draft-ietf-usefor-article-07.txt   draft-ietf-usefor-article-08.txt 
INTERNET-DRAFT Charles H. Lindsey INTERNET-DRAFT Charles H. Lindsey
Usenet Format Working Group University of Manchester Usenet Format Working Group University of Manchester
May 2002 August 2002
News Article Format News Article Format
<draft-ietf-usefor-article-07.txt> <draft-ietf-usefor-article-08.txt>
Status of this Memo Status of this Memo
This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
all provisions of Section 10 of RFC 2026. all provisions of Section 10 of RFC 2026.
Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that
other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet- other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
Drafts. Drafts.
skipping to change at page 2, line 4 skipping to change at page 2, line 4
Backward compatibility has been a major goal of this endeavour, but Backward compatibility has been a major goal of this endeavour, but
where this standard and earlier documents or practices conflict, this where this standard and earlier documents or practices conflict, this
standard should be followed. In most such cases, current practice is standard should be followed. In most such cases, current practice is
already compatible with these changes. already compatible with these changes.
[The use of the words "this standard" within this document when [The use of the words "this standard" within this document when
referring to itself does not imply that this draft yet has pretensions referring to itself does not imply that this draft yet has pretensions
to be a standard, but rather indicates what will become the case if and to be a standard, but rather indicates what will become the case if and
when it is accepted as an RFC with the status of a proposed or draft when it is accepted as an RFC with the status of a proposed or draft
standard.] standard.]
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
[Remarks enclosed in square brackets and aligned with the left margin, [Remarks enclosed in square brackets and aligned with the left margin,
such as this one, are not part of this draft, but are editorial notes to such as this one, are not part of this draft, but are editorial notes to
explain matters amongst ourselves, or to point out alternatives, or to explain matters amongst ourselves, or to point out alternatives, or to
assist the RFC Editor.] assist the RFC Editor.]
[In this draft, references to [NNTP] are to be replaced by [RFC 977], or [In this draft, references to [NNTP] are to be replaced by [RFC 977], or
else by references to the RFC arising from the series of drafts draft- else by references to the RFC arising from the series of drafts draft-
ietf-nntpext-base-*.txt, in the event that such RFC has been accepted at ietf-nntpext-base-*.txt, in the event that such RFC has been accepted at
the time this document is published.] the time this document is published. Likewise, if may be possible to
replace references to [RFC 2279] by references to [RFC 2279bis].]
[Please note that this Draft is now close to Last Call, and the material
included here is unlikely to change in any major way.]
Table of Contents Table of Contents
1. Introduction .................................................. 6 1. Introduction .................................................. 6
1.1. Basic Concepts ............................................ 6 1.1. Basic Concepts ............................................ 6
1.2. Objectives ................................................ 7 1.2. Objectives ................................................ 7
1.3. Historical Outline ........................................ 7 1.3. Historical Outline ........................................ 7
1.4. Transport ................................................. 7 1.4. Transport ................................................. 7
2. Definitions, Notations and Conventions ........................ 8 2. Definitions, Notations and Conventions ........................ 8
2.1. Definitions ............................................... 8 2.1. Definitions ............................................... 8
2.2. Textual Notations ......................................... 9 2.2. Textual Notations ......................................... 9
2.3. Relation To Email and MIME ................................ 10 2.3. Relation To Email and MIME ................................ 11
2.4. Syntax .................................................... 11 2.4. Syntax .................................................... 11
2.4.1. Syntax Notation ....................................... 11 2.4.1. Syntax Notation ....................................... 11
2.4.2. Syntax adapted from Email and MIME .................... 11 2.4.2. Syntax adapted from Email and MIME .................... 11
2.4.3. Syntax copied from other standards .................... 13 2.4.3. Syntax copied from other standards .................... 13
2.5. Language .................................................. 14 2.5. Language .................................................. 14
3. Changes to the existing protocols ............................. 15 3. Changes to the existing protocols ............................. 15
3.1. Principal Changes ......................................... 15 3.1. Principal Changes ......................................... 15
3.2. Transitional Arrangements ................................. 15 3.2. Transitional Arrangements ................................. 15
4. Basic Format .................................................. 17 4. Basic Format .................................................. 17
4.1. Syntax of News Articles ................................... 17 4.1. Syntax of News Articles ................................... 17
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4.2.5. Header Properties ..................................... 22 4.2.5. Header Properties ..................................... 22
4.2.5.1. Experimental Headers .............................. 22 4.2.5.1. Experimental Headers .............................. 22
4.2.5.2. Inheritable Headers ............................... 22 4.2.5.2. Inheritable Headers ............................... 22
4.2.5.3. Variant Headers ................................... 23 4.2.5.3. Variant Headers ................................... 23
4.2.6. Undesirable Headers ................................... 23 4.2.6. Undesirable Headers ................................... 23
4.3. Body ...................................................... 23 4.3. Body ...................................................... 23
4.3.1. Body Format Issues .................................... 23 4.3.1. Body Format Issues .................................... 23
4.3.2. Body Conventions ...................................... 24 4.3.2. Body Conventions ...................................... 24
4.4. Characters and Character Sets ............................. 26 4.4. Characters and Character Sets ............................. 26
4.4.1. Character Sets within Article Headers ................. 26 4.4.1. Character Sets within Article Headers ................. 26
4.4.2. Character Sets within Article Bodies .................. 27 4.4.2. Character Sets within Article Bodies .................. 28
4.5. Size Limits ............................................... 28 4.5. Size Limits ............................................... 28
4.6. Example ................................................... 29 4.6. Example ................................................... 29
5. Mandatory Headers ............................................. 29 5. Mandatory Headers ............................................. 30
News Article Format May 2002
5.1. Date ...................................................... 30 5.1. Date ...................................................... 30
5.1.1. Examples .............................................. 30 5.1.1. Examples .............................................. 31
5.2. From ...................................................... 30 News Article Format August 2002
5.2.1. Examples: ............................................ 31
5.2. From ...................................................... 31
5.2.1. Examples: ............................................ 32
5.3. Message-ID ................................................ 32 5.3. Message-ID ................................................ 32
5.4. Subject ................................................... 33 5.4. Subject ................................................... 33
5.4.1. Examples .............................................. 34 5.4.1. Examples .............................................. 34
5.5. Newsgroups ................................................ 34 5.5. Newsgroups ................................................ 35
5.5.1. Forbidden newsgroup names ............................. 39 5.5.1. Forbidden newsgroup-names ............................. 39
5.6. Path ...................................................... 39 5.5.2. Encoded newsgroup-names ............................... 40
5.6.1. Format ................................................ 39 5.6. Path ...................................................... 41
5.6.2. Adding a path-identity to the Path-header ............. 40 5.6.1. Format ................................................ 41
5.6.3. The tail-entry ........................................ 41 5.6.2. Adding a path-identity to the Path-header ............. 42
5.6.4. Path-Delimiter Summary ................................ 42 5.6.3. The tail-entry ........................................ 43
5.6.5. Suggested Verification Methods ........................ 43 5.6.4. Path-Delimiter Summary ................................ 43
5.6.6. Example ............................................... 43 5.6.5. Suggested Verification Methods ........................ 44
6. Optional Headers .............................................. 44 5.6.6. Example ............................................... 45
6.1. Reply-To .................................................. 44 6. Optional Headers .............................................. 45
6.1.1. Examples .............................................. 44 6.1. Reply-To .................................................. 46
6.2. Sender .................................................... 45 6.1.1. Examples .............................................. 46
6.3. Organization .............................................. 45 6.2. Sender .................................................... 46
6.4. Keywords .................................................. 45 6.3. Organization .............................................. 46
6.5. Summary ................................................... 45 6.4. Keywords .................................................. 47
6.6. Distribution .............................................. 46 6.5. Summary ................................................... 47
6.7. Followup-To ............................................... 47 6.6. Distribution .............................................. 47
6.8. Mail-Copies-To ............................................ 47 6.7. Followup-To ............................................... 48
6.9. Posted-And-Mailed ......................................... 49 6.8. Mail-Copies-To ............................................ 49
6.10. References ............................................... 49 6.9. Posted-And-Mailed ......................................... 50
6.10.1. Examples ............................................. 50 6.10. References ............................................... 51
6.11. Expires .................................................. 50 6.10.1. Examples ............................................. 51
6.12. Archive .................................................. 50 6.11. Expires .................................................. 51
6.13. Control .................................................. 51 6.12. Archive .................................................. 52
6.14. Approved ................................................. 52 6.13. Control .................................................. 52
6.15. Supersedes ............................................... 52 6.14. Approved ................................................. 53
6.16. Xref ..................................................... 53 6.15. Supersedes ............................................... 54
6.17. Lines .................................................... 54 6.16. Xref ..................................................... 55
6.18. User-Agent ............................................... 54 6.17. Lines .................................................... 55
6.18.1. Examples ............................................. 55 6.18. User-Agent ............................................... 56
6.19. Injector-Info ............................................ 55 6.18.1. Examples ............................................. 56
6.19.1. Usage of Injector-Info-parameters .................... 57 6.19. Injector-Info ............................................ 57
6.19.1.1. The posting-host-parameter ....................... 58 6.19.1. Usage of Injector-Info-parameters .................... 58
6.19.1.2. The posting-account-parameter .................... 58 6.19.1.1. The posting-host-parameter ....................... 59
6.19.1.3. The posting-sender-parameter ..................... 58 6.19.1.2. The posting-account-parameter .................... 59
6.19.1.4. The posting-logging-parameter .................... 58 6.19.1.3. The posting-sender-parameter ..................... 60
6.19.1.5. The posting-date-parameter ....................... 58 6.19.1.4. The posting-logging-parameter .................... 60
6.19.2. Example .............................................. 59 6.19.1.5. The posting-date-parameter ....................... 60
6.20. Complaints-To ............................................ 59 6.19.2. Example .............................................. 60
6.21. MIME headers ............................................. 59 6.20. Complaints-To ............................................ 60
6.21.1. Syntax ............................................... 59 6.21. MIME headers ............................................. 61
6.21.2. Content-Type ......................................... 60 6.21.1. Syntax ............................................... 61
6.21.2.1. Message/partial .................................. 60 6.21.2. Content-Type ......................................... 61
6.21.2.2. Message/rfc822 ................................... 61 6.21.2.1. Message/partial .................................. 62
6.21.2.3. Message/external-body ............................ 62 6.21.2.2. Message/rfc822 ................................... 63
6.21.2.4. Multipart types .................................. 62 6.21.2.3. Message/external-body ............................ 63
News Article Format May 2002 6.21.2.4. Multipart types .................................. 63
6.21.3. Content-Transfer-Encoding ............................ 63
News Article Format August 2002
6.21.3. Content-Transfer-Encoding ............................ 62 6.21.4. Character Sets ....................................... 65
6.21.4. Character Sets ....................................... 64 6.21.5. Content Disposition .................................. 65
6.21.5. Content Disposition .................................. 64 6.21.6. Definition of some new Content-Types ................. 65
6.21.6. Definition of some new Content-Types ................. 64 6.21.6.1. Application/news-transmission .................... 66
6.21.6.1. Application/news-transmission .................... 64 6.21.6.2. Message/news obsoleted ........................... 67
6.21.6.2. Message/news obsoleted ........................... 66 6.22. Obsolete Headers ......................................... 67
6.22. Obsolete Headers ......................................... 66 7. Control Messages .............................................. 67
7. Control Messages .............................................. 66 7.1. Digital Signature of Headers .............................. 68
7.1. Digital Signature of Headers .............................. 67 7.2. Group Control Messages .................................... 68
7.2. Group Control Messages .................................... 67 7.2.1. The 'newgroup' Control Message ........................ 68
7.2.1. The 'newgroup' Control Message ........................ 67 7.2.1.1. The Body of the 'newgroup' Control Message ........ 69
7.2.1.1. The Body of the 'newgroup' Control Message ........ 68 7.2.1.2. Application/news-groupinfo ........................ 70
7.2.1.2. Application/news-groupinfo ........................ 68 7.2.1.3. Initial Articles .................................. 71
7.2.1.3. Initial Articles .................................. 70 7.2.1.4. Example ........................................... 72
7.2.1.4. Example ........................................... 71 7.2.2. The 'rmgroup' Control Message ......................... 73
7.2.2. The 'rmgroup' Control Message ......................... 71 7.2.2.1. Example ........................................... 73
7.2.2.1. Example ........................................... 72 7.2.3. The 'mvgroup' Control Message ......................... 73
7.2.3. The 'mvgroup' Control Message ......................... 72 7.2.3.1. Example ........................................... 75
7.2.3.1. Example ........................................... 73 7.2.4. The 'checkgroups' Control Message ..................... 75
7.2.4. The 'checkgroups' Control Message ..................... 74 7.2.4.1. Application/news-checkgroups ...................... 76
7.2.4.1. Application/news-checkgroups ...................... 75 7.3. Cancel .................................................... 77
7.3. Cancel .................................................... 76 7.4. Ihave, sendme ............................................. 78
7.4. Ihave, sendme ............................................. 77 7.5. Obsolete control messages. ............................... 79
7.5. Obsolete control messages. ............................... 78 8. Duties of Various Agents ...................................... 79
8. Duties of Various Agents ...................................... 78 8.1. General principles to be followed ......................... 80
8.1. General principles to be followed ......................... 78 8.2. Duties of an Injecting Agent .............................. 80
8.2. Duties of an Injecting Agent .............................. 79 8.2.1. Proto-articles ........................................ 80
8.2.1. Proto-articles ........................................ 79 8.2.2. Procedure to be followed by Injecting Agents .......... 81
8.2.2. Procedure to be followed by Injecting Agents .......... 79 8.3. Duties of a Relaying Agent ................................ 83
8.3. Duties of a Relaying Agent ................................ 81 8.4. Duties of a Serving Agent ................................. 84
8.4. Duties of a Serving Agent ................................. 82 8.5. Duties of a Posting Agent ................................. 85
8.5. Duties of a Posting Agent ................................. 83 8.6. Duties of a Followup Agent ................................ 85
8.6. Duties of a Followup Agent ................................ 83 8.7. Duties of a Moderator ..................................... 86
8.7. Duties of a Moderator ..................................... 84 8.8. Duties of a Gateway ....................................... 87
8.8. Duties of a Gateway ....................................... 85 8.8.1. Duties of an Outgoing Gateway ......................... 88
8.8.1. Duties of an Outgoing Gateway ......................... 86 8.8.2. Duties of an Incoming Gateway ......................... 90
8.8.2. Duties of an Incoming Gateway ......................... 88 8.8.3. Example ............................................... 92
8.8.3. Example ............................................... 90 9. Security and Related Considerations ........................... 93
9. Security and Related Considerations ........................... 90 9.1. Leakage ................................................... 93
9.1. Leakage ................................................... 91 9.2. Attacks ................................................... 93
9.2. Attacks ................................................... 91 9.2.1. Denial of Service ..................................... 93
9.2.1. Denial of Service ..................................... 91 9.2.2. Compromise of System Integrity ........................ 94
9.2.2. Compromise of System Integrity ........................ 92 9.3. Liability ................................................. 96
9.3. Liability ................................................. 93 10. IANA Considerations .......................................... 96
10. IANA Considerations .......................................... 94 11. References ................................................... 96
11. References ................................................... 94 12. Acknowledgements ............................................. 99
12. Acknowledgements ............................................. 97 13. Contact Address .............................................. 100
13. Contact Address .............................................. 97 Appendix A.1 - A-News Article Format .............................. 100
Appendix A.1 - A-News Article Format .............................. 98 Appendix A.2 - Early B-News Article Format ........................ 101
Appendix A.2 - Early B-News Article Format ........................ 99 Appendix A.3 - Obsolete Headers ................................... 101
Appendix A.3 - Obsolete Headers ................................... 99 Appendix A.4 - Obsolete Control Messages .......................... 102
Appendix A.4 - Obsolete Control Messages .......................... 100 Appendix B - Collected Syntax ..................................... 103
Appendix B - Collected Syntax ..................................... 101 Appendix B.1 - Characters, Atoms and Folding ...................... 103
Appendix B.1 - Characters, Atoms and Folding ...................... 101 Appendix B.2 - Basic Forms ........................................ 105
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
Appendix B.2 - Basic Forms ........................................ 103 Appendix B.3 - Headers ............................................ 106
Appendix B.3 - Headers ............................................ 104 Appendix B.3.1 - Header outlines .................................. 106
Appendix B.3.1 - Header outlines .................................. 104 Appendix B.3.2 - Control-message outlines ......................... 108
Appendix B.3.2 - Control-message outlines ......................... 106 Appendix B.3.3 - Other header rules ............................... 109
Appendix B.3.3 - Other header rules ............................... 107 Appendix C - Notices .............................................. 110
Appendix C - Notices .............................................. 109 News Article Format August 2002
News Article Format May 2002
1. Introduction 1. Introduction
1.1. Basic Concepts 1.1. Basic Concepts
"Netnews" is a set of protocols for generating, storing and "Netnews" is a set of protocols for generating, storing and
retrieving news "articles" (which resemble email messages) and for retrieving news "articles" (which resemble email messages) and for
exchanging them amongst a readership which is potentially widely exchanging them amongst a readership which is potentially widely
distributed. It is organized around "newsgroups", with the distributed. It is organized around "newsgroups", with the
expectation that each reader will be able to see all articles posted expectation that each reader will be able to see all articles posted
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tolerant of poorly designed interfaces than mere computers, articles tolerant of poorly designed interfaces than mere computers, articles
in breach of established policy can cause considerable annoyance to in breach of established policy can cause considerable annoyance to
their recipients. their recipients.
Policies may well vary from network to network, from hierarchy to Policies may well vary from network to network, from hierarchy to
hierarchy within one network, and even between individual newsgroups hierarchy within one network, and even between individual newsgroups
within one hierarchy. It is assumed, for the purposes of this within one hierarchy. It is assumed, for the purposes of this
standard, that agencies with varying degrees of authority to standard, that agencies with varying degrees of authority to
establish such policies will exist, and that where they do not, establish such policies will exist, and that where they do not,
policy will be established by mutual agreement. For the benefit of policy will be established by mutual agreement. For the benefit of
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
networks and hierarchies without such established agencies, and to networks and hierarchies without such established agencies, and to
provide a basis upon which all agencies can build, this present provide a basis upon which all agencies can build, this present
standard often provides default policy parameters, usually standard often provides default policy parameters, usually
introducing them by a phrase such as "As a matter of policy ...". introducing them by a phrase such as "As a matter of policy ...".
1.2. Objectives 1.2. Objectives
The purpose of this present standard is to define the format of The purpose of this present standard is to define the format of
articles and the protocols to be used for Netnews in general, and for articles and the protocols to be used for Netnews in general, and for
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format. Shortly thereafter, an article format vaguely resembling format. Shortly thereafter, an article format vaguely resembling
Internet Mail was devised and used briefly. Both of those formats Internet Mail was devised and used briefly. Both of those formats
are completely obsolete; they are documented in Appendix A.1 and are completely obsolete; they are documented in Appendix A.1 and
Appendix A.2 for historical reasons only. With publication of [RFC Appendix A.2 for historical reasons only. With publication of [RFC
850] in 1983, news articles came to closely resemble Internet Mail 850] in 1983, news articles came to closely resemble Internet Mail
messages, with some restrictions and some additional headers. [RFC messages, with some restrictions and some additional headers. [RFC
1036] in 1987 updated [RFC 850] without making major changes. 1036] in 1987 updated [RFC 850] without making major changes.
A Draft popularly referred to as "Son of 1036" [Son-of-1036] was A Draft popularly referred to as "Son of 1036" [Son-of-1036] was
written in 1994 by Henry Spencer. That document formed the original written in 1994 by Henry Spencer. That document formed the original
basis for this standard. Much is taken directly from Son of 1036, and basis for this standard, and its author has endorsed this standard as
it is hoped that we have followed its spirit and intentions. its successor. Much is taken directly from Son of 1036, and it is
hoped that we have followed its spirit and intentions. It is
anticipated that [Son-of-1036] will be published as an Historic RFC,
in a suitably relabelled form, following the publication of this
standard.
1.4. Transport 1.4. Transport
As in this standard's predecessors, the exact means used to transmit As in this standard's predecessors, the exact means used to transmit
articles from one host to another is not specified. NNTP [NNTP] is articles from one host to another is not specified. NNTP [NNTP] is
the most common transmission method on the Internet, but much the most common transmission method on the Internet, but much
transmission takes place entirely independent of the Internet. Other transmission takes place entirely independent of the Internet. Other
methods in use include the UUCP protocol [RFC 976] extensively used methods in use include the UUCP protocol [RFC 976] extensively used
in the early days of Usenet, FTP, downloading via satellite, tape in the early days of Usenet, FTP, downloading via satellite, tape
archives, and physically delivered magnetic and optical media. archives, and physically delivered magnetic and optical media.
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
2. Definitions, Notations and Conventions 2. Definitions, Notations and Conventions
2.1. Definitions 2.1. Definitions
An "article" is the unit of news, analogous to an [RFC 2822] An "article" is the unit of news, analogous to an [RFC 2822]
"message". A "proto-article" is one that has not yet been injected "message". A "proto-article" is one that has not yet been injected
into the news system. into the news system.
A "message identifier" (5.3) is a unique identifier for an article, A "message identifier" (5.3) is a unique identifier for an article,
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A "reader" is the person or software reading news articles. A "reader" is the person or software reading news articles.
A "reading agent" is software which presents articles to a reader. A "reading agent" is software which presents articles to a reader.
A "followup" is an article containing a response to the contents of A "followup" is an article containing a response to the contents of
an earlier article (the followup's "precursor"). an earlier article (the followup's "precursor").
A "followup agent" is a combination of reading agent and posting A "followup agent" is a combination of reading agent and posting
agent that aids in the preparation and posting of a followup. agent that aids in the preparation and posting of a followup.
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
An (email) "address" is the mailbox [RFC 2822] (or more particularly
the addr-spec within that mailbox) which directs the delivery of an
email to its intended recipient, who is said to "own" that address.
An article's "reply address" is the address to which mailed replies An article's "reply address" is the address to which mailed replies
should be sent. This is the address specified in the article's From- should be sent. This is the address specified in the article's From-
header (5.2), unless it also has a Reply-To-header (6.1). header (5.2), unless it also has a Reply-To-header (6.1).
A "sender" is the person or software (usually, but not always, the A "sender" is the person or software (usually, but not always, the
same as the poster) responsible for the operation of the posting same as the poster) responsible for the operation of the posting
agent or, which amounts to the same thing, for passing the article to agent or, which amounts to the same thing, for passing the article to
the injecting agent. The sender is analogous to [RFC 2822]'s sender. the injecting agent. The sender is analogous to [RFC 2822]'s sender.
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and those using other formats. and those using other formats.
2.2. Textual Notations 2.2. Textual Notations
This standard contains explanatory NOTEs using the following format. This standard contains explanatory NOTEs using the following format.
These may be skipped by persons interested solely in the content of These may be skipped by persons interested solely in the content of
the specification. The purpose of the notes is to explain why choices the specification. The purpose of the notes is to explain why choices
were made, to place them in context, or to suggest possible were made, to place them in context, or to suggest possible
implementation techniques. implementation techniques.
News Article Format August 2002
NOTE: While such explanatory notes may seem superfluous in NOTE: While such explanatory notes may seem superfluous in
principle, they often help the less-than-omniscient reader grasp principle, they often help the less-than-omniscient reader grasp
the purpose of the specification and the constraints involved. the purpose of the specification and the constraints involved.
Given the limitations of natural language for descriptive Given the limitations of natural language for descriptive
purposes, this improves the probability that implementors and purposes, this improves the probability that implementors and
users will understand the true intent of the specification in users will understand the true intent of the specification in
News Article Format May 2002
cases where the wording is not entirely clear. cases where the wording is not entirely clear.
"US-ASCII" is short for "the ANSI X3.4 character set" [ANSI X3.4]. "US-ASCII" is short for "the ANSI X3.4 character set" [ANSI X3.4].
While "ASCII" is often misused to refer to various character sets While "ASCII" is often misused to refer to various character sets
somewhat similar to X3.4, in this standard "US-ASCII" is used to mean somewhat similar to X3.4, in this standard "US-ASCII" is used to mean
X3.4 and only X3.4. US-ASCII is a 7 bit character set. Please note X3.4 and only X3.4. US-ASCII is a 7 bit character set. Please note
that this standard requires that all agents be 8 bit clean; that is, that this standard requires that all agents be 8 bit clean; that is,
they must accept and transmit data without changing or omitting the they must accept and transmit data without changing or omitting the
8th bit. 8th bit.
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Throughout this standard we will give examples of various Throughout this standard we will give examples of various
definitions, headers and other specifications. It needs to be definitions, headers and other specifications. It needs to be
remembered that these samples are for the aid of the reader only and remembered that these samples are for the aid of the reader only and
do NOT define any specification themselves. In order to prevent do NOT define any specification themselves. In order to prevent
possible conflict with "Real World" entities and people the top level possible conflict with "Real World" entities and people the top level
domain ".example" is used in all sample domains and addresses. The domain ".example" is used in all sample domains and addresses. The
hierarchy "example.*" is also used as a sample hierarchy. hierarchy "example.*" is also used as a sample hierarchy.
Information on the ".example" top level domain is in [RFC 2606]. Information on the ".example" top level domain is in [RFC 2606].
News Article Format August 2002
2.3. Relation To Email and MIME 2.3. Relation To Email and MIME
The primary intent of this standard is to describe the news article The primary intent of this standard is to describe the news article
format. Insofar as news articles are a subset of the email message format. Insofar as news articles are a subset of the email message
format augmented by some new headers, this standard incorporates many format augmented by some new headers, this standard incorporates many
(though not all) of the provisions of [RFC 2822], with the aim of (though not all) of the provisions of [RFC 2822], with the aim of
News Article Format May 2002
enabling news articles to pass through email systems and vice versa, enabling news articles to pass through email systems and vice versa,
provided only that they contain the minimum headers required for the provided only that they contain the minimum headers required for the
mode of transport being used. Unfortunately, the match is not mode of transport being used. Unfortunately, the match is not
perfect, but it is the intention of this standard that gateways perfect, but it is the intention of this standard that gateways
between Email and Netnews should be able to operate with the minimum between Email and Netnews should be able to operate with the minimum
of tinkering. of tinkering.
Likewise, this standard incorporates many (though not all) of the Likewise, this standard incorporates many (though not all) of the
provisions of the MIME standards [RFC 2045] et seq which, though provisions of the MIME standards [RFC 2045] et seq which, though
designed with Email in mind, are mostly applicable to Netnews. designed with Email in mind, are mostly applicable to Netnews.
skipping to change at page 11, line 52 skipping to change at page 11, line 59
2045], and that it includes much syntax described as "obsolete" 2045], and that it includes much syntax described as "obsolete"
(which is excluded from this standard, as detailed below). (which is excluded from this standard, as detailed below).
NOTE: Netnews parsers historically have been much less NOTE: Netnews parsers historically have been much less
permissive than Email parsers, and this is reflected in the permissive than Email parsers, and this is reflected in the
modifications referred to, and in some further specific rules. modifications referred to, and in some further specific rules.
The following syntactic rules therefore supersede the corresponding The following syntactic rules therefore supersede the corresponding
rules given in [RFC 2822] and [RFC 2045], thus allowing UTF-8 rules given in [RFC 2822] and [RFC 2045], thus allowing UTF-8
characters [RFC 2279] to appear in certain contexts (the five rules characters [RFC 2279] to appear in certain contexts (the five rules
begining with "strict-" reflect the corresponding original rules from beginning with "strict-" reflect the corresponding original rules
[RFC 2822]). from [RFC 2822]).
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
UTF8-xtra-2-head= %xC2-DF UTF8-xtra-2-head= %xC2-DF
UTF8-xtra-3-head= %xE0 %xA0-BF / %xE1-EC %x80-BF / UTF8-xtra-3-head= %xE0 %xA0-BF / %xE1-EC %x80-BF /
%xED %x80-9F / %xEE-EF %x80-BF %xED %x80-9F / %xEE-EF %x80-BF
UTF8-xtra-4-head= %xF0 %x90-BF / %xF1-F7 %x80-BF UTF8-xtra-4-head= %xF0 %x90-BF / %xF1-F7 %x80-BF
UTF8-xtra-5-head= %xF8 %x88-BF / %xF9-FB %x80-BF UTF8-xtra-5-head= %xF8 %x88-BF / %xF9-FB %x80-BF
UTF8-xtra-6-head= %xFC %x84-BF / %xFD %x80-BF UTF8-xtra-6-head= %xFC %x84-BF / %xFD %x80-BF
UTF8-xtra-tail = %x80-BF UTF8-xtra-tail = %x80-BF
UTF8-xtra-char = UTF8-xtra-2-head 1( UTF8-xtra-tail ) / UTF8-xtra-char = UTF8-xtra-2-head 1( UTF8-xtra-tail ) /
UTF8-xtra-3-head 1( UTF8-xtra-tail ) / UTF8-xtra-3-head 1( UTF8-xtra-tail ) /
skipping to change at page 12, line 58 skipping to change at page 12, line 58
*( [FWS] strict-qcontent ) [FWS] *( [FWS] strict-qcontent ) [FWS]
DQUOTE [CFWS] DQUOTE [CFWS]
unstructured = 1*( [FWS] utext ) [FWS] unstructured = 1*( [FWS] utext ) [FWS]
The syntax for UTF8-xtra-char excludes those redundant sequences of The syntax for UTF8-xtra-char excludes those redundant sequences of
octets which cannot occur in UTF-8, as defined by [RFC 2279], either octets which cannot occur in UTF-8, as defined by [RFC 2279], either
because they would not be the shortest possible encodings of some UCS because they would not be the shortest possible encodings of some UCS
character [ISO/IEC 10646], or they would represent one of the character [ISO/IEC 10646], or they would represent one of the
characters D800 through DFFF, disallowed in UCS because of their characters D800 through DFFF, disallowed in UCS because of their
surrogate use in the UTF-16 encoding. These sequences MUST NOT be surrogate use in the UTF-16 encoding. These sequences MUST NOT be
generated by posting agents. Where they occur inadadvertently, they generated by posting agents. Where they occur inadvertently, they
MAY be passed on untouched by other agents, but they MUST NOT ever be SHOULD be passed on untouched by other agents, but attempts to
interpreted as valid characters. interpret them as malformed UTF-8 MUST NOT be made. However, if there
News Article Format August 2002
News Article Format May 2002 is reason to suppose they are representations of some other character
set they MAY, as suggested in section 4.4.1, be interpreted as such.
Observe, in contradistinction to [RFC 2822], that an unstructured Observe, in contradistinction to [RFC 2822], that an unstructured
MUST contain at least one non-whitespace character (see also remarks header MUST contain at least one non-whitespace character (see also
about empty headers in 4.2.6). remarks about empty headers in 4.2.6).
Wherever in this standard the syntax is stated to be taken from [RFC Wherever in this standard the syntax is stated to be taken from [RFC
2822], it is to be understood as the syntax defined by [RFC 2822] 2822], it is to be understood as the syntax defined by [RFC 2822]
after making the above changes, but NOT including any syntax defined after making the above changes, but NOT including any syntax defined
in section 4 ("Obsolete syntax") of [RFC 2822]. Software compliant in section 4 ("Obsolete syntax") of [RFC 2822]. Software compliant
with this standard MUST NOT generate any of the syntactic forms with this standard MUST NOT generate any of the syntactic forms
defined in that Obsolete Syntax, although it MAY accept such defined in that Obsolete Syntax, although it MAY accept such
syntactic forms. Certain syntax from the MIME specifications [RFC syntactic forms. Certain syntax from the MIME specifications [RFC
2045] et seq is also considered a part of this standard (see 6.21). 2045] et seq is also considered a part of this standard (see 6.21).
skipping to change at page 13, line 45 skipping to change at page 13, line 47
%d12 / ; carriage return, line feed, %d12 / ; carriage return, line feed,
%d14-31 / ; and whitespace characters %d14-31 / ; and whitespace characters
%d127 %d127
specials = "(" / ")" / ; Special characters used in specials = "(" / ")" / ; Special characters used in
"<" / ">" / ; other parts of the syntax "<" / ">" / ; other parts of the syntax
"[" / "]" / "[" / "]" /
":" / ";" / ":" / ";" /
"@" / "\" / "@" / "\" /
"," / "." / "," / "." /
DQUOTE DQUOTE
WSP = SP / HTAB ; Whitespace characters WSP = SP / HTAB ; whitespace characters
FWS = ([*WSP CRLF] 1*WSP); Folding whitespace FWS = ([*WSP CRLF] 1*WSP); folding whitespace
ccontent = ctext / quoted-pair / comment ccontent = ctext / quoted-pair / comment
comment = "(" *([FWS] ccontent) [FWS] ")" comment = "(" *([FWS] ccontent) [FWS] ")"
CFWS = *([FWS] comment) (([FWS] comment) / FWS ) CFWS = *([FWS] comment) (([FWS] comment) / FWS )
DQUOTE = %d34 ; quote mark DQUOTE = %d34 ; quote mark
quoted-pair = "\" text quoted-pair = "\" text
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
atext = ALPHA / DIGIT / atext = ALPHA / DIGIT /
"!" / "#" / ; Any US-ASCII character except "!" / "#" / ; Any US-ASCII character except
"$" / "%" / ; controls, SP, and specials. "$" / "%" / ; controls, SP, and specials.
"&" / "'" / ; Used for atoms "&" / "'" / ; Used for atoms
"*" / "+" / "*" / "+" /
"-" / "/" / "-" / "/" /
"=" / "?" / "=" / "?" /
"^" / "_" / "^" / "_" /
"`" / "{" / "`" / "{" /
skipping to change at page 14, line 30 skipping to change at page 14, line 30
qcontent = qtext / quoted-pair qcontent = qtext / quoted-pair
quoted-string = [CFWS] DQUOTE quoted-string = [CFWS] DQUOTE
*( [FWS] qcontent ) [FWS] *( [FWS] qcontent ) [FWS]
DQUOTE [CFWS] DQUOTE [CFWS]
word = atom / quoted-string word = atom / quoted-string
phrase = 1*word phrase = 1*word
NOTE: Following [RFC 2234], literal text included in the syntax NOTE: Following [RFC 2234], literal text included in the syntax
is to be regarded as case-insensitive. However, in is to be regarded as case-insensitive. However, in
contradistinction to [RFC 2822], the Netnews protocols are contradistinction to [RFC 2822], the Netnews protocols are
sensitive to case in some instances (as in newsgroup names, some sensitive to case in some instances (as in newsgroup-names, some
header parameters, etc.). Care has been taken to indicate this header parameters, etc.). Care has been taken to indicate this
explicitly where required. explicitly where required.
