with an embedded space, which is
   forbidden.  Use of the "replacement character" does not have this
   problem, since it is permitted wherever non-US-ASCII characters are.
   Implementations SHOULD use one of the first two solutions where the
   general structure of the NNTP stream remains intact, and close the
   connection if it is no longer possible to parse it sensibly.

11.6  Caching of capability lists

   The CAPABILITIES command provides a capability list, which is
   information about the current capabilities of the server.  Whenever
   there is a relevant change to the server state, the results of this
   command are required to change accordingly.

   In most situations the capabilities list in a given server state will
   not change from session to session; for example, a given extension
   will be installed permanently on a server.  Some clients may
   therefore wish to remember which extensions a server supports to
   avoid the delay of an additional command and response, particularly
   if they open multiple connections in the same session.

   However, information about extensions related to security and privacy
   MUST NOT be cached, since this could allow a variety of attacks.

   For example, consider a server which permits the use of cleartext
   passwords on links that are encrypted but not otherwise:
      [Initial TCP connection set-up completed.]
      [S] 200 NNTP Service Ready, posting permitted
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER POST
      [S] XENCRYPT
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS
      [S] .
      [C] XENCRYPT
      [Client and server negotiate encryption on the link]


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 96]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      [S] 283 Encrypted link established
      [C] CAPABILITIES
      [S] 101 Capability list:
      [S] VERSION 2
      [S] READER POST
      [S] XSECRET
      [S] LIST ACTIVE NEWSGROUPS
      [S] .
      [C] XSECRET   fred flintstone
      [S] 290 Password for fred accepted

   If the client caches the last capabilities list, then on the next
   session it will attempt to use XSECRET on an unencrypted link:
      [Initial TCP connection set-up completed.]
      [S] 200 NNTP Service Ready, posting permitted
      [C] XSECRET   fred flintstone
      [S] 483 Only permitted on secure links
   exposing the password to any eavesdropper.  While the primary cause
   of this is passing a secret without first checking the security of
   the link, caching of capability lists can increase the risk.

   Any security extension should include requirements to check the
   security state of the link in a manner appropriate to that extension.

   Caching should normally only be considered for anonymous clients that
   do not use any security or privacy extensions and for which the time
   required for an additional command and response is a noticeable
   issue.












Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 97]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

12.  Acknowledgements

   This document is the result of much effort by the present and past
   members of the NNTP Working Group, chaired by Russ Allbery and Ned
   Freed.  It could not have been produced without them.

   The author acknowledges the original authors of NNTP as documented in
   RFC 977 [RFC977]: Brian Kantor and Phil Lapsey.

   The author gratefully acknowledges:
   o  The work of the NNTP committee chaired by Eliot Lear.  The
      organization of this document was influenced by the last available
      draft from this working group.  A special thanks to Eliot for
      generously providing the original machine-readable sources for
      that document.
   o  The work of the DRUMS working group, specifically RFC 1869
      [RFC1869], which drove the original thinking which led to the
      CAPABILITIES command and the extensions mechanism detailed in this
      document.
   o  The authors of RFC 2616 [RFC2616] for providing specific and
      relevant examples of security issues that should be considered for
      HTTP.  Since many of the same considerations exist for NNTP, those
      examples that are relevant have been included here with some minor
      rewrites.
   o  The comments and additional information provided by the following
      individuals in preparing one or more of the progenitors of this
      document:
         Russ Allbery <rra@stanford.edu>
         Wayne Davison <davison@armory.com>
         Chris Lewis <clewis@bnr.ca>
         Tom Limoncelli <tal@mars.superlink.net>
         Eric Schnoebelen <eric@egsner.cirr.com>
         Rich Salz <rsalz@osf.org>

   This work was motivated by the work of various news reader authors
   and news server authors, which includes those listed below:

   Rick Adams
      Original author of the NNTP extensions to the RN news reader and
      last maintainer of Bnews
   Stan Barber
      Original author of the NNTP extensions to the news readers that
      are part of Bnews
   Geoff Collyer
      Original author of the OVERVIEW database proposal and one of the
      original authors of CNEWS



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 98]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Dan Curry
      Original author of the xvnews news reader
   Wayne Davison
      Author of the first threading extensions to the RN news reader
      (commonly called TRN)
   Geoff Huston
      Original author of ANU NEWS
   Phil Lapsey
      Original author of the UNIX reference implementation for NNTP
   Iain Lea
      Original maintainer of the TIN news reader
   Chris Lewis
      First known implementer of the AUTHINFO GENERIC extension
   Rich Salz
      Original author of INN
   Henry Spencer
      One of the original authors of CNEWS
   Kim Storm
      Original author of the NN news reader

   Other people who contributed to this document include:

      Matthias Andree
      Greg Andruk
      Maurizio Codogno
      Mark Crispin
      Andrew Gierth
      Juergen Helbing
      Scott Hollenbeck
      Charles Lindsey
      Ade Lovett
      Ken Murchison
      Francois Petillon
      Peter Robinson
      Rob Siemborski
      Howard Swinehart
      Ruud van Tol
      Jeffrey Vinocur

   The author thanks them all and apologises to anyone omitted.

