active file too far ahead

Russ Allbery rra at
Wed Oct 27 19:36:59 UTC 1999

Brian Kantor <brian at> writes:

> GROUP should return the highest article number which has ever existed,
> even if that article has subsequently been removed due to cancel,
> expire, or supercedure.

I'm not seeing support for this in RFC 977:

   The successful selection response will return the article numbers of
   the first and last articles in the group, and an estimate of the
   number of articles on file in the group.  It is not necessary that
   the estimate be correct, although that is helpful; it must only be
   equal to or larger than the actual number of articles on file.  (Some
   implementations will actually count the number of articles on file.
   Others will just subtract first article number from last to get an

It all depends on how you interpret "first and last articles in the
group," but provided that you never reuse an article number, there doesn't
seem to me to be any negative consequences for returning a lower-than-
highmark value in response to GROUP.  It just means that next time an
article comes in that isn't cancelled, the return value of GROUP will jump
from the perspective of the client.

Russ Allbery (rra at         <URL:>

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