Newsreader Requirement outline: User Interface
Note that these are minimum requirements. Your application features will probably have additional requirements.
The user interface will be the bulk of the effort.
- Be able to show all groups, but no-one likes to scan through 20,000 groups, so this should not be the only way.
- Be able to show all articles present in a group. Depending on popularity and article expiration times, there can be 14000 and more articles present on a server in a single group. No upper limit is the only reasonable design goal. If you use a hard-coded limit it will eventually be exceeded no matter what it is.
- Provide some way of limiting the need for users to see all of the articles at once-- there are far too many. Generally show only a portion: the latest, or those unread.
- Present articles in threads, or sorted by author, or date, etc. (And be sure to get that info from XOVER, not XHDR or HEAD.)
- Track which articles have been read and which have not by article number. Use at LEAST a
32 bit integer for the article number.
- Be able to encode and decode inline graphics and binaries. UUencoded JPG, GIF, etc.
- Composition/edit of posts, which are sent by NNTP to the news server and sent separately copied in E-mail. (Yes, that's right: you must do SMTP or equiv. separately from NNTP. Post does not cover it.)
- Be able to issue cancels for messages that were posted.
- Be able to present error messages to the user as they occur in the NNTP interaction.
- Everything in The Good Net Keeping Seal of Approval
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Copyright 1997, Forrest J. Cavalier III, Mib Software, INN customization and consulting