   Finally, the present author gratefully acknowledges the vast amount
   of work put into previous drafts by the previous author:
      Stan Barber <sob@academ.com>




Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005               [Page 99]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

13.  References

13.1  Normative References

   [ANSI1986]
              American National Standards Institute, "Coded Character
              Set - 7-bit American Standard Code for Information
              Interchange", ANSI X3.4, 1986.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2234]  Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, November 1997.

   [RFC3548]  Josefsson, S., "The Base16, Base32, and Base64 Data
              Encodings", RFC 3548, July 2003.

   [RFC3629]  Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003.

   [RFC977]   Kantor, B. and P. Lapsley, "Network News Transfer
              Protocol", RFC 977, February 1986.

   [TF.686-1]
              International Telecommunications Union - Radio, "Glossary,
              ITU-R Recommendation TF.686-1", ITU-R Recommendation
              TF.686-1, October 1997.

13.2  Informative References

   [NNTP-AUTH]
              Vinocur, J., Murchison, K. and C. Newman, "NNTP
              Authentication",
              Internet-draft draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-06, December
              2004.

   [NNTP-STREAM]
              Vinocur, J. and K. Murchison, "NNTP Authentication",
              Internet-draft draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-03, December
              2004.

   [NNTP-TLS]
              Vinocur, J., Murchison, K. and C. Newman, "Using TLS with
              NNTP", Internet-draft draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-04,
              December 2004.

   [RFC1036]  Horton, M. and R. Adams, "Standard for interchange of


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 100]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

              USENET messages", RFC 1036, December 1987.

   [RFC1305]  Mills, D., "Network Time Protocol (Version 3)
              Specification, Implementation", RFC 1305, March 1992.

   [RFC1869]  Klensin, J., Freed, N., Rose, M., Stefferud, E. and D.
              Crocker, "SMTP Service Extensions", STD 10, RFC 1869,
              November 1995.

   [RFC2616]  Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Nielsen, H.,
              Masinter, L., Leach, P. and T. Berners-Lee, "Hypertext
              Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1", RFC 2616, June 1999.

   [RFC2629]  Rose, M., "Writing I-Ds and RFCs using XML", RFC 2629,
              June 1999.

   [RFC2822]  Resnick, P., "Internet Message Format", RFC 2822, April
              2001.

   [RFC2980]  Barber, S., "Common NNTP Extensions", RFC 2980, October
              2000.

   [ROBE1995]
              Robertson, R., "FAQ: Overview database / NOV General
              Information", January 1995.

              There is no definitive copy of this document known to the
              author.  It was previously posted as the Usenet article
              <news:nov-faq-1-930909720@agate.Berkeley.EDU>

   [SALZ1992]
              Salz, R., "Manual Page for wildmat(3) from the INN 1.4
              distribution, Revision 1.10", April 1992.

              There is no definitive copy of this document known to the
              author.








Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 101]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

Author's Address

   Clive D.W. Feather
   Thus plc
   322 Regents Park Road
   London  N3 2QQ
   GB

   Phone: +44 20 8495 6138
   Fax:   +44 870 051 9937
   Email: clive@demon.net
   URI:   http://www.davros.org/




















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 102]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

Appendix A.  Interaction with other specifications

   NNTP is most often used for transferring articles that conform to RFC
   1036 [RFC1036] (such articles are called "Netnews articles" here).
   It is also sometimes used for transferring email messages that
   conform to RFC 2822 [RFC2822] (such articles are called "email
   articles" here).  In this situation, articles must conform both to
   this specification and to that other one; this appendix describes
   some relevant issues.

A.1  Header folding

   NNTP allows a header line to be folded (by inserting a CRLF pair)
   before any space or TAB character.

   Both email and Netnews articles are required to have at least one
   octet other than space or TAB on each header line.  Thus folding can
   only happen at one point in each sequence of consecutive spaces or
   TABs.  Netnews articles are further required to have the header name,
   colon, and following space all on the first line; folding may only
   happen beyond that space.  Finally, some non-conforming software will
   remove trailing spaces and TABs from a line.  Therefore it might be
   inadvisable to fold a header after a space or TAB.

