virtual group

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thenormal
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:39 am

virtual group

Post by thenormal »

what's a virtual group and what's the porpouse of it? anyone caring to explain it to a noob?

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Smudge
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Posts: 10034
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:42 am

Post by Smudge »

It is a way to put similar groups into a single grouping. For example, put all the groups about audiobooks...
alt.binaries.audiobooks
alt.binaries.mp3.audiobooks
alt.binaries.mp3.audiobooks.highspeed
alt.binaries.mp3.audiobooks.repost
alt.binaries.sound.audiobooks
alt.binaries.sounds.audiobooks
alt.binaries.sounds.audiobooks.repost
alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.audiobooks
...together into a virtual group. Then be selecting the virtual group line, you can download headers or open all groups at once.

The virtual group idea isn't complete though. You will see multiple entries for files if they were cross posted between any of the groups in the virtual group. It is planned to have cross posting detection and only show a single entry for a crossposted file.
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bunzer
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Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:21 pm

Post by bunzer »

Smudge wrote:The virtual group idea isn't complete though. You will see multiple entries for files if they were cross posted between any of the groups in the virtual group. It is planned to have cross posting detection and only show a single entry for a crossposted file.
This answers the question I wanted to ask: is there any way to avoid crossposted articles in virtual groups? I take it that this is planned, but as yet, not implemented.

The problem I have is that my virtual groups are quite large, and suffer from articles posted to 5 or six groups. So far, I have ignored this, it sometimes makes browsing articles quicker, when a big block of repeated articles appears and is visually easy to ignore.

However, I am now finding that I am downloading a serious number of headers on a daily basis, and I'm looking for ways of reducing this. Before anyone suggests using Search instead, I don't generally search for stuff, I browse - that's why I download the headers in the first place.

What would help is if Newsleecher could do something which Xnews does: note the crossposted article headers, and avoid downloading them again from the other groups.

I suppose this should go in the Wish List forum (please feel free to move it), but I posted here because I wondered if this strategy was already planned, or whether it's just the display of cross-posted headers which would be suppressed.

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Smudge
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Post by Smudge »

From what I understand of header downloading, you can't specify which header to download or not. The client just asks the server to send all headers in a range. Most likely XNews is still downloading all headers but is ignoring any header it already has in another group.
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bunzer
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Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:21 pm

Post by bunzer »

You may be right. Or it's possible that, based on what you said about downloading blocks, Xnews could be requesting multiple blocks in each group thereby skipping stuff it already has - although this looks like a lot of work and client-server dialogue for the news client.

One thing I noticed about Xnews is that the kill-xpost option usually reduces the header count in similar groups by a significant amount (5-15%), and the rc file then becomes very fragmented, until the other groups are caught-up. Whether or not the killed xposts' headers are subsequently downloaded I can't say for sure, but I think it's certainly possible that they aren't.

One major difference with Xnews is its inability to multi-thread header retrieval, so selective header downloading would be much more straightforward, as it has to do one group at a time. This is one of the reasons I stopped using Xnews, but the kill-xpost feature is still one of the few things I miss about it.

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