As in [RFC 2822], where any quoted-pair appears it is to be As in [RFC 2822], where any quoted-pair appears it is to be
interpreted as its text character alone. That is to say, the "\" interpreted as its text character alone. That is to say, the "\"
character that appears as part of a quoted-pair is semantically character that appears as part of a quoted-pair is semantically
"invisible". "invisible".
Again, as in [RFC 2822], strings of characters that include Again, as in [RFC 2822], strings of characters that include
characters not syntactically allowed in some particular context may characters not syntactically allowed in some particular context may
skipping to change at page 15, line 5 skipping to change at page 15, line 5
the two quote characters, nor the "\" which introduces any quoted- the two quote characters, nor the "\" which introduces any quoted-
pair. pair.
2.5. Language 2.5. Language
Various constant strings in this standard, such as header names and Various constant strings in this standard, such as header names and
month names, are derived from English words. Despite their month names, are derived from English words. Despite their
derivation, these words do NOT change when the poster or reader derivation, these words do NOT change when the poster or reader
employing them is interacting in a language other than English. employing them is interacting in a language other than English.
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
Posting and reading agents MAY translate as appropriate in their Posting and reading agents MAY translate as appropriate in their
interaction with the poster or reader, but the forms that actually interaction with the poster or reader, but the forms that actually
appear in articles as transmitted MUST be the English-derived ones appear in articles as transmitted MUST be the English-derived ones
defined in this standard. defined in this standard.
3. Changes to the existing protocols 3. Changes to the existing protocols
This standard prescribes many changes, clarifications and new This standard prescribes many changes, clarifications and new
features since the protocols described in [RFC 1036] and [Son-of- features since the protocols described in [RFC 1036] and [Son-of-
skipping to change at page 15, line 34 skipping to change at page 15, line 34
o The [RFC 2822] conventions for parenthesis-enclosed comments in o The [RFC 2822] conventions for parenthesis-enclosed comments in
headers are supported. headers are supported.
o Whitespace is permitted in Newsgroups-headers, permitting folding o Whitespace is permitted in Newsgroups-headers, permitting folding
of such headers. Indeed, all headers can now be folded. of such headers. Indeed, all headers can now be folded.
o An enhanced syntax for the Path-header enables the injection o An enhanced syntax for the Path-header enables the injection
point of and the route taken by an article to be determined with point of and the route taken by an article to be determined with
certainty. certainty.
o Netnews is firmly established as an 8bit medium and all headers o Netnews is firmly established as an 8bit medium and all headers
are deemed to be in the UTF-8 character set (thus permitting, in are deemed to be in the UTF-8 character set (thus permitting, in
particular, the use of non-ASCII newsgroup-names). particular, the use of non-ASCII newsgroup-names).
o Large parts of MIME are recognised as an integral part of o Large parts of MIME are recognized as an integral part of
Netnews. Netnews.
o There is a new Control message 'mvgroup' to facilitate moving a o There is a new Control message 'mvgroup' to facilitate moving a
group to a different place (name) in a hierarchy. group to a different place (name) in a hierarchy.
o There are several new headers defined, notably Archive, o There are several new headers defined, notably Archive,
Complaints-To, Injector-Info, Mail-Copies-To, Posted-And-Mailed Complaints-To, Injector-Info, Mail-Copies-To, Posted-And-Mailed
and User-Agent, leading to increased functionality. and User-Agent, leading to increased functionality.
o Provision has been made for almost all headers to have MIME-style o Provision has been made for almost all headers to have MIME-style
parameters (to be ignored if not recognized), thus facilitating parameters (to be ignored if not recognized), thus facilitating
extension of those headers in future standards. extension of those headers in future standards.
o Certain headers and Control messages (AppendixA.3 and Appendix o Certain headers and Control messages (AppendixA.3 and Appendix
skipping to change at page 16, line 4 skipping to change at page 16, line 4
3.2. Transitional Arrangements 3.2. Transitional Arrangements
An important distinction must be made between serving and relaying An important distinction must be made between serving and relaying
agents, which are responsible for the distribution and storage of agents, which are responsible for the distribution and storage of
news articles, and user agents, which are responsible for news articles, and user agents, which are responsible for
interactions with users. It is important that the former should be interactions with users. It is important that the former should be
upgraded to conform to this standard as soon as possible to provide upgraded to conform to this standard as soon as possible to provide
the benefit of the enhanced facilities. Fortunately, the number of the benefit of the enhanced facilities. Fortunately, the number of
distinct implementations of such agents is rather small, at least so distinct implementations of such agents is rather small, at least so
far as the main "backbone" of Usenet is concerned, and many of the far as the main "backbone" of Usenet is concerned, and many of the
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
new features are already supported. Contrariwise, there are a great new features are already supported. Contrariwise, there are a great
number of implementations of user agents, installed on a vastly number of implementations of user agents, installed on a vastly
greater number of small sites. Therefore, the new functionality has greater number of small sites. Therefore, the new functionality has
been designed so that existing agents may continue to be used, been designed so that existing agents may continue to be used,
although the full benefits may not be realised until a substantial although the full benefits may not be realised until a substantial
proportion of them have been upgraded. proportion of them have been upgraded.
In the list which follows, care has been taken to distinguish the In the list which follows, care has been taken to distinguish the
implications for both kinds of agent. implications for both kinds of agent.
o [RFC 2822] style comments in headers do not affect serving and o [RFC 2822] style comments in headers do not affect serving and
relaying agents (note that the Newsgroups-, Distribution- and relaying agents (note that the Message-ID-, Newsgroups-,
Path-headers do not contain them). They are unlikely to hinder Distribution- and Path-headers do not contain them). They are
their proper display in existing reading agents except in the unlikely to hinder their proper display in existing reading
case of the References-header in agents which thread articles. agents except in the case of the References-header in agents
Therefore, it is provided that they SHOULD NOT be generated which thread articles. Therefore, it is provided that they SHOULD
except where permitted by the previous standards. NOT be generated except where permitted by the previous
standards.
o Because of its importance to all serving agents, the extension o Because of its importance to all serving agents, the extension
permitting whitespace and folding in Newsgroups-headers SHOULD permitting whitespace and folding in Newsgroups-headers SHOULD
NOT be used until it has been widely deployed amongst relaying NOT be used until it has been widely deployed amongst relaying
agents. User agents are unaffected. agents. User agents are unaffected.
o The new style of Path-header is already consistent with the o The new style of Path-header is already consistent with the
previous standards. However, the intention is that relaying previous standards. However, the intention is that relaying
agents should eventually reject articles in the old style, and so agents should eventually reject articles in the old style, and so
this possibility should be offered as a configurable option in this possibility should be offered as a configurable option in
relaying agents. User agents are unaffected. relaying agents. User agents are unaffected.
o The vast majority of serving, relaying and transport agents are o The vast majority of serving, relaying and transport agents are
skipping to change at page 16, line 50 skipping to change at page 16, line 51
standards (using strict US-ASCII) will be unaffected. Many user standards (using strict US-ASCII) will be unaffected. Many user
agents already support it, at least to the extent of widely used agents already support it, at least to the extent of widely used
charsets such as ISO-8859-1. Users expecting to read articles charsets such as ISO-8859-1. Users expecting to read articles
using other charsets will need to acquire suitable reading using other charsets will need to acquire suitable reading
agents. It is not intended, in general, that any single user agents. It is not intended, in general, that any single user
agent will be able to display every charset known to IANA, but agent will be able to display every charset known to IANA, but
all such agents MUST support US-ASCII. Serving and relaying all such agents MUST support US-ASCII. Serving and relaying
agents are not affected. agents are not affected.
o The use of the UTF-8 charset for headers will not affect any o The use of the UTF-8 charset for headers will not affect any
existing usage that complies with the previous standards, since existing usage that complies with the previous standards, since
US-ASCII is a strict subset of UTF-8. Insofar as newsgroup names US-ASCII is a strict subset of UTF-8. Insofar as newsgroup-names
containing non-ASCII characters can now be expected to arise, containing non-ASCII characters can now be expected to arise,
some support from serving and relaying agents will be desirable, some support from serving and relaying agents will be desirable,
although it has been established that most current serving agents although it has been established that most current serving agents
can already cope with such names without modification (although can already cope with such names without modification (although
perhaps not in an ideal manner). Note that it is not necessary perhaps not in an ideal manner). Note that it is not necessary
for serving and relaying agents to understand all the characters for serving and relaying agents to understand all the characters
available in UTF-8, though it is desirable for them to be available in UTF-8, though it is desirable for them to be
displayable for diagnostic purposes via some escape mechanism displayable for diagnostic purposes via some escape mechanism
using, for example, the visible subset of US-ASCII. For users News Article Format August 2002
News Article Format May 2002
using, for example, the visible subset of US-ASCII. For users
expecting to use the more exotic possibilities available under expecting to use the more exotic possibilities available under
UTF-8, the remarks already made in connection with MIME will UTF-8, the remarks already made in connection with MIME will
apply. apply.
o The new Control: mvgroup command will need to be implemented in o The new Control: mvgroup command will need to be implemented in
serving agents. For the benefit of older serving agents it is serving agents. For the benefit of older serving agents it is
therefore RECOMMENDED that it be followed shortly by a therefore RECOMMENDED that it be followed shortly by a
corresponding newgroup command and it MUST always be followed by corresponding newgroup command and it MUST always be followed by
a rmgroup command for the old group after a reasonable overlap a rmgroup command for the old group after a reasonable overlap
period. An implementation of the mvgroup command as an alias for period. An implementation of the mvgroup command as an alias for
the newgroup command would thus be minimally conforming. User the newgroup command would thus be minimally conforming. User
skipping to change at page 17, line 59 skipping to change at page 18, line 4
where the USENET-parameter, which MUST always be of the same where the USENET-parameter, which MUST always be of the same
syntactic form as an other-parameter (see below), is not provided in syntactic form as an other-parameter (see below), is not provided in
all headers, and even the other-parameter is omitted in some cases all headers, and even the other-parameter is omitted in some cases
cases (see 4.2.2). Observe that "USENET" is (and MUST be) of the cases (see 4.2.2). Observe that "USENET" is (and MUST be) of the
syntactic form of a header-name. syntactic form of a header-name.
other-parameter = <a parameter not defined by this standard> other-parameter = <a parameter not defined by this standard>
parameter = attribute "=" value parameter = attribute "=" value
attribute = [CFWS] token [CFWS] attribute = [CFWS] token [CFWS]
x-token = "x-" token News Article Format August 2002
News Article Format May 2002
x-token = "x-" token
token = 1*<any (US-ASCII) CHAR except SP, CTLs, token = 1*<any (US-ASCII) CHAR except SP, CTLs,
or tspecials> or tspecials>
tspecials = "(" / ")" / "<" / ">" / "@" / tspecials = "(" / ")" / "<" / ">" / "@" /
"," / ";" / ":" / "\" / DQUOTE / "," / ";" / ":" / "\" / DQUOTE /
"/" / "[" / "]" / "?" / "=" "/" / "[" / "]" / "?" / "="
value = [CFWS] token [CFWS] / quoted-string value = [CFWS] token [CFWS] / quoted-string
An article consists of some headers followed by a body. An empty line An article consists of some headers followed by a body. An empty line
separates the two. The headers contain structured information about separates the two. The headers contain structured information about
the article and its transmission. A header begins with a header-name the article and its transmission. A header begins with a header-name
skipping to change at page 18, line 47 skipping to change at page 18, line 48
The order of headers in an article is not significant. However, The order of headers in an article is not significant. However,
posting agents are encouraged to put mandatory headers (section 5) posting agents are encouraged to put mandatory headers (section 5)
first, followed by optional headers (section 6), followed by first, followed by optional headers (section 6), followed by
experimental headers and headers not defined in this standard or its experimental headers and headers not defined in this standard or its
extensions. Relaying agents MUST NOT change the order of the headers extensions. Relaying agents MUST NOT change the order of the headers
in an article. in an article.
4.2.1. Naming of Headers 4.2.1. Naming of Headers
Despite the restrictions on header-name syntax imposed by the Despite the restrictions on header-name syntax imposed by the
grammar, relayers and reading agents SHOULD tolerate header-names grammar, relaying and reading agents SHOULD tolerate header-names
containing any US-ASCII printable character other than colon (":", containing any US-ASCII printable character other than colon (":",
US-ASCII 58). US-ASCII 58).
Whilst relaying agents MUST accept, and pass on unaltered, any non- Whilst relaying agents MUST accept, and pass on unaltered, any non-
variant header whose header-name is syntactically correct, and variant header whose header-name is syntactically correct, and
reading agents MUST enable them to be displayed, at least optionally, reading agents MUST enable them to be displayed, at least optionally,
posting and injecting agents SHOULD NOT generate headers other than posting and injecting agents SHOULD NOT generate headers other than
o headers established by this standard or any extension to it; o headers established by this standard or any extension to it;
o those recognized by other IETF-established standards, notably the o those recognized by other IETF-established standards, notably the
Email standard [RFC 2822] and its extensions, excluding any Email standard [RFC 2822] and its extensions, excluding any
explicitly deprecated for Netnews (e.g. see section 9.2.1 for the explicitly deprecated for Netnews (e.g. see section 9.2.1 for the
deprecated Disposition-Notification-To-header); or, News Article Format August 2002
News Article Format May 2002
deprecated Disposition-Notification-To-header); or,
alternatively, those listed in some future IANA registry of alternatively, those listed in some future IANA registry of
recognized headers; recognized headers;
o experimental headers beginning with "X-" (as defined in 4.2.5.1); o experimental headers beginning with "X-" (as defined in 4.2.5.1);
o on a provisional basis only, headers related to new protocols o on a provisional basis only, headers related to new protocols
under development which are the subject of (or intended to be the under development which are the subject of (or intended to be the
subject of) some IETF-approved RFC (whether Informational, subject of) some IETF-approved RFC (whether Informational,
Experimental or Standards-Track). Experimental or Standards-Track).
However, software SHOULD NOT attempt to interpret headers not However, software SHOULD NOT attempt to interpret headers not
specifically intended to be meaningful in the Netnews environment. specifically intended to be meaningful in the Netnews environment.
skipping to change at page 19, line 27 skipping to change at page 19, line 28
convention, which posters and posting agents Ought to use: each convention, which posters and posting agents Ought to use: each
hyphen-separated "word" has its initial letter (if any) in uppercase hyphen-separated "word" has its initial letter (if any) in uppercase
and the rest in lowercase, except that some abbreviations have all and the rest in lowercase, except that some abbreviations have all
letters uppercase (e.g. "Message-ID" and "MIME-Version"). The forms letters uppercase (e.g. "Message-ID" and "MIME-Version"). The forms
given in the various rules defining headers in this standard are the given in the various rules defining headers in this standard are the
preferred forms for them. Relaying and reading agents MUST, however, preferred forms for them. Relaying and reading agents MUST, however,
tolerate articles not obeying this convention. tolerate articles not obeying this convention.
4.2.2. MIME-style Parameters 4.2.2. MIME-style Parameters
The possibility of allowing Mime-style parameters (whether header- The possibility of allowing MIME-style parameters (whether header-
specific ones or generic other-parameters) to appear in virtually all specific ones or generic other-parameters) to appear in virtually all
headers is provided mainly for the purpose of allowing future headers is provided mainly for the purpose of allowing future
extensions to existing headers, since only a very few specific extensions to existing headers, since only a very few specific
parameters are defined in this standard. Observe that such parameters parameters are defined in this standard. Observe that such parameters
do not, in general, occur in headers defined in other standards, do not, in general, occur in headers defined in other standards,
except for the MIME standards [RFC 2045] et seq. and their except for the MIME standards [RFC 2045] et seq. and their
extensions. extensions.
Other-parameters (whether those defined elsewhere or experimental Other-parameters (whether those defined elsewhere or experimental
parameters whose attribute is an x-token) MAY be used, where the parameters whose attribute is an x-token) MAY be used, where the
skipping to change at page 19, line 54 skipping to change at page 19, line 55
meaning is unknown) and SHOULD accept (and ignore) them in all meaning is unknown) and SHOULD accept (and ignore) them in all
structured headers wherever defined. structured headers wherever defined.
NOTE: The syntax does not permit other-parameters in NOTE: The syntax does not permit other-parameters in
unstructured headers (where they are unnecessary) or in certain unstructured headers (where they are unnecessary) or in certain
headers (notably the From-, Reply-To-, Mail-Copies-To- and headers (notably the From-, Reply-To-, Mail-Copies-To- and
Complaints-To-headers) containing address-lists or mailbox-lists Complaints-To-headers) containing address-lists or mailbox-lists
(so that agents can simply replace the header-name by "To" or (so that agents can simply replace the header-name by "To" or
"Cc" to obtain a header immediately suitable for sending Email, "Cc" to obtain a header immediately suitable for sending Email,
and also so as to avoid some minor parsing problems with and also so as to avoid some minor parsing problems with
addresses). <address>es).
Each header-specific parameter introduced in this standard is Each header-specific MIME-style parameter introduced in this standard
described by specifying is described by specifying
(a) the token to be used in its attribute, and (a) the token to be used in its attribute, and
(b) the syntax rule(s) defining the object(s) permitted in its News Article Format August 2002
News Article Format May 2002
(b) the syntax rule(s) defining the object(s) permitted in its
value. value.
If a value object is not of the syntactic form of a token, it MUST If a value object is not of the syntactic form of a token, it MUST
(and otherwise MAY) be encapsulated in a quoted-string (see 2.4.3). (and otherwise MAY) be encapsulated in a quoted-string (see 2.4.3).
Observe that the syntax of a parameter also allows additional WSP, Observe that the syntax of a parameter also allows additional WSP,
folding and comments. folding and comments.
The semantics of a parameter is always to associate the token in its The semantics of a parameter is always to associate the token in its
attribute with the object represented by the token, or the semantic attribute with the object represented by the token, or the semantic
value (2.4.3) of the quoted-string, contained in its value. value (2.4.3) of the quoted-string, contained in its value.
For example, the posting-sender-parameter (6.19) is defined to be For example, the posting-sender-parameter (6.19) is defined to be
<a parameter with attribute "sender" and value some sender-value> <a parameter with attribute "sender" and value some sender-value>
where where
sender-value = mailbox / "verified" sender-value = mailbox / "verified"
A valid posting-sender-parameter would be A valid posting-sender-parameter would be
sender = "\"Joe D. Bloggs\" <jdbloggs@example.com>" (authinfo) sender = "\"Joe D. Bloggs\" <jdbloggs@bloggs.example>" (authinfo)
The comment (syntactically part of the quoted-string) is irrelevant. The comment (syntactically part of the quoted-string) is irrelevant.
The actual mailbox (to be used, for example, if email is to be sent The actual mailbox (to be used, for example, if email is to be sent
to the sender) is to the sender) is
"Joe D. Bloggs" <jdbloggs@example.com> "Joe D. Bloggs" <jdbloggs@bloggs.example>
4.2.3. White Space and Continuations 4.2.3. White Space and Continuations
Each header is logically a single line of characters comprising the Each header is logically a single line of characters comprising the
header-name, the colon with its following SP, the content, and any header-name, the colon with its following SP, the content, and any
parameters. For convenience, however, the content and parameters can parameters. For convenience, however, the content and parameters can
be "folded" into a multiple line representation by inserting a CRLF be "folded" into a multiple line representation by inserting a CRLF
before any WSP contained within any FWS or CFWS (but not any other SP before any WSP contained within any FWS or CFWS (but not any other SP
or HTAB) allowed by this standard. For example, the header: or HTAB) allowed by this standard. For example, the header:
Approved: modname@modsite.example (Moderator of example.foo.bar) Approved: modname@modsite.example (Moderator of example.foo.bar)
can be represented as: can be represented as:
Approved: modname@modsite.example Approved: modname@modsite.example
(Moderator of example.foo.bar) (Moderator of example.foo.bar)
FWS occurs at many places in the syntax (usually within a CFWS) in FWS occurs at many places in the syntax (usually within a CFWS) in
order to allow the inclusion of comments, whitespace and folding. The order to allow the inclusion of comments, whitespace and folding. The
syntax is in fact ambiguous insofar as it sometimes allows two syntax is in fact ambiguous insofar as it sometimes allows two
consecutive instantiations of FWS (as least one of which is always consecutive instantiations of FWS (as least one of which is always
optional), or of FWS followed by an explicit CRLF. However, all such optional), or of an optional FWS followed by an explicit CRLF.
cases MUST be treated as if the optional instantiation (or one of However, all such cases MUST be treated as if the optional
them) had not been present. It is thus precluded that any line of a instantiation (or one of them) had not been allowed. It is thus
header should be made up of whitespace characters and nothing else precluded that any line of a header should be made up of whitespace
(for such a line might otherwise have been interpreted by a non- characters and nothing else (for such a line might otherwise have
compliant agent as the separator between the headers and the body of been interpreted by a non-compliant agent as the separator between
the article). the headers and the body of the article).
NOTE: This does not lead to semantic ambiguity because, unless NOTE: This does not lead to semantic ambiguity because, unless
specifically stated otherwise, the presence or absence of specifically stated otherwise, the presence or absence of
folding, a comment or additional WSP has no semantic meaning folding, a comment or additional WSP has no semantic meaning
and, in particular, it is a matter of indifference whether it and, in particular, it is a matter of indifference whether it
forms a part of the syntactic construct preceding it or the one forms a part of the syntactic construct preceding it or the one
following it. following it.
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
NOTE: It may be observed that the content part of every header NOTE: It may be observed that the content part of every header
begins and ends with an optional CFWS (or FWS in the case of begins and ends with an optional CFWS (or FWS in the case of a
certain headers). Moreover, every parameter also begins and ends few headers). Moreover, every parameter also begins and ends
with an optional CFWS. with an optional CFWS.
NOTE: Though contents are defined in such a way that folding can NOTE: Although contents are defined in such a way that folding
take place between many of the lexical tokens (and even within can take place between many of the lexical tokens (and even
some of them), folding should be limited to placing the CRLF at within some of them), folding should be limited to placing the
higher-level syntactic breaks, and should also avoid leaving CRLF at higher-level syntactic breaks, and should also avoid
trailing WSP on the preceding line. For instance, if a header- leaving trailing WSP on the preceding line. For instance, if a
content is defined as comma-separated values, it is recommended header-content is defined as comma-separated values, it is
that folding occur after the comma separating the structured recommended that folding occur after the comma separating the
items, even if it is allowed elsewhere. values, even if it is allowed elsewhere.
In accordance with the syntax, the header-name on the first line MUST In accordance with the syntax, the header-name on the first line MUST
be followed by a SP (even if the rest of the header is empty, but see be followed by a SP (even if the rest of the header is empty, but see
4.2.6). Even though the syntax allows otherwise, at least some of 4.2.6). Even though the syntax allows otherwise, at least some of
the content MUST appear on that first line (to avoid the possibility the content MUST appear on that first line (to avoid the possibility
of harm by any non-compliant agent that might eliminate a trailing of harm by any non-compliant agent that might eliminate a trailing
WSP). Although posting agents are REQUIRED to enforce these WSP). Although posting agents are REQUIRED to enforce these
restrictions, relaying and serving agents SHOULD accept articles that restrictions, relaying and serving agents SHOULD accept articles that
violate them. violate them.
skipping to change at page 21, line 46 skipping to change at page 21, line 46
4.2.4. Comments 4.2.4. Comments
Strings of characters which are treated as comments may be included Strings of characters which are treated as comments may be included
in headers wherever the syntactic element CFWS occurs. They consist in headers wherever the syntactic element CFWS occurs. They consist
of characters enclosed in parentheses. Comments may be nested. of characters enclosed in parentheses. Comments may be nested.
NOTE: Although CFWS occurs wherever whitespace is allowed in NOTE: Although CFWS occurs wherever whitespace is allowed in
almost all headers, there are exceptions where only FWS is almost all headers, there are exceptions where only FWS is
permitted (hence folding but no comments). Notably, this happens permitted (hence folding but no comments). Notably, this happens
in the case of the Newsgroups-, Distribution-, Path- and in the case of the Message-ID-, Newsgroups-, Distribution-,
Followup-To-headers, and within the Date-header except right at Path- and Followup-To-headers, and within the Date-header except
the end. right at the end.
A comment is normally used to provide some human readable A comment is normally used to provide some human readable
informational text, except at the end of an address which contains no informational text, except at the end of a mailbox which contains no
phrase, as in phrase, as in
fred@foo.bar.example (Fred Bloggs) fred@foo.bar.example (Fred Bloggs)
as opposed to as opposed to
"Fred Bloggs" <fred@foo.bar.example> . "Fred Bloggs" <fred@foo.bar.example> .
The former is a deprecated, but commonly encountered, usage and The former is a deprecated, but commonly encountered, usage and
reading agents SHOULD take special note of such comments as reading agents SHOULD take special note of such comments as
indicating the name of the person whose address it is. In all other indicating the name of the person whose mailbox it is. In all other
situations a comment is semantically interpreted as a single SP. situations a comment is semantically interpreted as a single SP.
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
Since a comment is allowed to contain FWS, folding is permitted Since a comment is allowed to contain FWS, folding is permitted
within it as well as immediately preceding and immediately following within it as well as immediately preceding and immediately following
it. Also note that, since quoted-pair is allowed in a comment, the it. Also note that, since quoted-pair is allowed in a comment, the
parenthesis and backslash characters may appear in a comment so long parenthesis and backslash characters may appear in a comment so long
as they appear as a quoted-pair. Semantically, the enclosing as they appear as a quoted-pair. Semantically, the enclosing
parentheses are not part of the content of the comment; the content parentheses are not part of the content of the comment; the content
is what is contained between the two parentheses. is what is contained between the two parentheses.
Since comments have not hitherto been permitted in news articles, Since comments have not hitherto been permitted in news articles,
skipping to change at page 23, line 5 skipping to change at page 23, line 5
Followup-To-header. Followup-To-header.
o Subject (5.4) - modified by prefixing with "Re: ", but otherwise o Subject (5.4) - modified by prefixing with "Re: ", but otherwise
copied from the precursor. copied from the precursor.
o References (6.10) - copied from the precursor, with the addition o References (6.10) - copied from the precursor, with the addition
of the precursor's Message-ID. of the precursor's Message-ID.
o Distribution (6.6) - copied from the precursor. o Distribution (6.6) - copied from the precursor.
NOTE: The Keywords-header is not inheritable, though some older NOTE: The Keywords-header is not inheritable, though some older
newsreaders treated it as such. newsreaders treated it as such.
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
4.2.5.3. Variant Headers 4.2.5.3. Variant Headers
Headers with the variant property may differ between (or even be Headers with the variant property may differ between (or even be
completely absent from) copies of the same article as stored or completely absent from) copies of the same article as stored or
relayed throughout a Netnews system. The manner of the difference (or relayed throughout a Netnews system. The manner of the difference (or
absence) MUST be as specified in this (or any future) standard. absence) MUST be as specified in this (or any future) standard.
Typically, these headers are modified as articles are propagated, or Typically, these headers are modified as articles are propagated, or
they reflect the status of the article on a particular serving agent, they reflect the status of the article on a particular serving agent,
or cooperating group of such agents. The variant header MAY be placed or cooperating group of such agents. The variant header MAY be placed
anywhere within the headers (though placing it first is recommended). anywhere within the headers (though placing it first is recommended).
The principle examples are: The principal examples are:
o Path (5.6) - augmented at each relaying agent that an article o Path (5.6) - augmented at each relaying agent that an article
passes through. passes through.
o Xref (6.16) - used to keep track of the article locators of o Xref (6.16) - used to keep track of the article locators of
crossposted articles so that newsreaders serviced by a particular crossposted articles so that newsreaders serviced by a particular
serving agent can mark such articles as read. serving agent can mark such articles as read.
4.2.6. Undesirable Headers 4.2.6. Undesirable Headers
A header whose content is empty is said to be an empty header (in A header whose content is empty is said to be an empty header (in
fact, no such headers are defined by this standard). Relaying and fact, no such headers are defined by this standard). Relaying and
skipping to change at page 23, line 56 skipping to change at page 23, line 56
The body of an article SHOULD NOT be empty. A posting or injecting The body of an article SHOULD NOT be empty. A posting or injecting
agent which does not reject such an article entirely SHOULD at least agent which does not reject such an article entirely SHOULD at least
issue a warning message to the poster and supply a non-empty body. issue a warning message to the poster and supply a non-empty body.
Note that the separator line MUST be present even if the body is Note that the separator line MUST be present even if the body is
empty. empty.
NOTE: Some existing news software is known to react badly to NOTE: Some existing news software is known to react badly to
body-less articles, hence the request for posting and injecting body-less articles, hence the request for posting and injecting
agents to insert a body in such cases. The sentence "This agents to insert a body in such cases. The sentence "This
article was probably generated by a buggy news reader" has article was probably generated by a buggy news reader" has
traditionally been used is this situation. traditionally been used in this situation.
Note that an article body is a sequence of lines terminated by CRLFs, Note that an article body is a sequence of lines terminated by CRLFs,
not arbitrary binary data, and in particular it MUST end with a CRLF. not arbitrary binary data, and in particular it MUST end with a CRLF.
However, relaying and serving agents SHOULD treat the body of an However, relaying and serving agents SHOULD treat the body of an
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
article as an uninterpreted sequence of octets (except as mandated by article as an uninterpreted sequence of octets (except as mandated by
changes of CRLF representation and by control message processing, as changes of CRLF representation and by control message processing, as
in 7.2.4) and SHOULD avoid imposing constraints on it. See also in 7.2.4) and SHOULD avoid imposing constraints on it. See also
section 4.5. section 4.5.
Posters SHOULD avoid using control characters and escape sequences Posters SHOULD avoid using control characters and escape sequences
except for tab (US-ASCII 9), formfeed (US-ASCII 12) and, possibly, except for tab (US-ASCII 9), formfeed (US-ASCII 12) and, possibly,
backspace (US-ASCII 8). Tab signifies sufficient horizontal white backspace (US-ASCII 8). Tab signifies sufficient horizontal white
space to reach the next of a set of fixed positions; posters are space to reach the next of a set of fixed positions; posters are
skipping to change at page 24, line 45 skipping to change at page 24, line 45
A body is by default an uninterpreted sequence of octets for most of A body is by default an uninterpreted sequence of octets for most of
the purposes of this standard. However, a MIME Content-Type-header the purposes of this standard. However, a MIME Content-Type-header
may impose some structure or intended interpretation upon it, and may may impose some structure or intended interpretation upon it, and may
also specify the character set in accordance with which the octets also specify the character set in accordance with which the octets
are to be interpreted. are to be interpreted.
The following conventions for quotations, attributions and The following conventions for quotations, attributions and
signatures, although not mandated by this standard, describe widely signatures, although not mandated by this standard, describe widely
used practices. They are documented here in order to establish their used practices. They are documented here in order to establish their
correct usage, and the use of the words "MUST", "SHOULD", etc. is to correct usage, and the use of the words "MUST", "SHOULD", etc. is to
be understood accordingly. be understood in that context.
It is conventional for followup agents to enable the incorporation of It is conventional for followup agents to enable the incorporation of
the followed-up article (the "precursor") as a quotation. This SHOULD the followed-up article (the "precursor") as a quotation. This SHOULD
be done by prefacing each line of the quoted text (even if it is be done by prefacing each line of the quoted text (even if it is
empty) with the character ">" (or perhaps with "> " in the case of a empty) with the character ">" (or perhaps with "> " in the case of a
previously unquoted line). This will result in multiple levels of ">" previously unquoted line). This will result in multiple levels of ">"
when quoted content itself contains quoted content, and it will also when quoted content itself contains quoted content, and it will also
facilitate the automatic analysis of articles. facilitate the automatic analysis of articles.
NOTE: Posters should edit quoted context to trim it down to the NOTE: Posters should edit quoted context to trim it down to the
minimum necessary. However, followup agents Ought Not to attempt minimum necessary. However, followup agents Ought Not to attempt
to enforce this beyond issuing a warning (past attempts to do so to enforce this beyond issuing a warning (past attempts to do so
have been found to be notably counter-productive). have been found to be notably counter-productive).
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
The followup agent SHOULD also precede the quoted content by an The followup agent SHOULD also precede the quoted content by an
"attribution line" (however, readers are warned not to assume that "attribution line" (however, readers are warned not to assume that
they are accurate, especially within multiply nested quotations). The they are accurate, especially within multiply nested quotations). The
following convention for such lines is intended to facilitate their following convention for such lines is intended to facilitate their
automatic recognition and processing by sophisticated reading agents. automatic recognition and processing by sophisticated reading agents.
The attribution SHOULD contain the name or the email address of the The attribution SHOULD contain the name and/or the email address of
precursor's poster, as in the precursor's poster, as in
Joe D. Bloggs <jdbloggs@foo.example> wrote: Joe D. Bloggs <jdbloggs@foo.example> wrote:
or or
Helmut Schmidt <helmut@bar.example> schrieb: Helmut Schmidt <helmut@bar.example> schrieb:
The attribution MAY contain also a single newsgroup-name (the one The attribution MAY contain also a single newsgroup-name (the one
from which the followup is being made), the precursor's Message-ID from which the followup is being made), the precursor's Message-ID
and/or the precursor's Date and Time. Any of these that are present, and/or the precursor's Date and Time. Any of these that are present,
SHOULD precede the name and/or email address. However, the inclusion SHOULD precede the name and/or email address. However, the inclusion
or not of such fields Ought always to be under the control of the or not of such fields Ought always to be under the control of the
poster. poster.
skipping to change at page 26, line 5 skipping to change at page 26, line 5
appends such a signature to an article, it MUST be preceded with a appends such a signature to an article, it MUST be preceded with a
delimiter line containing (only) two hyphens (US-ASCII 45) followed delimiter line containing (only) two hyphens (US-ASCII 45) followed
by one SP (US-ASCII 32). The signature is considered to extend from by one SP (US-ASCII 32). The signature is considered to extend from
the last occurrence of that delimiter up to the end of the article the last occurrence of that delimiter up to the end of the article
(or up to the end of the part in the case of a multipart MIME body). (or up to the end of the part in the case of a multipart MIME body).
Followup agents, when incorporating quoted text from a precursor, Followup agents, when incorporating quoted text from a precursor,
Ought Not to include the signature in the quotation. Posting agents Ought Not to include the signature in the quotation. Posting agents
Ought to discourage (at least with a warning) signatures of excessive Ought to discourage (at least with a warning) signatures of excessive
length (4 lines is a commonly accepted limit). length (4 lines is a commonly accepted limit).
