Date: Mon Jun 28 04:15:54 1982
Subject: release 1.0 of notesfiles available - (nf)
Posted: Fri Jun 25 07:34:43 1982
Received: Mon Jun 28 04:15:54 1982
harpo!ber Jun 25 07:30:00 1982
I just got my "official" release 1.0 of 'notesfiles', PLATO-like notes
on UNIX. It interfaces to netnews and is crt oriented. I also have permission
to redistribute it. It ain't perfect, but what is? When it gets some heavier
use (currently only 4 USENET sites are running it) I think the minor
netnews interface problems will be quickly solved.
For your very own copy, send mail to:
...!harpo!uiucdcs!essick (Ray Essick)
...!harpo!ber (Raymond Ber)
Date: Sat Jul 31 02:32:14 1982
Subject: Notesfiles Live at BRL-BMD - (nf)
Posted: Fri Jul 30 04:30:27 1982
Received: Sat Jul 31 02:32:14 1982
brl-bmd!dpk Jul 30 04:29:00 1982
I hereby announce the installation of Notesfiles
at Brl-Bmd. Notesfiles are wonderful. (so whats new...)
I thought I would let you know how our installation has
gone so far, and announce our "fixes" to certain problems.
1. Didn't know what "SUPERMAILER" was (moot point, see later)
2. Only system definitions for V6, and UNIX4.0 and
a statement "otherwise assumes 4.1BSD". What
about V7 and 3.0? And we run a union of V6/V7.
4.1 seemed to work
3. Source code written on 132 column terminal??
4. Mailit.c: We are running the MMDF mail system
and we have an intelligent mail sender (Send).
I was able to throw out lots of code from mailit().
It now calles send with the Subject line, and the
name of a file to include if necessary.
5. makefile: the last couple of line which dealt with
OBJECTS and HELPFILES caused my PDP11 "make" to
run out of memory (Ray is on a VAX and didn't notice)
6. Rewrote "syncnews" as a Bourne shell script
7. The documentation did not print properly, pagination
was all wrong. No solution yet.
8. I fake ioctl TIOCGETP/TIOCSETP, but not TIOC[SG]ETN,
my problem, just changed to SETP/GETP.
9. cursor.c: Big problem here. We are using the 2.8BSD
termlib.a and it needs to have the "up" and "bc" for
some terminals. It uses these if the characters generated
by a cursor control sequence would possibly be interpreted
by the tty driver (NL, TAB, NULL, EOT). I also rewrote
the handling to allocation of space in here.
10. do "*?" work in the .nfseq files pointed at by the
NFSEQ environment variable?
11. There should be a general notesfiles aliasing facility
so that something like "long-notesfiles-name" can be
aliased to "shortname". I have talked to ray about
this, and if he doesn't get to it, I will.
12. Having the erase/kill type characters hardcoded in
is a pain. We use the DEC standard set here (RUB, ^U)
and do not allow the users to change it.
13. When you use E to change a note, it forces you to
type in the title again, Why?
14. When using the built in pager to look at long
notes, the percentage number in the corner bear
no relation to reality.
We are running Bnews2.7 and probably won't change to 2.9 for
a bit, just not enough time, but we are interested in work on interfacing
Notesfiles and Bnews. There are still some reasons for keeping the
news system around. Net.sources has the potential to have files larger
than 65535 characters and I not sure how to handle control messages.
What happens to news articles for which there is no notesfile.
I will be glad to send anyone the changes I have made if
they are interested, or to the group if there is suitable interest.
Even with the problems I am still amazed at how easily it went in.
Thank you Ray Essick!
Ballistic Research Laboratory
Date: Sat Jul 31 08:24:40 1982
Subject: Re: Notesfiles Live at BRL-BMD - (nf)
Posted: Fri Jul 30 22:26:44 1982
Received: Sat Jul 31 08:24:40 1982
uiucdcs!essick Jul 30 22:13:00 1982
Doug Kingston and I spent an hour on the phone yesterday and
solved most of his problems, and some of my mistakes. Some further info
on various points in his letter:
5: (makefile) I think that this is repaired. The copy he had has about
60 files on the left side of a dependency rule. I have since
decided that what I had was wrong anyway, and have modifed it.
10: ( ?* in .nfseq files) Yes, they work. I believe that you
can use a shell meta-character from just about anywhere that
you would want to. The place that I know you can't is when
nesting notesfiles (it doesn't really make sense to do so
12: (hardwired erase/kill) pointed out by many people. Several people
have sent me the modifications for using the user's settings,
and I'll post the updated code later this weekend.
13: (why a new title on E command) The E command is implemented simply
by (1) saving the text, (2) delete the old note, and (3)
call the note writing routine and have it include the text that
was in the old note. Passing the old title around just didn't fit
Ray Essick, University of Illinois
Date: Wed Jun 30 06:00:30 1982
Subject: Re: Notesfile - (nf)
Posted: Tue Jun 29 21:34:02 1982
Received: Wed Jun 30 06:00:30 1982
cornell!pavel Jun 29 20:47:00 1982
Concerning the recent praise of the notesfiles system:
1) Yes, putting it up is fairly simple, but I would have
appreciated an overview of the workings of the beast so
that I could make more knowledgable decisions on certain
of the local customisations.
2) It appears that the nice feature of grouping responses under
the original doesn't work with news which is gotten from
the USENET. I know that there's a References: field in the
version B news articles, so this shouldn't be too hard.
Is it the case that this really doesn't work, or have I
done something wrong?
3) I think this is a really well done system which would work
better if everyone was using it. There are obvious
compromises that have been made in order to accommodate
4) The screen-oriented approach is clearly superior to the
odious 'msgs' interface of readnews.
5) I think that this is worth your while to try out. And if you
find out that a neighbor of yours is using it, I heartily
recommend that the two of you use the notesfiles method for
communicating and not to go through news unnecessarily.