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Configuring your news reader to post to uk.*


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Archive-name: uk/usenet/configuring
Posting-Frequency: monthly
URL: http://www.usenet.org.uk/ukpost.html
Last-modified: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 23:08:28 +0100

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
  Configuring your news reader to post to uk.*
  Alex D. Baxter
  Last changes: Composing in plain text

  The uk.* preferences match those recommended for international news­
  groups (and mail) as well, so this document may be more widely
  applied.
  ______________________________________________________________________

  Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Posting in plain text only
     2.1 Why post in plain text?
     2.2 Configuring Mozilla version 1.x
     2.3 Configuring Netscape Communicator version 4.5
     2.4 Configuring Netscape Communicator version 4.0x
     2.5 Configuring Microsoft Outlook Express versions 5.0 and 6.0
     2.6 Configuring Microsoft Outlook Express version 4.x
     2.7 Configuring Microsoft Internet Mail and News version 1.x

  3. Proper quoting
     3.1 How and why to quote properly
     3.2 Including quoted reply in Google Groups
     3.3 Quoting in Netscape Communicator 4.0x and Microsoft Outlook Express 4.x
     3.4 Quoting in Netscape Communicator version 4.5

  4. Other suggestions
     4.1 View and compose articles using a fixed-width font
     4.2 Wrap text at 72 characters
     4.3 Limit signatures to four lines or fewer
     4.4 Testing your news reader
     4.5 Be aware of newsgroup Charters

  5. Contributors
  6. How to see only updated versions of this document
  7. Disclaimer


  ______________________________________________________________________

  1.  Introduction

  This document contains specific information on configuring several
  types of news reader (that is, software used for reading and posting
  to news) for posting to uk.* newsgroups in a way that conforms to the
  various official guidelines and to general good netiquette.  This is
  not itself an 'official' document but is intended to be helpful to new
  uk.* users.  It is also not a guide on how to write articles, simply
  on how to post them; however, one piece of general netiquette bears
  repeating here - it is important to read newsgroups for a time before
  posting to them to make sure they really are what you think.


  2.  Posting in plain text only

  2.1.  Why post in plain text?

  Currently there are several news readers which are able to post in
  formats other than plain text, such as HTML or RTF; some can post
  articles in a dual format with a plain text part and then the text in
  another format.  While this means that articles look attractive when
  read with a compatible news reader, remember that not everybody is
  using the same news reader as you.  Many users will not be able to
  easily read posts in HTML.  Also, articles in HTML or combined format
  articles are much longer than plain text articles and so are taking up
  extra bandwidth for the same content.

  For these reasons, posting in HTML or any format other than plain text
  is generally frowned upon in the uk.* hierarchy, and is banned under
  many group Charters.  Following are step-by-step instructions for
  configuring some common news readers to post in plain text only.


  2.2.  Configuring Mozilla version 1.x

  Plain text is the default posting format for news in Mozilla (released
  versions 1.0 and later).  Here is how to turn off HTML format for a
  specific account if necessary:

  1. Select the news account in the accounts pane.

  2. Click 'View settings for this account'.

  3. Uncheck the box 'Compose messages in HTML format'.

  4. Click the OK button.


  2.3.  Configuring Netscape Communicator version 4.5

  Note: This information applies to the final release version of
  Communicator 4.5 only, not to any Preview Releases (which had a
  slightly different interface).

  1. Choose 'Edit->Preferences...' from the menu.

  2. Click the small plus sign (+) next to 'Mail & Newsgroups'

  3. Click 'Formatting'.

  4. Choose the radio button 'Use the plain text editor to compose
     messages'.

  5. Click the OK button.

  Alternatively, to turn off HTML posting for a single newsgroup:

  1. Select the newsgroup in the newsgroups list.

  2. Choose 'Edit->Newsgroup Properties' from the menu.

  3. Uncheck the box 'Can receive HTML'.

  4. Choose 'Edit->Preferences... from the menu, and open the 'Mail &
     Newsgroups->Formatting' section, as above, then check the box 'Ask
     me what to do if the message has HTML formatting, otherwise send
     plain text'.


