active file too far ahead

Russ Allbery rra at
Wed Oct 27 19:44:48 UTC 1999

Brian Kantor <brian at> writes:

> Frankly, I don't like LIST ACTIVE at all as a means of getting article
> numbers - it exposes too much of the internals of the news system to the
> clients.  This seems "unclean" to me.

Well, the reason why clients do this is because it's a lot faster than
doing a whole bunch of GROUP commands and gives you a complete list of
groups on the server as a bonus.  Of course, if you don't care about
getting the full list of groups and the person is only reading a smallish
number of groups, a bunch of GROUP commands would probably be faster.  I
wonder how many newsreaders have the intelligence to dynamically

I do agree with you though, and it's caused a bit of a problem.  We've now
picked up some additional internal state that would be rather nice to
store in the active file for various reasons, but that requires premunging
the active file before returning it as a result of LIST ACTIVE.

Russ Allbery (rra at         <URL:>

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