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
4.4. Characters and Character Sets 4.4. Characters and Character Sets
Transmission paths for news articles MUST treat news articles as Transmission paths for news articles MUST treat news articles as
uninterpreted sequences of octets, excluding the values 0 (US-ASCII uninterpreted sequences of octets, excluding the values 0 (US-ASCII
NUL) and 13 and 10 (US-ASCII CR and LF, which MUST ONLY appear in the NUL) and 13 and 10 (US-ASCII CR and LF, which MUST ONLY appear in the
combination CRLF which denotes a line separator). combination CRLF which denotes a line separator).
NOTE: this corresponds to the range of octets permitted for MIME NOTE: this corresponds to the range of octets permitted for MIME
"8bit data" [RFC 2045]. Thus raw binary data cannot be "8bit data" [RFC 2045]. Thus raw binary data cannot be
skipping to change at page 26, line 39 skipping to change at page 26, line 39
NOTE: This strategy will do little harm. The target relaying NOTE: This strategy will do little harm. The target relaying
agent is unlikely to be able to make use of the article on its agent is unlikely to be able to make use of the article on its
own servers, and the usual flooding algorithm will likely find own servers, and the usual flooding algorithm will likely find
some alternative route to get the article to destinations where some alternative route to get the article to destinations where
it is needed. it is needed.
4.4.1. Character Sets within Article Headers 4.4.1. Character Sets within Article Headers
Within article headers, characters are represented as octets Within article headers, characters are represented as octets
according to the UTF-8 encoding scheme [RFC 2279] or [ISO/IEC 10646], according to the UTF-8 encoding scheme [RFC 2279] or [ISO/IEC 10646],
and hence all the characters in Unicode [UNICODE 3.1] or in the and hence all the characters in Unicode [UNICODE 3.2] or in the
Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set (UCS) [ISO/IEC 10646] Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set (UCS) [ISO/IEC 10646]
(which is essentially a superset of Unicode and expected to remain (which is essentially a superset of Unicode and expected to remain
so) are potentially available. However, processing all octets in the so) are potentially available. However, processing all octets in the
same manner as US-ASCII characters should ensure correct behaviour in same manner as US-ASCII characters should ensure correct behaviour in
most situations. most situations.
NOTE: UTF-8 is an encoding for 16bit (and even 32bit) character NOTE: UTF-8 is an encoding for the [ISO/IEC 10646] character set
sets with the property that any octet less than 128 immediately (in both its 16 and 32 bit forms) with the property that any
represents the corresponding US-ASCII character, thus ensuring octet less than 128 immediately represents the corresponding
upwards compatibility with previous practice. Non-ASCII US-ASCII character, thus ensuring upwards compatibility with
characters from Unicode are represented by sequences of octets previous practice. Non-ASCII characters from Unicode are
satisfying the syntax of a UTF8-xtra-char (2.4.2), which represented by sequences of octets satisfying the syntax of a
excludes certain octet sequences not explicitly permitted by UTF8-xtra-char (2.4.2), which excludes certain octet sequences
[RFC 2279]. Unicode includes all characters from the ISO-8859 not explicitly permitted by [RFC 2279]. Unicode includes all
series of characters sets [ISO 8859] (which includes all characters from the ISO-8859 series of characters sets [ISO
Cyrillic, Greek and Arabic characters) together with the more 8859] (which includes all Cyrillic, Greek and Arabic characters)
elaborate characters used in Asian countries. See the following together with the more elaborate characters used in Asian
section for the appropriate treatment of Unicode characters by countries. See the NOTEs in the following section for the
reading agents. appropriate treatment of Unicode characters by reading agents.
News Article Format May 2002 News Article Format August 2002
[The sentence mentioning [RFC 2279] could be simplified if [RFC 2279bis]
has been accepted by the time this standard is published.]
Notwithstanding the great flexibility permitted by UTF-8, there is Notwithstanding the great flexibility permitted by UTF-8, there is
need for restraint in its use in order that the essential components need for restraint in its use in order that the essential components
of headers may be discerned using reading agents that cannot present of headers may be discerned using reading agents that cannot present
the full Unicode range. In particular, header-names and tokens MUST the full Unicode range. In particular, header-names and tokens MUST
be in US-ASCII, and certain other components of headers, as defined be in US-ASCII, and certain other components of headers, as defined
elsewhere in this standard - notably msg-ids, date-times, dot-atoms, elsewhere in this standard - notably msg-ids, date-times, dot-atoms,
domains and path-identities - MUST be in US-ASCII. Comments, phrases domains and path-identities - MUST be in US-ASCII. Comments, phrases
(as in addresses) and unstructured headers (such as the Subject-, (as in mailboxes) and unstructured headers (such as the Subject-,
Organization- and Summary-headers) MAY use the full range of UTF-8 Organization- and Summary-headers) MAY use the full range of UTF-8
characters, but SHOULD nevertheless be invariant under Unicode characters, but SHOULD nevertheless be invariant under Unicode
normalization NFC [UNICODE 3.1]. normalization NFC [UNICODE 3.2].
NOTE: Unicode allows for composite characters made up of a NOTE: Unicode allows for composite characters made up of a
starter character - which can be a letter, number, punctuation starter character - which can be a letter, number, punctuation
mark, or symbol - plus zero or more combining marks (such as mark, or symbol - plus zero or more combining marks (such as
accents, diacritics, and similar). The requirement that a accents, diacritics, and similar). The requirement that a
composite be invariant under normalization NFC means that, where composite be invariant under normalization NFC means that, where
it could be written in more than one way, only one particular it could be written in more than one way, only one particular
one is allowed (for example, the single character E-acute is one of those ways is allowed (for example, the single character
preferred over E followed by a non-spacing acute accent, and A- E-acute is preferred over E followed by a non-spacing acute
ring is preferred over the Angstrom symbol). At least for the accent, and A-ring is preferred over the Angstrom symbol). At
main European languages, for which all the needed composites are least for the main European languages, for which all the needed
already available as single characters, it is unlikely that composites are already available as single characters, it is
posting agents will need to take any special steps to ensure unlikely that posting agents will need to take any special steps
normalization. to ensure normalization.
In the particular case of newsgroup-names (see 5.5) there are more In the particular case of newsgroup-names (see 5.5) there are more
stringent requirements regarding the use of UTF-8 and Unicode. stringent requirements regarding the normalization and other usages
of Unicode.
Where the use of non-ASCII characters, encoded in UTF-8, is permitted Where the use of non-ASCII characters is permitted as above, they MAY
as above, they MAY also be encoded using the MIME mechanism defined be encoded in UTF-8 and they MAY be encoded using the MIME mechanisms
in [RFC 2047], but this usage is deprecated within news articles defined in [RFC 2047] and [RFC 2231], but only in those contexts
(even though it is required in email messages) since it is less explicitly mentioned in those documents (unstructured headers,
legible in older reading agents which support neither it nor UTF-8. phrases and comments in the one, quoted-strings within parameters in
Nevertheless, reading agents SHOULD support this usage, but only in the other).
those contexts explicitly mentioned in [RFC 2047].
Similar considerations apply to non-ASCII characters within the Encoding by other means is not compliant with this standard.
values of parameters (which, according to the syntax, MUST be in the Nevertheless, encoding using other character sets (with no indication
form of quoted-strings in order for UTF8-xtra-chars to be of which one beyond the user's ability to guess based upon other
accomodated). Such values MAY be encoded using the MIME mechanism clues in the article, or custom within the newsgroup) has been in use
defined in [RFC 2231], but this usage is deprecated within news in some hierarchies, and such usage may be expected to continue for
articles (even though it is required in email messages) since it is some period after the introduction of this standard. Reading agents
less legible in older reading agents which support neither it nor MUST support the use of UTF-8, [RFC 2047] and [RFC 2231] in headers
UTF-8. Nevertheless, reading agents SHOULD support this usage. and they MAY, when it is detected that none of these has been used,
attempt to interpet the header according to whatever other character
set can be deduced, or has been configued as a default by the reader.
NOTE: It is possible to determine, with a high degree of
accuracy, when a given text containing octets with the 8th bit
set was not encoded using UTF-8, and using this test to recover
News Article Format August 2002
such non-compliant texts is therefore commended where no other
harm could arise.
Exceptionally, Newsgroups-headers (5.5) MUST use UTF-8 in order to
ensure that they appear in their canonical form (in any case, a
Newsgroups-header is not one of the acceptable contexts of [RFC
2047]). Certain exceptions to this rule are provided (8.7 and 8.8.1)
for use when mailing to moderators and other gatewaying applications.
NOTE: The choice between UTF-8 and [RFC 2047] when posting
depends on various factors. Some reading agents do not recogize
[RFC 2047], and some are incapable of decoding UTF-8 (though
there in an increasing tendency for modern reading agents to
understand, or to be configurable to understand, both). Since
headers encoded in UTF-8 are currently prohibited in Email,
special consideration needs to be given to articles that are
both posted and mailed (6.9) or which are mailed to moderators
(see 8.2.2). Posters and implementors of posting agents need to
take account of all these factors when deciding which method to
use.
4.4.2. Character Sets within Article Bodies 4.4.2. Character Sets within Article Bodies
Within article bodies, characters are represented as octets according Within article bodies, characters are represented as octets according
to the encoding scheme implied by any Content-Transfer-Encoding- and to the encoding scheme implied by any Content-Transfer-Encoding- and
Content-Type-headers [RFC 2045]. In the absence of such headers, Content-Type-headers [RFC 2045]. In the absence of such headers,
reading agents cannot be relied upon to display correctly more than reading agents cannot be relied upon to display correctly more than
the US-ASCII characters, though they MUST display at least those. the US-ASCII characters, though they MUST display at least those.
News Article Format May 2002 NOTE: Observe that reading agents are not forbidden to "guess"
when confronted with unannounced non-ASCII characters, and in
NOTE: Observe that reading agents are not forbidden to "guess", particular it would be reasonable at least to test whether they
or to interpret as UTF-8 regardless, which would be the simplest were in the form of valid UTF-8 (see also the suggestion for
course for them to take. such a test in 4.4.1).
NOTE: It is not expected that reading agents will necessarily be NOTE: It is not expected that reading agents will necessarily be
able to present characters in all possible character sets. For able to present characters in all possible character sets. For
example, a reading agent might be able to present only the ISO- example, a reading agent might be able to present only the ISO-
8859-1 (Latin 1) characters [ISO 8859], in which case it Ought 8859-1 (Latin 1) characters [ISO 8859], in which case it Ought
to present undisplayable characters using some distinctive to present undisplayable characters using some distinctive
glyph, or by exhibiting a suitable warning. glyph, or by exhibiting a suitable warning.
Followup agents MUST be careful to apply appropriate encodings to the Followup agents MUST be careful to apply appropriate encodings to the
outbound followup. A followup to an article containing non-ASCII outbound followup. A followup to an article containing non-ASCII
material is very likely to contain non-ASCII material itself. material is very likely to contain non-ASCII material itself.
4.5. Size Limits 4.5. Size Limits
Posting agents SHOULD endeavour to keep all header lines, so far as Posting agents SHOULD endeavour to keep all header lines, so far as
is possible, within 79 characters by folding them at suitable places is possible, within 79 characters by folding them at suitable places
(see 4.2.3). However, posting agents MUST permit the poster to (see 4.2.3). However, posting agents MUST permit the poster to
include longer headers if he so insists, and compliant software MUST include longer headers if he so insists, and compliant software MUST
support headers of at least 998 octets. Likewise, injecting agents support headers of at least 998 octets. Likewise, injecting agents
SHOULD fold any headers generated automatically by themselves. SHOULD fold any headers generated automatically by themselves.
News Article Format August 2002
Relaying agents MUST NOT fold headers (i.e. they must pass on the Relaying agents MUST NOT fold headers (i.e. they must pass on the
folding as received). folding as received).
NOTE: There is NO restriction on the number of lines into which NOTE: There is NO restriction on the number of lines into which
a header may be split, and hence there is NO restriction on the a header may be split, and hence there is NO restriction on the
total length of a header (in particular it may, by suitable total length of a header (in particular it may, by suitable
folding, be made to exceed the 998 octets restriction pertaining folding, be made to exceed the 998 octets restriction pertaining
to a single header line). to a single header line).
The syntax provides for the lines of a body to be up to 998 octets in The syntax provides for the lines of a body to be up to 998 octets in
skipping to change at page 29, line 5 skipping to change at page 29, line 37
MIME Content-Type of text/plain) posting agents Ought to endeavour to MIME Content-Type of text/plain) posting agents Ought to endeavour to
keep the length of body lines within some reasonable limit. The size keep the length of body lines within some reasonable limit. The size
of this limit is a matter of policy, the default being to keep within of this limit is a matter of policy, the default being to keep within
79 characters at most, and preferably within 72 characters (to allow 79 characters at most, and preferably within 72 characters (to allow
room for quoting in followups). Exceptionally, posting agents Ought room for quoting in followups). Exceptionally, posting agents Ought
Not to adjust the length of quoted lines in followups unless they are Not to adjust the length of quoted lines in followups unless they are
able to reformat them in a consistent manner. Moreover, posting able to reformat them in a consistent manner. Moreover, posting
agents MUST permit the poster to include longer lines if he so agents MUST permit the poster to include longer lines if he so
insists. insists.
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: Plain-text messages are intended to be displayed "as-is" NOTE: Plain-text messages are intended to be displayed "as-is"
without any special action (such as automatic line splitting) on without any special action (such as automatic line splitting) on
the part of the recipient. The policy limit (e.g. 72 or 79) the part of the recipient. The policy limit (e.g. 72 or 79)
should be expressed as a number of characters (as they will be should be expressed as a number of characters (as they will be
displayed by a reading agent) rather than as the number of displayed by a reading agent) rather than as the number of
octets used to encode them. octets used to encode them.
NOTE: This standard provides no upper bound on the overall size NOTE: This standard provides no upper bound on the overall size
of a single article, but neither does it forbid relaying agents of a single article, but neither does it forbid relaying agents
from dropping articles of excessive length. It is, however, from dropping articles of excessive length. It is, however,
skipping to change at page 29, line 31 skipping to change at page 30, line 4
4.6. Example 4.6. Example
Here is a sample article: Here is a sample article:
Path: server.example/unknown.site2.example@site2.example/ Path: server.example/unknown.site2.example@site2.example/
relay.site.example/site.example/injector.site.example%jsmith relay.site.example/site.example/injector.site.example%jsmith
Newsgroups: example.announce,example.chat Newsgroups: example.announce,example.chat
Message-ID: <9urrt98y53@site1.example> Message-ID: <9urrt98y53@site1.example>
From: Ann Example <a.example@site1.example> From: Ann Example <a.example@site1.example>
Subject: Announcing a new sample article. Subject: Announcing a new sample article.
News Article Format August 2002
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 12:12:50 +0300 Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 12:12:50 +0300
Approved: example.announce moderator <jsmith@site.example> Approved: example.announce moderator <jsmith@site.example>
Followup-To: example.chat Followup-To: example.chat
Reply-To: Ann Example <a.example+replies@site1.example> Reply-To: Ann Example <a.example+replies@site1.example>
Expires: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 12:12:50 +0300 Expires: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 12:12:50 +0300
Organization: Site1, The Number one site for examples. Organization: Site1, The Number one site for examples.
User-Agent: ExampleNews/3.14 (Unix) User-Agent: ExampleNews/3.14 (Unix)
Keywords: example, announcement, standards, RFC 1036, Usefor Keywords: example, announcement, standards, RFC 1036, Usefor
Summary: The URL for the next standard. Summary: The URL for the next standard.
Injector-Info: injector.site.example; posting-host=du003.site.example Injector-Info: injector.site.example; posting-host=du003.site.example
skipping to change at page 30, line 5 skipping to change at page 30, line 35
Ann Example <a.example@site1.example> Sample Poster to the Stars Ann Example <a.example@site1.example> Sample Poster to the Stars
"The opinions in this article are bloody good ones" - J. Clarke. "The opinions in this article are bloody good ones" - J. Clarke.
[The RFC Editor is invited to change the above Date and Expires headers [The RFC Editor is invited to change the above Date and Expires headers
to match the actual publication dates and to insert its correct URL.] to match the actual publication dates and to insert its correct URL.]
5. Mandatory Headers 5. Mandatory Headers
An article MUST have one, and only one, of each of the following An article MUST have one, and only one, of each of the following
headers: Date, From, Message-ID, Subject, Newsgroups, Path. headers: Date, From, Message-ID, Subject, Newsgroups, Path.
News Article Format May 2002
Note also that there are situations, discussed in the relevant parts Note also that there are situations, discussed in the relevant parts
of section 6, where References-, Sender-, or Approved-headers are of section 6, where References-, Sender-, or Approved-headers are
mandatory. In control messages, specific values are required for mandatory. In control messages, specific values are required for
certain headers. certain headers.
A proto-article (see 8.2.1) may lack some of these mandatory headers, A proto-article (see 8.2.1) may lack some of these mandatory headers,
but they MUST then be supplied by the injecting agent. but they MUST then be supplied by the injecting agent.
5.1. Date 5.1. Date
skipping to change at page 30, line 32 skipping to change at page 31, line 4
header =/ Date-header header =/ Date-header
Date-header = "Date" ":" SP Date-content Date-header = "Date" ":" SP Date-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Date-content = date-time Date-content = date-time
zone = (( "+" / "-" ) 4DIGIT) / "UT" / "GMT" zone = (( "+" / "-" ) 4DIGIT) / "UT" / "GMT"
The forms "UT" and "GMT" (indicating universal time) are to be The forms "UT" and "GMT" (indicating universal time) are to be
regarded as obsolete synonyms for "+0000". They MUST be be accepted, regarded as obsolete synonyms for "+0000". They MUST be be accepted,
and passed on unchanged, by all agents, but they MUST NOT be and passed on unchanged, by all agents, but they MUST NOT be
generated as part of new articles by posting and injecting agents. generated as part of new articles by posting and injecting agents.
News Article Format August 2002
The date-time MUST be semantically valid as required by [RFC 2822]. The date-time MUST be semantically valid as required by [RFC 2822].
Although folding white space is permitted throughout the date-time Although folding white space is permitted throughout the date-time
syntax, it is RECOMMENDED that a single space be used in each place syntax, it is RECOMMENDED that a single space be used in each place
that FWS appears (whether it is required or optional). that FWS appears (whether it is required or optional).
NOTE: A convention that is sometimes followed is to add a NOTE: A convention that is sometimes followed is to add a
comment, after the date-time, containing the time zone in comment, after the date-time, containing the time zone in
human-readable form, but many of the abbreviations commonly used human-readable form, but many of the abbreviations commonly used
for this purpose are ambiguous. The value given by the <zone> is for this purpose are ambiguous. The value given by the <zone> is
the only definitive form. the only definitive form.
skipping to change at page 30, line 58 skipping to change at page 31, line 33
agents MUST NOT modify the Date-header in transit. agents MUST NOT modify the Date-header in transit.
5.1.1. Examples 5.1.1. Examples
Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 11:13:00 -0500 (EST) Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 11:13:00 -0500 (EST)
Date: 26 May 2001 16:13 +0000 Date: 26 May 2001 16:13 +0000
Date: 26 May 2001 16:13 GMT (Obsolete) Date: 26 May 2001 16:13 GMT (Obsolete)
5.2. From 5.2. From
The From-header contains the electronic address(es), and possibly the The From-header contains the email address(es), possibly including
full name, of the article's poster(s). The content syntax makes use the full name(s), of the article's poster(s). The content syntax
of syntax defined in [RFC 2822], subject to the following revised makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822], subject to the following
News Article Format May 2002 revised definition of local-part.
definition of local-part.
header =/ From-header header =/ From-header
From-header = "From" ":" SP From-content From-header = "From" ":" SP From-content
From-content = mailbox-list From-content = mailbox-list
addr-spec = local-part "@" domain addr-spec = local-part "@" domain
local-part = dot-atom / strict-quoted-string local-part = dot-atom / strict-quoted-string
NOTE: This syntax ensures that the local-part of an addr-spec is NOTE: This syntax ensures that the local-part of an addr-spec is
restricted to pure US-ASCII (and is thus in strict compliance restricted to pure US-ASCII (and is thus in strict compliance
with [RFC 2822]), whilst allowing any UTF-8 character to be used with [RFC 2822]), whilst allowing any UTF-8 character to be used
in a preceding quoted-string containing the poster's full name. in a preceding quoted-string containing the poster's full name.
If some future extension to the Email protocols should relax If some future extension to the Email protocols should relax
this restriction, one would expect the Netnews protocols to this restriction, one would expect the Netnews protocols to
follow. follow.
Observe that there is no provision for parameters in this
header, or in other headers containing addresses likely to be
used for sending email (see 4.2.2).
Each mailbox in the From-content SHOULD be a valid address, belonging Each mailbox in the From-content SHOULD be a valid address, belonging
to the poster(s) of the article, or person or agent on whose behalf to the poster(s) of the article, or person or agent on whose behalf
the post is being sent (see the Sender-header, 6.2). When, for the post is being sent (see the Sender-header, 6.2). When, for
whatever reason, the poster does not wish to include such an address, whatever reason, the poster does not wish to include such an address,
the From-content SHOULD then be an address which ends in the top the From-content SHOULD then be an address which ends in the top
News Article Format August 2002
level domain of ".invalid" [RFC 2606]. level domain of ".invalid" [RFC 2606].
NOTE: Since such addresses ending in ".invalid" are NOTE: Since such addresses ending in ".invalid" are
undeliverable, user agents Ought to warn any user attempting to undeliverable, user agents Ought to warn any user attempting to
reply to them and Ought Not, in any case, to attempt to deliver reply to them and Ought Not, in any case, to attempt to deliver
to them (since that would be pointless anyway). Whether or not to them (since that would be pointless anyway). Whether or not
a valid address can subsequently be extracted from such an a valid address can subsequently be extracted from such an
address falls outside the scope of this standard (though it address falls outside the scope of this standard (obviously,
would be pointless to use a disguise so easily penetrable). posters wishing to disguise their address need to do more than
just add ".invalid" to it).
Be warned, however, that some injecting agents which are unable Be warned, however, that some injecting agents which are unable
to detect that the address belongs to the poster may choose to to detect that the address belongs to the poster may choose to
insert a Sender-header (6.2) or some entry in an Injector-Info- insert a Sender-header (but see 8.2.2) or some entry in an
header (6.19) which discloses some valid address for the poster. Injector-Info-header (6.19) which discloses some valid address
for the poster.
5.2.1. Examples: 5.2.1. Examples:
From: John Smith <jsmith@site.example> From: John Smith <jsmith@site.example>
From: "John Smith" <jsmith@site.example>, dave@isp.example From: "John Smith" <jsmith@site.example>, dave@isp.example
From: "John D. Smith" <jsmith@site.example>, andrew@isp.example, From: "John D. Smith" <jsmith@site.example>, andrew@isp.example,
fred@site2.example fred@site2.example
From: Jan Jones <jan@please_setup_your_system_correctly.invalid> From: Jan Jones <jan@please_setup_your_system_correctly.invalid>
From: Jan Jones <joe@guess-where.invalid> From: Jan Jones <joe@guess-where.invalid>
From: dave@isp.example (Dave Smith) From: dave@isp.example (Dave Smith)
NOTE: the last example shows a now deprecated convention of NOTE: the last example shows a now deprecated convention of
putting a poster's full name in a comment following the mailbox, putting a poster's full name in a comment following the mailbox,
rather than in a phrase at the start of it. Observe also the use rather than in a phrase at the start of it. Observe also the use
of the quoted-string "John D. Smith" which is required on of the quoted-string "John D. Smith" which is required on
account of presence of the '.' character, and which would also account of presence of the '.' character, and which would also
have been required had any UTF8-xtra-char been present. have been required had any UTF8-xtra-char been present.
News Article Format May 2002
5.3. Message-ID 5.3. Message-ID
The Message-ID-header contains the article's message identifier, a The Message-ID-header contains the article's message identifier, a
unique identifier distinguishing the article from every other unique identifier distinguishing the article from every other
article. The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC article. The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC
2822], subject to the following revised definition of no-fold-quote 2822], subject to the following revised definitions of msg-id, no-
and no-fold-literal. fold-quote and no-fold-literal.
header =/ Message-ID-header header =/ Message-ID-header
Message-ID-header = "Message-ID" ":" SP Message-ID-content Message-ID-header = "Message-ID" ":" SP Message-ID-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Message-ID-content = msg-id Message-ID-content = [FWS] msg-id [FWS]
msg-id = "<" id-left "@" id-right ">"
id-left = dot-atom-text / no-fold-quote id-left = dot-atom-text / no-fold-quote
id-right = dot-atom-text / no-fold-literal id-right = dot-atom-text / no-fold-literal
no-fold-quote = DQUOTE no-fold-quote = DQUOTE
*( strict-qtext / "\\" / "\" DQUOTE ) *( strict-qtext / "\\" / "\" DQUOTE )
qspecial qspecial
*( strict-qtext / "\\" / "\" DQUOTE ) *( strict-qtext / "\\" / "\" DQUOTE )
DQUOTE DQUOTE
News Article Format August 2002
qspecial = "(" / ")" / ; same as specials except qspecial = "(" / ")" / ; same as specials except
"<" / ">" / ; "\" and DQUOTE quoted "<" / ">" / ; "\" and DQUOTE quoted
"[" / "]" / "[" / "]" /
":" / ";" / ":" / ";" /
"@" / "\\" / "@" / "\\" /
"," / "." / "," / "." /
"\" DQUOTE "\" DQUOTE
no-fold-literal = "[" *( dtext / "\[" / "\]" / "\\" ) "]" no-fold-literal = "[" *( dtext / "\[" / "\]" / "\\" ) "]"
The msg-id MUST NOT be more than 250 octets in length. The msg-id MUST NOT be more than 250 octets in length.
NOTE: The restriction to strict-qtext ensures that no UTF8- NOTE: Observe that, in contrast to the corresponding header in
xtra-char can appear. Msg-ids as defined here are a "normalized" [RFC 2822], the syntax does not allow comments within the
subset of those defined by [RFC 2822], ensuring that no string Message-ID-header; this is to simplify processing by relaying
of characters is quoted unless strictly necessary (it must and serving agents and to ensure interoperability with existing
contain at least one qspecial) and no single character is implementations.
prefixed by a "\" in the form of a quoted-pair unless strictly
necessary, and moreover there is no possibility for WSP to
occur, whether quoted or not. The length restriction ensures
that systems which accept message identifiers as a parameter
when retrieving an article (e.g. [NNTP]) can rely on a bounded
length. Observe that msg-id includes the '<' and '>'.
An agent generating an article's message identifier MUST ensure that The restriction to strict-qtext ensures that no UTF8-xtra-char
it is unique (as also required in [RFC 2822]) and that it is NEVER can appear. Msg-ids as defined here are a "normalized" subset of
reused (either in Netnews or Email). Moreover, even though commonly those defined by [RFC 2822], ensuring that no string of
derived from the domain name of the originating site (and domain characters is quoted unless strictly necessary (it must contain
names are case-insensitive), a message identifier MUST NOT be altered at least one qspecial) and no single character is prefixed by a
in any way during transport, or when copied (as into a References- "\" in the form of a quoted-pair unless strictly necessary, and
header), and thus a simple (case-sensitive) comparison of octets will moreover there is no possibility for WSP to occur, whether
always suffice to recognize that same message identifier wherever it quoted or not. The length restriction ensures that systems which
subsequently reappears. accept message identifiers as a parameter when retrieving an
article (e.g. [NNTP]) can rely on a bounded length. Observe that
msg-id includes the '<' and '>'.
News Article Format May 2002 An agent generating an article's message identifier MUST ensure that
it is unique (as also required in [RFC 2822]) and that it is chosen
in such a way that it will NEVER recur in either Netnews or Email.
Moreover, even though commonly derived from the domain name of the
originating site (and domain names are case-insensitive), a message
identifier MUST NOT be altered in any way during transport, or when
copied (as into a References-header), and thus a simple (case-
sensitive) comparison of octets will always suffice to recognize that
same message identifier wherever it subsequently reappears.
NOTE: These requirements are to be contrasted with those of the NOTE: These requirements are to be contrasted with those of the
un-normalized msg-ids defined by [RFC 2822], which may perfectly un-normalized msg-ids defined by [RFC 2822], which may perfectly
legitimately become normalized (or vice versa) during transport legitimately become normalized (or vice versa) during transport
or copying in email systems. or copying in email systems.
NOTE: Some old software may treat message identifiers that NOTE: Some old software may treat message identifiers that
differ only in case within their id-right part as equivalent, differ only in case within their id-right part as equivalent,
and implementors of agents that generate message identifiers and implementors of agents that generate message identifiers
should be aware of this. should be aware of this.
5.4. Subject 5.4. Subject
The Subject-header contains a short string identifying the topic of The Subject-header contains a short string identifying the topic of
the message. This is an inheritable header (4.2.5.2) to be copied the message. This is an inheritable header (4.2.5.2) to be copied
into the Subject-header of any followup, in which case the new into the Subject-header of any followup, in which case the new
News Article Format August 2002
Subject-content SHOULD then default to the string "Re: " (a "back Subject-content SHOULD then default to the string "Re: " (a "back
reference") followed by the contents of the pure-subject of the reference") followed by the contents of the pure-subject of the
precursor. Any leading "Re: " in the pure-subject MUST be stripped. precursor. Any leading "Re: " in that pure-subject MUST be stripped.
header =/ Subject-header header =/ Subject-header
Subject-header = "Subject" ":" SP Subject-content Subject-header = "Subject" ":" SP Subject-content
Subject-content = [ [FWS] back-reference ] pure-subject Subject-content = [ [FWS] back-reference ] pure-subject
pure-subject = unstructured pure-subject = unstructured
back-reference = %x52.65.3A.20 back-reference = %x52.65.3A.20
; which is a case-sensitive "Re: " ; which is a case-sensitive "Re: "
The pure-subject MUST NOT begin with "Re: ". The pure-subject MUST NOT begin with "Re: ".
NOTE: The given syntax differs from that prescribed in [RFC NOTE: The syntax of unstructured differs from that prescribed in
2822] insofar as it does not permit a header content to be [RFC 2822], so ensuring that the Subject-content is not
completely empty, or to consist of WSP only (see remarks in permitted to be completely empty, or to consist of WSP only (see
4.2.6 concerning undesirable headers). remarks in 4.2.6 concerning undesirable headers).
Followup agents MAY remove strings that are known to be used Followup agents MAY remove strings that are known to be used
erroneously as back-reference (such as "Re(2): ", "Re:", "RE: ", or erroneously as back-reference (such as "Re(2): ", "Re:", "RE: ", or
"Sv: ") from the Subject-content when composing the subject of a "Sv: ") from the Subject-content when composing the subject of a
followup and add a correct back-reference in front of the result. followup, and add a correct back-reference in front of the result.
NOTE: that would be "SHOULD remove instances" except that we NOTE: that would be "SHOULD remove instances" except that we
cannot find a sufficiently robust and simple algorithm to do the cannot find a sufficiently robust and simple algorithm to do the
necessary natural language processing. necessary natural language processing.
Followup agents MUST NOT use any other string except "Re: " as a back Followup agents MUST NOT use any other string except "Re: " as a back
reference. Specifically, a translation of "Re: " into a local reference. Specifically, a translation of "Re: " into a local
language or usage MUST NOT be used. language or usage MUST NOT be used.
NOTE: "Re" is an abbreviation for the Latin "In re", meaning "in NOTE: "Re" is an abbreviation for the Latin "In re", meaning "in
the matter of", and not an abbreviation of "Reference" as is the matter of", and not an abbreviation of "Reference" as is
sometimes erroneously supposed. sometimes erroneously supposed.
Agents SHOULD NOT depend on nor enforce the use of back references by Agents SHOULD NOT depend on nor enforce the use of back references by
followup agents. For compatibility with legacy news software the followup agents.
Subject-content of a control message (i.e. an article that also
contains a Control-header) MAY start with the string "cmsg ", and
News Article Format May 2002
non-control messages MUST NOT start with the string "cmsg ". See also For compatibility with legacy news software, the Subject-content of a
section 6.13. control message (i.e. an article that also contains a Control-header)
MAY start with the string "cmsg ", and non-control messages MUST NOT
start with the string "cmsg ". See also section 6.13.
5.4.1. Examples 5.4.1. Examples
In the following examples, please note that only "Re: " is mandated In the following examples, please note that only "Re: " is mandated
by this standard. "was: " is a convention used by many English- by this standard. "was: " is a convention used by many English-
speaking posters to signal a change in subject matter. Software speaking posters to signal a change in subject matter. Software can
should be able to deduce this information from References-header. always recognize such changes from the References-header.
Subject: Film at 11 Subject: Film at 11
Subject: Re: Film at 11 Subject: Re: Film at 11
Subject: Godwin's law considered harmful (was: Film at 11) Subject: Godwin's law considered harmful (was: Film at 11)
Subject: Godwin's law (was: Film at 11) Subject: Godwin's law (was: Film at 11)
News Article Format August 2002
Subject: Re: Godwin's law (was: Film at 11) Subject: Re: Godwin's law (was: Film at 11)
Subject: Re: Godwin's law
5.5. Newsgroups 5.5. Newsgroups
The Newsgroups-header's content specifies the newsgroup(s) in which The Newsgroups-header's content specifies the newsgroup(s) in which
the article is intended to appear. It is an inheritable header the article is intended to appear. It is an inheritable header
(4.2.5.2) which then becomes the default Newsgroups-header of any (4.2.5.2) which then becomes the default Newsgroups-header of any
followup, unless a Followup-To-header is present to prescribe followup, unless a Followup-To-header is present to prescribe
otherwise. Articles MUST NOT be passed between relaying agents or to otherwise. Articles MUST NOT be passed between relaying agents or to
serving agents unless the sending agent has been configured to supply serving agents unless the sending agent has been configured to supply
and the receiving agent to receive at least one of the newsgroup- and the receiving agent to receive at least one of the newsgroup-
names in the Newsgroups-header. names in the Newsgroups-header.
