You are currently viewing a snapshot of taken on April 21, 2008. Most of this content is highly out of date (some pages haven't been updated since the project began in 1998) and exists for historical purposes only. If there are any pages on this archive site that you think should be added back to, please file a bug.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Migration to Giganews

This page is a work in progress (see bottom of page for last-modified date).

Why are we moving to a new news server?
The existing server is hosted by AOL, on the old infrastructure that once supported Netscape. Not only do we have no control over the server, but there's no guarantee that it will continue to operate. We'll now once again have control over the newsgroup list, and be able to add groups when they become necessary. Our new newsgroups server is run by Giganews Newsgroups.
How will people access the newsgroups?
Via NNTP to, as now. (The alias will not be supported for the new server.)
So is still the domain name?
Yes. The domain name is currently scheduled to be moved to point at the new Giganews server sometime in the morning (PST) on Monday, January 9th, 2006.
Do people need to use "snews" (NNTP over SSL), or will plain "news" access (NNTP) work?
Plain news:// access has always been supported, and will continue to be. There are some user support groups available only via snews:// on; their users will be encouraged to move to the new hierarchy also.
If non-SSL access is the default method, will SSL access still be supported?
Currently, SSL access is not planned, as no-one has given a good reason to have it. IMO, it's only useful for e.g. spam reduction if it's the only access method - and that's not true in this case.
Will people need to subscribe to the GigaNews paid service?
Of course not :-) The groups will remain free to use.
Will the newsgroups be propagated to Usenet at large? Will the newsgroups be accessible through Google Groups?
These two questions are connected; propagation has both upsides and downsides. The downsides are that propagation means that we can't really do post deletions, and a failure to control spam may affect developer participation. It's been decided, at least initially, to limit propagation to only (at Giganews) and Google Groups. We have agreements in place with both services to not propagate messages any further. Based on feedback from the community, this may change at some point in the future, but deciding to allow propagation is an irreversible decision so we're starting out the "safe" way. :)
Will there be a way to access content on the old newsgroups? If so, for how long?
Yes, via the old server (addressed as, or for as long as AOL maintains it, via any other servers which mirror the content for as long as they have it, and via Google Groups, presumably indefinitely. They will also be available via on the Giganews server at least until the migration is complete (and perhaps indefinitely), however, Giganews only has about the last 3 years worth of posts, and their message pointers are different, which means you will need to unsubscribe and resubscribe to your newsgroups after the domain name is moved on January 9th in order to sync up your "last read" pointers.
Can people still use mailing lists as an alternative to read or post to the newsgroups? If so, how?
Yes, in the normal way. Mailing list subscriptions will be automatically moved over where there's a clear migration path from an old to a new group, as indicated on the list.
What about spam filtering? What measures have GigaNews and/or the MF put into place?
GigaNews claim that spam is not a problem because they have the clout (10%+ of posts) to threaten a UDP on servers which propagate spam. I intend to take them at their word for the moment, and see what happens.
Who do we contact in the event of problems with the newsgroups or mailing lists?
File a bug in, in the Server Operations component of the product.

Chris Ilias also has a newsgroup transition information page up with a lot of good information on it. In case of any conflicts between what's stated here and information given on Chris's page, the information on this page takes precedence.