   For maximum safety, header lines SHOULD conform to the following
   syntax rather than that in Section 9.6.

     header = header-name ":" SP [header-content] CRLF
     header-content = [WS] token *( [CRLF] WS token )

A.2  Message-IDs

   Every article handled by an NNTP server MUST have a unique
   message-id.  For the purposes of this specification, a message-id is
   an arbitrary opaque string that merely needs to meet certain
   syntactic requirements and is just a way to refer to the article.

   Because there is a significant risk of old articles being reinjected
   into the global Usenet system, RFC 1036 [RFC1036] requires that
   message-ids are globally unique for all time.

   This specification states that message-ids are the same if and only
   if they consist of the same sequence of octets.  Other specifications
   may define two different sequences as being equal because they are
   putting an interpretation on particular characters.  RFC 2822
   [RFC2822] has a concept of "quoted" and "escaped" characters.  It
   therefore considers the three message-ids:


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 103]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

      <abcd@example.com>
      <"abcd"@example.com>
      <"ab\cd"@example.com>
   as being identical.  Therefore an NNTP implementation handing email
   articles must ensure that only one of these three appears in the
   protocol and the other two are converted to it as and when necessary,
   such as when a client checks the results of a NEWNEWS command against
   an internal database of message-ids.  Note that RFC 1036 [RFC1036]
   never treats two different strings as being identical.  Its draft
   successor restricts the syntax of message-ids so that, whenever RFC
   2822 would treat two strings as equivalent, only one of them is valid
   (in the above example only the first string is valid).

   This specification does not describe how the message-id of an article
   is determined; it may be deduced from the contents of the article or
   derived from some external source.  If the server is also conforming
   to another specification that contains a definition of message-id
   compatible with this one, the server SHOULD use those message-ids.  A
   common approach, and one that SHOULD be used for email and Netnews
   articles, is to extract the message-id from the contents of a header
   with name "Message-ID".  This may not be as simple as copying the
   entire header contents; it may be necessary to strip off comments and
   undo quoting, or to reduce "equivalent" message-ids to a canonical
   form.

   If an article is obtained through the IHAVE command, there will be a
   message-id provided with the command.  The server MAY either use it
   or determine one from the article contents.  However, whichever it
   does it SHOULD ensure that, if the IHAVE command is repeated with the
   same argument and article, it will be recognized as a duplicate.

   If an article does not contain a message-id that the server can
   identify, it MUST synthesize one.  This could, for example, be a
   simple sequence number or based on the date and time that the article
   arrived.  When handling email or Netnews articles, a Message-ID
   header SHOULD be added to ensure global consistency and uniqueness.

A.3  Article posting

   As far as NNTP is concerned, the POST and IHAVE commands provide the
   same basic facilities in a slightly different way.  However they have
   rather different intentions.

   The IHAVE command is intended for transmitting conforming articles
   between a system of NNTP servers, with all articles perhaps also
   conforming to another specification (e.g.  all articles are Netnews
   articles).  It is expected that the client will have already done any
   necessary validation (or has in turn obtained the article from a


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 104]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   third party which has done so); therefore the contents SHOULD be left
   unchanged.

   In contrast, the POST command is intended for use when an end-user is
   injecting a newly-created article into a such a system.  The article
   being transferred might not be a conforming email or Netnews article,
   and the server is expected to validate it and, if necessary, convert
   it to the right form for onward distribution.  This is often done by
   a separate piece of software on the server installation; if so, the
   NNTP server SHOULD pass the incoming article to that software
   unaltered, making no attempt to filter characters, fold or limit
   lines, or otherwise process the incoming text.

   The POST command can fail in various ways and clients should be
   prepared to re-send an article.  When doing so, however, it is often
   important to ensure - as far as possible - that the same message-id
   is allocated to both attempts so that the server, or other servers,
   can recognize the two articles as being duplicates.  In the case of
   email or Netnews articles, therefore, the posted article SHOULD
   contain a header with name "Message-ID" and the contents of this
   header SHOULD be identical on each attempt.  The server SHOULD ensure
   that two POSTed articles with the same contents for this header are
   recognized as identical and the same message-id allocated, whether or
   not those contents are suitable for use as the message-id.














Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 105]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

Appendix B.  Summary of Commands

   This section contains a list of every command defined in this
   document, ordered by command name and by indicating capability.