  2.4.  Configuring Netscape Communicator version 4.0x


  1. Choose 'Edit->Preferences' from the menu.

  2. Click the small plus sign (+) next to 'Mail and Groups'.

  3. Click 'Messages'.

  4. Under 'Message Properties', uncheck the box 'By default, send HTML
     messages'.
  5. Click the OK button.

     Source: Netscape Technical Notes
     <http://help.netscape.com/kb/consumer/19990102-2.html>


  2.5.  Configuring Microsoft Outlook Express versions 5.0 and 6.0

  Plain text is the default posting format for news in these versions of
  Outlook Express. Here is how to change it back globally if necessary:

  1. Choose 'Tools->Options' from the menu.

  2. Choose the 'Send' tab.

  3. Choose the 'Plain Text' radio button under 'News Sending Format'.

  4. Click the OK button.

  You can also configure the default posting format for news servers
  (not groups) individually:

  1. Highlight the server entry in the 'Folders' pane and choose
     'File->Properties' from the menu.

  2. Choose the 'Advanced' tab.

  3. Check the 'Ignore news sending format and post using' checkbox
     under 'Posting'.

  4. Choose the 'Plain Text' radio button.

  5. Click the OK button.


  2.6.  Configuring Microsoft Outlook Express version 4.x


  1. Choose 'Tools->Options' from the menu.

  2. Choose the 'Send' tab.

  3. Check the 'Plain Text' box under 'News Sending Format'.

  4. Click the OK button.

     Source: Microsoft Knowledgebase
     <http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q154/1/25.asp>


  2.7.  Configuring Microsoft Internet Mail and News version 1.x


  1. Choose 'News->Options' from the menu.

  2. Choose the 'Send' tab.

  3. Check the 'Plain Text' box under 'News Sending Format'.

  4. Click the OK button.

     Source: Microsoft Knowledgebase
     <http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q154/1/25.asp>


  3.  Proper quoting

  3.1.  How and why to quote properly

  Quoting is the practice of including sections of text from another
  article when are replying to that article.  The quoted text is set off
  from your replying text by a quoting character - usually a greater-
  than sign >.  Quoted text is useful since it provides a context for
  the reply, without the reader having to find the original article.  It
  may also be the case that previous articles have appeared out of
  order, or not at all - you cannot assume that readers of your article
  have seen all the articles you reference.  Done properly, quoting can
  make it easier to follow a complex thread of articles.  Done
  improperly, quoting can be confusing to readers, and  may even be
  insulting to other posters (for example, by accidentally attributing a
  quoted statement made by one poster to another).  Here are some of the
  things to bear in mind when quoting:

  ·  Always put your reply text after the text you are quoting.
     Remember that the purpose of quoted text is to provide a context
     for your reply - if your reply comes first, forcing the reader to
     look further down the message for what you are replying to, the
     purpose of quoting (to make things easier for the reader) has been
     defeated.

  ·  Trim the quoted text so that there is sufficient context for your
     reply, but not masses of extraneous text that do not have anything
     to do with what you want to say.

  ·  Never quote signatures.

  ·  It is generally a good idea to use a standard > character for
     quoting as some news readers can then automatically highlight
     quoted text.

  ·  Include a proper attribution line before a quote.  An attribution
     line looks like:

       On <uk.foo> in <m-1234@oenone.demon.co.uk> on Fri, 11 Sep 1998
       15:15:51 +0100, "Alex D. Baxter" <alex-faq@oenone.demon.co.uk> wrote:


  Most news readers include an attribution line by default when you
  quote a message.  The content of the attribution line varies; it
  should contain at least the name/e-mail address of the person you are
  quoting.

  ·  If you are quoting a message that itself contains quotes, do not
     remove the quoting characters or attribution lines from the
     sections that you are quoting.


  3.2.  Including quoted reply in Google Groups

  The Google Groups web interface does not by default include the
  original message text when replying.  Here is how to turn on quoting:

  1. Click the 'show options' link at the top of the message that you
     are replying to.

  2. There are now two links labeled 'Reply' - click the one at the top
     of the message, under the 'Subject' header.

  3. Remember to trim the quoted text in your reply.


  3.3.  Quoting in Netscape Communicator 4.0x and Microsoft Outlook
  Express 4.x

  Unfortunately, the default for these two news readers seems to be to
  place the cursor on a blank line before the quoted text when replying
  to a message.  All you can do is remember to move the cursor to the
  bottom of the quoted text before typing your reply (perhaps this would
  be a good opportunity to trim the quoted text).

  3.4.  Quoting in Netscape Communicator version 4.5

  Note: This information applies to the final release version of
  Communicator 4.5 only, not to any Preview Releases (which had a
  slightly different interface).