References to "Unicode" or "the latest version of the Unicode In order to allow newsgroup-names containing Non-ASCII characters,
Standard" mean [UNICODE 3.1] or any standard that supersedes it. That this section relies heavily on the provisions of the Unicode
document contains guarantees of strict future upwards compatibility Standard. All references to "Unicode" mean [UNICODE 3.2] or any
(e.g. no character will be removed or change classification). standard that supersedes it. That document contains guarantees of
Implementors should be aware that currently unassigned code points strict future upwards compatibility (e.g. no character will be
(Unicode category Cn) may become valid characters in future versions removed or change classification). Implementors should be aware that
of Unicode. Since the poster of an article might have access to a currently unassigned code points (Unicode category Cn) may become
newer version of that standard, relaying and serving agents MUST valid characters in future versions of Unicode. Since the poster of
accept such characters, but posting agents (and indeed all agents) an article might have access to a newer version of that standard,
MUST NOT generate them (though they might well follow up to relaying and serving agents MUST accept such characters, but posting
newsgroup-names containing them). agents (and indeed all agents) MUST NOT generate them (though they
might well follow up to newsgroup-names containing them).
header =/ Newsgroups-header header =/ Newsgroups-header
Newsgroups-header = "Newsgroups" ":" SP Newsgroups-content Newsgroups-header = "Newsgroups" ":" SP Newsgroups-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Newsgroups-content = [FWS] newsgroup-name Newsgroups-content = [FWS] newsgroup-name
*( [FWS] ng-delim [FWS] newsgroup-name ) *( [FWS] ng-delim [FWS] newsgroup-name )
[FWS] [FWS]
newsgroup-name = component *( "." component ) newsgroup-name = component *( "." component )
component = 1*component-glyph component = 1*component-grapheme
ng-delim = "," ng-delim = ","
component-glyph = combiner-base *combiner-mark component-grapheme = combiner-base *combiner-mark
combiner-base = combiner-ASCII / combiner-extended combiner-base = combiner-ASCII / combiner-extended
combiner-ASCII = DIGIT / ALPHA / "+" / "-" / "_" combiner-ASCII = DIGIT / ALPHA / "+" / "-" / "_"
News Article Format May 2002 combiner-extended = <any character with a Unicode code value
of 0080 or greater but excluding any
combiner-extended = <any character with a Unicode code value of character in Unicode categories
0080 or greater and a combining class of 0, Cc, Cf, Cs, M* and Z*>
but excluding any character in Unicode
categories Cc, Cf, Cs, Zs, Zl, and Zp>
combiner-mark = <any character with a Unicode code value of combiner-mark = <any character with a Unicode code value of
0080 or greater and a combining class other 0080 or greater and in Unicode category M*>
than 0>
NOTE: the excluded characters are control characters (Cc), NOTE: the excluded characters in a combiner-extended are control
format control characters (Cf), surrogates (Cs), and separators characters (Cc), format control characters (Cf), surrogates
(Zs, Zl, Zp). In particular, this excludes all whitespace (Cs), marks (M*) and separators (Z*). In particular, this
characters. To all intents and purposes, a component-glyph is excludes all whitespace characters. To all intents and
what a user might regard as a single "character" as displayed on purposes, a component-grapheme is what a user might regard as a
his screen, though it might be transmitted as several actual single "character" as displayed on his screen, though it might
characters (e.g. q-circumflex is two characters). Note also be transmitted as several actual characters (e.g. q-circumflex
that, in some writing schemes, several component-glyphs will is two characters). Note also that, in some writing schemes,
merge into one visible object of variable size. News Article Format August 2002
several component-graphemes will merge into one visible object
of variable size.
Each component MUST be invariant under Unicode normalization NFKC Each component MUST be invariant under Unicode normalization NFKC
(cf. the weaker normalization requirement for other headers in (cf. the weaker normalization requirement for other headers in
section 4.4.1 which specified no more than normalization NFC, and see section 4.4.1 which specified no more than normalization NFC, and see
also the explanatory NOTE in that section). also the explanatory NOTE in that section).
NOTE: As a result of of this restriction, a name has only one NOTE: As a result of of this restriction, a name has only one
valid form. Implementations can assume that a straight valid form. Implementations can assume that a straight (case
comparison of characters or octets is sufficient to compare two sensitive) comparison of characters or octets is sufficient to
newsgroup-names. compare two newsgroup-names.
The requirement that names be invariant under NFKC, rather than The requirement that names be invariant under NFKC, rather than
NFC, means that all characters with a "compatibility NFC, means that all characters with a "compatibility
decomposition" are forbidden (Unicode provides the property decomposition" are forbidden (Unicode provides the property
"NFKC_NO" to make this test easier). The effect is to exclude "NFKC_NO" to make this test easier). The effect is to exclude
variant forms of characters, such as superscripts and variant forms of characters, such as superscripts and
subscripts, wide and narrow forms, font variants, encircled subscripts, wide and narrow forms, font variants, encircled
forms, ligatures, and so on, as their use could cause confusion. forms, ligatures, and so on, as their use could cause confusion.
There is insufficient experience in this area to determine There is insufficient experience in this area to determine
whether this is the right long-term solution. Implementors whether this is the right long-term solution. Implementors
should therefore be aware that a future version of this standard should therefore be aware that a future version of this standard
might reduce the requirement in the direction of NFC as opposed might reduce the requirement in the direction of NFC as opposed
to NFKC. to NFKC.
NOTE: An implementation is not required to apply NFKC, or any NOTE: An implementation is not required to apply NFKC, or any
other normalization, to newsgroup names. Only agencies that other normalization, to newsgroup-names. Only agencies that
create new groups need to be careful to obey this restriction create new groups need to be careful to obey this restriction
(7.2.1). However, if a posting agent neglects to normalize a (7.2.1). However, if a posting agent neglects to normalize a
newsgroup-name entered manually, this may lead to the user newsgroup-name entered manually, this may lead to the user
posting to a non-existent group without understanding why. posting to a non-existent group without understanding why.
Newsgroup-names containing non-ASCII characters MUST be encoded in Newsgroup-names containing non-ASCII characters MUST be encoded in
UTF-8 and not according to [RFC 2047]. UTF-8 and not according to [RFC 2047].
News Article Format May 2002
Components beginning with underline ("_") are reserved for use by Components beginning with underline ("_") are reserved for use by
future versions of this standard and MUST NOT occur in newsgroup future versions of this standard and MUST NOT occur in newsgroup-
names (whether in Newsgroups-headers or in newgroup control messages names (whether in Newsgroups-headers or in newgroup control messages
(7.2.1)). However, such names MUST be accepted. (7.2.1)). However, such names MUST be accepted.
Components beginning with "+" or "-" are reserved for use by Components beginning with "+" or "-" are reserved for use by
implementations and MUST NOT occur in newsgroup names (whether in implementations and MUST NOT occur in newsgroup-names (whether in
Newsgroups-headers or in newgroup control messages). Implementors may Newsgroups-headers or in newgroup control messages). Implementors may
assume that this rule will not change in any future version of this assume that this rule will not change in any future version of this
standard. standard.
NOTE: For example, implementors may safely use leading "+" and NOTE: For example, implementors may safely use leading "+" and
"-" to "escape" other entities within something that looks like "-" to "escape" other entities within something that looks like
a newsgroup-name. a newsgroup-name.
News Article Format August 2002
Agencies responsible for the administration of particular hierarchies Agencies responsible for the administration of particular hierarchies
Ought to place additional restrictions on the characters they allow Ought to place additional restrictions on the characters they allow
in newsgroup-names within those hierarchies (such as to accord with in newsgroup-names within those hierarchies (such as to accord with
the languages commonly used within those hierarchies, or to avoid the languages commonly used within those hierarchies, or to avoid
perceived ambiguities pertinent to those languages). Where there is perceived ambiguities pertinent to those languages). Where there is
no such specific policy, the following restrictions SHOULD be applied no such specific policy, the following restrictions SHOULD be applied
to newsgroup names. to newsgroup-names.
NOTE: These restrictions are intended to reflect existing NOTE: These restrictions are intended to reflect existing
practice, with some additions to accommodate foreseeable practice, with some additions to accommodate foreseeable
enhancements, and are intended both to avoid certain technical enhancements, and are intended both to avoid certain technical
difficulties and to avoid unnecessary confusion. It may well be difficulties and to avoid unnecessary confusion. It may well be
that experience will allow future extensions to this standard to that experience will allow future extensions to this standard to
relax some or all of these restrictions. relax some or all of these restrictions.
The specific restrictions (to be applied in the absence of The specific restrictions (to be applied in the absence of
established policies to the contrary) are: established policies to the contrary) are:
skipping to change at page 37, line 4 skipping to change at page 37, line 43
characters in category Pd (Punctuation, Dash) [4][5] characters in category Pd (Punctuation, Dash) [4][5]
characters in category Pe (Punctuation, Close) [4] characters in category Pe (Punctuation, Close) [4]
characters in category Pf (Punctuation, Final quote) [4] characters in category Pf (Punctuation, Final quote) [4]
characters in category Pi (Punctuation, Initial quote) [4] characters in category Pi (Punctuation, Initial quote) [4]
characters in category Po (Punctuation, Other) [4] characters in category Po (Punctuation, Other) [4]
characters in category Ps (Punctuation, Open) [4] characters in category Ps (Punctuation, Open) [4]
characters in category Sc (Symbol, Currency) [4] characters in category Sc (Symbol, Currency) [4]
characters in category Sk (Symbol, Modifier) [4] characters in category Sk (Symbol, Modifier) [4]
characters in category Sm (Symbol, Math) [4][5] characters in category Sm (Symbol, Math) [4][5]
characters in category So (Symbol, Other) [4] characters in category So (Symbol, Other) [4]
News Article Format May 2002
[1] As new characters are added to Unicode, the code point moves [1] As new characters are added to Unicode, the code point moves
from category Cn to some other category. As stated above, from category Cn to some other category. As stated above,
implementors should be prepared for this. implementors should be prepared for this.
[2] Specific private use characters can be used within a hierarchy [2] Specific private use characters can be used within a hierarchy
or co-operating subnet that has agreed meanings for them. or co-operating subnet that has agreed meanings for them.
[3] Traditionally, newsgroup-names have been written in lowercase. [3] Traditionally, newsgroup-names have been written in lowercase.
Posting agents Ought Not to convert uppercase or titlecase Posting agents Ought Not to convert uppercase or titlecase
characters to the corresponding lowercase forms except under characters to the corresponding lowercase forms except under
the explicit instructions of the poster. the explicit instructions of the poster.
[4] Traditionally newsgroup names have only used letters, digits, [4] Traditionally newsgroup-names have only used letters, digits,
and the three special characters "+", "-" and "_". These and the three special characters "+", "-" and "_". These
categories correspond to characters outside that set. categories correspond to characters outside that set.
News Article Format August 2002
[5] Although the characters "+" and "-" are within categories Pd [5] Although the characters "+" and "-" are within categories Pd
and Sm, they are not forbidden. and Sm, they are not forbidden.
2. A component name is forbidden to consist entirely of digits. 2. A component name is forbidden to consist entirely of digits.
NOTE: This requirement was in [RFC 1036] but nevertheless NOTE: This requirement was in [RFC 1036] but nevertheless
several such groups have appeared in practice and implementors several such groups have appeared in practice and implementors
should be prepared for them. A common implementation technique should be prepared for them. A common implementation technique
uses each component as the name of a directory and uses numeric uses each component as the name of a directory and uses numeric
filenames for each article within a group. Such an filenames for each article within a group. Such an
implementation needs to be careful when this could cause a clash implementation needs to be careful when this could cause a clash
(e.g. between article 123 of group xxx.yyy and the directory for (e.g. between article 123 of group xxx.yyy and the directory for
group xxx.yyy.123). group xxx.yyy.123).
3. A component is limited to 30 component-glyphs and a newsgroup-name 3. A component is limited to 30 component-graphemes and a newsgroup-
to 71 component-glyphs. Whilst there is no longer any technical name to 71 component-graphemes (counting also the '.'s separating
reason to limit the length of a component (formerly, it was the components). Whilst there is no longer any technical reason to
limited to 14 octets) nor of a newsgroup-name, it should be noted limit the length of a component (formerly, it was limited to 14
that these names are also used in the newsgroups line (7.2.1.2) octets) nor of a newsgroup-name, it should be noted that these
where an overall policy limit applies and, moreover, excessively names are also used in the newsgroups-line (7.2.1.2) where an
long names can be exceedingly inconvenient in practical use. overall policy limit applies and, moreover, excessively long names
can be exceedingly inconvenient in practical use.
Serving and relaying agents MUST accept any newsgroup-name that meets Serving and relaying agents MUST accept any newsgroup-name that meets
the above requirements, even if they violate one or more of the the above requirements, even if they violate one or more of the
policy restrictions. Posting and injecting agents MAY reject articles policy restrictions. Posting and injecting agents MAY reject articles
containing newsgroup-names that do not meet these restrictions, and containing newsgroup-names that do not meet these restrictions, and
posting agents MAY attempt to correct them (but only with the posting agents MAY attempt to correct them (but only with the
explicit agreement of the poster for anything more than NFC or NFKC explicit agreement of the poster for anything more than NFC or NFKC
normalization). However, because of the large and changing tables normalization). However, because of the large and changing tables
required to do these checks and corrections throughout the whole of required to do these checks and corrections throughout the whole of
Unicode, this standard does not require them to do so. Rather, the Unicode, this standard does not require them to do so. Rather, the
onus is placed on those who create new newsgroups (7.2.1) to check onus is placed on those who create new newsgroups (7.2.1) to check
the mandatory requirements, to consider the effects of relaxing the the mandatory requirements, to consider the effects of relaxing the
other restrictions, and to consider how all this may affect other restrictions, and to consider how all this may affect
propagation of the group. propagation of the group.
News Article Format May 2002
Since future extensions to this standard and the Unicode standard, Since future extensions to this standard and the Unicode standard,
including a possible relaxation of the NFKC normalization, plus any including a possible relaxation of the NFKC normalization, plus any
relaxations of the default restrictions introduced by specific relaxations of the default restrictions introduced by specific
hierarchies might invalidate some such checks, warnings, and hierarchies might invalidate some such checks, warnings, and
adjustments, implementations MUST incorporate means to disable them. adjustments, implementations MUST incorporate means to disable them.
NOTE: The newsgroup-name as encoded in UTF-8 should be regarded as NOTE: The newsgroup-name as encoded in UTF-8 should be regarded as
the canonical form. Reading agents may convert it to whatever the canonical form. Reading agents may convert it to whatever
character set they are able to display and serving agents may character set they are able to display and serving agents may
possibly need to convert it to some form more suitable as a possibly need to convert it to some form more suitable as a
filename. Simple algorithms for both kinds of conversion are filename. Simple algorithms for both kinds of conversion are
readily available. Observe that the syntax does not allow readily available. Observe that the syntax does not allow
comments within the Newsgroups-header; this is to simplify comments within the Newsgroups-header; this is to simplify
processing by relaying and serving agents which have a requirement processing by relaying and serving agents which have a requirement
to process this header extremely rapidly. to process this header extremely rapidly.
News Article Format August 2002
The inclusion of folding white space within a Newsgroups-content is a The inclusion of folding white space within a Newsgroups-content is a
newly introduced feature in this standard. It MUST be accepted by all newly introduced feature in this standard. It MUST be accepted by all
conforming implementations (relaying agents, serving agents and conforming implementations (relaying agents, serving agents and
reading agents). Posting agents should be aware that such postings reading agents). Posting agents should be aware that such postings
may be rejected by overly-critical old-style relaying agents. When a may be rejected by overly-critical old-style relaying agents. When a
sufficient number of relaying agents are in conformance, posting sufficient number of relaying agents are in conformance, posting
agents SHOULD generate such whitespace in the form of <CRLF WSP> so agents SHOULD generate such whitespace in the form of <CRLF WSP> so
as to keep the length of lines in the relevant headers (notably as to keep the length of lines in the relevant headers (notably
Newsgroups and Followup-To) to no more than than 79 characters (or Newsgroups and Followup-To) to no more than than 79 characters (or
other agreed policy limit - see 4.5). Before such critical mass other agreed policy limit - see 4.5). Before such critical mass
occurs, injecting agents MAY reformat such headers by removing occurs, injecting agents MAY reformat such headers by removing
whitespace inserted by the posting agent, but relaying agents MUST whitespace inserted by the posting agent, but relaying agents MUST
NOT do so. NOT do so.
Posters SHOULD use only the names of existing newsgroups in the Posters SHOULD use only the names of existing newsgroups in the
Newsgroups-header. However, it is legitimate to cross-post to a Newsgroups-header. However, it is legitimate to cross-post to
newsgroup(s) which do not exist on the posting agent's host, provided newsgroups which do not exist on the posting agent's host, provided
that at least one of the newsgroups DOES exist there, and followup that at least one of the newsgroups DOES exist there, and followup
agents SHOULD accept this (posting agents MAY accept it, but Ought at agents SHOULD accept this (posting agents MAY accept it, but Ought at
least to alert the poster to the situation and request confirmation). least to alert the poster to the situation and request confirmation).
Relaying agents MUST NOT rewrite Newsgroups-headers in any way, even Relaying agents MUST NOT rewrite Newsgroups-headers in any way, even
if some or all of the newsgroups do not exist on the relaying agent's if some or all of the newsgroups do not exist on the relaying agent's
host. Serving agents MUST NOT create new newsgroups simply because an host. Serving agents MUST NOT create new newsgroups simply because an
unrecognized newsgroup-name occurs in a Newsgroups-header (see 7.2.1 unrecognized newsgroup-name occurs in a Newsgroups-header (see 7.2.1
for the correct method of newsgroup creation). for the correct method of newsgroup creation).
The Newsgroups-header is intended for use in Netnews articles rather The Newsgroups-header is intended for use in Netnews articles rather
than in email messages. It MAY be used in an email message to than in email messages. It MAY be used in an email message to
indicate that it is a copy also posted to the listed newsgroups, in indicate that it is a copy also posted to the listed newsgroups, in
which case the inclusion of a Posted-And-Mailed header (6.9) would which case the inclusion of a Posted-And-Mailed header (6.9) would
also be appropriate. However, it SHOULD NOT be used in an email-only also be appropriate. However, it SHOULD NOT be used in an email-only
reply to a Netnews article (thus the "inheritable" property of this reply to a Netnews article (thus the "inheritable" property of this
header applies only to followups to a newsgroup, and not to followups header applies only to followups to a newsgroup, and not to followups
to the poster). Moreover, if a newsgroup-name contains any non-ASCII to the poster). Moreover, if a newsgroup-name contains any non-ASCII
character, it MAY be encoded using the mechanism defined in [RFC character, it may need to be encoded using the mechanism defined in
2047] when sent by email (for which purpose the newsgroup-name SHOULD section 5.5.2. See also the further discussion in section 8.8.1.
be treated as an encoded-word) but, if it is subsequently returned to
the Netnews environment, it MUST then be re-encoded into UTF-8. See
News Article Format May 2002
also the further discussion in section 8.8.1.
5.5.1. Forbidden newsgroup names 5.5.1. Forbidden newsgroup-names
The following forms of newsgroup-name MUST NOT be used except for the The following forms of newsgroup-name MUST NOT be used except for the
specific purposes indicated: specific purposes indicated:
o Newsgroup-names having only one component. These are reserved for o Newsgroup-names having only one component. These are reserved for
newsgroups whose propagation is restricted to a single host or newsgroups whose propagation is restricted to a single host or
local network, and for pseudo-newsgroups such as "poster" (which local network, and for pseudo-newsgroups such as "poster" (which
has special meaning in the Followup-To-header - see section 6.7), has special meaning in the Followup-To-header - see section 6.7),
"junk" (often used by serving agents), and "control" (likewise); "junk" (often used by serving agents), and "control" (likewise);
o Any newsgroup-name beginning with "control." (used as pseudo- o Any newsgroup-name beginning with "control." (used as pseudo-
skipping to change at page 39, line 24 skipping to change at page 39, line 60
newsgroups whose propagation is restricted to a single host or newsgroups whose propagation is restricted to a single host or
local network, and for pseudo-newsgroups such as "poster" (which local network, and for pseudo-newsgroups such as "poster" (which
has special meaning in the Followup-To-header - see section 6.7), has special meaning in the Followup-To-header - see section 6.7),
"junk" (often used by serving agents), and "control" (likewise); "junk" (often used by serving agents), and "control" (likewise);
o Any newsgroup-name beginning with "control." (used as pseudo- o Any newsgroup-name beginning with "control." (used as pseudo-
newsgroups by many serving agents); newsgroups by many serving agents);
o Any newsgroup-name containing the component "ctl" (likewise); o Any newsgroup-name containing the component "ctl" (likewise);
o "to" or any newsgroup-name beginning with "to." (reserved for the o "to" or any newsgroup-name beginning with "to." (reserved for the
ihave/sendme protocol described in section 7.4, and for test ihave/sendme protocol described in section 7.4, and for test
messages sent on an essentially point-to-point basis); messages sent on an essentially point-to-point basis);
o Any newsgroup-name beginning with "example." (reserved for o Any newsgroup-name beginning with "example." (reserved for
News Article Format August 2002
examples in this and other standards); examples in this and other standards);
o Any newsgroup-name containing the component "all" (because this o Any newsgroup-name containing the component "all" (because this
is used as a wildcard in some implementations). is used as a wildcard in some implementations).
A newsgroup-name SHOULD NOT appear more than once in the Newsgroups- A newsgroup-name SHOULD NOT appear more than once in the Newsgroups-
header. The order of newsgroup names in the Newsgroups-header is not header. The order of newsgroup-names in the Newsgroups-header is not
significant, except for determining which moderator to send the significant, except for determining which moderator to send the
article to if more than one of the groups is moderated (see 8.2). article to if more than one of the groups is moderated (see 8.2).
5.5.2. Encoded newsgroup-names
Where it is required to transport an article across some medium that
cannot reliably convey the full 8 bits of each octet, such as when
gatewaying it into Email (8.8.1), or when emailing it to a moderator
or constructing the submission address of the moderator (8.2.2), it
may be necessary to encode any newsgroup-name within a Newsgroups- or
Followup-To-header that contains any non-ASCII character. For that
purpose, the following algorithm is provided:
1. Initially, the newsgroup-name is in the form of a sequence of
octets representing that name in the UTF-8 character set.
2. Each octet in the name in the range 0x80-FF is replaced by an "="
character (US-ASCII 61), followed by two characters representing
that octet in hexadecimal, in which the hexadecimal digits "A"
through "F" MUST be in uppercase.
3. Each octet in the name in the range 0x00-7F remains unaltered (and
thus MUST NOT be replaced by its hexadecimal equivalent).
NOTE: Observe that this algorithm provides a unique encoding for
each newsgroup-name. Observe also that within the unaltered
range 0x00-7F, only the octets 0x2B, 0x2D-2E, 0x30-39, 0x41-5A,
0x5F, and 0x61-7A can appear in a newsgroup-name.
This standard provides no authority for the use of this algorithm
other than in the context of newsgroup-names occurring within headers
being conveyed by email. In particular, it MUST NOT be used within
any article conveyed by the Netnews protocols and thus, if an email
using it is subsequently returned to the Netnews environment, it MUST
be decoded back into UTF-8.
NOTE: Although the encoding defined by [RFC 2047] is available
for use with other headers containing non-ASCII characters, the
Newsgroups-header, being a structured header, is not one of the
contexts permitted for its use (and moreover it would not
produce a unique encoding nor cope well with newsgroup-names of
excessive length). Therefore it SHOULD NOT be used within the
Newsgroups-header.
News Article Format August 2002
5.6. Path 5.6. Path
The Path-header shows the route taken by a message since its entry The Path-header shows the route taken by a message since its entry
into the Netnews system. It is a variant header (4.2.5.3), each agent into the Netnews system. It is a variant header (4.2.5.3), each agent
that processes an article being required to add one (or more) entries that processes an article being required to add one (or more) entries
to it. This is primarily to enable relaying agents to avoid sending to it. This is primarily to enable relaying agents to avoid sending
articles to sites already known to have them, in particular the site articles to sites already known to have them, in particular the site
they came from, and additionally to permit tracing the route articles they came from, and additionally to permit tracing the route articles
take in moving over the network, and for gathering Usenet statistics. take in moving over the network, and for gathering Usenet statistics.
Finally the presence of a '%' path-delimiter in the Path-header can Finally the presence of a '%' path-delimiter in the Path-header can
skipping to change at page 39, line 59 skipping to change at page 41, line 31
header =/ Path-header header =/ Path-header
Path-header = "Path" ":" SP Path-content Path-header = "Path" ":" SP Path-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Path-content = [FWS] Path-content = [FWS]
*( path-identity [FWS] path-delimiter [FWS] ) *( path-identity [FWS] path-delimiter [FWS] )
tail-entry [FWS] tail-entry [FWS]
path-identity = ( ALPHA / DIGIT ) path-identity = ( ALPHA / DIGIT )
*( ALPHA / DIGIT / "-" / "." / ":" / "_" ) *( ALPHA / DIGIT / "-" / "." / ":" / "_" )
path-delimiter = "/" / "?" / "%" / "," / "!" path-delimiter = "/" / "?" / "%" / "," / "!"
tail-entry = 1*( ALPHA / DIGIT / "-" / "." / ":" / "_" ) tail-entry = path-identity
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: A Path-content will inevitably contain at least one path- NOTE: A Path-content will inevitably contain at least one path-
identity, except possibly in the case of a proto-article that identity, except possibly in the case of a proto-article that
has not yet been injected onto the network. has not yet been injected onto the network.
NOTE: Observe that the syntax does not allow comments within the NOTE: Observe that the syntax does not allow comments within the
Path-header; this is to simplify processing by relaying and Path-header; this is to simplify processing by relaying and
injecting agents which have a requirement to process this header injecting agents which have a requirement to process this header
extremely rapidly. extremely rapidly.
skipping to change at page 40, line 31 skipping to change at page 42, line 5
A relaying agent MAY decline to accept an article if its own path- A relaying agent MAY decline to accept an article if its own path-
identity is already present in the Path-content or if the Path- identity is already present in the Path-content or if the Path-
content contains some path-identity whose articles the relaying agent content contains some path-identity whose articles the relaying agent
does not want, as a matter of local policy. does not want, as a matter of local policy.
NOTE: This last facility is sometimes used to detect and decline NOTE: This last facility is sometimes used to detect and decline
control messages (notably cancel messages) which have been control messages (notably cancel messages) which have been
deliberately seeded with a path-identity to be "aliased out" by deliberately seeded with a path-identity to be "aliased out" by
sites not wishing to act upon them. sites not wishing to act upon them.
News Article Format August 2002
5.6.2. Adding a path-identity to the Path-header 5.6.2. Adding a path-identity to the Path-header
When an injecting, relaying or serving agent receives an article, it When an injecting, relaying or serving agent receives an article, it
MUST prepend its own path-identity followed by a path-delimiter to MUST prepend its own path-identity followed by a path-delimiter to
the beginning of the Path-content. In addition, it SHOULD then add the beginning of the Path-content. In addition, it SHOULD then add
CRLF and WSP if it would otherwise result in a line longer than 79 CRLF and WSP if it would otherwise result in a line longer than 79
characters. characters.
The path-identity added MUST be unique to that agent. To this end it The path-identity added MUST be unique to that agent. To this end it
SHOULD be one of: SHOULD be one of:
skipping to change at page 41, line 5 skipping to change at page 42, line 34
DNS service) with an MX record, which MUST be "mailable". DNS service) with an MX record, which MUST be "mailable".
3. An arbitrary name believed to be unique and registered at least 3. An arbitrary name believed to be unique and registered at least
with all sites immediately downstream from the given site. with all sites immediately downstream from the given site.
4. An encoding of an IP address - <IPv4address> or <IPv6address> [RFC 4. An encoding of an IP address - <IPv4address> or <IPv6address> [RFC
2373] (the requirement to be able to use an <IPv6address> is the 2373] (the requirement to be able to use an <IPv6address> is the
reason for including ':' as an allowed character within a path- reason for including ':' as an allowed character within a path-
identity). identity).
News Article Format May 2002
The FQDN of an agent is "mailable" if the administrators of that The FQDN of an agent is "mailable" if the administrators of that
agent can be reached by email using both of the forms "usenet@<FQDN>" agent can be reached by email using both of the forms "usenet@<FQDN>"
and "news@<FQDN>", in conformity with [RFC 2142]. and "news@<FQDN>", in conformity with [RFC 2142].
Of the above options, nos. 1 to 3 are much to be preferred, unless Of the above options, nos. 1 to 3 are much to be preferred, unless
there are strong technical reasons dictating otherwise. In there are strong technical reasons dictating otherwise. In
particular, the injecting agent's path-identity MUST, as a special particular, the injecting agent's path-identity MUST, as a special
case, be an FQDN as in option 1 or option 2, and MUST be mailable. case, be an FQDN as in option 1 or option 2, and MUST be mailable.
Additionally, in the case of an injecting agent offering its services Additionally, in the case of an injecting agent offering its services
to the general public, its administrators MUST also be reachable to the general public, its administrators MUST also be reachable
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In the case of a relaying or serving agent, the path-delimiter is In the case of a relaying or serving agent, the path-delimiter is
chosen as follows. When such an agent receives an article, it MUST chosen as follows. When such an agent receives an article, it MUST
establish the identity of the source and compare it with the leftmost establish the identity of the source and compare it with the leftmost
path-identity of the Path-content. If it matches, a '/' should be path-identity of the Path-content. If it matches, a '/' should be
used as the path-delimiter when prepending the agent's own path- used as the path-delimiter when prepending the agent's own path-
identity. If it does not match then the agent should prepend two identity. If it does not match then the agent should prepend two
entries to the Path-content; firstly the true established path- entries to the Path-content; firstly the true established path-
identity of the source followed by a '?' path-delimiter, and then, identity of the source followed by a '?' path-delimiter, and then,
to the left of that, the agent's own path-identity followed by a '/' to the left of that, the agent's own path-identity followed by a '/'
path-delimiter as usual. This prepending of two entries SHOULD NOT path-delimiter as usual. This prepending of two entries SHOULD NOT
News Article Format August 2002
be done if the provided and established identities match. be done if the provided and established identities match.
Any method of establishing the identity of the source may be used Any method of establishing the identity of the source may be used
(but see 5.6.5 below), with the consideration that, in the event of (but see 5.6.5 below), with the consideration that, in the event of
problems, the agent concerned may be called upon to justify it. problems, the agent concerned may be called upon to justify it.
NOTE: The use of the '%' path-delimiter marks the position of NOTE: The use of the '%' path-delimiter marks the position of
the injecting agent in the chain. In normal circumstances there the injecting agent in the chain. In normal circumstances there
should therefore be only one `%` path-delimiter present, and should therefore be only one '%' path-delimiter present, and
injecting agents MAY choose to reject proto-articles with a '%' injecting agents MAY choose to reject proto-articles with a '%'
already in them. If, for whatever reason, more than one '%' is already in them. If, for whatever reason, more than one '%' is
found, then the path-identity in front of the leftmost '%' is to found, then the path-identity in front of the leftmost '%' is to
be regarded as the true injecting agent. be regarded as the true injecting agent.
5.6.3. The tail-entry 5.6.3. The tail-entry
For historical reasons, the tail-entry (i.e. the rightmost entry in For historical reasons, the tail-entry (i.e. the rightmost entry in
the Path-content) is regarded as a "user name", and therefore MUST the Path-content) is regarded as a "user name", and therefore MUST
NOT be interpreted as a site through which the article has already NOT be interpreted as a site through which the article has already
passed. Moreover, the Path-content as a whole is not an email address passed. Moreover, the Path-content as a whole is not an email address
and MUST NOT be used to contact the poster. Posting and/or injecting and MUST NOT be used to contact the poster. Posting and/or injecting
agents MAY place any string here. When it is not an actual user agents MAY place any string here. When it is not an actual user
name, the string "not-for-mail" is often used, but in fact a simple name, the string "not-for-mail" is often used, but in fact a simple
"x" would be sufficient. "x" would be sufficient.
News Article Format May 2002
Often this field will be the only entry in the region (known as the Often this field will be the only entry in the region (known as the
pre-injection region) after the '%', although there may be entries pre-injection region) after the '%', although there may be entries
corresponding to machines traversed between the posting agent and the corresponding to machines traversed between the posting agent and the
injecting agent proper. In particular, injecting agents that receive injecting agent proper. In particular, injecting agents that receive
articles from many sources MAY include information to establish the articles from many sources MAY include information to establish the
circumstances of the injection such as the identity of the source circumstances of the injection such as the identity of the source
machine (especially if the Injector-Info-header (6.19) is absent). machine (especially if an Injector-Info-header (6.19) is not being
Any such inclusion SHOULD NOT conflict with any genuine site provided). Any such inclusion SHOULD NOT conflict with any genuine
identifier. The '!' path-delimiter may be used freely within the site identifier. The '!' path-delimiter may be used freely within
pre-injection region, although '/' and '?' are also appropriate if the pre-injection region, although '/' and '?' are also appropriate
used correctly. if used correctly.
5.6.4. Path-Delimiter Summary 5.6.4. Path-Delimiter Summary
A summary of the various path-delimiters. The name immediately to the A summary of the various path-delimiters. The name immediately to the
left of the path-delimiter is always that of the machine which added left of the path-delimiter is always that of the machine which added
the path-delimiter. the path-delimiter.
'/' The name immediately to the right is known to be the identity of '/' The name immediately to the right is known to be the identity of
the machine from which the article was received (either because the machine from which the article was received (either because
the entry was made by that machine and we have verified it, or the entry was made by that machine and we have verified it, or
because we have added it ourselves). because we have added it ourselves).
'?' The name immediately to the right is the claimed identity of the '?' The name immediately to the right is the claimed identity of the
machine from which the article was received, but we were unable machine from which the article was received, but we were unable
to verify it (and have prepended our own view of where it came to verify it (and have prepended our own view of where it came
from, and then a '/'). from, and then a '/').
News Article Format August 2002
'%' Everything to the right is the pre-injection region followed by '%' Everything to the right is the pre-injection region followed by
the tail-entry. The name on the left is the FQDN of the the tail-entry. The name on the left is the FQDN of the
injecting agent. The presence of two '%'s in a path indicates a injecting agent. The presence of two '%'s in a path indicates a
double-injection (see 8.2.2). double-injection (see 8.2.2).
'!' The name immediately to the right is unverified. The presence of '!' The name immediately to the right is unverified. The presence of
a '!' to the left of the '%' indicates that the identity to the a '!' to the left of the '%' indicates that the identity to the
left is that of an old-style system not conformant with this left is that of an old-style system not conformant with this
standard. standard.
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NOTE: Old Netnews relaying and injecting agents almost all NOTE: Old Netnews relaying and injecting agents almost all
delimit Path entries with a '!', and these entries are not delimit Path entries with a '!', and these entries are not
verified. The presence of '%' indicates that the article was verified. The presence of '%' indicates that the article was
injected by software conforming to this standard, and the injected by software conforming to this standard, and the
presence of '!' to the left of a '%' indicates that the message presence of '!' to the left of a '%' indicates that the message
passed through systems developed prior to this standard. It is passed through systems developed prior to this standard. It is
anticipated that relaying agents will reject articles in the old anticipated that relaying agents will reject articles in the old
style once this new standard has been widely adopted. style once this new standard has been widely adopted.