   Ordered by command name:

     +-------------------+-----------------------+---------------+
     | Command           | Indicating capability | Definition    |
     +-------------------+-----------------------+---------------+
     | ARTICLE           | READER                | Section 6.2.1 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | BODY              | READER                | Section 6.2.3 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | CAPABILITIES      | mandatory             | Section 5.2   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | DATE              | READER                | Section 7.1   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | GROUP             | READER                | Section 6.1.1 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | HDR               | HDR                   | Section 8.5   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | HEAD              | mandatory             | Section 6.2.2 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | HELP              | mandatory             | Section 7.2   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | IHAVE             | IHAVE                 | Section 6.3.2 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LAST              | READER                | Section 6.1.3 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST              | LIST                  | Section 7.6.1 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST ACTIVE.TIMES | LIST                  | Section 7.6.4 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST ACTIVE       | LIST                  | Section 7.6.3 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST DISTRIB.PATS | LIST                  | Section 7.6.5 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST HEADERS      | HDR                   | Section 8.6   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST NEWSGROUPS   | LIST                  | Section 7.6.6 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST OVERVIEW.FMT | OVER                  | Section 8.4   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LISTGROUP         | READER LISTGROUP      | Section 6.1.2 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | MODE READER       | MODE-READER           | Section 5.3   |
     |                   |                       |               |


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 106]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

     | NEWGROUPS         | READER                | Section 7.3   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | NEWNEWS           | READER                | Section 7.4   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | NEXT              | READER                | Section 6.1.4 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | OVER              | OVER                  | Section 8.3   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | POST              | READER POST           | Section 6.3.1 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | QUIT              | mandatory             | Section 5.4   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | STAT              | mandatory             | Section 6.2.4 |
     +-------------------+-----------------------+---------------+

   Ordered by indicating capability:

     +-------------------+-----------------------+---------------+
     | Command           | Indicating capability | Definition    |
     +-------------------+-----------------------+---------------+
     | CAPABILITIES      | mandatory             | Section 5.2   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | HEAD              | mandatory             | Section 6.2.2 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | HELP              | mandatory             | Section 7.2   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | QUIT              | mandatory             | Section 5.4   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | STAT              | mandatory             | Section 6.2.4 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | HDR               | HDR                   | Section 8.5   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST HEADERS      | HDR                   | Section 8.6   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | IHAVE             | IHAVE                 | Section 6.3.2 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST              | LIST                  | Section 7.6.1 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST ACTIVE       | LIST                  | Section 7.6.3 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST ACTIVE.TIMES | LIST                  | Section 7.6.4 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST DISTRIB.PATS | LIST                  | Section 7.6.5 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST NEWSGROUPS   | LIST                  | Section 7.6.6 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | MODE READER       | MODE-READER           | Section 5.3   |
     |                   |                       |               |


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 107]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

     | OVER              | OVER                  | Section 8.3   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LIST OVERVIEW.FMT | OVER                  | Section 8.4   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | ARTICLE           | READER                | Section 6.2.1 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | BODY              | READER                | Section 6.2.3 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | DATE              | READER                | Section 7.1   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | GROUP             | READER                | Section 6.1.1 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LAST              | READER                | Section 6.1.3 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | NEWGROUPS         | READER                | Section 7.3   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | NEWNEWS           | READER                | Section 7.4   |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | NEXT              | READER                | Section 6.1.4 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | LISTGROUP         | READER LISTGROUP      | Section 6.1.2 |
     |                   |                       |               |
     | POST              | READER POST           | Section 6.3.1 |
     +-------------------+-----------------------+---------------+

   Where two keywords are given in the capability column, the second is
   an argument to the first.












Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 108]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

Appendix C.  Summary of Response Codes

   This section contains a list of every response code defined in this
   document, whether it is multi-line, which commands can generate it,
   what arguments it has, and what its meaning is.

   Response code 100 (multi-line)
      Generated by: HELP
      Meaning: help text follows.
   Response code 101 (multi-line)
      Generated by: CAPABILITIES
      Meaning: capabilities list follows.
   Response code 111
      Generated by: DATE
      1 argument: yyyymmddhhmmss
      Meaning: server date and time.
   Response code 200
      Generated by: initial connection, MODE READER
      Meaning: service available, posting allowed.
   Response code 201
      Generated by: initial connection, MODE READER
      Meaning: service available, posting prohibited.
   Response code 205
      Generated by: QUIT
      Meaning: connection closing (the server immediately closes the
      connection).
   Response code 211
      The 211 response code has two completely different forms depending
      on which command generated it:
         Generated by: GROUP
         4 arguments: number low high group
         Meaning: group selected.

