Discussion:
[slrn] Dealing with read articles
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Andreas Mattheiss
2021-06-11 20:33:15 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

the one thing that keeps putting me off using slrn more frequently is
the way it is dealing with read messages.

I should say I'm using a vintage 0.9.8.1, so maybe this has changed with
respect to this. But the way I see it is that read messages can only be
zapped from the article overview. This is harsh. Would it not be nice
to have a read article just *flagged* as read by having something like
a letter R in front of the subject in the article overview?

Regards
Andreas


--
KRYTEN: Is it just me, or is that cockroach shuffling too loudly?
RIMMER: Kryten, it's called a hangover. Don't panic.
Lewis
2021-06-11 23:38:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
Hello,
the one thing that keeps putting me off using slrn more frequently is
the way it is dealing with read messages.
I should say I'm using a vintage 0.9.8.1, so maybe this has changed with
respect to this. But the way I see it is that read messages can only be
zapped from the article overview. This is harsh. Would it not be nice
to have a read article just *flagged* as read by having something like
a letter R in front of the subject in the article overview?
The messages are all still there. If you want to leave them 'active'
score them with some special number and mark those scores as unread.

With a little slang, I expect you could do that automatically.
--
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
J.B. Nicholson
2021-06-12 04:54:08 UTC
Permalink
But the way I see it is that read messages can only be zapped from
the article overview. This is harsh. Would it not be nice to have a
read article just *flagged* as read by having something like a
letter R in front of the subject in the article overview?
Articles marked as read are flagged in just this way; those articles
can be marked unread if you change your mind. I don't understand how
what you propose is different from marking an article unread in
article mode.

If you want to read articles without marking them as read, consider
adding

set auto_mark_article_as_read 0

to your slrnrc.

https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.4 has info on this.
Andreas Mattheiss
2021-06-12 09:36:21 UTC
Permalink
Hallo,

thanks for replying.
Post by J.B. Nicholson
Articles marked as read are flagged in just this way; those articles
can be marked unread if you change your mind. I don't understand how
what you propose is different from marking an article unread in
article mode.
I didn't make myself clear: I had a flag in mind that would just show
up in the article overview, eg like this:

2 - R [Andreas Ma]: [slrn] Dealing with read articles
-> - R [J.B. Nicho]: [-] Re: [slrn] Dealing with read articles
4 - [Lewis ]: >

The articles from myself and you are flagged "read", Lewis' is still
unread. The read articles can still be accessed easily. Similar to
pan, where read articles are still there but appear in a pale font in
the overview. I personally find this appealing.
Post by J.B. Nicholson
If you want to read articles without marking them as read, consider
adding
set auto_mark_article_as_read 0
to your slrnrc.
Yes, I have done this, but as the faq correctly points out this just
leaves me with *all* the articles in the overview, and keeping track of
what's new is impossible. That's the whole point of flagging something
"read" - I just think removing things read completely out of sight of
the user is too harsh. Actually, the automark (and thus "autohide")
feature, which is on by default, probably discourages novices from
using slrn quite thouroughly, along the lines of "where the hack is that
article I read yesterday and where I want to comment on today?" - I know
the articles are still physically there (can't remove them from the
server easily anyway), but popping up all the articles in a 20+ thread
just to do this and thus again loosing track of what was read earlier
is far from user friendly. The proposed "R" flag would do just nicely,
me thinks.

Regards
Andreas
Lewis
2021-06-12 11:45:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
Hallo,
thanks for replying.
Post by J.B. Nicholson
Articles marked as read are flagged in just this way; those articles
can be marked unread if you change your mind. I don't understand how
what you propose is different from marking an article unread in
article mode.
I didn't make myself clear: I had a flag in mind that would just show
No, you did. But what you also did was not ssay "I want my news reader
to be like my email reader" and you've been given two different
suggestions on how to do that.

If you want something more compicated, I would point out that AFAIK no
newsreader software behaves this way, which indicates it is not a
feature other people care about. This means you may have to write it
yourself.

Who knows, you may have discovered a feature everyone has secretly been
clammoring for and take the world by storm. I doubt it, but I've been
wrong before (shh, don't tell my wife).
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
Yes, I have done this, but as the faq correctly points out this just
leaves me with *all* the articles in the overview,
No, you can still specifically mark articles you no longer want to see as
read. All that setting does is disable the AUTO marking.
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
what's new is impossible. That's the whole point of flagging something
"read" - I just think removing things read completely out of sight of
the user is too harsh. Actually, the automark (and thus "autohide")
feature, which is on by default, probably discourages novices from
This is not an slrn specific feature, it is how ever newsreader I've
ever used since rn back in 1987 has worked.
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
using slrn quite thouroughly, along the lines of "where the hack is that
article I read yesterday and where I want to comment on today?"
You can mark articles you want to save for comment later, which is
normally how this is done.
--
-=> <http://xkcd.com/241/>
<http://xkcd.com/304/>
<http://xkcd.com/635/> <=-
J.B. Nicholson
2021-06-12 14:08:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
I didn't make myself clear: I had a flag in mind that would just show
2 - R [Andreas Ma]: [slrn] Dealing with read articles
-> - R [J.B. Nicho]: [-] Re: [slrn] Dealing with read articles
4 - [Lewis ]: >
The articles from myself and you are flagged "read", Lewis' is still
unread. The read articles can still be accessed easily. Similar to
pan, where read articles are still there but appear in a pale font in
the overview. I personally find this appealing.
Instead of hitting Enter to enter a group, try entering a group with
ESC 1 Enter. By default slrn will prompt you for how many articles to
show you and you'll see that many articles (minus any articles which
have expired from your news server). You can put in the default number
and see as many of the group's old articles as slrn can fetch from
the news server.