News Article Format May 2002
5.6.5. Suggested Verification Methods 5.6.5. Suggested Verification Methods
It is preferable to verify the claimed path-identity against the It is preferable to verify the claimed path-identity against the
source than to make routine use of the '?' path-delimiter, with source than to make routine use of the '?' path-delimiter, with
consequential wasteful double-entry Path additions. consequential wasteful double-entry Path additions.
If the incoming article arrives through some TCP/IP protocol such as If the incoming article arrives through some TCP/IP protocol such as
NNTP, the IP address of the source will be known, and will likely NNTP, the IP address of the source will be known, and will likely
already have been checked against a list of known FQDNs, IP already have been checked against a list of known FQDNs, IP
addresses, or other registered aliases that the receiving site has addresses, or other registered aliases that the receiving site has
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several DNS lookups, following CNAME chains as required. Note that several DNS lookups, following CNAME chains as required. Note that
any reverse DNS lookup that is involved needs to be confirmed by a any reverse DNS lookup that is involved needs to be confirmed by a
forward one. forward one.
If the incoming article arrives through some other protocol, such as If the incoming article arrives through some other protocol, such as
UUCP, that protocol MUST include a means of verifying the source UUCP, that protocol MUST include a means of verifying the source
site. In UUCP implementations, commonly each incoming connection has site. In UUCP implementations, commonly each incoming connection has
a unique login name and password, and that login name (or some alias a unique login name and password, and that login name (or some alias
registered for it) would be expected as the path-identity. registered for it) would be expected as the path-identity.
News Article Format August 2002
5.6.6. Example 5.6.6. Example
Path: foo.isp.example/ Path: foo.isp.example/
foo-server/bar.isp.example?10.123.12.2/old.site.example! foo-server/bar.isp.example?10.123.12.2/old.site.example!
barbaz/baz.isp.example%dialup123.baz.isp.example!x barbaz/baz.isp.example%dialup123.baz.isp.example!x
NOTE: That article was injected into the news stream by NOTE: That article was injected into the news stream by
baz.isp.example (complaints may be addressed to baz.isp.example (complaints may be addressed to
abuse@baz.isp.example). The injector has taken care to record abuse@baz.isp.example). The injector has taken care to record
that it got it from dialup123.baz.isp.example. "x" is a dummy that it got it from dialup123.baz.isp.example. "x" is a dummy
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Old.site.example relayed it to a site claiming to have the IP Old.site.example relayed it to a site claiming to have the IP
address [10.123.12.2], and claiming (by using the '/' path- address [10.123.12.2], and claiming (by using the '/' path-
delimiter) to have verified that it came from old.site.example. delimiter) to have verified that it came from old.site.example.
[10.123.12.2] relayed it to "foo-server" which, not being [10.123.12.2] relayed it to "foo-server" which, not being
convinced that it truly came from [10.123.12.2], did a reverse convinced that it truly came from [10.123.12.2], did a reverse
lookup on the actual source and concluded it was known as lookup on the actual source and concluded it was known as
bar.isp.example (that is not to say that [10.123.12.2] was not a bar.isp.example (that is not to say that [10.123.12.2] was not a
correct IP address for bar.isp.example, but simply that that correct IP address for bar.isp.example, but simply that that
connection could not be substantiated by foo-server). Observe connection could not be substantiated by foo-server). Observe
News Article Format May 2002
that foo-server has now added two entries to the Path. that foo-server has now added two entries to the Path.
"foo-server" is a locally significant name within the complex "foo-server" is a locally significant name within the complex
site of many machines run by foo.isp.example, so the latter site of many machines run by foo.isp.example, so the latter
should have no problem recognizing foo-server and using a '/' should have no problem recognizing foo-server and using a '/'
path-delimiter. Presumably foo.isp.example then delivered the path-delimiter. Presumably foo.isp.example then delivered the
article to its direct clients. article to its direct clients.
It appears that foo.isp.example and old.site.example decided to It appears that foo.isp.example and old.site.example decided to
fold the line, on the grounds that it seemed to be getting a fold the line, on the grounds that it seemed to be getting a
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None of the headers appearing in this section is required to appear None of the headers appearing in this section is required to appear
in every article but some of them are required in certain types of in every article but some of them are required in certain types of
article, such as followups. Any header defined in this (or any other) article, such as followups. Any header defined in this (or any other)
standard MUST NOT appear more than once in an article unless standard MUST NOT appear more than once in an article unless
specifically stated otherwise. Experimental headers (4.2.5.1) and specifically stated otherwise. Experimental headers (4.2.5.1) and
headers defined by cooperating subnets are exempt from this headers defined by cooperating subnets are exempt from this
requirement. See section 8 "Duties of Various Agents" for the full requirement. See section 8 "Duties of Various Agents" for the full
picture. picture.
News Article Format August 2002
6.1. Reply-To 6.1. Reply-To
The Reply-To-header specifies a reply address(es) to be used for The Reply-To-header specifies a reply address(es) to be used for
personal replies for the poster(s) of the article when this is personal replies for the poster(s) of the article when this is
different from the poster's address(es) given in the From-header. The different from the poster's address(es) given in the From-header. The
content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822], but subject content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822], but subject
to the revised definition of local-part given in section 5.2. to the revised definition of local-part given in section 5.2.
header =/ Reply-To-header header =/ Reply-To-header
Reply-To-header = "Reply-To" ":" SP Reply-To-content Reply-To-header = "Reply-To" ":" SP Reply-To-content
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NOTE: Use of a Reply-To-header is preferable to including a NOTE: Use of a Reply-To-header is preferable to including a
similar request in the article body, because replying agents can similar request in the article body, because replying agents can
take account of Reply-To automatically. take account of Reply-To automatically.
6.1.1. Examples 6.1.1. Examples
Reply-To: John Smith <jsmith@site.example> Reply-To: John Smith <jsmith@site.example>
Reply-To: John Smith <jsmith@site.example>, dave@isp.example Reply-To: John Smith <jsmith@site.example>, dave@isp.example
Reply-To: John Smith <jsmith@site.example>,andrew@isp.example, Reply-To: John Smith <jsmith@site.example>,andrew@isp.example,
fred@site2.example fred@site2.example
News Article Format May 2002
6.2. Sender 6.2. Sender
The Sender-header specifies the mailbox of the entity which caused The Sender-header specifies the mailbox of the person or entity which
this article to be posted (and hence injected), if that entity is caused this article to be posted (and hence injected), if that person
different from that given in the From-header or if more than one or entity is different from that given in the From-header or if more
address appears in the From-header. This header SHOULD NOT appear in than one mailbox appears in the From-header. This header SHOULD NOT
an article unless the sender is different from the poster. This appear in an article unless the sender is different from the poster.
header is appropriate for use by automatic article posters. The This header is appropriate for use by automatic article posters. The
content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822]. content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822].
header =/ Sender-header header =/ Sender-header
Sender-header = "Sender" ":" SP Sender-content Sender-header = "Sender" ":" SP Sender-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Sender-content = mailbox Sender-content = mailbox
6.3. Organization 6.3. Organization
The Organization-header is a short phrase identifying the poster's The Organization-header is a short phrase identifying the poster's
organization. organization.
header =/ Organization-header header =/ Organization-header
Organization-header = "Organization" ":" SP Organization-content Organization-header = "Organization" ":" SP Organization-content
Organization-content= unstructured Organization-content= unstructured
NOTE: Posting and injecting agents are discouraged from NOTE: Posting and injecting agents are discouraged from
providing a default value for this header unless it is providing a default value for this header unless it is
acceptable to all posters using those agents. Unless this header acceptable to all posters using those agents. Unless this header
News Article Format August 2002
contains useful information (including some indication of the contains useful information (including some indication of the
posters physical location) posters are discouraged from posters physical location) posters are discouraged from
including it. including it.
6.4. Keywords 6.4. Keywords
The Keywords field contains a comma separated list of important words The Keywords field contains a comma separated list of important words
and phrases intended to describe some aspect of the content of the and phrases intended to describe some aspect of the content of the
article. The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC article. The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC
2822]. 2822].
skipping to change at page 46, line 5 skipping to change at page 47, line 32
NOTE: The list is comma separated, NOT space separated. NOTE: The list is comma separated, NOT space separated.
NOTE: Contrary to the usage defined in [RFC 2822], this standard NOTE: Contrary to the usage defined in [RFC 2822], this standard
does not permit multiple occurrences of this header. does not permit multiple occurrences of this header.
6.5. Summary 6.5. Summary
The Summary-header is a short phrase summarizing the article's The Summary-header is a short phrase summarizing the article's
content. content.
News Article Format May 2002
header =/ Summary-header header =/ Summary-header
Summary-header = "Summary" ":" SP Summary-content Summary-header = "Summary" ":" SP Summary-content
Summary-content = unstructured Summary-content = unstructured
The summary should be terse. Authors Ought to avoid trying to cram The summary should be terse. Authors Ought to avoid trying to cram
their entire article into the headers; even the simplest query their entire article into the headers; even the simplest query
usually benefits from a sentence or two of elaboration and context, usually benefits from a sentence or two of elaboration and context,
and not all reading agents display all headers. On the other hand the and not all reading agents display all headers. On the other hand the
summary should give more detail than the Subject. summary should give more detail than the Subject.
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*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Distribution-content= distribution *( dist-delim distribution ) Distribution-content= distribution *( dist-delim distribution )
dist-delim = "," dist-delim = ","
distribution = [FWS] distribution-name [FWS] distribution = [FWS] distribution-name [FWS]
distribution-name = ALPHA 1*distribution-rest distribution-name = ALPHA 1*distribution-rest
distribution-rest = ALPHA / "+" / "-" / "_" distribution-rest = ALPHA / "+" / "-" / "_"
NOTE: The use of ALPHA in the syntax ensures that distribution NOTE: The use of ALPHA in the syntax ensures that distribution
names are always in US-ASCII. names are always in US-ASCII.
News Article Format August 2002
Articles MUST NOT be passed between relaying agents or to serving Articles MUST NOT be passed between relaying agents or to serving
agents unless the sending agent has been configured to supply and the agents unless the sending agent has been configured to supply and the
receiving agent to receive at least one of the distributions in the receiving agent to receive at least one of the distributions in the
Distribution-header. Additionally, reading agents MAY also be Distribution-header. Additionally, reading agents MAY also be
configured so that unwanted distributions do not get displayed. configured so that unwanted distributions do not get displayed.
NOTE: Although it would seem redundant to filter out unwanted NOTE: Although it would seem redundant to filter out unwanted
distributions at both ends of a relaying link (and it is clearly distributions at both ends of a relaying link (and it is clearly
more efficient to do so at the sending end), many sending sites more efficient to do so at the sending end), many sending sites
have been reluctant, historically speaking, to apply such have been reluctant, historically speaking, to apply such
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clients in all possible geographical (or organizational) clients in all possible geographical (or organizational)
regions. regions.
Therefore, it is desirable to provide facilities for rejecting Therefore, it is desirable to provide facilities for rejecting
unwanted distributions at the receiving end. Indeed, it may be unwanted distributions at the receiving end. Indeed, it may be
simpler to do so locally than to inform each sending site of simpler to do so locally than to inform each sending site of
what is required, especially in the case of specialized what is required, especially in the case of specialized
distributions (for example for control messages, such as cancels distributions (for example for control messages, such as cancels
from certain issuers) which might need to be added at short from certain issuers) which might need to be added at short
notice. The possibility for reading agents to filter notice. The possibility for reading agents to filter
News Article Format May 2002
distributions has been provided for the same reason. distributions has been provided for the same reason.
Exceptionally, ALL relaying agents are deemed willing to supply or Exceptionally, ALL relaying agents are deemed willing to supply or
accept the distribution "world", and NO relaying agent should supply accept the distribution "world", and NO relaying agent should supply
or accept the distribution "local". However, "world" SHOULD NEVER be or accept the distribution "local". However, "world" SHOULD NEVER be
mentioned explicitly since it is the default when the Distribution- mentioned explicitly since it is the default when the Distribution-
header is absent entirely. "All" MUST NOT be used as a header is absent entirely. "All" MUST NOT be used as a
distribution-name. Distribution-names SHOULD contain at least three distribution-name. Distribution-names SHOULD contain at least three
characters, except when they are two-letter country names as in [ISO characters, except when they are two-letter country names as in [ISO
3166]. Distribution-names are case-insensitive (i.e. "US", "Us" and 3166]. Distribution-names are case-insensitive (i.e. "US", "Us" and
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6.7. Followup-To 6.7. Followup-To
The Followup-To-header specifies which newsgroup(s) followups should The Followup-To-header specifies which newsgroup(s) followups should
be posted to. be posted to.
header =/ Followup-To-header header =/ Followup-To-header
Followup-To-header = "Followup-To" ":" SP Followup-To-content Followup-To-header = "Followup-To" ":" SP Followup-To-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Followup-To-content = Newsgroups-content / [FWS] "poster" [FWS] Followup-To-content = Newsgroups-content / [FWS] "poster" [FWS]
News Article Format August 2002
The syntax is the same as that of the Newsgroups-content, with the The syntax is the same as that of the Newsgroups-content, with the
addition that the keyword "poster" is allowed. In the absence of a addition that the keyword "poster" is allowed. In the absence of a
Followup-To-header, the default newsgroup(s) for a followup are those Followup-To-header, the default newsgroup(s) for a followup are those
in the Newsgroups header, and for this reason the Followup-To-header in the Newsgroups-header, and for this reason the Followup-To-header
SHOULD NOT be included if it just duplicates the Newsgroups-header. SHOULD NOT be included if it just duplicates the Newsgroups-header.
A Followup-To-header consisting of the keyword "poster" indicates A Followup-To-header consisting of the keyword "poster" indicates
that the poster requests no followups to be sent in response to this that the poster requests no followups to be sent in response to this
article, only personal replies to the article's reply address. article, only personal replies to the article's reply address.
NOTE: A poster who wishes both a personal reply and a followup NOTE: A poster who wishes both a personal reply and a followup
post should include a Mail-Copies-To-header (6.8). post should include an appropriate Mail-Copies-To-header (6.8).
6.8. Mail-Copies-To 6.8. Mail-Copies-To
The Mail-Copies-To-header indicates whether or not the poster wishes The Mail-Copies-To-header indicates whether or not the poster wishes
to have followups to an article emailed in addition to being posted to have followups to an article emailed in addition to being posted
to Netnews and, if so, establishes the address to which they should to Netnews and, if so, establishes the address to which they should
be sent. be sent.
The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822], but The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822], but
subject to the revised definition of local-part given in section 5.2. subject to the revised definition of local-part given in section 5.2.
header =/ Mail-Copies-To-header header =/ Mail-Copies-To-header
Mail-Copies-To-header Mail-Copies-To-header
= "Mail-Copies-To" ":" SP Mail-Copies-To-content = "Mail-Copies-To" ":" SP Mail-Copies-To-content
News Article Format May 2002
Mail-Copies-To-content Mail-Copies-To-content
= copy-addr / [CFWS] ( "nobody" / "poster" ) [CFWS] = copy-addr / [CFWS] ( "nobody" / "poster" ) [CFWS]
copy-addr = address-list copy-addr = address-list
The keyword "nobody" indicates that the poster does not wish copies The keyword "nobody" indicates that the poster does not wish copies
of any followup postings to be emailed. This indication is widely of any followup postings to be emailed. This indication is widely
seen as a very strong wish, and is to be taken as the default when seen as a very strong wish, and is to be taken as the default when
this header is absent. this header is absent.
The keyword "poster" indicates that the poster wishes a copy of any The keyword "poster" indicates that the poster wishes a copy of any
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deprecated, but followup agents MAY observe them. deprecated, but followup agents MAY observe them.
The automatic actions of a followup agent in the various cases The automatic actions of a followup agent in the various cases
(subject to manual override by the user) are as follows: (subject to manual override by the user) are as follows:
nobody (or when the header is absent) nobody (or when the header is absent)
The followup agent SHOULD NOT, by default, email such a copy and The followup agent SHOULD NOT, by default, email such a copy and
Ought, especially when there is an explicit "nobody", to issue a Ought, especially when there is an explicit "nobody", to issue a
warning and ask for confirmation if the user attempts to do so. warning and ask for confirmation if the user attempts to do so.
News Article Format August 2002
poster poster
The followup agent Ought, by default, to email a copy, which MUST The followup agent Ought, by default, to email a copy, which MUST
then be sent to the address(es) in the Reply-To-header, and in the then be sent to the address(es) in the Reply-To-header, and in the
absence of that to the address(es) in the From-header. absence of that to the address(es) in the From-header.
copy-addr copy-addr
The followup agent Ought, by default, to email a copy, which MUST The followup agent Ought, by default, to email a copy, which MUST
then be sent to the copy-addr. then be sent to the copy-addr.
NOTE: This header is only relevant when posting followups to NOTE: This header is only relevant when posting followups to
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falls outside the scope of this standard. falls outside the scope of this standard.
When emailing a copy, the followup agent SHOULD also include a When emailing a copy, the followup agent SHOULD also include a
"Posted-And-Mailed: yes" header (6.9). "Posted-And-Mailed: yes" header (6.9).
NOTE: In addition to the Posted-And-Mailed-header, some followup NOTE: In addition to the Posted-And-Mailed-header, some followup
agents also include within the body a mention that the article agents also include within the body a mention that the article
is both posted and mailed, for the benefit of reading agents is both posted and mailed, for the benefit of reading agents
that do not normally show that header. that do not normally show that header.
News Article Format May 2002
6.9. Posted-And-Mailed 6.9. Posted-And-Mailed
header =/ Posted-And-Mailed-header header =/ Posted-And-Mailed-header
Posted-And-Mailed-header Posted-And-Mailed-header
= "Posted-And-Mailed" ":" SP Posted-And-Mailed-content = "Posted-And-Mailed" ":" SP Posted-And-Mailed-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Posted-And-Mailed-content Posted-And-Mailed-content
= [CFWS] ( "yes" / "no" ) [CFWS] = [CFWS] ( "yes" / "no" ) [CFWS]
This header, when used with the "yes" keyword, indicates that the This header, when used with the "yes" keyword, indicates that the
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and it MAY be used when any article is also mailed to a recipient(s) and it MAY be used when any article is also mailed to a recipient(s)
identified in a To- and/or Cc-header that is also present. The "no" identified in a To- and/or Cc-header that is also present. The "no"
keyword is included for the sake of completeness; it MAY be used to keyword is included for the sake of completeness; it MAY be used to
indicate the opposite state, but is redundant insofar as it only indicate the opposite state, but is redundant insofar as it only
describes the default state when this header is absent. describes the default state when this header is absent.
This header, if present, MUST be included in both the posted and This header, if present, MUST be included in both the posted and
emailed versions of the article. The Newsgroups-header of the posted emailed versions of the article. The Newsgroups-header of the posted
article SHOULD be included in the email version as recommended in article SHOULD be included in the email version as recommended in
section 5.5. All other headers defined in this standard (excluding section 5.5. All other headers defined in this standard (excluding
variant headers, but including specifically the Message-ID-header) variant headers) MUST be identical in both the posted and mailed
MUST be identical in both the posted and mailed versions of the versions of the article, except that headers containing UTF8-xtra-
article, and so MUST the body. chars in the posted version MAY be encoded according to [RFC 2047] or
[RFC 2231], or (in the case of a Newsgroups-header) to section 5.5.2,
in the emailed version. In particular, the Message-ID-headers MUST be
identical. The bodies MUST be identical in both, apart from a
possible change of Content-Transfer-Encoding.
News Article Format August 2002
NOTE: This leaves open the question of whether a To- or a Cc- NOTE: This leaves open the question of whether a To- or a Cc-
header should appear in the posted version. Naturally, a Bcc- header should appear in the posted version. Naturally, a Bcc-
header should not appear, except in a form which indicates that header should not appear, except in a form which indicates that
there are additional unspecified recipients. there are additional unspecified recipients.
6.10. References 6.10. References
The References-header lists CFWS-separated message identifiers of The References-header lists CFWS-separated message identifiers of
precursors. The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC precursors. The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC
2822]. 2822], subject to the same revisions as in section 5.3.
header =/ References-header header =/ References-header
References-header = "References" ":" SP References-content References-header = "References" ":" SP References-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
References-content = msg-id *( CFWS msg-id ) References-content = [CFWS] msg-id *( CFWS msg-id ) [CFWS]
NOTE: This differs from the syntax of [RFC 2822] by requiring at NOTE: This differs from the syntax of [RFC 2822] by requiring at
least one CFWS between the msg-ids (a SP at this point was an least one CFWS between the msg-ids (a SP at this point was an
[RFC 1036] requirement). [RFC 1036] requirement).
A followup MUST have a References-header, and an article that is not A followup MUST have a References-header, and an article that is not
a followup MUST NOT have a References-header. In a followup, if the a followup MUST NOT have a References-header. In a followup, if the
precursor did not have a References-header, the followup's precursor did not have a References-header, the followup's
References-content MUST be formed by the message identifier of the References-content MUST be formed by the message identifier of the
precursor. A followup to an article which had a References-header precursor. A followup to an article which had a References-header
MUST have a References-header containing the precursor's References- MUST have a References-header containing the precursor's References-
content (subject to trimming as described below) plus the precursor's content (subject to trimming as described below) plus the precursor's
News Article Format May 2002
message identifier appended to the end of the list (separated from it message identifier appended to the end of the list (separated from it
by CFWS). by CFWS).
Followup agents SHOULD NOT trim message identifiers out of a Followup agents SHOULD NOT trim message identifiers out of a
References-header unless the number of message identifiers exceeds References-header unless the number of message identifiers exceeds
21, at which time trimming SHOULD be done by removing sufficient 21, at which time trimming SHOULD be done by removing sufficient
identifiers starting with the second so as to bring the total down to identifiers starting with the second so as to bring the total down to
21 (but the first message identifier MUST NOT be trimmed). However, 21 (but the first message identifier MUST NOT be trimmed). However,
it would be wrong to assume that References-headers containing more it would be wrong to assume that References-headers containing more
than 21 message identifiers will not occur. than 21 message identifiers will not occur.
skipping to change at page 50, line 34 skipping to change at page 52, line 5
References: <i4g587y@site1.example> <kgb2231+ee@site2.example> References: <i4g587y@site1.example> <kgb2231+ee@site2.example>
<tisjits@smeghead.example> <tisjits@smeghead.example>
6.11. Expires 6.11. Expires
The Expires-header specifies a date and time when the article is The Expires-header specifies a date and time when the article is
deemed to be no longer relevant and could usefully be removed deemed to be no longer relevant and could usefully be removed
("expired"). The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC ("expired"). The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC
2822]. 2822].
News Article Format August 2002
header =/ Expires-header header =/ Expires-header
Expires-header = "Expires" ":" SP Expires-content Expires-header = "Expires" ":" SP Expires-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Expires-content = date-time Expires-content = date-time
An Expires-header should only be used in an article if the requested An Expires-header should only be used in an article if the requested
expiry time is earlier or later than the time typically to be expiry time is earlier or later than the time typically to be
expected for such articles. Local policy for each serving agent will expected for such articles. Local policy for each serving agent will
dictate whether and when this header is obeyed and posters SHOULD NOT dictate whether and when this header is obeyed and posters SHOULD NOT
depend on it being completely followed. depend on it being completely followed.
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regarding preservation of the article in publicly accessible long- regarding preservation of the article in publicly accessible long-
term or permanent storage. term or permanent storage.
header =/ Archive-header header =/ Archive-header
Archive-header = "Archive" ":" SP Archive-content Archive-header = "Archive" ":" SP Archive-content
*( ";" ( Archive-parameter / *( ";" ( Archive-parameter /
other-parameter ) ) other-parameter ) )
Archive-content = [CFWS] ("no" / "yes" ) [CFWS] Archive-content = [CFWS] ("no" / "yes" ) [CFWS]
Archive-parameter = <a parameter with attribute "filename" Archive-parameter = <a parameter with attribute "filename"
and any value> and any value>
News Article Format May 2002
The presence of an "Archive: no" header in an article indicates that The presence of an "Archive: no" header in an article indicates that
the poster does not permit redistribution from publicly accessible the poster does not permit redistribution from publicly accessible
long-term or permanent archives. The absence of this header, or an long-term or permanent archives. The absence of this header, or an
explicit "Archive: yes", indicates that the poster is willing for explicit "Archive: yes", indicates that the poster is willing for
such redistribution to take place. The optional "filename" parameter such redistribution to take place. The optional "filename" parameter
can then be used to suggest a filename under which the article should can then be used to suggest a filename under which the article should
be stored. Further extensions to this standard may provide additional be stored. Further extensions to this standard may provide additional
parameters for administration of the archiving process. parameters for administration of the archiving process.
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even if this header prevents the poster's words from being even if this header prevents the poster's words from being
archived publicly, it does nothing to prevent the archiving of a archived publicly, it does nothing to prevent the archiving of a
followup in which those words are quoted. followup in which those words are quoted.
6.13. Control 6.13. Control
The Control-header marks the article as a control message, and The Control-header marks the article as a control message, and
specifies the desired actions (additional to the usual ones of specifies the desired actions (additional to the usual ones of
storing and/or relaying the article). storing and/or relaying the article).
News Article Format August 2002
header =/ Control-header header =/ Control-header
Control-header = "Control" ":" SP Control-content Control-header = "Control" ":" SP Control-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Control-content = [CFWS] control-message [CFWS] Control-content = [CFWS] control-message [CFWS]
control-message = <empty> control-message = <empty>
However, the rule given above for control-message is incomplete. However, the rule given above for control-message is incomplete.
Further alternatives will be added incrementally as the various Further alternatives will be added incrementally as the various
control-messages are introduced in section 7, or in extensions to control-messages are introduced in section 7, or in extensions to
this standard, using the "=/" notation defined in [RFC 2234]. For this standard, using the "=/" notation defined in [RFC 2234]. For
skipping to change at page 52, line 5 skipping to change at page 53, line 34
where "CONTROL" is a "verb" which is (and MUST be) of the syntactic where "CONTROL" is a "verb" which is (and MUST be) of the syntactic
form of a token and CONTROL-arguments MUST be of the syntactic form form of a token and CONTROL-arguments MUST be of the syntactic form
of a CFWS-separated list of values (which may require the use of of a CFWS-separated list of values (which may require the use of
quoted-strings if any tspecials or non-ASCII characters are quoted-strings if any tspecials or non-ASCII characters are
involved). involved).
The verb indicates what action should be taken, and the argument(s) The verb indicates what action should be taken, and the argument(s)
(if any) supply details. In some cases, the body of the article may (if any) supply details. In some cases, the body of the article may
also contain details. also contain details.
News Article Format May 2002
An article with a Control-header MUST NOT also have a Supersedes- An article with a Control-header MUST NOT also have a Supersedes-
header. header.
NOTE: The presence of a Subject-header starting with the string NOTE: The presence of a Subject-header starting with the string
"cmsg " and followed by a Control-message MUST NOT be construed, "cmsg " and followed by a Control-message MUST NOT be construed,
in the absence of a proper Control-header, as a request to in the absence of a proper Control-header, as a request to
perform that control action (as may have occurred in some legacy perform that control action (as may have occurred in some legacy
software). See also section 5.4. software). See also section 5.4.
6.14. Approved 6.14. Approved
The Approved-header indicates the mailing addresses (and possibly the The Approved-header indicates the mailing addresses (possibly
full names) of the persons or entities approving the article for including the full names) of the persons or entities approving the
posting. article for posting.
header =/ Approved-header header =/ Approved-header
Approved-header = "Approved" ":" SP Approved-content Approved-header = "Approved" ":" SP Approved-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Approved-content = From-content ; see 5.2 Approved-content = From-content ; see 5.2
Each mailbox contained in the Approved-content MUST be that of one of Each mailbox contained in the Approved-content MUST be that of one of
the person(s) or entity(ies) in question, and one of those mailboxes the person(s) or entity(ies) in question, and one of those mailboxes
MUST be that of the actual injector of the article. MUST be that of the actual injector of the article.
An Approved-header is required in all postings to moderated An Approved-header is required in all postings to moderated
newsgroups. If this header is not present in such postings, then newsgroups. If this header is not present in such postings, then
relaying and serving agents MUST reject the article. Please see serving agents MUST (and relaying agents MAY) reject the article.
section 8.2.2 for how injecting agents should treat postings to
moderated groups that do not contain this header. News Article Format August 2002
Please see section 8.2.2 for how injecting agents should treat
postings to moderated groups that do not contain this header.
An Approved-header is also required in certain control messages, to An Approved-header is also required in certain control messages, to
reduce the risks of accidental or unauthorized posting of same. reduce the risks of accidental or unauthorized posting of same.
NOTE: The presence of an Approved-header indicates that the NOTE: The presence of an Approved-header indicates that the
person or entity identified claims to have the necessary person or entity identified claims to have the necessary
authority to post the article in question, thus enabling sites authority to post the article in question, thus enabling sites
that dispute that authority to refuse to accept or to act upon that dispute that authority to refuse to accept or to act upon
it. However, the mere presence of the header is insufficient to it. However, the mere presence of the header is insufficient to
provide assurance that it indeed originated from that person or provide assurance that it indeed originated from that person or
skipping to change at page 52, line 57 skipping to change at page 54, line 30
some digital signature scheme (see 7.1), especially in the case some digital signature scheme (see 7.1), especially in the case
of control messages (section 7). of control messages (section 7).
6.15. Supersedes 6.15. Supersedes
The Supersedes-header contains a message identifier specifying an The Supersedes-header contains a message identifier specifying an
article to be superseded upon the arrival of this one. The specified article to be superseded upon the arrival of this one. The specified
article MUST be treated as though a "cancel" control message had article MUST be treated as though a "cancel" control message had
arrived for the article (but observe that a site MAY choose not to arrived for the article (but observe that a site MAY choose not to
honour a "cancel" message, especially if its authenticity is in honour a "cancel" message, especially if its authenticity is in
doubt). The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822]. doubt). The content syntax makes use of syntax defined in [RFC 2822],
subject to the same revisions as in 5.3.
header =/ Supersedes-header header =/ Supersedes-header
News Article Format May 2002
Supersedes-header = "Supersedes" ":" SP Supersedes-content Supersedes-header = "Supersedes" ":" SP Supersedes-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Supersedes-content = msg-id Supersedes-content = [CFWS] msg-id [CFWS]
NOTE: There is no "c" in "Supersedes". NOTE: There is no "c" in "Supersedes".
NOTE: The Supersedes-header defined here has no connection with NOTE: The Supersedes-header defined here has no connection with
the Supersedes-header that sometimes appears in Email messages the Supersedes-header that sometimes appears in Email messages
converted from X.400 according to [RFC 2156]; in particular, the converted from X.400 according to [RFC 2156]; in particular, the
syntax here permits only one msg-id in contrast to the multiple syntax here permits only one msg-id in contrast to the multiple
msg-ids in that Email version. msg-ids in that Email version.
If an article contains a Supersedes-header, then the old article Thus when an article contains a Supersedes-header, the old article
mentioned SHOULD be withdrawn from circulation or access, as in a mentioned SHOULD be withdrawn from circulation or access, as in a
cancel message (7.3), and the new article inserted into the system as cancel message (7.3), and the new article inserted into the system as
any other new article would have been. any other new article would have been.
Whatever security or authentication checks are normally applied to a Whatever security or authentication checks are normally applied to a
Control cancel message (or may be prescribed for such messages by Control cancel message (or may be prescribed for such messages by
some extension to this standard - see the remarks in 7.1 and 7.3) some extension to this standard - see the remarks in 7.1 and 7.3)
MUST also be applied to an article with a Supersedes-header. In the MUST also be applied to an article with a Supersedes-header. In the
event of the failure of such checks, the article SHOULD be discarded, event of the failure of such checks, the article SHOULD be discarded,
or at most stored as an ordinary article. or at most stored as an ordinary article.
News Article Format August 2002
6.16. Xref 6.16. Xref
The Xref-header is a variant header (4.2.5.3) which indicates where The Xref-header is a variant header (4.2.5.3) which indicates where
an article was filed by the last server to process it. an article was filed by the last serving agent to process it.
header =/ Xref-header header =/ Xref-header
Xref-header = "Xref" ":" SP Xref-content Xref-header = "Xref" ":" SP Xref-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Xref-content = [CFWS] server-name 1*( CFWS location ) [CFWS] Xref-content = [CFWS] server-name 1*( CFWS location ) [CFWS]
server-name = path-identity ; see 5.6.1 server-name = path-identity ; see 5.6.1
location = newsgroup-name ":" article-locator location = newsgroup-name ":" article-locator
article-locator = 1*( %x21-27 / %x29-3A / %x3C-7E ) article-locator = 1*( %x21-27 / %x29-3A / %x3C-7E )
; US-ASCII printable characters ; US-ASCII printable characters
; except '(' and ';' ; except '(' and ';'
skipping to change at page 54, line 4 skipping to change at page 55, line 37
NOTE: The traditional form of an article-locator is a decimal NOTE: The traditional form of an article-locator is a decimal
number, with articles in each newsgroup numbered consecutively number, with articles in each newsgroup numbered consecutively
starting from 1. NNTP demands that such a model be provided, and starting from 1. NNTP demands that such a model be provided, and
much other software expects it, but it seems desirable to permit much other software expects it, but it seems desirable to permit
flexibility for unorthodox implementations. flexibility for unorthodox implementations.
An agent inserting an Xref-header into an article MUST delete any An agent inserting an Xref-header into an article MUST delete any
previous Xref-header(s). A relaying agent MAY delete it before previous Xref-header(s). A relaying agent MAY delete it before
relaying, but otherwise it SHOULD be ignored by any relaying or relaying, but otherwise it SHOULD be ignored by any relaying or
News Article Format May 2002
serving agent receiving it. serving agent receiving it.
An agent MUST use the same serving-name in Xref-headers as the path- It is convenient, though not required, for a serving agent to use the
identity it uses in Path-headers. same server-name in Xref-headers as the path-identity it uses in
Path-headers (just so long as reading agents can distinguish it from
other serving agents known to them).