         (multi-line)
         Generated by: LISTGROUP
         4 arguments: number low high group
         Meaning: article numbers follow.
   Response code 215 (multi-line)
      Generated by: LIST
      Meaning: information follows.
   Response code 220 (multi-line)
      Generated by: ARTICLE
      2 arguments: n message-id
      Meaning: article follows.
   Response code 221 (multi-line)
      Generated by: HEAD
      2 arguments: n message-id
      Meaning: article headers follow.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 109]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Response code 222 (multi-line)
      Generated by: BODY
      2 arguments: n message-id
      Meaning: article body follows.
   Response code 223
      Generated by: LAST, NEXT, STAT
      2 arguments: n message-id
      Meaning: article exists and selected.
   Response code 224 (multi-line)
      Generated by: OVER
      Meaning: overview information follows.
   Response code 225 (multi-line)
      Generated by: HDR
      Meaning: headers follow.
   Response code 230 (multi-line)
      Generated by: NEWNEWS
      Meaning: list of new articles follows.
   Response code 231 (multi-line)
      Generated by: NEWGROUPS
      Meaning: list of new newsgroups follows.
   Response code 235
      Generated by: IHAVE (second stage)
      Meaning: article transferred OK.
   Response code 240
      Generated by: POST (second stage)
      Meaning: article received OK.
   Response code 335
      Generated by: IHAVE (first stage)
      Meaning: send article to be transferred.
   Response code 340
      Generated by: POST (first stage)
      Meaning: send article to be posted.
   Response code 400
      Generic response and generated by initial connection
      Meaning: service not available or no longer available (the server
      immediately closes the connection).
   Response code 401
      Generic response
      1 argument: capability-label
      Meaning: the server is in the wrong mode; the indicated capability
      should be used to change the mode.
   Response code 403
      Generic response
      Meaning: internal fault or problem preventing action being taken.
   Response code 411
      Generated by: GROUP, LISTGROUP
      Meaning: no such newsgroup.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 110]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Response code 412
      Generated by: ARTICLE, BODY, HDR, HEAD, LAST, LISTGROUP, NEXT,
      OVER, STAT
      Meaning: no newsgroup selected.
   Response code 420
      Generated by: ARTICLE, BODY, HDR, HEAD, LAST, NEXT, OVER, STAT
      Meaning: current article number is invalid.
   Response code 421
      Generated by: NEXT
      Meaning: no next article in this group.
   Response code 422
      Generated by: LAST
      Meaning: no previous article in this group.
   Response code 423
      Generated by: ARTICLE, BODY, HDR, HEAD, OVER, STAT
      Meaning: no article with that number or in that range.
   Response code 430
      Generated by: ARTICLE, BODY, HDR, HEAD, OVER, STAT
      Meaning: no article with that message-id.
   Response code 435
      Generated by: IHAVE (first stage)
      Meaning: article not wanted.
   Response code 436
      Generated by: IHAVE (either stage)
      Meaning: transfer not possible (first stage) or failed (second
      stage); try again later.
   Response code 437
      Generated by: IHAVE (second stage)
      Meaning: transfer rejected; do not retry.
   Response code 440
      Generated by: POST (first stage)
      Meaning: posting not permitted.
   Response code 441
      Generated by: POST (second stage)
      Meaning: posting failed.
   Response code 480
      Generic response
      Meaning: command unavailable until the client has authenticated
      itself.
   Response code 483
      Generic response
      Meaning: command unavailable until suitable privacy has been
      arranged.
   Response code 500
      Generic response
      Meaning: unknown command.



Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 111]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

   Response code 501
      Generic response
      Meaning: syntax error in command.
   Response code 502
      Generic response and generated by initial connection
      Meaning for the initial connection and the MODE READER command:
      service permanently unavailable (the server immediately closes the
      connection).
      Meaning for all other commands: command not permitted (and there
      is no way for the client to change this).
   Response code 503
      Generic response
      Meaning: feature not supported.
   Response code 504
      Generic response
      Meaning: error in base64-encoding [RFC3548] of an argument


















Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 112]

Internet-Draft       Network News Transfer Protocol        February 2005

Intellectual Property Statement

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
   assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
   attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
   such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at
   http://www.ietf.org/ipr.

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at
   ietf-ipr@ietf.org.

Disclaimer of Validity

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an
   "AS IS" basis and THE CONTRIBUTOR, THE ORGANIZATION HE/SHE REPRESENTS
   OR IS SPONSORED BY (IF ANY), THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET
   ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
   INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE
   INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED
   WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).  This document is subject
   to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
   except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.

Acknowledgment

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.


Feather                  Expires August 14, 2005              [Page 113]


Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.108, available from http://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/