Chapter 54. Using Usenet from Perl

Graham Barr

The Internet is an ideal medium for disseminating information to masses of people. Email can be used to distribute information to the masses via mailing lists, but there’s a drawback: every piece of mail is sent to every subscriber. If there are a thousand people on a mailing list, there will be a thousand separate copies of each message zipping around the Internet. Mailing list maintenance can be a hassle as well, as we all know from the occasional spasms of “subscribe” and “unsubscribe” messages on our favorite lists.

The most popular alternative to mailing lists is Usenet. By keeping articles in centralized repositories, Usenet avoids the traffic problems posed by large mailing lists. These repositories then exchange articles among themselves.

Users can read these articles and post new ones by connecting to a Usenet server using the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP).

The articles are categorized into newsgroups; each has a particular theme or subject. Articles can be associated with one or more newsgroups. There are hundreds of different newsgroups available. Four of the most important are devoted to Perl:




These groups are the ideal forum to ask questions and make Perl related announcements. (comp.lang.perl.announce is moderated, which means that all articles must be approved by the group’s moderator).

So what can we do with these newsgroups, or others, ...

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