6.17. Lines 6.17. Lines
The Lines-header indicates the number of lines in the body of the The Lines-header indicates the number of lines in the body of the
article. article.
header =/ Lines-header header =/ Lines-header
Lines-header = "Lines" ":" SP Lines-content Lines-header = "Lines" ":" SP Lines-content
*( ";" other-parameter ) *( ";" other-parameter )
Lines-content = [CFWS] 1*DIGIT [CFWS] Lines-content = [CFWS] 1*DIGIT [CFWS]
The line count includes all body lines, including the signature if The line count includes all body lines, including the signature if
any, including empty lines (if any) at the beginning or end of the any, including empty lines (if any) at the beginning or end of the
body, and including the whole of all MIME message and multipart parts body, and including the whole of all MIME message and multipart parts
contained in the body (the single empty separator line between the contained in the body (the single empty separator line between the
headers and the body is not part of the body). The "body" here is the headers and the body is not part of the body). The "body" here is the
body as found in the posted article as transmitted by the posting body as found in the posted article as transmitted by the posting
agent. agent.
News Article Format August 2002
This header is to be regarded as obsolete, and it will likely be This header is to be regarded as obsolete, and it will likely be
removed entirely in a future version of this standard. In the removed entirely in a future version of this standard. In the
meantime, its use is deprecated. meantime, its use is deprecated.
6.18. User-Agent 6.18. User-Agent
The User-Agent-header contains information about the user agent The User-Agent-header contains information about the user agent
(typically a newsreader) generating the article, for statistical (typically a newsreader) generating the article, for statistical
purposes and tracing of standards violations to specific software purposes and tracing of standards violations to specific software
needing correction. Although not one of the mandatory headers, needing correction. Although not one of the mandatory headers,
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This header MAY contain multiple product-tokens identifying the agent This header MAY contain multiple product-tokens identifying the agent
and any subproducts which form a significant part of the posting and any subproducts which form a significant part of the posting
agent, listed in order of their significance for identifying the agent, listed in order of their significance for identifying the
application. Product-tokens should be short and to the point - they application. Product-tokens should be short and to the point - they
MUST NOT be used for information beyond the canonical name of the MUST NOT be used for information beyond the canonical name of the
product and its version. Injecting agents MAY include product product and its version. Injecting agents MAY include product
information for themselves (such as "INN/1.7.2"), but relaying and information for themselves (such as "INN/1.7.2"), but relaying and
serving agents MUST NOT generate or modify this header to list serving agents MUST NOT generate or modify this header to list
themselves. themselves.
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: Variations from [RFC 2616] which describes a similar NOTE: Variations from [RFC 2616] which describes a similar
facility for the HTTP protocol: facility for the HTTP protocol:
1. use of arbitrary text or octets from character sets other 1. use of arbitrary text or octets from character sets other
than US-ASCII in a product-token may require the use of a than US-ASCII in a product-token may require the use of a
quoted-string, quoted-string,
2. "{" and "}" are allowed in a value (product-token and 2. "{" and "}" are allowed in a value (product-token and
product-version) in Netnews, product-version) in Netnews,
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sense) is discouraged. sense) is discouraged.
6.18.1. Examples 6.18.1. Examples
User-Agent: tin/1.2-PL2 User-Agent: tin/1.2-PL2
User-Agent: tin/1.3-950621beta-PL0 (Unix) User-Agent: tin/1.3-950621beta-PL0 (Unix)
User-Agent: tin/unoff-1.3-BETA-970813 (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.30 (i486)) User-Agent: tin/unoff-1.3-BETA-970813 (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.30 (i486))
User-Agent: tin/pre-1.4-971106 (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.30 (i486)) User-Agent: tin/pre-1.4-971106 (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.30 (i486))
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.02b7 (X11; I; en; HP-UX B.10.20 9000/712) User-Agent: Mozilla/4.02b7 (X11; I; en; HP-UX B.10.20 9000/712)
User-Agent: Microsoft-Internet-News/4.70.1161 User-Agent: Microsoft-Internet-News/4.70.1161
News Article Format August 2002
User-Agent: Gnus/5.4.64 XEmacs/20.3beta17 ("Bucharest") User-Agent: Gnus/5.4.64 XEmacs/20.3beta17 ("Bucharest")
User-Agent: Pluto/1.05h (RISC-OS/3.1) NewsHound/1.30 User-Agent: Pluto/1.05h (RISC-OS/3.1) NewsHound/1.30
User-Agent: inn/1.7.2 User-Agent: inn/1.7.2
User-Agent: telnet User-Agent: telnet
NOTE: This header supersedes the role performed redundantly by NOTE: This header supersedes the role performed redundantly by
experimental headers such as X-Newsreader, X-Mailer, X-Posting- experimental headers such as X-Newsreader, X-Mailer, X-Posting-
Agent, X-Http-User-Agent, and other headers previously used on Agent, X-Http-User-Agent, and other headers previously used on
Usenet for this purpose. Use of these experimental headers Usenet for this purpose. Use of these experimental headers
SHOULD be discontinued in favor of the single, standard User- SHOULD be discontinued in favor of the single, standard User-
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article entered the Netnews system and to assist in tracing its true article entered the Netnews system and to assist in tracing its true
origin. origin.
header =/ Injector-Info-header header =/ Injector-Info-header
Injector-Info-header Injector-Info-header
= "Injector-Info" ":" SP Injector-Info-content = "Injector-Info" ":" SP Injector-Info-content
*( ";" ( Injector-Info-parameter / *( ";" ( Injector-Info-parameter /
other-parameter ) ) other-parameter ) )
Injector-Info-content Injector-Info-content
= [CFWS] path-identity [CFWS] = [CFWS] path-identity [CFWS]
News Article Format May 2002
Injector-Info-parameter Injector-Info-parameter
= posting-host-parameter / = posting-host-parameter /
posting-account-parameter / posting-account-parameter /
posting-sender-parameter / posting-sender-parameter /
posting-logging-parameter / posting-logging-parameter /
posting-date-parameter posting-date-parameter
; for {USENET}-parameters see 4.1 ; for {USENET}-parameters see 4.1
posting-host-parameter posting-host-parameter
= <a parameter with attribute "posting-host" = <a parameter with attribute "posting-host"
and value some host-value> and value some host-value>
skipping to change at page 56, line 32 skipping to change at page 58, line 4
posting-sender-parameter posting-sender-parameter
= <a parameter with attribute "sender" = <a parameter with attribute "sender"
and value some sender-value> and value some sender-value>
sender-value = mailbox / "verified" sender-value = mailbox / "verified"
posting-logging-parameter posting-logging-parameter
= <a parameter with attribute "logging-data" = <a parameter with attribute "logging-data"
and any value> and any value>
posting-date-parameter posting-date-parameter
= <a parameter with attribute "posting-date" = <a parameter with attribute "posting-date"
and value some date-time> and value some date-time>
News Article Format August 2002
An Injector-Info-header MUST NOT be added to an article by any agent An Injector-Info-header MUST NOT be added to an article by any agent
other than an injecting agent. Any Injector-Info-header present when other than an injecting agent. Any Injector-Info-header present when
an article arrives at an injecting agent MUST be removed. In an article arrives at an injecting agent MUST be removed. In
particular if, for some exceptional reason (8.2.2), an article gets particular if, for some exceptional reason (8.2.2), an article gets
injected twice, the Injector-Info-header will always relate to the injected twice, the Injector-Info-header will always relate to the
second injection. second injection.
The path-identity MUST be the same as the path-identity prepended to The path-identity MUST be the same as the path-identity prepended to
the Path-header by that same injecting agent which, following section the Path-header by that same injecting agent which, following section
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parameters as are present are included in the order in which they parameters as are present are included in the order in which they
have been defined in the syntax above. An injecting agent SHOULD use have been defined in the syntax above. An injecting agent SHOULD use
a consistent form of this header for all articles emanating from the a consistent form of this header for all articles emanating from the
same or similar origins. same or similar origins.
NOTE: The effect of those recommendations is to facilitate the NOTE: The effect of those recommendations is to facilitate the
recognition of articles arising from certain designated origins recognition of articles arising from certain designated origins
(as in the so-called "killfiles" which are available in some (as in the so-called "killfiles" which are available in some
reading agents). Observe that the order within the syntax has reading agents). Observe that the order within the syntax has
been chosen to place last those parameters which are most likely been chosen to place last those parameters which are most likely
News Article Format May 2002
to change between successive articles posted from the same to change between successive articles posted from the same
origin. origin.
NOTE: To comply with the overall "attribute = value" syntax of NOTE: To comply with the overall "attribute = value" syntax of
parameters, any value containing an IPv6address, a date-time, a parameters, any value containing an IPv6address, a date-time, a
mailbox or any CFWS MUST be quoted using <DQUOTE>s (the quoting mailbox, any UTF8-xtra-char, or any CFWS MUST be quoted using
is optional in other cases). <DQUOTE>s (the quoting is optional in other cases).
NOTE: This header is intended to replace various currently-used NOTE: This header is intended to replace various currently-used
but nowhere-documented headers such as "NNTP-Posting-Host", but nowhere-documented headers such as "NNTP-Posting-Host",
"NNTP-Posting-Date" and "X-Trace". These headers are now "NNTP-Posting-Date" and "X-Trace". These headers are now
deprecated, and any of them present when an article arrives at deprecated, and any of them present when an article arrives at
an injecting agent SHOULD also be removed as above. an injecting agent SHOULD also be removed as above.
6.19.1. Usage of Injector-Info-parameters 6.19.1. Usage of Injector-Info-parameters
The purpose of these parameters is to enable the injecting agent to The purpose of these parameters is to enable the injecting agent to
make assertions about the origin of the article, in fulfilment of its make assertions about the origin of the article, in fulfilment of its
responsibilities towards the rest of the network as set out in responsibilities towards the rest of the network as set out in
section 8.2. These assertions can then be utilized as follows: section 8.2. These assertions can then be utilized as follows:
1. To enable the administrator of the injecting agent to respond to 1. To enable the administrator of the injecting agent to respond to
complaints and queries concerning the article. For this purpose, complaints and queries concerning the article. For this purpose,
the parameters included SHOULD be sufficient to enable the the parameters included SHOULD be sufficient to enable the
administrator to identify its true origin (which parameters are administrator to identify its true origin (which parameters are
best suited to this purpose will vary with the nature of the best suited to this purpose will vary with the nature of the
injecting site and of its relationship to the posters who use it - injecting site and of its relationship to the posters who use it -
News Article Format August 2002
there is no benefit in including parameters which contribute there is no benefit in including parameters which contribute
nothing to this aim). An administrator MAY, with those parameters nothing to this aim). An administrator MAY, with those parameters
where the syntax so allows, use cryptic notations interpretable where the syntax so allows, use cryptic notations interpretable
only by himself if he considers it appropriate to protect the only by himself if he considers it appropriate to protect the
privacy of that origin. privacy of that origin.
2. To enable relaying, serving and reading agents to recognize 2. To enable relaying, serving and reading agents to recognize
articles from origins which they might wish to reject, divert, or articles from origins which they might wish to reject, divert, or
otherwise handle specially, for reasons of site policy. otherwise handle specially, for reasons of site policy.
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NOTE: Administrators of injecting agents can choose which NOTE: Administrators of injecting agents can choose which
selection of the following parameters best enables them to fulfil selection of the following parameters best enables them to fulfil
their responsibilities. Some of these parameters identify the their responsibilities. Some of these parameters identify the
source of the article explicitly whereas others do so indirectly, source of the article explicitly whereas others do so indirectly,
thus affording more privacy to posters who value their anonymity, thus affording more privacy to posters who value their anonymity,
but also making harder the tracking of malicious disruption of the but also making harder the tracking of malicious disruption of the
network, especially so if the administrators choose not to network, especially so if the administrators choose not to
cooperate. There is thus a balance to be struck between the needs cooperate. There is thus a balance to be struck between the needs
of privacy on the one hand and the good order of Usenet on the of privacy on the one hand and the good order of Usenet on the
News Article Format May 2002
other, and administrators need to be aware of this when other, and administrators need to be aware of this when
formulating their policies. formulating their policies.
6.19.1.1. The posting-host-parameter 6.19.1.1. The posting-host-parameter
If a dot-atom is present, it MUST be a FQDN identifying the specific If a dot-atom is present, it MUST be a FQDN identifying the specific
host from which the injecting agent received the article. host from which the injecting agent received the article.
Alternatively, an IP address (IPv4address or IPv6address) identifies Alternatively, an IP address (IPv4address or IPv6address) identifies
that host. If both forms are present, then they MUST identify the that host. If both forms are present, then they MUST identify the
same host, or at least have done so at the time the article was same host, or at least have done so at the time the article was
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6.19.1.2. The posting-account-parameter 6.19.1.2. The posting-account-parameter
This parameter identifies the source from which the injecting agent This parameter identifies the source from which the injecting agent
received the article. It SHOULD be in a cryptic notation received the article. It SHOULD be in a cryptic notation
understandable only by the administrator of the injecting agent, but understandable only by the administrator of the injecting agent, but
it MUST be such that a given source gives rise to the same posting- it MUST be such that a given source gives rise to the same posting-
account, at least in the short term. If the injecting agent is unable account, at least in the short term. If the injecting agent is unable
to meet that obligation, then it should use a posting-logging- to meet that obligation, then it should use a posting-logging-
parameter instead. parameter instead.
News Article Format August 2002
6.19.1.3. The posting-sender-parameter 6.19.1.3. The posting-sender-parameter
This parameter identifies the mailbox of the verified sender of the This parameter identifies the mailbox of the verified sender of the
article (alternatively, it uses the token "verified" to indicate that article (alternatively, it uses the token "verified" to indicate that
at least any addr-spec in the Sender-header of the article, or in the at least any addr-spec in the Sender-header of the article, or in the
From-header if the Sender-header is absent, is correct). From-header if the Sender-header is absent, is correct).
NOTE: An injecting agent is unlikely to be able to make use of NOTE: An injecting agent is unlikely to be able to make use of
this parameter except in cases where it is running on a machine this parameter except in cases where it is running on a machine
which is aware of the user-space in which the posting agent is which is aware of the user-space in which the posting agent is
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other non-persistent means of identifying a posting account) which other non-persistent means of identifying a posting account) which
will enable the true origin of the article to be determined by will enable the true origin of the article to be determined by
reference to logging information kept by the injecting agent. reference to logging information kept by the injecting agent.
6.19.1.5. The posting-date-parameter 6.19.1.5. The posting-date-parameter
This parameter identifies the time at which the article was injected This parameter identifies the time at which the article was injected
(as distinct from the Date-header, which indicates when it was (as distinct from the Date-header, which indicates when it was
written). written).
News Article Format May 2002
6.19.2. Example 6.19.2. Example
Injector-Info: news2.isp.net; posting-host=modem-15.pop.isp.net; Injector-Info: news2.isp.net; posting-host=modem-15.pop.isp.net;
posting-account=client0002623; logging-data=2427; posting-account=client0002623; logging-data=2427;
posting-date="Wed, 2 Aug 2000 20:05:33 -0100 (BST)" posting-date="Wed, 2 Aug 2000 20:05:33 -0100 (BST)"
6.20. Complaints-To 6.20. Complaints-To
The Complaints-To-header is added to an article by an injecting agent The Complaints-To-header is added to an article by an injecting agent
in order to indicate the mailbox to which complaints concerning the in order to indicate the mailbox to which complaints concerning the
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Complaints-To-content Complaints-To-content
= address-list = address-list
A Complaints-To-header MUST NOT be added to an article by any agent A Complaints-To-header MUST NOT be added to an article by any agent
other than an injecting agent. Any Complaints-To-header present when other than an injecting agent. Any Complaints-To-header present when
an article arrives at an injecting agent MUST be removed. In an article arrives at an injecting agent MUST be removed. In
particular if, for some exceptional reason (8.2.2), an article gets particular if, for some exceptional reason (8.2.2), an article gets
injected twice, the Complaints-To-header will always relate to the injected twice, the Complaints-To-header will always relate to the
second injection. second injection.
News Article Format August 2002
The specified mailbox is for sending complaints concerning the The specified mailbox is for sending complaints concerning the
behaviour of the poster of the article; it SHOULD NOT be used for behaviour of the poster of the article; it SHOULD NOT be used for
matters concerning propagation, protocol problems, etc. which should matters concerning propagation, protocol problems, etc. which should
be addressed to "usenet@" or "news@" the path-identity which was be addressed to "usenet@" or "news@" the path-identity which was
prepended to the Path-header by the injecting agent, in accordance prepended to the Path-header by the injecting agent, in accordance
with section 5.6.2. In the absence of this header, complaints with section 5.6.2. In the absence of this header, complaints
concerning a poster's behaviour MAY be addressed to "abuse@" that concerning a poster's behaviour MAY be addressed to "abuse@" that
path-identity (although section 5.6.2 provides no obligation for that path-identity (although section 5.6.2 provides no obligation for that
address to be mailable at an injecting agent that is not provided for address to be mailable at an injecting agent that is not provided for
the use of the general public). the use of the general public).
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standard. standard.
MIME-Version: [RFC 2045] MIME-Version: [RFC 2045]
Content-Type: [RFC 2045],[RFC 2046] Content-Type: [RFC 2045],[RFC 2046]
Content-Transfer-Encoding: [RFC 2045] Content-Transfer-Encoding: [RFC 2045]
Content-ID: [RFC 2045] Content-ID: [RFC 2045]
Content-Description: [RFC 2045] Content-Description: [RFC 2045]
Content-Disposition: [RFC 2183] Content-Disposition: [RFC 2183]
Content-Location: [RFC 2557] Content-Location: [RFC 2557]
Content-MD5: [RFC 1864] Content-MD5: [RFC 1864]
News Article Format May 2002
The RFCs listed are deemed to be incorporated into this standard to The RFCs listed are deemed to be incorporated into this standard to
the extent necessary to facilitate their usage within Netnews, the extent necessary to facilitate their usage within Netnews,
subject to the revised syntax of parameter given in this standard subject to the revised syntax of parameter given in this standard
(which permits UTF-xtra-chars to appear within quoted-strings used as (which permits UTF-xtra-chars to appear within quoted-strings used as
values), and subject to curtailment of that usage as described in the values), and subject to curtailment of that usage as described in the
following sections. Moreover, extensions to those standards following sections. Moreover, extensions to those standards
registered in accordance with [RFC 2048] are also available for use registered in accordance with [RFC 2048] are also available for use
within Netnews, as indeed is any other header in the Content-* series within Netnews, as indeed is any other header in the Content-* series
which has a sensible interpretation within Netnews. which has a sensible interpretation within Netnews.
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(whether in the form of WSP, FWS or CFWS), the usage defined in this (whether in the form of WSP, FWS or CFWS), the usage defined in this
standard, and failing that in [RFC 2822], and failing that in [RFC standard, and failing that in [RFC 2822], and failing that in [RFC
822] MUST be followed. In particular, there MUST NOT be any WSP 822] MUST be followed. In particular, there MUST NOT be any WSP
between a header-name and the following colon and there MUST be a SP between a header-name and the following colon and there MUST be a SP
following that colon. following that colon.
6.21.2. Content-Type 6.21.2. Content-Type
The Content-Type: "text/plain" is the default type for any news The Content-Type: "text/plain" is the default type for any news
article, but the recommendations and limits on line lengths set out article, but the recommendations and limits on line lengths set out
in section 4.5 Ought to be observed in section 4.5 Ought to be observed.
The acceptability of other subtypes of Content-Type: "text" (such as The acceptability of other subtypes of Content-Type: "text" (such as
"text/html") is a matter of policy (see 1.1), and posters Ought Not "text/html") is a matter of policy (see 1.1), and posters Ought Not
to use them unless established policy or custom in the particular to use them unless established policy or custom in the particular
News Article Format August 2002
hierarchies or groups involved so allows. Moreover, even in those hierarchies or groups involved so allows. Moreover, even in those
cases, for the benefit of readers who see it only in its transmitted cases, for the benefit of readers who see it only in its transmitted
form, the material SHOULD be "pretty-printed" (for example by form, the material SHOULD be "pretty-printed" (for example by
restricting its line length as above and by keeping sequences which restricting its line length as above and by keeping sequences which
control its layout or style separate from the meaningful text). control its layout or style separate from the meaningful text).
In the same way, Content-Types requiring special processing for their In the same way, Content-Types requiring special processing for their
display, such as "application", "image", "audio", "video" and display, such as "application", "image", "audio", "video" and
"multipart/related" are discouraged except in groups specifically "multipart/related" are discouraged except in groups specifically
intended (by policy or custom) to include them. Exceptionally, those intended (by policy or custom) to include them. Exceptionally, those
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act automatically on Application types which could change the state act automatically on Application types which could change the state
of that agent (e.g. by writing or modifying files), except in the of that agent (e.g. by writing or modifying files), except in the
case of those prescribed for use in control messages (7.2.1.2 and case of those prescribed for use in control messages (7.2.1.2 and
7.2.4.1). 7.2.4.1).
6.21.2.1. Message/partial 6.21.2.1. Message/partial
The Content-Type "message/partial" MAY be used to split a long news The Content-Type "message/partial" MAY be used to split a long news
article into several smaller ones. article into several smaller ones.
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: This Content-Type is not recommended for textual articles NOTE: This Content-Type is not recommended for textual articles
because the Content-Type, and in particular the charset, of the because the Content-Type, and in particular the charset, of the
complete article cannot be determined by examination of the complete article cannot be determined by examination of the
second and subsequent parts, and hence it is not possible to second and subsequent parts, and hence it is not possible to
read them as separate articles (except when they are written in read them as separate articles (except when they are written in
pure US-ASCII). Moreover, for full compliance with [RFC 2046] it pure US-ASCII). Moreover, for full compliance with [RFC 2046] it
would be necessary to use the "quoted-printable" encoding to would be necessary to use the "quoted-printable" encoding to
ensure the material was 7bit-safe. In any case, breaking such ensure the material was 7bit-safe. In any case, breaking such
long texts into several parts is usually unnecessary, since long texts into several parts is usually unnecessary, since
modern transport agents should have no difficulty in handling modern transport agents should have no difficulty in handling
articles of arbitrary length. articles of arbitrary length.
On the other hand, "message/partial" may be useful for binaries On the other hand, "message/partial" may be useful for binaries
of excessive length, since reading of the individual parts on of excessive length, since reading of the individual parts on
their own is not required and they would in any case be encoded their own is not required and they would likely be encoded in a
in a manner that was 7bit-safe. manner that was 7bit-safe.
IF this Content-Type is used, then the "id" parameter SHOULD be in IF this Content-Type is used, then the "id" parameter SHOULD be in
the form of a unique message identifier (but different from that in the form of a unique message identifier (but different from that in
the Message-ID-header of any of the parts). The second and subsequent the Message-ID-header of any of the parts). The second and subsequent
parts SHOULD contain References-headers referring to all the previous parts SHOULD contain References-headers referring to all the previous
parts, thus enabling reading agents with threading capabilities to parts, thus enabling reading agents with threading capabilities to
present them in the correct order. Reading agents MAY then provide a present them in the correct order. Reading agents MAY then provide a
facility to recombine the parts into a single article (but this facility to recombine the parts into a single article (but this
standard does not require them to do so). standard does not require them to do so).
News Article Format August 2002
6.21.2.2. Message/rfc822 6.21.2.2. Message/rfc822
The Content-Type "message/rfc822" should be used for the The Content-Type "message/rfc822" should be used for the
encapsulation (whether as part of another news article or, more encapsulation (whether as part of another news article or, more
usually, as part of an email message) of complete news articles which usually, as part of an email message) of complete news articles which
have already been posted to Netnews and which are for the information have already been posted to Netnews and which are for the information
of the recipient, and do not constitute a request to repost them. of the recipient, and do not constitute a request to repost them
(refer to 6.21.6.2 for the now obsolete "message/news" formerly
In the case where the encapsulated article has Content-Transfer- intended for this purpose).
Encoding "8bit", it will be necessary to change that encoding if it
is to be forwarded over some email transport that only supports
"7bit". However, this should not be necessary for any email transport
that supports the 8BITMIME feature [RFC 2821]. Moreover, where the
headers of the encapsulated article contain any UTF8-xtra-chars
(2.4.2), it may not be possible to transport them over email
transports even where 8BITMIME is supported. In such cases, it will
be necessary to encode those headers as provided in [RFC 2047]
(notwithstanding that such usage is deprecated for news headers by
this standard, and actually forbidden in the case of the Newsgroups-
header).
In the event that the encapsulated article has to be encoded for
either of these reasons, it may be necessary to reverse that encoding
if certain forms of digital signatures have been employed, or if the
article is to be reintroduced into some Netnews system (however, in
the latter case, the Content-Type "application/news-transmission"
should have been used instead).
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: It is likely, though not guaranteed, that headers In the case where such an encapsulated news article has Content-
containing UTF8-xtra-chars will pass safely through email Transfer-Encoding "8bit" or where its headers contain any UTF8-xtra-
transports supporting 8BITMIME if the "message/rfc822" object is chars (2.4.2), it might not be possible to transport it by email
sent as an attachment (i.e. as a part of a multipart) rather without some prior transformations, although there should be few
than as the top-level body of the email message. Moreover, it is problems if the email transport supports 8BITMIME [RFC 2821]. The
anticipated that future extensions to the Email standards will problems that arise are similar to those encountered by an outgoing
permit headers containing UTF8-xtra-chars to be carried without gateway, and therefore the advice on transformations given in section
further ado over conforming transports. 8.8.1 should be followed. It may be necessary to reverse such
transformations at the far end if certain forms of digital signatures
have been employed in the article.
6.21.2.3. Message/external-body 6.21.2.3. Message/external-body
The Content-Type "message/external-body" could be appropriate for The Content-Type "message/external-body" could be appropriate for
texts which it would be uneconomic (in view of the likely readership) texts which it would be uneconomic (in view of the likely readership)
to distribute to the entire network. to distribute to the entire network.
6.21.2.4. Multipart types 6.21.2.4. Multipart types
The Content-Types "multipart/mixed", "multipart/parallel" and The Content-Types "multipart/mixed", "multipart/parallel" and
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NOTE: The various recommendations given above regarding the NOTE: The various recommendations given above regarding the
usage of particular Content-Types apply also to the individual usage of particular Content-Types apply also to the individual
parts of these multiparts. parts of these multiparts.
6.21.3. Content-Transfer-Encoding 6.21.3. Content-Transfer-Encoding
"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit" is sufficient for article bodies "Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit" is sufficient for article bodies
(or parts of multiparts) written in pure US-ASCII (or most other (or parts of multiparts) written in pure US-ASCII (or most other
material representable in 7 bits). Posting agents SHOULD specify material representable in 7 bits). Posting agents SHOULD specify
"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit" for all other cases unless there "Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit" for all other cases unless there
News Article Format August 2002
are pressing reasons to do otherwise. They MAY use "8bit" encoding are pressing reasons to do otherwise. They MAY use "8bit" encoding
even when "7bit" encoding would have sufficed. Examples of such even when "7bit" encoding would have sufficed. Examples of such
pressing reasons are the following: pressing reasons are the following:
1. The content type implies that the content is (or may be) "8bit- 1. The content type implies that the content is (or may be) "8bit-
unsafe"; i.e. it may contain octets equivalent to the US-ASCII unsafe"; i.e. it may contain octets equivalent to the US-ASCII
characters CR or LF (other than in the combination CRLF) or NUL. characters CR or LF (other than in the combination CRLF) or NUL.
In that case one of the Content-Transfer-Encodings "base64" or In that case one of the Content-Transfer-Encodings "base64" or
"quoted-printable" MUST be used, and reading agents MUST be able "quoted-printable" MUST be used, and reading agents MUST be able
to handle both of them. Encoding "binary" MUST NOT be used (except to handle both of them. Encoding "binary" MUST NOT be used (except
in cooperating subnets with alternative transport arrangements) in cooperating subnets with alternative transport arrangements)
because this standard does not mandate a transport mechanism that because this standard does not mandate a transport mechanism that
News Article Format May 2002
could support it. could support it.
NOTE: If a future extension to the MIME standards were to NOTE: If a future extension to the MIME standards were to
provide a more compact encoding of binary suited to transport provide a more compact encoding of binary suited to transport
over an 8bit channel, it could be considered as an alternative over an 8bit channel, it could be considered as an alternative
to base64 once it had gained widespread acceptance. to base64 once it had gained widespread acceptance.
2. It is often the case that "application" Content-Types are textual 2. It is often the case that "application" Content-Types are textual
in nature, and intelligible to humans as well as to machines, and in nature, and intelligible to humans as well as to machines, and
where this state can be recognized by the posting agent (either where this state can be recognized by the posting agent (either
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NOTE: All the application types defined by this standard, namely NOTE: All the application types defined by this standard, namely
"application/news-transmission", "application/news-groupinfo" "application/news-transmission", "application/news-groupinfo"
and "application/news-checkgroups" are textual, and indeed and "application/news-checkgroups" are textual, and indeed
designed for human reading. designed for human reading.
3. Although the "text" Content-Types should normally be encoded as 3. Although the "text" Content-Types should normally be encoded as
8bit (or 7bit), if the character set specified by the "charset=" 8bit (or 7bit), if the character set specified by the "charset="
parameter can include the 3 disallowed octets, then the material parameter can include the 3 disallowed octets, then the material
MUST be encoded as for 8bit-unsafe. This is most likely to arise MUST be encoded as for 8bit-unsafe. This is most likely to arise
in the case of 16-bit character sets such as UTF-16 ([UNICODE3.1] in the case of 16-bit character sets such as UTF-16 ([UNICODE 3.2]
or [ISO/IEC 10646]). In addition, where it is known that the or [ISO/IEC 10646]). In addition, where it is known that the
material is subsequently to be gatewayed from Netnews to Email material is subsequently to be gatewayed from Netnews to Email
(8.8), the encoding "quoted-printable" MAY be used (otherwise the (8.8), the encoding "quoted-printable" MAY be used (otherwise the
gateway might have to re-encode it itself). gateway might have to re-encode it itself).
4. Some protocols REQUIRE the use of a particular Content-Transfer- 4. Some protocols REQUIRE the use of a particular Content-Transfer-
Encoding. In particular, the authentication protocol based on Encoding. In particular, the authentication protocol based on
[Open]PGP defined in [RFC 3156] mandates the use of one of the OpenPGP defined in [RFC 3156] mandates the use of one of the
encodings "quoted-printable" or "base64". Whilst posters might be encodings "quoted-printable" or "base64". Whilst posters might be
News Article Format August 2002
tempted to risk the use of "8bit" or "7bit" encodings (and indeed tempted to risk the use of "8bit" or "7bit" encodings (and indeed
the referenced standard recommends that signed messages using the referenced standard recommends that signed messages using
those encodings be accepted and interpreted), they should be those encodings be accepted and interpreted), they should be
warned that differences in the treatment of trailing whitespace warned that differences in the treatment of trailing whitespace
between OpenPGP [RFC 2440] and earlier versions of PGP may render between OpenPGP [RFC 2440] and earlier versions of PGP may render
signatures written with the one unverifiable by the other; and, signatures written with the one unverifiable by the other; and,
moreover, Usenet articles are very likely to include trailing moreover, Usenet articles are very likely to include trailing
whitespace in the form of a personal signature (4.3.2). whitespace in the form of a personal signature (4.3.2).
5. The Content-Type message/partial [RFC 2046] is required to use 5. The Content-Type message/partial [RFC 2046] is required to use
encoding "7bit" (the encapsulated complete message may itself use encoding "7bit" (the encapsulated complete message may itself use
encoding "quoted-printable" or "base64", but that information is encoding "quoted-printable" or "base64", but that information is
News Article Format May 2002
only conveyed along with the first of the partial parts). only conveyed along with the first of the partial parts).
NOTE: Although there would actually be no problem using encoding NOTE: Although there would actually be no problem using encoding
"8bit" in a pure Netnews (as opposed to Email) environment, this "8bit" in a pure Netnews (as opposed to Email) environment, this
standard discourages (see 6.21.2.1) the use of "message/partial" standard discourages (see 6.21.2.1) the use of "message/partial"
except for binary material, which will be encoded to pass except for binary material, which will likely be encoded to pass
through "7bit" in any case. through "7bit" in any case.
Injecting and relaying agents MUST NOT change the encoding of Injecting and relaying agents MUST NOT change the encoding of
articles passed to them. Gateways SHOULD NOT change the encoding articles passed to them. Gateways SHOULD NOT change the encoding
unless absolutely necessary. unless absolutely necessary.
6.21.4. Character Sets 6.21.4. Character Sets
In principle, any character set may be specified in the "charset=" In principle, any character set may be specified in the "charset="
parameter of a content type. However, only those character sets (and parameter of a content type. However, only those character sets (and
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inline, as if they were a single part. inline, as if they were a single part.
6.21.6. Definition of some new Content-Types 6.21.6. Definition of some new Content-Types
This standard defines (or redefines) several new Content-Types, which This standard defines (or redefines) several new Content-Types, which
require to be registered with IANA as provided for in [RFC 2048]. require to be registered with IANA as provided for in [RFC 2048].
For "application/news-groupinfo" see 7.2.1.2, for "application/news- For "application/news-groupinfo" see 7.2.1.2, for "application/news-
checkgroups" see 7.2.4.1, and for "application/news-transmission" see checkgroups" see 7.2.4.1, and for "application/news-transmission" see
the following section. the following section.
News Article Format August 2002
6.21.6.1. Application/news-transmission 6.21.6.1. Application/news-transmission
The Content-Type "application/news-transmission" is intended for the The Content-Type "application/news-transmission" is intended for the
encapsulation of complete news articles where the intention is that encapsulation of complete news articles where the intention is that
the recipient should then inject them into Netnews. This Application the recipient should then inject them into Netnews. This Application
type SHOULD be used when mailing articles to moderators and to type provides one of the methods for mailing articles to moderators
email-to-news gateways (see 8.2.2). (see 8.2.2) and it is also the preferred method when sending to an
email-to-news gateway (see 8.8.1).
NOTE: The benefit of such encapsulation is that it removes NOTE: The benefit of such encapsulation is that it removes
possible conflict between news and email headers and it provides possible conflict between news and email headers and it provides
a convenient way of "tunnelling" a news article through a a convenient way of "tunnelling" a news article through a
transport medium that does not support 8bit characters. transport medium that does not support 8bit characters.
News Article Format May 2002
The MIME content type definition of "application/news-transmission" The MIME content type definition of "application/news-transmission"
is: is:
MIME type name: application MIME type name: application
MIME subtype name: news-transmission MIME subtype name: news-transmission
Required parameters: none Required parameters: none
Optional parameters: usage=moderate Optional parameters: usage=moderate
usage=inject usage=inject
usage=relay usage=relay
Encoding considerations: A transfer-encoding (such as Quoted- Encoding considerations: A transfer-encoding (such as Quoted-
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three usage parameters "moderate", "inject" and "relay", hence three usage parameters "moderate", "inject" and "relay", hence
the reason why they are optional, being redundant in most the reason why they are optional, being redundant in most
situations. Nevertheless, they MAY be used to signify the situations. Nevertheless, they MAY be used to signify the
originator's intention with regard to the transmission, so originator's intention with regard to the transmission, so
removing any possible doubt. removing any possible doubt.