  1. Choose 'Edit->Preferences' from the menu.

  2. Click the small plus sign (+) next to 'Mail & Newsgroups'.

  3. Click 'Messages'.

  4. Under 'Forwarding and Replying to messages', check the box
     'Automatically quote the original message when replying'.

  5. Select 'start my reply below quoted text'.

  6. Click the OK button.

     Note: Communicator will quote signatures by default, so remember to
     trim them from the quoted text.


  4.  Other suggestions

  Here are some other guidelines which may be of help in reading and
  posting news:


  4.1.  View and compose articles using a fixed-width font

  Many posters use spaces or tabs to align text in articles.  Some
  articles also contain diagrams in 'ASCII art' which are only correctly
  viewable using a fixed-width font (such as Courier).  So if you want
  to view articles as they were intended to be seen, use a fixed-width
  font.  Similarly, it is suggested that you compose articles using a
  fixed-width font, since that it what the majority of readers will be
  using to view them.


  4.2.  Wrap text at 72 characters

  Many posters are used to reading news articles in a terminal or window
  that is 80 fixed-width characters wide. If you wrap the text of your
  articles at a 72 character margin this gives plenty of space for
  quoting characters in replies before the lines either need re-wrapping
  or overflow the 80-character width.


  4.3.  Limit signatures to four lines or fewer

  Most news readers allow you to sign off the end of a post with a
  personal signature file.  If you choose to use one, the recommendation
  is to keep it to a maximum of four lines (of 70-80 characters).  This
  does not include the signature separator (two hyphens, space, return
  "-- ") which most news readers automatically place before the
  signature when you post.  When creating a new signature, check that it
  has no extra spaces or blank lines at the end.  The reason for using
  the standard separator is so that a news reader can strip the
  signature automatically when replying (see Quoting above).

  Note that current and several past versions of Outlook Express are
  unable to use the standard signature separator as the space is
  stripped.  There are apparently third-party software packages that can
  fix this problem but the maintainer has not been able to test any as
  yet.


  4.4.  Testing your news reader

  After configuring your news reader, it is probably a good idea to send
  a test post to check that it is working as you expect.  Rather than
  posting test messages to a regular newsgroup, which may annoy some
  readers, there are newsgroups specifically created for this purpose.
  In uk.* the test newsgroup is called uk.test.  Be aware that there are
  various servers running software called "autoresponders" that look for
  messages in test newsgroups and send an e-mail to the poster when a
  test message is seen.  If you do not want to receive these e-mails
  include the word "ignore" in the Subject line of your test post.


  4.5.  Be aware of newsgroup Charters

  It is advisable to read a newsgroup for some time before posting, to
  get a feeling for the subjects under discussion.  Reading the group's
  formal Charter is also a good idea, since it may contain details such
  as rules on advertising or topics that are considered inappropriate
  for that group.

  Most newsgroups in uk.* have a charter; the complete listing of
  Charters within the hierarchy can be found on the UK Usenet homepages
  <http://www.usenet.org.uk/newsgroups.html>.


  5.  Contributors

  Maintainer: Alex D. Baxter <alex-faq@oenone.demon.co.uk>;

  Original idea: Andy Mabbett <andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk>;

  With help from: Mark Goodge <mark@good-stuff.co.uk>, Denis Fuller
  <bedfordtlfan@yahoo.com>, Rick Martin <rick.martin@pixel-group.com>,
  Dave Postill <dave.postill@pobox.com>, Dr. John Stockton, Batch
  <miles.batchelor@bigfoot.com>, and Dave Hodder <dmh@dmh.org.uk>.

  Please send any additions, corrections, or suggestions to Alex Baxter
  at <alex-faq@oenone.demon.co.uk>.  I am always looking for information
  on configuring news readers not already covered, on any platform.


  6.  How to see only updated versions of this document

  For those who are familiar with this post and know how to use kill
  files, it is possible to avoid downloading this FAQ under normal
  circumstances by adding a reference to kill on the following line:

       X-Changes: NONE


  When an updated version appears the X-Changes: header will contain the
  date of the last change.

  7.  Disclaimer


       This article is provided as is without any express or
       implied warranties.  While every effort has been taken to
       ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this
       article, the maintainer assumes no responsibility for errors
       or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the
       information contained herein.


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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM