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[Pan-users] Re: New version of pan ?

From: Lacrocivious Acrophosist
Subject: [Pan-users] Re: New version of pan ?
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 04:56:04 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

Duncan <address@hidden> writes:

> Valeryan_24 posted on Fri, 14 Jan 2011 09:34:19 +0100 as excerpted:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > First I'd like to thank all developers for Pan program, which allows us
> > to get a very good newsreader on Linux since years.
> =:^)


> > This is absolutely not a critical post, just a question from an user
> > unable to compile development versions.
> Being brutally honest, I'm not sure what the direct short answer to your 
> question is, but things aren't looking good. =:^(
> Unfortunately, pan's status as a traditional package with periodic 
> official upstream releases is seriously in question right now, and I can't 
> honestly tell you there'll ever be another (or that there won't, for that 
> matter).  It makes me sick to say it, but (again) being brutally honest, 
> what we're watching now is how many open source projects ultimately die.  


> Really, like it or not as us old fogies will, nntp itself is slowly fading 
> into history, so it's no surprise pan as an nntp client, is fading with 
> it.

> Meanwhile, this post wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention again how 
> thankful I am, and I guess most here are, that KHaley has taken the 
> interest that he has, providing the community repo and aggregating all the 
> patches as they've appeared, in addition to working on new ones.


'This is the year of the linux desktop!'
'This is the year of the Death of Usenet!'
'This is the year we finally achieve whirled peas!'

It isn't Usenet that's dying out, it's conventional newsreaders. And by
conventional newsreaders, I include everything from tin to Pan and KNode, in the
linux environment. If any part of the NNTP universe fades to oblivion, it will
be the text communications upon which it was founded. Those are dwindling if not
to oblivion, at least to their nadir.

Usenet itself, however, is very much alive and well, as a binaries repository of
brobdingnagian scope. Only the methods of access to this repository have
changed. From the auto-decoded, thumbnail-previewed browser-accessible
presentations of Easynews to the myriad forums devoted to .nzb sets, Usenet is
now almost entirely binary by volume, and increasingly few new users taking
advantage of Usenet even know there are ways to use it beyond their .nzb-capable
retrieval apps.

The good news is that Pan is .nzb-capable and damned good at it. The bad news is
that you can't post binaries with it, nor even really archive your treasured
text Usenet threads, as was so easily done in, say, Gravity.

What is the future of linux newsreaders? Well, obviously tin isn't going to
garner new converts absent certain masochistic hair-shirt purists for whom a gui
is as garlic is to a vampire, KNode has been so buried in the KDE PIM package it
is difficult to find by name, and NNTPGrab doesn't even call itself a
newsreader, focusing entirely upon binaries. So that leaves Pan.

Pan is still included in most distros, in the form of the 0.133 release. That
release remains viable and usable years and years after having been revised, in
itself as concrete a testament to decent code as you're likely to find in the
real world. With additional patches and enhancements by K. Haley, Pan remains
both viable and vibrant in actual use.

Absent direct competition from another true newsreader, Pan is unlikely to be
dropped from distros. As long as package maintainers can find some way to duct
tape it into compliance with their distro releases, Pan will remain in their

The other side of this coin is that if there is one newsreader Duncan's White
Knight would find compelling, it is Pan. Of course I wish K. Haley would take
the baton from Charles in even a quasi-official role but I respect his/her
reticence and remain deeply grateful for his/her proven good work on the
project. For the time being, it appears to me that Duncan has inherited the
Throne of Pan by virtue of commitment, interest and expertise ;-)

Incidentally, only days ago I cloned K. Haley's Pan2 git repo and it built just
fine on Fedora 14, and I'm happily using Pan there now. I only wish he had put
something in the 'About' box so we'd know what version we're using when we run
it ;-)

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