When the parameter "relay" is used, or implied, the body part MAY be When the parameter "relay" is used, or implied, the body part MAY be
a batch of articles to be transmitted together, in which case the a batch of articles to be transmitted together, in which case the
following syntax MUST be used. following syntax MUST be used.
News Article Format August 2002
batch = 1*( batch-header article ) batch = 1*( batch-header article )
batch-header = "#!" SP rnews SP article-size CRLF batch-header = "#!" SP rnews SP article-size CRLF
rnews = %x72.6E.65.77.73 ; case sensitive "rnews" rnews = %x72.6E.65.77.73 ; case sensitive "rnews"
article-size = 1*DIGIT article-size = 1*DIGIT
Thus a batch is a sequence of articles, each prefixed by a header Thus a batch is a sequence of articles, each prefixed by a header
line that includes its size. The article-size is a decimal count of line that includes its size. The article-size is a decimal count of
the octets in the article, counting each CRLF as one octet regardless the octets in the article, counting each CRLF as one octet regardless
of how it is actually represented. of how it is actually represented.
NOTE: Despite the similarity of this format to an executable NOTE: Despite the similarity of this format to an executable
UNIX script, it is EXTREMELY unwise to feed such a batch into a UNIX script, it is EXTREMELY unwise to feed such a batch into a
command interpreter in anticipation of it running a command command interpreter in anticipation of it running a command
named "rnews"; the security implications of so doing would be named "rnews"; the security implications of so doing would be
News Article Format May 2002
disastrous. disastrous.
6.21.6.2. Message/news obsoleted 6.21.6.2. Message/news obsoleted
The Content-Type "message/news", as previously registered with IANA, The Content-Type "message/news", as previously registered with IANA,
is hereby declared obsolete. It was never widely implemented, and its is hereby declared obsolete. It was never widely implemented, and its
default treatment as "application/octet-stream" by agents that did default treatment as "application/octet-stream" by agents that did
not recognize it was counter productive. The Content-Type not recognize it was counter productive. The Content-Type
"message/rfc822" SHOULD be used in its place, as already described "message/rfc822" SHOULD be used in its place, as already described
above. above.
skipping to change at page 66, line 46 skipping to change at page 68, line 4
This is to ensure that the message propagates to all sites which This is to ensure that the message propagates to all sites which
receive (or would receive) that group(s). It MAY include other receive (or would receive) that group(s). It MAY include other
newsgroup-names so as to improve propagation (but this practice may newsgroup-names so as to improve propagation (but this practice may
cause the control message to propagate also to places where it is cause the control message to propagate also to places where it is
unwanted, or even cause it not to propagate where it should, so it unwanted, or even cause it not to propagate where it should, so it
should not be used without good reason). should not be used without good reason).
The descriptions below set out REQUIREMENTS to be followed by sites The descriptions below set out REQUIREMENTS to be followed by sites
that receive control messages and choose to honour them. However, that receive control messages and choose to honour them. However,
nothing in these descriptions should be taken as overriding the right nothing in these descriptions should be taken as overriding the right
News Article Format August 2002
of any such site, in accordance with its local policy, to deny any of any such site, in accordance with its local policy, to deny any
particular control message, or to refer it to an administrator for particular control message, or to refer it to an administrator for
approval (either as a class or on a case-by-case basis). In approval (either as a class or on a case-by-case basis). In
particular, sites Ought to deny messages not issued by the particular, sites Ought to deny messages not issued by the
appropriate administrative agencies, and therefore SHOULD take such appropriate administrative agencies, and therefore SHOULD take such
steps as are reasonably practicable to validate their authenticity steps as are reasonably practicable to validate their authenticity
(see, for example, section 7.1 below). (see, for example, section 7.1 below).
Relaying Agents MUST propagate even control messages that they do not Relaying Agents MUST propagate even control messages that they do not
recognize. recognize.
In the following sections, each type of control message is defined In the following sections, each type of control message is defined
syntactically by defining its verb, its arguments, and possibly its syntactically by defining its verb, its arguments, and possibly its
body. body.
News Article Format May 2002
7.1. Digital Signature of Headers 7.1. Digital Signature of Headers
It is most desirable that group control messages (7.2) in particular It is most desirable that group control messages (7.2) in particular
be authenticated by incorporating them within some digital signature be authenticated by incorporating them within some digital signature
scheme that encompasses other headers closely associated with them scheme that encompasses other headers closely associated with them
(including at least the Approved-, Message-ID- and Date-headers). At (including at least the Approved-, Message-ID- and Date-headers). At
the time of writing, this is usually done by means of a protocol the time of writing, this is usually done by means of a protocol
known as "PGPverify" ([PGPVERIFY]), and continued usage of this is known as "PGPverify" ([PGPVERIFY]), and continued usage of this is
encouraged at least as an interim measure. encouraged at least as an interim measure.
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(6.14). Moreover, in those hierarchies where appropriate (6.14). Moreover, in those hierarchies where appropriate
administrative agencies exist (see 1.1), group control messages Ought administrative agencies exist (see 1.1), group control messages Ought
Not to be issued except as authorized by those agencies. Not to be issued except as authorized by those agencies.
7.2.1. The 'newgroup' Control Message 7.2.1. The 'newgroup' Control Message
control-message =/ Newgroup-message control-message =/ Newgroup-message
Newgroup-message = "newgroup" Newgroup-arguments Newgroup-message = "newgroup" Newgroup-arguments
Newgroup-arguments = CFWS newsgroup-name [ CFWS newgroup-flag ] Newgroup-arguments = CFWS newsgroup-name [ CFWS newgroup-flag ]
newgroup-flag = "moderated" newgroup-flag = "moderated"
News Article Format August 2002
The "newgroup" control message requests that the specified group be The "newgroup" control message requests that the specified group be
created or changed. If the request is honoured, or if the group created or changed. If the request is honoured, or if the group
already exists on the serving agent, and if the newgroup-flag already exists on the serving agent, and if the newgroup-flag
"moderated" is present, then the group MUST be marked as moderated, "moderated" is present, then the group MUST be marked as moderated,
and vice versa. "Moderated" is the only such flag defined by this and vice versa. "Moderated" is the only such flag defined by this
standard; other flags MAY be defined for use in cooperating subnets, standard; other flags MAY be defined for use in cooperating subnets,
but newgroup messages containing them MUST NOT be acted on outside of but newgroup messages containing them MUST NOT be acted on outside of
those subnets. those subnets.
NOTE: Specifically, some alternative flags such as "y" and "m", NOTE: Specifically, some alternative flags such as "y" and "m",
which are sent and recognized by some current software, are NOT which are sent and recognized by some current software, are NOT
part of this standard. Moreover, some existing implementations part of this standard. Moreover, some existing implementations
treat any flag other than "moderated" as indicating an treat any flag other than "moderated" as indicating an
unmoderated newsgroup. Both of these usages are contrary to this unmoderated newsgroup. Both of these usages are contrary to this
standard and control messages with such non-standard flags standard and control messages with such non-standard flags
should be ignored. should be ignored.
News Article Format May 2002
The message body comprises or includes an "application/news- The message body comprises or includes an "application/news-
groupinfo" (7.2.1.2) part containing machine- and human-readable groupinfo" (7.2.1.2) part containing machine- and human-readable
information about the group. information about the group.
It is REQUIRED that the newsgroup-name conforms to all requirements It is REQUIRED that the newsgroup-name conforms to all requirements
set out in section 5.5. This includes the restrictions as to the set out in section 5.5. This includes the restrictions as to the
permitted characters, and the requirement that they be invariant permitted characters, and the requirement that they be invariant
under NFKC normalization. It is essential that those who issue under NFKC normalization. It is essential that those who issue
newgroup messages are aware of their responsibility to enforce this newgroup messages are aware of their responsibility to enforce this
requirement, since some of those conditions are hard to enforce requirement, since some of those conditions are hard to enforce
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7.2.1.1. The Body of the 'newgroup' Control Message 7.2.1.1. The Body of the 'newgroup' Control Message
The body of the newgroup message contains the following subparts, The body of the newgroup message contains the following subparts,
preferably in the order shown: preferably in the order shown:
1. An "application/news-groupinfo" part (7.2.1.2) containing the name 1. An "application/news-groupinfo" part (7.2.1.2) containing the name
and newsgroups-line of the group(s). This part MUST be present. and newsgroups-line of the group(s). This part MUST be present.
2. Other parts containing useful information about the background of 2. Other parts containing useful information about the background of
the newsgroup message (typically of type "text/plain"). the newgroup message (typically of type "text/plain").
3. Parts containing initial articles for the newsgroup. See section 3. Parts containing initial articles for the newsgroup. See section
7.2.1.3 for details. 7.2.1.3 for details.
News Article Format August 2002
In the event that there is only the single (i.e. application/news- In the event that there is only the single (i.e. application/news-
groupinfo) subpart present, it will suffice to include a "Content- groupinfo) subpart present, it will suffice to include a "Content-
Type: application/news-groupinfo" amongst the headers of the control Type: application/news-groupinfo" amongst the headers of the control
message. Otherwise, a "Content-Type: multipart/mixed" header will be message. Otherwise, a "Content-Type: multipart/mixed" header will be
needed, and each separate part will then need its own Content-Type- needed, and each separate part will then need its own Content-Type-
header. header.
7.2.1.2. Application/news-groupinfo 7.2.1.2. Application/news-groupinfo
The "application/news-groupinfo" body part contains brief information The "application/news-groupinfo" body part contains brief information
about a newsgroup, i.e. the group's name, it's newsgroup-description about a newsgroup, i.e. the group's name, it's newsgroup-description
and the moderation-flag. and the moderation-flag.
NOTE: The presence of the newsgroups-tag "For your newsgroups NOTE: The presence of the newsgroups-tag "For your newsgroups
file:" is intended to make the whole newgroup message compatible file:" is intended to make the whole newgroup message compatible
with current practice as described in [Son-of-1036]. with current practice as described in [Son-of-1036].
News Article Format May 2002
The MIME content type definition of "application/news-groupinfo" is: The MIME content type definition of "application/news-groupinfo" is:
MIME type name: application MIME type name: application
MIME subtype name: news-groupinfo MIME subtype name: news-groupinfo
Required parameters: none Required parameters: none
Disposition: by default, inline Disposition: by default, inline
Encoding considerations: "7bit" or "8bit" is sufficient and MUST be Encoding considerations: "7bit" or "8bit" is sufficient and MUST be
used to maintain compatibility. used to maintain compatibility.
Security considerations: this type MUST NOT be used except as part Security considerations: this type MUST NOT be used except as part
of a control message for the creation or of a control message for the creation or
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[ 1*WSP moderation-flag ] [ 1*WSP moderation-flag ]
newsgroup-description newsgroup-description
= utext *( *WSP utext ) = utext *( *WSP utext )
moderation-flag = %x28.4D.6F.64.65.72.61.74.65.64.29 moderation-flag = %x28.4D.6F.64.65.72.61.74.65.64.29
; case sensitive "(Moderated)" ; case sensitive "(Moderated)"
The newsgroup-description MUST NOT contain any occurrence of the The newsgroup-description MUST NOT contain any occurrence of the
string "(Moderated)" within it. The whole groupinfo-body is intended string "(Moderated)" within it. The whole groupinfo-body is intended
to be interpreted as a text written in the UTF-8 character set. to be interpreted as a text written in the UTF-8 character set.
News Article Format August 2002
The "application/news-groupinfo" is used in conjunction with the The "application/news-groupinfo" is used in conjunction with the
"newgroup" (7.2.1) and "mvgroup" (7.2.3) control messages. The "newgroup" (7.2.1) and "mvgroup" (7.2.3) control messages. The
newsgroup-name in the newsgroups-line MUST agree with the newsgroup- newsgroup-name in the newsgroups-line MUST agree with the newsgroup-
name in the "newgroup" or "mvgroup" control message. The Content- name in the "newgroup" or "mvgroup" control message. The Content-
Type "application/news-groupinfo" MUST NOT be used except as a part Type "application/news-groupinfo" MUST NOT be used except as a part
of such control messages. Although optional, the newsgroups-tag of such control messages. Although optional, the newsgroups-tag
SHOULD be included until such time as this standard has been widely SHOULD be included until such time as this standard has been widely
adopted, to ensure compatibility with present practice. adopted, to ensure compatibility with present practice.
Moderated newsgroups MUST be marked by appending the case sensitive Moderated newsgroups MUST be marked by appending the case sensitive
text " (Moderated)" at the end. It is NOT recommended that the text " (Moderated)" at the end. It is NOT recommended that the
moderator's email address be included in the newsgroup-description as moderator's email address be included in the newsgroup-description as
has sometimes been done. has sometimes been done.
Although, in accordance with [RFC 2822] and section 4.5 of this Although, in accordance with [RFC 2822] and section 4.5 of this
standard, a newsgroups-line could have a maximum length of 998 standard, a newsgroups-line could have a maximum length of 998
octets, as a matter of policy a far lower limit, expressed in octets, as a matter of policy a far lower limit, expressed in
characters, Ought to be set. The current convention is to limit its characters, Ought to be set. The current convention is to limit its
length so that the newsgroup-name, the HTAB(s) (interpreted as 8- length so that the newsgroup-name, the HTAB(s) (interpreted as 8-
News Article Format May 2002
character tabs that takes one at least to column 24) and the character tabs that takes one at least to column 24) and the
newsgroup-description (excluding any moderation-flag) fit into 79 newsgroup-description (excluding any moderation-flag) fit into 79
characters. However, this standard does not seek to enforce any such characters. However, this standard does not seek to enforce any such
rule, and reading agents SHOULD therefore enable a newsgroups-line of rule, and reading agents SHOULD therefore enable a newsgroups-line of
any length to be displayed, e.g. by wrapping it as required. any length to be displayed, e.g. by wrapping it as required.
NOTE: The newsgroups-line is intended to provide a brief NOTE: The newsgroups-line is intended to provide a brief
description of the newsgroup, written in the UTF-8 character description of the newsgroup, written in the UTF-8 character
set. Since newsgroup-names are required to be expressed in set. Since newsgroup-names are required to be expressed in
UTF-8 when they appear in headers, and since [NNTP] requires the UTF-8 when they appear in headers, and since [NNTP] requires the
use of UTF-8 when such a description is transmitted by the LIST use of UTF-8 when such a description is transmitted by the LIST
NEWSGROUPS command, it would also be convenient for servers that NEWSGROUPS command, it would also be convenient for serving
keep a "newsgroups" file to store them in that form, so as to agents that keep a "newsgroups" file to store them in that form,
avoid unnecessary conversions. so as to avoid unnecessary conversions.
[If, at the time of publication of this standard, [NNTP] is still [RFC [If, at the time of publication of this standard, [NNTP] is still [RFC
977], that NOTE will need to be changed to indicate that "it is expected 977], that NOTE will need to be changed to indicate that "it is expected
that a future extension of [RFC 977] will require ...".] that a future extension of [RFC 977] will require ...".]
7.2.1.3. Initial Articles 7.2.1.3. Initial Articles
Some subparts of a "newgroup" or "mvgroup" control message MAY Some subparts of a "newgroup" or "mvgroup" control message MAY
contain an initial set of articles to be posted to the affected contain an initial set of articles to be posted to the affected
newsgroup(s) as soon as it has been created or modified. These parts newsgroup(s) as soon as it has been created or modified. These parts
are identified by having the Content-Type "application/news- are identified by having the Content-Type "application/news-
transmission", possibly with the parameter "usage=inject". The body transmission", possibly with the parameter "usage=inject". The body
of each such part should be a complete proto-article, ready for of each such part should be a complete proto-article, ready for
posting. This feature is intended for the posting of charters, posting. This feature is intended for the posting of charters,
initial FAQs and the like to the newly formed group(s). initial FAQs and the like to the newly formed group(s).
The Newsgroups-header of the proto-article MUST include the The Newsgroups-header of the proto-article MUST include the
newsgroup-name of the newly created or modified group. It MAY include newsgroup-name of the newly created or modified group. It MAY include
other newsgroup-names. If the proto-article includes a Message-ID- other newsgroup-names. If the proto-article includes a Message-ID-
header, the message indentifier in it MUST be different from that of header, the message identifier in it MUST be different from that of
any existing article and from that of the control message as a whole. any existing article and from that of the control message as a whole.
Alternatively such a message identifier MAY be derived by the Alternatively such a message identifier MAY be derived by the
News Article Format August 2002
injecting agent when the proto-article is posted. The proto-article injecting agent when the proto-article is posted. The proto-article
SHOULD include the header "Distribution: local". SHOULD include the header "Distribution: local".
The proto-article SHOULD be injected at the serving agent that The proto-article SHOULD be injected at the serving agent that
processes the control message AFTER the newsgroup in question has processes the control message AFTER the newsgroup in question has
been created or modified. It MUST NOT be injected if the newsgroup is been created or modified. It MUST NOT be injected if the newsgroup
not, in fact, created (for whatever reason). It MUST NOT be submitted is not, in fact, created (for whatever reason). It MUST NOT be
to any relaying agent for transmission beyond the server(s) upon submitted to any relaying agent for transmission beyond the serving
which the newsgroup creation has just been effected (in other words, agent(s) upon which the newsgroup creation has just been effected (in
it is to be treated as having a "Distribution: local" header, other words, it is to be treated as having a "Distribution: local"
whether such a header is actually present or not). header, whether such a header is actually present or not).
NOTE: It is not precluded that the proto-article is itself a NOTE: It is not precluded that the proto-article is itself a
control message or other type of special article, to be control message or other type of special article, to be
activated only upon creation of the new newsgroup. However, activated only upon creation of the new newsgroup. However,
except as might arise from that possibility, any except as might arise from that possibility, any
"application/news-transmission" within some nested "multipart/*" "application/news-transmission" within some nested "multipart/*"
structure within the proto-article is not to be activated. structure within the proto-article is not to be activated.
News Article Format May 2002
7.2.1.4. Example 7.2.1.4. Example
A "newgroup" with its charter: A "newgroup" with its charter:
From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example> From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example>
Newsgroups: example.admin.info,example.admin.announce Newsgroups: example.admin.info,example.admin.announce
Date: 27 Feb 2002 12:50:22 +0200 Date: 27 Feb 2002 12:50:22 +0200
Subject: cmsg newgroup example.admin.info moderated Subject: cmsg newgroup example.admin.info moderated
Approved: admin@noc.example Approved: admin@noc.example
Control: newgroup example.admin.info moderated Control: newgroup example.admin.info moderated
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Newsgroups: example.admin.info Newsgroups: example.admin.info
From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example> From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example>
Subject: Charter for example.admin.info Subject: Charter for example.admin.info
Message-ID: <charter-example.admin.info-20020227@noc.example> Message-ID: <charter-example.admin.info-20020227@noc.example>
Distribution: local Distribution: local
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
The group example.admin.info contains regularly posted The group example.admin.info contains regularly posted
News Article Format August 2002
information on the example.* hierarchy. information on the example.* hierarchy.
--nxtprt-- --nxtprt--
7.2.2. The 'rmgroup' Control Message 7.2.2. The 'rmgroup' Control Message
control-message =/ Rmgroup-message control-message =/ Rmgroup-message
Rmgroup-message = "rmgroup" Rmgroup-arguments Rmgroup-message = "rmgroup" Rmgroup-arguments
Rmgroup-arguments = CFWS newsgroup-name Rmgroup-arguments = CFWS newsgroup-name
The "rmgroup" control message requests that the specified group be The "rmgroup" control message requests that the specified group be
removed from the list of valid groups. The Content-Type of the body removed from the list of valid groups. The Content-Type of the body
is unspecified; it MAY contain anything, usually an explanatory text. is unspecified; it MAY contain anything, usually an explanatory text.
NOTE: It is entirely proper for a serving agent to retain the NOTE: It is entirely proper for a serving agent to retain the
group until all the articles in it have expired, provided that group until all the articles in it have expired, provided that
it ceases to accept new articles. it ceases to accept new articles.
News Article Format May 2002
7.2.2.1. Example 7.2.2.1. Example
Plain "rmgroup": Plain "rmgroup":
From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example> From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example>
Newsgroups: example.admin.obsolete, example.admin.announce Newsgroups: example.admin.obsolete, example.admin.announce
Date: 4 Apr 2002 22:04 -0900 (PST) Date: 4 Apr 2002 22:04 -0900 (PST)
Subject: cmsg rmgroup example.admin.obsolete Subject: cmsg rmgroup example.admin.obsolete
Message-ID: <rm-example.admin.obsolete-20020404@noc.example> Message-ID: <rm-example.admin.obsolete-20020404@noc.example>
Approved: admin@noc.example Approved: admin@noc.example
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"rmgroup" control message for the first group. "rmgroup" control message for the first group.
The second (new-)newsgroup-name MUST conform to all requirements The second (new-)newsgroup-name MUST conform to all requirements
prescribed for the newsgroup-name of a "newgroup" control message prescribed for the newsgroup-name of a "newgroup" control message
(7.2.1) and Ought, similarly, to conform to any established policies (7.2.1) and Ought, similarly, to conform to any established policies
of the hierarchy. The message body contains an "application/news- of the hierarchy. The message body contains an "application/news-
groupinfo" part (7.2.1.2) containing machine- and human-readable groupinfo" part (7.2.1.2) containing machine- and human-readable
information about the new group, and possibly other subparts as for a information about the new group, and possibly other subparts as for a
"newgroup" control message. The information conveyed in the "newgroup" control message. The information conveyed in the
"application/news-groupinfo" body part, notably its newsgroups-line "application/news-groupinfo" body part, notably its newsgroups-line
News Article Format August 2002
(7.2.1.2), is applied to the new group. (7.2.1.2), is applied to the new group.
When this message is received, the new group is created (if it does When this message is received, the new group is created (if it does
not exist already) as for a "newgroup" control message, and MUST in not exist already) as for a "newgroup" control message, and MUST in
any case be made moderated if a newgroup-flag "moderated" is present, any case be made moderated if a newgroup-flag "moderated" is present,
and vice versa. At the same time, arrangements SHOULD be made to and vice versa. At the same time, arrangements SHOULD be made to
remove the old group (as with a "rmgroup" control message), but only remove the old group (as with a "rmgroup" control message), but only
after a suitable overlap period to allow the network to adjust to the after a suitable overlap period to allow the network to adjust to the
new arrangement. new arrangement.
At the same time as a serving agent acts upon this message, all At the same time as a serving agent acts upon this message, all
injecting agents associated with that serving agent SHOULD inhibit injecting agents associated with that serving agent SHOULD inhibit
the posting of new articles to the old group (preferably with some the posting of new articles to the old group (preferably with some
indication to the poster that the new group should have been used). indication to the poster that the new group should have been used).
Relaying agents, however, MUST continue to propagate such articles Relaying agents, however, MUST continue to propagate such articles
during the overlap period. during the overlap period.
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: It is to be expected that different serving agents will NOTE: It is to be expected that different serving agents will
act on this message at different points of time, users of the act on this message at different points of time, users of the
old group will have to become accustomed to the new arrangement, old group will have to become accustomed to the new arrangement,
and followups to already established threads will likely and followups to already established threads will likely
continue under the old group. Therefore, there needs to be an continue under the old group. Therefore, there needs to be an
overlap period during which articles may continue to be accepted overlap period during which articles may continue to be accepted
by relaying and serving agents in either group. This standard by relaying and serving agents in either group. This standard
does not specify any standard period of overlap (though it would does not specify any standard period of overlap (though it would
be expected to be expressed in days rather than in months). The be expected to be expressed in days rather than in months). The
inhibition of injection of new articles to the old group may inhibition of injection of new articles to the old group may
skipping to change at page 73, line 44 skipping to change at page 75, line 4
present when they were injected). On the other hand, the Xref-header present when they were injected). On the other hand, the Xref-header
MAY contain entries for either group (or even both). MAY contain entries for either group (or even both).
NOTE: Some serving agents that use an "active" file permit an NOTE: Some serving agents that use an "active" file permit an
entry of the form "oldgroup xxx yyy =newgroup", which enables entry of the form "oldgroup xxx yyy =newgroup", which enables
any articles arriving for oldgroup to be diverted to newgroup, any articles arriving for oldgroup to be diverted to newgroup,
thus providing a simple implementation of this feature. However, thus providing a simple implementation of this feature. However,
it is known that not all current serving agents will find it is known that not all current serving agents will find
implementation so easy (especially in the short term) which is implementation so easy (especially in the short term) which is
why it is not mandated by this standard. Nevertheless, its why it is not mandated by this standard. Nevertheless, its
News Article Format August 2002
eventual implementation in all serving agents is to be eventual implementation in all serving agents is to be
considered highly desirable. considered highly desirable.
On the other hand, it is recognized that this feature would On the other hand, it is recognized that this feature would
likely not be implementable if the new group was already in likely not be implementable if the new group was already in
existence with existing articles in it. This situation should existence with existing articles in it. This situation should
not normally arise except when there is already some confusion not normally arise except when there is already some confusion
as to which groups are, or are not, supposed to exist in that as to which groups are, or are not, supposed to exist in that
hierarchy. Note that the "mvgroup" control message is not really hierarchy. Note that the "mvgroup" control message is not really
intended to be used for merging two existing groups. intended to be used for merging two existing groups.
7.2.3.1. Example 7.2.3.1. Example
From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example> From: "example.all Administrator" <admin@noc.example>
Newsgroups: example.oldgroup,example.newgroup,example.admin.announce Newsgroups: example.oldgroup,example.newgroup,example.admin.announce
Date: 30 Apr 2002 22:04 -0500 (EST) Date: 30 Apr 2002 22:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: cmsg mvgroup example.oldgroup example.newgroup moderated Subject: cmsg mvgroup example.oldgroup example.newgroup moderated
News Article Format May 2002
Message-ID: <mvgroup-example.oldgroup-20020430@noc.example> Message-ID: <mvgroup-example.oldgroup-20020430@noc.example>
Approved: admin@noc.example Approved: admin@noc.example
Control: mvgroup example.oldgroup example.newgroup moderated Control: mvgroup example.oldgroup example.newgroup moderated
MIME-Version: 1.0 MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=nxt Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=nxt
--nxt --nxt
Content-Type: application/news-groupinfo Content-Type: application/news-groupinfo
For your newsgroups file: For your newsgroups file:
skipping to change at page 74, line 44 skipping to change at page 76, line 5
Checkgroup-arguments= [ chkscope ] [ chksernr ] Checkgroup-arguments= [ chkscope ] [ chksernr ]
chkscope = 1*( CFWS ["!"] newsgroup-name ) chkscope = 1*( CFWS ["!"] newsgroup-name )
chksernr = CFWS "#" 1*DIGIT chksernr = CFWS "#" 1*DIGIT
A "checkgroups" message applies to any (sub-)hierarchy with a prefix A "checkgroups" message applies to any (sub-)hierarchy with a prefix
listed in the chkscope parameter, provided that the rightmost listed in the chkscope parameter, provided that the rightmost
matching newsgroup-name in the list is not immediately preceded by a matching newsgroup-name in the list is not immediately preceded by a
"!". If no chkscope parameter is given, it applies to all "!". If no chkscope parameter is given, it applies to all
hierarchies for which group statements appear in the message. hierarchies for which group statements appear in the message.
News Article Format August 2002
NOTE: Some existing software does not support the "chkscope" NOTE: Some existing software does not support the "chkscope"
parameter. Thus a "checkgroups" message SHOULD also contain the parameter. Thus a "checkgroups" message SHOULD also contain the
groups of other subhierarchies the sender is not responsible groups of other subhierarchies the sender is not responsible
for. "New" software MUST ignore groups which do not fall within for. "New" software MUST ignore groups which do not fall within
the chkscope parameter of the "checkgroups" message. the chkscope parameter of the "checkgroups" message.
The chksernr parameter is a serial number, which can be any positive The chksernr parameter is a serial number, which can be any positive
integer (e.g. just numbered or the date in YYYYMMDD). It SHOULD integer (e.g. just numbered or the date in YYYYMMDD). It SHOULD
increase by an arbitrary value with every change to the group list increase by an arbitrary value with every change to the group list
and MUST NOT ever decrease. and MUST NOT ever decrease.
NOTE: This was added to circumvent security problems in NOTE: This was added to circumvent security problems in
situations where the Date-header cannot be authenticated. situations where the Date-header cannot be authenticated.
News Article Format May 2002
Example: Example:
Control: checkgroups de !de.alt #248 Control: checkgroups de !de.alt #248
which includes the whole of the 'de.*' hierarchy, with the exception which includes the whole of the 'de.*' hierarchy, with the exception
of its 'de.alt.*' sub-hierarchy. of its 'de.alt.*' sub-hierarchy.
The body of the message has the Content-Type "application/news- The body of the message has the Content-Type "application/news-
checkgroups". It asserts that the newsgroups it lists are the only checkgroups". It asserts that the newsgroups it lists are the only
newsgroups in the specified hierarchies. newsgroups in the specified hierarchies.
skipping to change at page 75, line 47 skipping to change at page 77, line 5
Required parameters: none Required parameters: none
Disposition: by default, inline Disposition: by default, inline
Encoding considerations: "7bit" or "8bit" is sufficient and MUST be Encoding considerations: "7bit" or "8bit" is sufficient and MUST be
used to maintain compatibility. used to maintain compatibility.
Security considerations: this type MUST NOT be used except as part Security considerations: this type MUST NOT be used except as part
of a checkgroups control message of a checkgroups control message
The content of the "application/news-checkgroups" body part is The content of the "application/news-checkgroups" body part is
defined as: defined as:
News Article Format August 2002
checkgroups-body = *( valid-group CRLF ) checkgroups-body = *( valid-group CRLF )
valid-group = newsgroups-line ; see 7.2.1.2 valid-group = newsgroups-line ; see 7.2.1.2
The whole checkgroups-body is intended to be interpreted as a text The whole checkgroups-body is intended to be interpreted as a text
written in the UTF-8 character set. written in the UTF-8 character set.
The "application/news-checkgroups" content type is used in The "application/news-checkgroups" content type is used in
conjunction with the "checkgroups" control message (7.2.4). conjunction with the "checkgroups" control message (7.2.4).
NOTE: The possibility of removing a complete hierarchy by means NOTE: The possibility of removing a complete hierarchy by means
of an "invalidation" line beginning with a '!' is no longer of an "invalidation" line beginning with a '!' is no longer
provided by this standard. The intent of the feature was widely provided by this standard. The intent of the feature was widely
misunderstood and it was misused more often than it was used misunderstood and it was misused more often than it was used
correctly. The same effect, if required, can now be obtained by correctly. The same effect, if required, can now be obtained by
the use of an appropriate chkscope argument in conjunction with the use of an appropriate chkscope argument in conjunction with
News Article Format May 2002
an empty checkgroups-body. an empty checkgroups-body.
7.3. Cancel 7.3. Cancel
The cancel message requests that a target article be "canceled" i.e. The cancel message requests that a target article be "canceled" i.e.
be withdrawn from circulation or access. A cancel message may be be withdrawn from circulation or access. A cancel message may be
issued in the following circumstances. issued in the following circumstances.
1. The poster of an article (or, more specifically, any entity 1. The poster of an article (or, more specifically, any entity
mentioned in the From-header or the Sender-header, whether or not mentioned in the From-header or the Sender-header, whether or not
skipping to change at page 76, line 40 skipping to change at page 77, line 55
article, in circumstances where established policy for any article, in circumstances where established policy for any
hierarchy or group in the Newsgroup-header, or established custom hierarchy or group in the Newsgroup-header, or established custom
within Usenet, so allows (such policies and customs are not within Usenet, so allows (such policies and customs are not
defined by this standard). Such cancel messages MUST include an defined by this standard). Such cancel messages MUST include an
Approved-header identifying the responsible entity. Serving agents Approved-header identifying the responsible entity. Serving agents
MAY honour such requests, but SHOULD first take steps to verify MAY honour such requests, but SHOULD first take steps to verify
their appropriateness. their appropriateness.
control-message =/ Cancel-message control-message =/ Cancel-message
Cancel-message = "cancel" Cancel-arguments Cancel-message = "cancel" Cancel-arguments
Cancel-arguments = CFWS msg-id Cancel-arguments = CFWS msg-id [CFWS]
The argument identifies the article to be cancelled by its message The argument identifies the article to be cancelled by its message
identifier. The body SHOULD contain an indication of why the identifier. The body SHOULD contain an indication of why the
cancellation was requested. The cancel message SHOULD be posted to cancellation was requested. The cancel message SHOULD be posted to
News Article Format August 2002
the same newsgroup, with the same distribution, as the article it is the same newsgroup, with the same distribution, as the article it is
attempting to cancel. attempting to cancel.
A serving agent that elects to honour a cancel message SHOULD make A serving agent that elects to honour a cancel message SHOULD make
the article unavailable for relaying or serving (perhaps by deleting the article unavailable for relaying or serving (perhaps by deleting
it completely). If the target article is unavailable, and the it completely). If the target article is unavailable, and the
acceptability of the cancel message cannot be established without it, acceptability of the cancel message cannot be established without it,
activation of the cancel message SHOULD be delayed until the target activation of the cancel message SHOULD be delayed until the target
article has been seen. See also sections 8.3 and 8.4. article has been seen. See also sections 8.3 and 8.4.
NOTE: It is expected that the security extension envisaged in NOTE: It is expected that the security extension envisaged in
section 7.1 will make more detailed provisions for establishing section 7.1 will make more detailed provisions for establishing
whether honouring a particular cancel message is in order. In whether honouring a particular cancel message is in order. In
particular, it is likely that there will be provision for the particular, it is likely that there will be provision for the
News Article Format May 2002
digital signature of 3rd party cancels. digital signature of 3rd party cancels.
NOTE: The former requirement [RFC 1036] that the From and/or NOTE: The former requirement [RFC 1036] that the From and/or
Sender-headers of the cancel message should match those of the Sender-headers of the cancel message should match those of the
original article has been removed from this standard, since it original article has been removed from this standard, since it
only encouraged cancel issuers to conceal their true identity, only encouraged cancel issuers to conceal their true identity,
and it was not usually checked or enforced by canceling and it was not usually checked or enforced by canceling
software. Therefore, both the From and/or Sender-headers and software. Therefore, both the From and/or Sender-headers and
any Approved-header should now relate to the entity responsible any Approved-header should now relate to the entity responsible
for issuing the cancel message. for issuing the cancel message.