https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-7.html#gkey_select_group has more
info on this.

Consider looking into setting query_read_group_cutoff to a negative
value in your slrnrc to see if that helps you.

https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-6.html#ss6.80 has more info on query_read_group_cutoff.

Or you could use a macro like:

#v+
define my_select_group () {
variable starting_prefix_argument = get_prefix_arg ();
reset_prefix_arg ();
set_prefix_argument (1);
ungetkey ('\n');
call ("select_group");
if (starting_prefix_argument != -1) set_prefix_argument (starting_prefix_argument);
}
definekey ("my_select_group", " ", "group"); % SPACE
definekey ("my_select_group", "^M", "group"); % Enter
#v-

which should let you enter a group in the normal way and always see
all of the articles the server will supply to you at that time. Read
and unread articles are marked as slrn normally does. Your scorefile
is also processed normally.
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
Actually, the automark (and thus "autohide") feature, which is on by
default, probably discourages novices from using slrn quite
thouroughly, along the lines of "where the hack is that article I
read yesterday and where I want to comment on today?"
Your question is the first time I've seen anyone ask about this. For
decades across many newsreaders people have read netnews chiefly by
looking at the new articles by default and bringing up older articles
ad-hoc. If you want to read news otherwise that's fine, but the
defaults don't work that way. However I think you'll find slrn will
let you do what you want.

Some articles are quite easy to refetch from the server particularly
the parent and child articles of current article. The
get_children_headers (ESC CTRL-P, by default) and get_parent_header
(ESC p) functions fetch the child articles and parent articles
respectively.

See https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-7.html#ss7.2 for descriptions
of these functions.
Post by Andreas Mattheiss
The proposed "R" flag would do just nicely, me thinks.
slrn is free software -- users are free to inspect, share, and modify
slrn according to its license, the GNU General Public License. This
means that you're free to add the functionality which you think is
missing or get someone else to add it for you. You can optionally
distribute your improved version as well, even commercially.
Andreas Mattheiss
2021-06-12 15:46:51 UTC
Permalink
Hello again,
Instead of hitting Enter to enter a group, try entering a group with ESC 1
Enter. By default slrn will prompt you for how many articles to show you
and you'll see that many articles (minus any articles which have expired
from your news server). You can put in the default number and see as many
of the group's old articles as slrn can fetch from the news server.
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-manual-7.html#gkey_select_group has more info
on this.
this was the key to success. This and
https://slrn.info/docs/slrn-FAQ-3.html#ss3.2 . Quote:

======================================================================

If you want to see all articles in a group (read and unread ones),
simply set a ``prefix argument'' before entering a newsgroup. Using the
default bindings, you can do this by pressing ``ESC 1 RETURN'' in group
mode. There are variations of this; the online help or the manual will
tell you more about them.

If you always want to enter groups that way, pressing three keys instead
of one is annoying. You can avoid this using a special keybinding in
your slrnrc file. Here is an example:

setkey group "set_prefix_argument(4); () = select_group();" " "

With this line, pressing ``SPACE'' in group mode will enter the selected
group with four as the prefix argument.

======================================================================

Unquote. This does exactly what I want - I mark the articles as read,
leave the group, reenter with the space bar, and everything's still around
and properly "flagged":

-> - [Andreas Ma]: [slrn] Dealing with read articles@@sig
3 D [J.B. Nicho]: tq[-] Re: [slrn] Dealing with read articles
4 - [Andreas Ma]: x mqRe: [-] Re: [slrn] Dealing with read articles@@si
5 D [J.B. Nicho]: x tq[-] [slrn] Seeing all articles in the group by de
6 D [Lewis ]: x mq[-] Re: [slrn] Dealing with read articles
7 - [Lewis ]: mq>

That's the way I wanted it to be.

Usenet rulez. Well, mainly the friendly & helpful people behind it of
course. Thanks to J.B. and Lewis for advice & patience.

Regards
Andreas

--
KRYTEN: That we've been here before.
CAT: Of course we have, it's the cockpit, dummy! We come here all the
time.
KRYTEN: In this sector of the galaxy, sir... Doesn't it look
familiar?
LISTER: Kryten, it's space. Black with twinkly bits.

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