ietf-nntp OVER extension

Russ Allbery rra at
Sun Aug 25 22:48:39 PDT 2002

Clive D W Feather <clive at> writes:

> There was a suggestion that OVER could take a message-ID. This would
> need to be optional; to allow it, include the lines prefixed with $,
> while to forbid it exclude those lines.

Why does this need to be optional?  It's a new command; we can require
that this be implemented.  I'm personally slightly inclined to require it,
but I think if it's not required, it should be omitted entirely.  Adding
an optional command is just too much more complexity.

> [I'm not sure where this first bit best fits.]

>   X.X Article metadata

Sometime before all of the command descriptions, I think.  Probably the
section immediately before it, which would put it around the same place as
the description of wildmat.  That makes sense to me.

>   This memo defines two metadata items: "line:count" and "byte:count".

I'd like to see :lines and :bytes here instead.

>   9.5.2 The OVER Extension

>   This extension provides two commands, OVER and LIST OVERVIEW.FMT. The
>   label for this extension is OVER. If the extension is implemented then
>   both commands MUST be provided.

I think we should drop the LIST OVERVIEW.FMT command.  As discussed on
this list rather extensively, it doesn't provide any useful information,
and with the introduction of metadata names it just confuses things.

> Responses

> $      First form (optional range specified):

>           224   Overview information follows (multi-line response)
>           412   No newsgroup currently selected
>           423   No article(s) selected

That should be 420, and you're missing the 430 (no such article number)
response here.



>   The LIST OVERVIEW.FMT command returns a description of the fields in
>   the database. The fields MUST be listed in the order that they will
>   be returned by the OVER command for a newly-received article (the
>   information stored for articles may change over time).

>   If the command is successful, the description is returned as a multi-line
>   response following a 215 response code, one line per field. The first 7
>   lines MUST be exactly:

>       Subject:
>       From:
>       Date:
>       Message-ID:
>       References:
>       byte:count
>       line:count

Standardizing this command and saying that it returns something different
than what it's always returned seems particularly pointless.  It wouldn't
surprise me if this would confuse some existing clients.

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

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