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control-message =/ Sendme-message control-message =/ Sendme-message
Sendme-message = "sendme" Sendme-arguments Sendme-message = "sendme" Sendme-arguments
Sendme-arguments = Ihave-arguments Sendme-arguments = Ihave-arguments
relayer-name = path-identity ; see 5.6.1 relayer-name = path-identity ; see 5.6.1
ihave-body = *( msg-id CRLF ) ihave-body = *( msg-id CRLF )
sendme-body = ihave-body sendme-body = ihave-body
The body of the message consists of a list of msg-ids, one per line. The body of the message consists of a list of msg-ids, one per line.
[RFC 1036] also permitted the list of msg-ids to appear in the Ihave- [RFC 1036] also permitted the list of msg-ids to appear in the Ihave-
or Sendme-arguments with the syntax or Sendme-arguments with the syntax
Ihave-arguments = *( msg-id FWS ) [relayer-name] News Article Format August 2002
Ihave-arguments = [FWS] *( msg-id FWS ) [relayer-name]
but this form SHOULD NOT now be used, though relaying agents MAY but this form SHOULD NOT now be used, though relaying agents MAY
recognize and process it for backward compatibility. recognize and process it for backward compatibility.
The ihave message states that the named relaying agent has received The ihave message states that the named relaying agent has received
articles with the specified message identifiers, which may be of articles with the specified message identifiers, which may be of
interest to the relaying agents receiving the ihave message. The interest to the relaying agents receiving the ihave message. The
sendme message requests that the agent receiving it send the articles sendme message requests that the agent receiving it send the articles
having the specified message identifiers to the named relaying agent. having the specified message identifiers to the named relaying agent.
These control messages are normally sent essentially as point-to- These control messages are normally sent essentially as point-to-
point messages, by using newsgroup-names in the Newsgroups-header of point messages, by using newsgroup-names in the Newsgroups-header of
the form "to." followed by one (or possibly more) components in the the form "to." followed by one (or possibly more) components in the
form of a relayer-name (see section 5.5.1 which forbids "to" as the form of a relayer-name (see section 5.5.1 which forbids "to" as the
first component of a newsgroup-name). The control message SHOULD then first component of a newsgroup-name). The control message SHOULD then
News Article Format May 2002
be delivered ONLY to the relaying agent(s) identified by that be delivered ONLY to the relaying agent(s) identified by that
relayer-name, and any relaying agent receiving such a message which relayer-name, and any relaying agent receiving such a message which
includes its own relayer-name MUST NOT propagate it further. Each includes its own relayer-name MUST NOT propagate it further. Each
pair of relaying agent(s) sending and receiving these messages MUST pair of relaying agent(s) sending and receiving these messages MUST
be immediate neighbors, exchanging news directly with each other. be immediate neighbors, exchanging news directly with each other.
Each relaying agent advertises its new arrivals to the other using Each relaying agent advertises its new arrivals to the other using
ihave messages, and each uses sendme messages to request the articles ihave messages, and each uses sendme messages to request the articles
it lacks. it lacks.
To reduce overhead, ihave and sendme messages SHOULD be sent To reduce overhead, ihave and sendme messages SHOULD be sent
relatively infrequently and SHOULD contain reasonable numbers of relatively infrequently and SHOULD contain reasonable numbers of
message IDs. If ihave and sendme are being used to implement a backup message IDs. If ihave and sendme are being used to implement a backup
feed, it may be desirable to insert a delay between reception of an feed, it may be desirable to insert a delay between reception of an
ihave and generation of a sendme, so that a slightly slow primary ihave and generation of a sendme, so that a slightly slow primary
feed will not cause large numbers of articles to be requested feed will not cause large numbers of articles to be requested
unnecessarily via sendme. unnecessarily via sendme.
7.5. Obsolete control messages. 7.5. Obsolete control messages.
The following control message verbs are declared obsolete by this The following control messages are declared obsolete by this
standard: standard:
sendsys sendsys
version version
whogets whogets
senduuname senduuname
8. Duties of Various Agents 8. Duties of Various Agents
The following section sets out the duties of various agents involved The following section sets out the duties of various agents involved
in the creation, relaying and serving of Usenet articles. in the creation, relaying and serving of Usenet articles.
In this section, the word "trusted", as applied to the source of some In this section, the word "trusted", as applied to the source of some
article, means that an agent processing that article has verified, by article, means that an agent processing that article has verified, by
some means, the identity of that source (which may be another agent some means, the identity of that source (which may be another agent
or a poster). or a poster).
News Article Format August 2002
NOTE: In many implementations, a single agent may perform NOTE: In many implementations, a single agent may perform
various combinations of the injecting, relaying and serving various combinations of the injecting, relaying and serving
functions. Its duties are then the union of the various duties functions. Its duties are then the union of the various duties
concerned. concerned.
8.1. General principles to be followed 8.1. General principles to be followed
There are two important principles that news implementors (and There are two important principles that news implementors (and
administrators) need to keep in mind. The first is the well-known administrators) need to keep in mind. The first is the well-known
Internet Robustness Principle: Internet Robustness Principle:
Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you
send. send.
However, in the case of news there is an even more important However, in the case of news there is an even more important
principle, derived from a much older code of practice, the principle, derived from a much older code of practice, the
Hippocratic Oath (we may thus call this the Hippocratic Principle): Hippocratic Oath (we may thus call this the Hippocratic Principle):
News Article Format May 2002
First, do no harm. First, do no harm.
It is VITAL to realize that decisions which might be merely It is VITAL to realize that decisions which might be merely
suboptimal in a smaller context can become devastating mistakes when suboptimal in a smaller context can become devastating mistakes when
amplified by the actions of thousands of hosts within a few minutes. amplified by the actions of thousands of hosts within a few minutes.
In the case of gateways, the primary corollary to this is: In the case of gateways, the primary corollary to this is:
Cause no loops. Cause no loops.
skipping to change at page 79, line 43 skipping to change at page 81, line 4
8.2.1. Proto-articles 8.2.1. Proto-articles
A proto-article is one that has been created by a posting agent and A proto-article is one that has been created by a posting agent and
has not yet been injected into the news system by an injecting agent. has not yet been injected into the news system by an injecting agent.
It SHOULD NOT be propagated in that form to other than injecting It SHOULD NOT be propagated in that form to other than injecting
agents. A proto-article has the same format as a normal article agents. A proto-article has the same format as a normal article
except that some of the following mandatory headers MAY be omitted: except that some of the following mandatory headers MAY be omitted:
Message-Id-header, Date-header, Path-header (and even From-header if Message-Id-header, Date-header, Path-header (and even From-header if
the particular injecting agent can derive that information from other the particular injecting agent can derive that information from other
News Article Format August 2002
sources). These headers MUST NOT contain invalid values; they MUST sources). These headers MUST NOT contain invalid values; they MUST
either be correct or not present at all. either be correct or not present at all.
A proto-article SHOULD NOT contain the '%' path-delimiter in any A proto-article SHOULD NOT contain the '%' path-delimiter in any
Path-header, except in the rare cases where an article gets injected Path-header, except in the rare cases where an article gets injected
twice. It MAY contain path-identities with other path-delimiters in twice. It MAY contain path-identities with other path-delimiters in
the pre-injection portion of the Path-header (5.6.3). the pre-injection portion of the Path-header (5.6.3).
8.2.2. Procedure to be followed by Injecting Agents 8.2.2. Procedure to be followed by Injecting Agents
A injecting agent receives proto-articles from posting and followup A injecting agent receives proto-articles from posting and followup
agents. It verifies them, adds headers where required and then either agents. It verifies them, adds headers where required and then either
forwards them to a moderator or injects them by passing them to forwards them to a moderator or injects them by passing them to
serving or relaying agents. serving or relaying agents.
If an injecting agent receives an otherwise valid article that has If an injecting agent receives an otherwise valid article that has
already been injected it SHOULD either act as if it is a relaying already been injected it SHOULD either act as if it is a relaying
agent or else pass the article on to a relaying agent completely agent or else pass the article on to a relaying agent completely
News Article Format May 2002
unaltered. Exceptionally, it MAY reinject the article, perhaps as a unaltered. Exceptionally, it MAY reinject the article, perhaps as a
part of some complex gatewaying process (in which case it will add a part of some complex gatewaying process (in which case it will add a
second '%' path-delimiter to the Path-header). It MUST NOT forward second '%' path-delimiter to the Path-header). It MUST NOT forward
an already injected article to a moderator. an already injected article to a moderator.
An injecting agent processes articles as follows: An injecting agent processes articles as follows:
1. It MUST remove any Injector-Info- or Complaints-To-header already 1. It MUST remove any Injector-Info- or Complaints-To-header already
present (though it might be useful to copy them to suitable X- present (though it might be useful to copy them to suitable X-
headers). It SHOULD likewise remove any NNTP-Posting-Host or other headers). It SHOULD likewise remove any NNTP-Posting-Host or other
skipping to change at page 80, line 28 skipping to change at page 81, line 46
2. It SHOULD verify that the article is from a trusted source. 2. It SHOULD verify that the article is from a trusted source.
However, it MAY allow articles in which headers contain "forged" However, it MAY allow articles in which headers contain "forged"
email addresses, that is, addresses which are not valid for the email addresses, that is, addresses which are not valid for the
known and trusted source, especially if they end in ".invalid". known and trusted source, especially if they end in ".invalid".
3. It MUST reject any article whose Date-header is more than 24 hours 3. It MUST reject any article whose Date-header is more than 24 hours
into the past or into the future (cf. 5.1). into the past or into the future (cf. 5.1).
4. It MUST reject any article that does not have the correct 4. It MUST reject any article that does not have the correct
mandatory headers for a proto-article (5 and 8.2.1) present, or mandatory headers for a proto-article (5 and 8.2.1) present, or
which contains any header that does not have legal contents, and which contains any header that does not have legal contents. In
it SHOULD reject any article which contains any header deprecated particular, it MUST reject any article whose Newsgroups-header or
for Netnews (4.2.1). Followup-To-header contains an encoded newsgroup-name (5.5.2);
alternatively, it MAY decode those newsgroup-names and continue
(this being a useful service for moderators using that injecting
agent, see 8.7). It SHOULD reject any article which contains any
header deprecated for Netnews (4.2.1).
5. If the article is rejected, or is otherwise incorrectly formatted 5. If the article is rejected (for reasons given above, or for other
or unacceptable due to site policy, the posting agent MUST be formatting errors or matters of site policy) the posting agent
informed (such as via an NNTP 44x response code) that posting has SHOULD be informed (such as via an NNTP 44x response code) that
failed and the article MUST NOT then be processed further. posting has failed and the article MUST NOT then be processed
further.
6. The Message-ID and Date-headers (and their content) MUST be added News Article Format August 2002
6. The Message-ID and Date-headers (and their contents) MUST be added
when not already present. when not already present.
7. A Path-header with a tail-entry (5.6.3) MUST be correctly added if 7. A Path-header with a tail-entry (5.6.3) MUST be correctly added if
not already present (except that it SHOULD NOT be added if the not already present (except that it SHOULD NOT be added if the
article is to be forwarded to a moderator). article is to be forwarded to a moderator).
8. The path-identity of the injecting agent with a '%' path-delimiter 8. The path-identity of the injecting agent with a '%' path-delimiter
(5.6.2) MUST be prepended to the Path-header; moreover, that (5.6.2) MUST be prepended to the Path-header; moreover, that
path-identity MUST be an FQDN mailable address (5.6.2). path-identity MUST be an FQDN mailable address (5.6.2).
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trusted source of the article, and a suitable Complaints-To-header trusted source of the article, and a suitable Complaints-To-header
(6.20) MAY be added (except that these two headers SHOULD NOT be (6.20) MAY be added (except that these two headers SHOULD NOT be
added if the article is to be forwarded to a moderator). added if the article is to be forwarded to a moderator).
10.The injecting agent MUST NOT alter the body of the article in any 10.The injecting agent MUST NOT alter the body of the article in any
way. It MAY add other headers not already provided by the poster, way. It MAY add other headers not already provided by the poster,
but SHOULD NOT alter, delete, or reorder any existing header, with but SHOULD NOT alter, delete, or reorder any existing header, with
the specific exception of "tracing" headers such as Injector-Info the specific exception of "tracing" headers such as Injector-Info
and Complaints-To, which are to be removed as already mentioned. and Complaints-To, which are to be removed as already mentioned.
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: The addition of non-mandatory headers by the injecting NOTE: The addition of non-mandatory headers by the injecting
agent may alter the posting agent's preferred presentation of agent may alter the posting agent's preferred presentation of
information. In particular, adding a Sender-header that exposes information. In particular, adding a Sender-header that exposes
a sender's mailbox has privacy implications; where the main or a sender's mailbox has privacy implications; where the main or
only purpose for doing so is as tracing information, it is only purpose for doing so is as tracing information, it is
preferable to use instead one of the options provided for the preferable to use instead one of the options provided for the
Injector-Info header (6.19.1). Injector-Info header (6.19.1).
11.If the Newsgroups line contains one or more moderated groups and 11.If the Newsgroups-header contains no moderated groups, or if it
the article does NOT contain an Approved-header, then the contains an Approved-header, the injecting agent forwards the
injecting agent MUST forward it to the moderator of the first article to one or more relaying or serving agents.
(leftmost) moderated group listed in the Newsgroups line via
email. The complete article SHOULD be encapsulated (headers and
all) within the email, preferably using the Content-Type
"application/news-transmission" (6.21.6.1).
NOTE: This standard does not prescribe how the email address of 12.Otherwise, when the Newsgroups-header contains one or more
the moderator is to be determined, that being a matter of policy moderated groups and the article does NOT contain an Approved-
to be arranged by the agency responsible for the oversight of header, the injecting agent MUST forward it to the moderator of
each hierarchy. Nevertheless, there do exist various agents the first (leftmost) moderated group listed in the Newsgroups-
worldwide which provide the service of forwarding to moderators, header via email. There are two possibilities for doing this:
and the address to use with them is obtained by replacing each
'.' in the newsgroups-name with a '-'. For example, articles
intended for "news.announce.important" would be emailed to
"new-announce-important@forwardingagent.example".
[If the IDNS people come up with specific proposals before this draft is
finally submitted, we may be able to replace the following paragraph.]
In the event that the newsgroup-name contains any UTF8-xtra- (a) The complete article is encapsulated (headers and all) within
char, this will result in an addr-spec whose local-part is not the email, preferably using the Content-Type
consistent the present email standards ([RFC2822]). It is "application/news-transmission" (6.21.6.1) with any usage
anticipated that extensions to those standards currently under parameter set to "moderate". Moreover, there SHOULD NOT be
consideration will in due course provide means for encoding such more than one encapsulated article within the one email.
local-parts but, in the meantime, agencies responsible for This method has the advantage of removing any possible
creating moderated newsgroups with such names will need to make conflict between Netnews and Email headers, or of changes to
special arrangements. those headers during transport through email (and in
particular, it ensures that any UTF8-xtra-chars within those
headers will pass safely through any email transport even if
it is 8bit-unsafe).
12.Otherwise, the injecting agent forwards the article to one or more News Article Format August 2002
relaying or serving agents.
(b) The article is sent as an email as it stands, with the
addition of such extra headers (e.g. a To-header) as are
necessary for an email. Since the article is, in effect,
being gatewayed into Email, the provisions of section 8.8.1
apply. In particular, if the headers contain any UTF8-xtra-
chars, it may be necessary to apply encodings, specifically
the encoding defined in section 5.5.2 in the case of the
article's Newsgroups- and Followup-To-headers.
Although both of these methods have seen use in the past, the
preponderance of current usage on Usenet has been for method (b)
and many moderators are ill-prepared to deal with method (a).
Therefore, method (a) SHOULD NOT be used until such time as the
majority of moderators are able to accept it.
13.This standard does not prescribe how the email address of the
moderator is to be determined, that being a matter of policy to be
arranged by the agency responsible for the oversight of each
hierarchy. Nevertheless, there do exist various agents worldwide
which provide the service of forwarding to moderators, and the
address to use with them is obtained as follows:
(a) Each '.' in the newsgroup-name is replaced with a '-'.
(b) If the newsgroup-name contains any UTF8-xtra-char, it is
encoded as described in section 5.5.2.
(c) The result of these operations is used as the local-part of
the mailbox of the agent. For example, articles intended for
"news.announce.important" would be emailed to "news-
announce-important@forwardingagent.example".
8.3. Duties of a Relaying Agent 8.3. Duties of a Relaying Agent
A Relaying Agent accepts injected articles from injecting and other A Relaying Agent accepts injected articles from injecting and other
relaying agents and passes them on to relaying or serving agents relaying agents and passes them on to relaying or serving agents
according to mutually agreed policy. Relaying agents SHOULD accept according to mutually agreed policy. Relaying agents SHOULD accept
articles ONLY from trusted agents. articles ONLY from trusted agents.
A relaying agent processes articles as follows: A relaying agent processes articles as follows:
1. It MUST verify the leftmost entry in the Path-header and then 1. It MUST verify the leftmost entry in the Path-header and then
prepend its own path-identity with a '/' path-delimiter, and prepend its own path-identity with a '/' path-delimiter, and
possibly also the verified path-identity of its source with a '?' possibly also the verified path-identity of its source with a '?'
path-delimiter (5.6.2). path-delimiter (5.6.2).
News Article Format May 2002
2. It MUST reject any article whose Date-header is stale (see 5.1). 2. It MUST reject any article whose Date-header is stale (see 5.1).
3. It MUST reject any article that does not have the correct 3. It MUST reject any article that does not have the correct
mandatory headers (section 5) present with legal contents. mandatory headers (section 5) present with legal contents.
4. It SHOULD reject any article whose optional headers (section 6) do 4. It SHOULD reject any article whose optional headers (section 6) do
not have legal contents. not have legal contents.
News Article Format August 2002
5. It SHOULD reject any article that has already been sent to it (a 5. It SHOULD reject any article that has already been sent to it (a
database of message identifiers of recent messages is usually kept database of message identifiers of recent messages is usually kept
and matched against). and matched against).
6. It SHOULD reject any article that matches an already received 6. It SHOULD reject any article that matches an already received
cancel message (or an equivalent, Supersedes-header) issued by its cancel message (or an equivalent Supersedes-header) issued by its
poster or by some other trusted entity. poster or by some other trusted entity.
7. It MAY reject any article without an Approved-header posted to 7. It MAY reject any article without an Approved-header posted to
newsgroups known to be moderated (this practice is strongly newsgroups known to be moderated (this practice is strongly
recommended, but the information necessary to do it may not be recommended, but the information necessary to do it may not be
available to all agents). available to all agents).
8. It then passes articles which match mutually agreed criteria on to 8. It then passes articles which match mutually agreed criteria on to
neighboring relaying and serving agents. However, it SHOULD NOT neighbouring relaying and serving agents. However, it SHOULD NOT
forward articles to sites whose path-identity is already in the forward articles to sites whose path-identity is already in the
Path-header. Path-header.
NOTE: It is usual for relaying and serving agents to restrict NOTE: It is usual for relaying and serving agents to restrict
the Newsgroups, Distributions, age and size of articles that the Newsgroups, Distributions, age and size of articles that
they wish to receive. they wish to receive.
If the article is rejected as being invalid, unwanted or unacceptable If the article is rejected as being invalid, unwanted or unacceptable
due to site policy, the agent that passed the article to the relaying due to site policy, the agent that passed the article to the relaying
agent SHOULD be informed (such as via an NNTP 43x response code) that agent SHOULD be informed (such as via an NNTP 43x response code) that
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article expect for headers designated as variant (4.2.5.3). article expect for headers designated as variant (4.2.5.3).
8.4. Duties of a Serving Agent 8.4. Duties of a Serving Agent
A Serving Agent takes an article from a relaying or injecting agent A Serving Agent takes an article from a relaying or injecting agent
and files it in a "news database". It also provides an interface for and files it in a "news database". It also provides an interface for
reading agents to access the news database. This database is normally reading agents to access the news database. This database is normally
indexed by newsgroup with articles in each newsgroup identified by an indexed by newsgroup with articles in each newsgroup identified by an
article-locater (usually in the form of a decimal number - see 6.16). article-locater (usually in the form of a decimal number - see 6.16).
News Article Format May 2002
NOTE: Since control messages are often of interest, but should NOTE: Since control messages are often of interest, but should
not be displayed as normal articles in regular newsgroups, it is not be displayed as normal articles in regular newsgroups, it is
common for serving agents to make them available in a pseudo- common for serving agents to make them available in a pseudo-
newsgroup named "control" or in a pseudo-newsgroup in a sub- newsgroup named "control" or in a pseudo-newsgroup in a sub-
hierarchy under "control." (e.g. "control.cancel"). hierarchy under "control." (e.g. "control.cancel").
News Article Format August 2002
A serving agent processes articles as follows: A serving agent processes articles as follows:
1. It MUST verify the leftmost entry in the Path-header and then 1. It MUST verify the leftmost entry in the Path-header and then
prepend its own path-identity with a '/' path-delimiter, and prepend its own path-identity with a '/' path-delimiter, and
possibly also the verified path-identity of its source with a '?' possibly also the verified path-identity of its source with a '?'
path-delimiter (5.6.2). path-delimiter (5.6.2).
2. It MUST reject any article whose Date-header is stale (see 5.1). 2. It MUST reject any article whose Date-header is stale (see 5.1).
3. It MUST reject any article that does not have the correct 3. It MUST reject any article that does not have the correct
mandatory headers (section 5) present, or which contains any mandatory headers (section 5) present, or which contains any
header that does not have legal contents. header that does not have legal contents.
4. It SHOULD reject any article that has already been sent to it (a 4. It SHOULD reject any article that has already been sent to it (a
database of message identifiers of recent messages is usually kept database of message identifiers of recent messages is usually kept
and matched against). and matched against).
5. It SHOULD reject any article that matches an already received 5. It SHOULD reject any article that matches an already received
cancel message (or an equivalent, Supersedes-header) issued by its cancel message (or an equivalent Supersedes-header) issued by its
poster or by some other trusted entity. poster or by some other trusted entity.
6. It MUST reject any article without an Approved-header posted to 6. It MUST reject any article without an Approved-header posted to
any moderated newsgroup which it is configured to receive, and it any moderated newsgroup which it is configured to receive, and it
MAY reject such articles for any newsgroup it knows be moderated. MAY reject such articles for any newsgroup it knows be moderated.
7. It MUST remove any Xref-header (6.16) from each article. It then 7. It MUST remove any Xref-header (6.16) from each article. It then
MAY (and usually will) generate a fresh Xref-header. MAY (and usually will) generate a fresh Xref-header.
8. Finally, it stores the article in its news database. 8. Finally, it stores the article in its news database.
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Posting agents meant for use by ordinary posters SHOULD reject any Posting agents meant for use by ordinary posters SHOULD reject any
attempt to post an article which cancels or Supersedes another attempt to post an article which cancels or Supersedes another
article of which the poster is not the author. article of which the poster is not the author.
8.6. Duties of a Followup Agent 8.6. Duties of a Followup Agent
A Followup Agent is a special case of a posting agent and as such is A Followup Agent is a special case of a posting agent and as such is
bound by all the posting agent's requirements plus additional ones. bound by all the posting agent's requirements plus additional ones.
Followup agents MUST create valid followups, in particular by Followup agents MUST create valid followups, in particular by
News Article Format May 2002
providing correctly adjusted forms of those headers described as providing correctly adjusted forms of those headers described as
inheritable (4.2.5.2), notably the Newsgroups-header (5.5), the inheritable (4.2.5.2), notably the Newsgroups-header (5.5), the
Subject-header (5.4) and the References-header (6.10), and they Ought Subject-header (5.4) and the References-header (6.10), and they Ought
to observe appropriate quoting conventions in the body (see 4.3.2). to observe appropriate quoting conventions in the body (see 4.3.2).
News Article Format August 2002
Followup agents SHOULD initialize the Newsgroups-header from the Followup agents SHOULD initialize the Newsgroups-header from the
precursor's Followup-To-header, if present, when preparing a precursor's Followup-To-header, if present, when preparing a
followup; however posters MAY then change this before posting if they followup; however posters MAY then change this before posting if they
wish. wish.
Followup agents MUST NOT attempt to send email to any address ending Followup agents MUST NOT attempt to send email to any address ending
in ".invalid". Followup agents SHOULD NOT email copies of the in ".invalid". Followup agents SHOULD NOT email copies of the
followup to the poster of the precursor unless this has been followup to the poster of the precursor unless this has been
explicitly requested by means of a Mail-Copies-To-header (6.8), but explicitly requested by means of a Mail-Copies-To-header (6.8), but
they SHOULD include a Posted-And-Mailed-header (6.9) whenever a copy they SHOULD include a Posted-And-Mailed-header (6.9) whenever a copy
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2. The Date-header SHOULD be retained, except that if it is stale 2. The Date-header SHOULD be retained, except that if it is stale
(5.1) for reasons understood by the moderator (e.g. delays in the (5.1) for reasons understood by the moderator (e.g. delays in the
moderation process) he MAY substitute the current date (but must moderation process) he MAY substitute the current date (but must
then take responsibility for any loops that ensue). Any variant then take responsibility for any loops that ensue). Any variant
headers (4.2.5.3) MUST be removed, except that a Path-header MAY headers (4.2.5.3) MUST be removed, except that a Path-header MAY
be truncated to only its pre-injection region (5.6.3). Any be truncated to only its pre-injection region (5.6.3). Any
Injector-Info-header (6.19) or Complaints-To-header (6.20) MUST be Injector-Info-header (6.19) or Complaints-To-header (6.20) MUST be
removed. removed.
News Article Format May 2002
3. He adds an Approved-header (6.14) containing a mailbox identifying 3. He adds an Approved-header (6.14) containing a mailbox identifying
himself (or, if the article already contains an Approved-header himself (or, if the article already contains an Approved-header
from another moderator, he adds that identifying information to from another moderator, he adds that identifying information to
it). He MAY also include that Approved-header within some digital it). He MAY also include that Approved-header within some digital
signature scheme (see 7.1). signature scheme (see 7.1).
News Article Format August 2002
4. If the Newsgroups-header contains further moderated newsgroups for 4. If the Newsgroups-header contains further moderated newsgroups for
which approval has not already been given, he forwards the article which approval has not already been given, he forwards the article
to the moderator of the leftmost such group (which, if this to the moderator of the leftmost such group (which, if this
standard has been followed correctly, will always be the group standard has been followed correctly, will always be the group
immediately to the right of the group(s) for which he is immediately to the right of the group(s) for which he is
responsible). However, he MUST NOT alter the order in which the responsible). However, he MUST NOT alter the order in which the
newsgroups are listed in the Newsgroups-header. newsgroups are listed in the Newsgroups-header.
5. Otherwise, he causes the article to be injected, having first 5. Otherwise, he causes the article to be injected, having first
observed all the duties of a posting agent (8.5). decoded any encoded newsgroup-name (5.5.2), unless his injecting
agent offers that service (8.2.2), and having observed all the
duties of a posting agent (8.5).
NOTE: This standard does not prescribe how the moderator or NOTE: This standard does not prescribe how the moderator or
moderation policy for each newsgroup is established; rather it moderation policy for each newsgroup is established; rather it
assumes that whatever agencies are responsible for the relevant assumes that whatever agencies are responsible for the relevant
network or hierarchy (1.1) will have made appropriate network or hierarchy (1.1) will have made appropriate
arrangements in that regard. arrangements in that regard.
It SHOULD be the case that articles will be received by the moderator Articles will be received by the moderator either encapsulated as an
encapsulated as an object of Content-Type application/news- object of Content-Type application/news-transmission (8.2.2) (or
transmission (8.2.2), or possibly encapsulated but without an possibly encapsulated but without an explicit Content-Type-header),
explicit Content-Type-header. In such a case, the complete article is or else directly as an email already containing all the headers
immediately available for processing by the moderator. appropriate for a Netnews article (see 8.2.2) in which case he needs
to be aware of the Duties of an Incoming Gateway (8.8.2) (and, in
However, prior to the introduction of this standard, it was more particular, he SHOULD adopt the Message-ID- and Date-headers of the
common for injecting agents to transform proto-articles into email email message, though he SHOULD NOT add any Sender-header).
messages, mixing the Netnews headers with the Email headers. Moderators SHOULD be prepared to accept articles in either format.
Moderators SHOULD therefore be prepared to accept submission in this
format, although they need then to be aware of the Duties of an
Incoming Gateway (8.8.2) (and, in particular, they SHOULD adopt the
Message-ID- and Date-headers of the email message, though they SHOULD
NOT add any Sender-header).
8.8. Duties of a Gateway 8.8. Duties of a Gateway
A Gateway transforms an article into the native message format of A Gateway transforms an article into the native message format of
another medium, or translates the messages of another medium into another medium, or translates the messages of another medium into
news articles. Encapsulation of a news article into a message of MIME news articles. Encapsulation of a news article into a message of MIME
type application/news-transmission, or the subsequent undoing of that type application/news-transmission, or the subsequent undoing of that
encapsulation, is not gatewaying, since it involves no transformation encapsulation, is not gatewaying, since it involves no transformation
of the article. of the article.
There are two basic types of gateway, the Outgoing Gateway that There are two basic types of gateway, the Outgoing Gateway that
transforms a news article into a different type of message, and the transforms a news article into a different type of message, and the
Incoming Gateway that transforms a message from another medium into a Incoming Gateway that transforms a message from another medium into a
news article and injects it into a news system. These are handled news article and injects it into a news system. These are handled
separately below. separately below.
News Article Format May 2002
The primary dictat for a gateway is: The primary dictat for a gateway is:
Above all, prevent loops. Above all, prevent loops.
Transformation of an article into another medium stands a very high Transformation of an article into another medium stands a very high
chance of discarding or interfering with the protection inherent in chance of discarding or interfering with the protection inherent in
the news system against duplicate articles. The most common problem the news system against duplicate articles. The most common problem
caused by gateways is "spews," gateway loops that cause previously caused by gateways is "spews," gateway loops that cause previously
posted articles to be reinjected repeatedly into Usenet. To prevent posted articles to be reinjected repeatedly into Usenet. To prevent
this, a gateway MUST take precautions against loops, as detailed this, a gateway MUST take precautions against loops, as detailed
News Article Format August 2002
below. below.
If bidirectional gatewaying (both an incoming and an outgoing If bidirectional gatewaying (both an incoming and an outgoing
gateway) is being set up between Netnews and some other medium, the gateway) is being set up between Netnews and some other medium, the
incoming and outgoing gateways SHOULD be coordinated to avoid incoming and outgoing gateways SHOULD be coordinated to avoid
reinjection of gated articles. Circular gatewaying (gatewaying a reinjection of gated articles. Circular gatewaying (gatewaying a
message into another medium and then back into Netnews) SHOULD NOT be message into another medium and then back into Netnews) SHOULD NOT be
done; encapsulation of the article SHOULD be used instead where this done; encapsulation of the article SHOULD be used instead where this
is necessary. is necessary.
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8.8.1. Duties of an Outgoing Gateway 8.8.1. Duties of an Outgoing Gateway
From the perspective of Netnews, an outgoing gateway is just a From the perspective of Netnews, an outgoing gateway is just a
special type of reading agent. The exact nature of what the outgoing special type of reading agent. The exact nature of what the outgoing
gateway will need to do to articles depends on the medium to which gateway will need to do to articles depends on the medium to which
the articles are being gated. The operation of the outgoing gateway the articles are being gated. The operation of the outgoing gateway
is only subject to additional constraints in the presence of one or is only subject to additional constraints in the presence of one or
more corresponding incoming gateways back from that medium to more corresponding incoming gateways back from that medium to
Netnews, since this opens the possibility of loops. Netnews, since this opens the possibility of loops.
News Article Format May 2002
Where the format of the news article is incompatible with that of the Where the format of the news article is incompatible with that of the
target medium, it may be necessary to apply transformations. In target medium, it may be necessary to apply transformations.
particular, the presence of UTF8-xtra-chars in headers may be a
source of such incompatibility when gatewaying into Email. On the
other hand, some email systems (especially those supporting the
8BITMIME extensions [RFC 2821]) may well transport such material
correctly, and some user agents may even display it.
It is not the purpose of this standard to set requirements to be It is not the purpose of this standard to set requirements to be
followed by implementors of outgoing gateways. Those implementors are followed by implementors of outgoing gateways. Those implementors are
in the best position to know the capabilities of the systems to which in the best position to know the capabilities of the systems to which
the article is to be sent, the purposes for which it is being sent, the article is to be sent, the purposes for which it is being sent,
and the extent to which those purposes will be vitiated if the and the extent to which those purposes will be vitiated if the
content of some header is mutilated en route, or fails to display content of some header is mutilated en route, or fails to display
correctly upon arrival; this is a matter for their judgement. correctly upon arrival; this is a matter for their judgement.
Nevertheless, it is useful to draw attention to a few transformations Nevertheless, it is useful to draw attention to a few transformations
News Article Format August 2002
which such implementors might find useful. which such implementors might find useful.
o Encapsulating the whole article as a message/rfc822 (6.21.2.2) may o Transporting headers containing non-ASCII characters without first
make it less likely to be mutilated during transport, especially encoding them is contrary to the current Email standards [RFC
where 8BITMIME is supported. Alternatively, encapsulating as an 2821] and [RFC 2822]. This applies both to the top-level headers
application/news-transmission (6.21.6.1) will guarantee correct of the email, and also to headers contained within any embedded
transmission and is the method of choice where the intent is to message or multipart Content-Types (and so recursively). However,
gateway it back into Netnews later on. it is well known that most mail transport agents will in fact
o Encoding words containing UTF8-xtra-chars according to [RFC 2047], convey these characters intact, especially for non-top-level
where permitted by that standard (i.e. within phrases and headers in the case of transports which support the 8BITMIME
unstructured headers), and preferably using the charset utf-8, extension, and it is to be expected that the prevalence of this
should ensure their correct display upon arrival. Indeed, many ability will increase in the future (and may even be compliant
user agents will display this encoding correctly in contexts not with future versions of the Email standards). Moreover, many mail
allowed by [RFC 2047]. user agents will also display such characters correctly, or at
o In particular, treating a newsgroup-name as an encoded word least adequately. Therefore, some implementors of gateways may
according to [RFC 2047] is recommended (see also 5.5). Even if it consider it an acceptable risk not to transform these headers in
is not decoded at the far end, it is preferable to display the any way, especially in the case of the lower-level ones.
NOTE: It is not the purpose of this standard either to condemn
or to condone behaviours which may be non-compliant with other
standards. That is a matter for those implementors.
o Where an implementor considers the risk too high for the top-level
headers, encapsulating the whole article as a message/rfc822
(6.21.2.2) may make it less likely to be mutilated during
transport, especially where 8BITMIME is supported. Alternatively,
encapsulating as an application/news-transmission (6.21.6.1) will
guarantee correct transmission <