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Waffle Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Section - waffle: News

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1. Can I keep a copy of all posts ?

Yes, look in static.doc and the USENET file distributed
with Waffle for /spy=monitor.  basically just have
`DEFAULT /spy=monitor' at the top of your waffle/system/usenet
file, and you'll probably be ok (unless you drastically
changed your `forums' static file entry).

2. Can I gateway mail to news ?

Absolutely.  You need to set up an alias in `aliases' that
looks something like the following:

        newsgroup-name  | post

To go the other way, add /mod="submission-address-of-mailing-list".

For example, I have the Pink Floyd mailing list gatewayed on
hogbbs to mail.echoes .  I got the list maintainer to send
the mailint list to, and have
the following entry in `aliases':

        echoes-list  | post mail.echoes

My definition for mail.echoes in my USENET file looks like:

        mail.echoes /name="The Pink Floyd Mailing List"

(That should all be on one line; it was split for inclusion
in the FAQ.)

3. Does Waffle provided threaded newsreading ?

Not at this time.  See the section on Aftermarket add-ons
for info on external newsreaders which do provide threaded

4. Does Waffle support kill files ?

Not at this time.  Meanwhile, check the section on Aftermarket
add-ons, as above.

5. Why do I see multiple copies of the same article ?

Because Waffle has no `real-news'-like history mechanism
at this time.  Waffle considers an article to be a duplicate
only if the local site is already in the path.  Even then, it
gets it wrong (substrings match where they shouldn't).

If you get a newsfeed of the same newsgroup from several Waffle
sites into your DOS Waffle, expect to see lots of duplicates :-(

History mechanism is currently planned (rumored) for v1.66.  It
is available now through Waffle C News (on halcyon).

Also, if you read two groups, and a message is crossposted to
both groups, the builtin newsreaders will show it to you twice.

There are several third-party solutions - see the section on
Aftermarket add-ons.

6. Why do my local postings not make it to USENET ?

check your /waffle/system/feeds file.  is there an entry for your feed
there, saying to send all newsgroups there?  if you have a /batch=
flag in that feeds entry, did you forget to run the `batch' command to
take the list of articles to go out, assemble them, compress them, and
queue them up for transmission?

you should call `batch' from your poll.bat or from cron via the
schedule file.

a simple `feeds' file for a leaf that connects to the site `smart' is:

    smart /batch=compress *

an almost-as-simple `feeds' file for a leaf that connects to the site
`smart' (which puts !! in their Path: headers) is:

    smart /batch=compress / *

the stages news articles go through are as follows:

  a. the article itself ends up in the news directories
       e.g., c:/waffle/news/comp/bbs/waffle/7 would be the article itself

     if this doesn't work:
       - things are fundamentally flawed
       - check DEFAULT and /dir= entries

  b. this filename ends up in the spool/compress directory
       e.g., c:/waffle/spool/compress/smart would contain one line:

     if this doesn't work:
       - check the feeds file as above
       - this assumes you're using `/batch=compress' somewhere in
         your feeds file
       - waffle rnews has errors -- search this FAQ for `substring'
         -- that can cause rnews to incorrectly not feed articles.
         you will either need to
         1. have your smarthost change its setup drastically
         2. register a UUCP name and put that in your Path: headers
            via the fairly-undocumented `newsname' parameter in STATIC
         3. switch to another `rnews'.

     if the .../spool/compress/smart file is huge
       - perhaps you're `backfeeding' -- feeding the news right back
         to the site you got it from.  if so, you need to use the
         `/path=' option in your feeds file, as above.

  c. this file is processed by the `batch' command
       e.g., c:/waffle/spool/smart/0042.DAT (and .XQT and .CMD)
       would be created, and c:/waffle/spool/compress/smart would

     if this doesn't work:
       - make sure you run the `batch' command frequently

  d. your news neighbours to whom you fed the news get transferred
       the data file (e.g., 0042.DAT) which the execute file
       (e.g., 0042.XQT) tells it to run through `rnews'

     if this doesn't work:
       - things are fundamentally flawed
       - check your UUCICO setup

  e. your news neighbours run `uuxqt', and start over from step `a'

     if this doesn't work:
       - it's their turn to look for the problem now!

7. Can I edit the newsgroups line when making a post ?

Not directly, but you can `followup groupA groupB' and get
the same functionality.  Same goes for mailing a reply to
somebody and also kicking your reply to somebody else.

also, check some of the third-party readers.

8. Can I effectively read and followup to saved news messages ?

Not really at this time.  If you're at the console, you could use
`readmail' to read them reasonably efficiently, though you
couldn't respond via mail or followup.  (this may change with
the new, reply-capable version of readmail).

There are also a myriad of relatively ugly workarounds available
in 1.65 making creative use of makebox.exe, perl, etc. to make the 
saved messages into a mail folder.

Being able to have saved news articles as a mail `folder' and
use the mail program to read/follow/reply to saved news has
been suggested to Tom for a future release.

9. In `rn', how can I mail an article to somebody other than the author?

Hit `:m username'

Same idea for saving a message to a specified filename. In that
case you want to hit `:s filename'.

Think of it like hitting `:' to get to command mode in vi.  

Be careful, though, if you're at a `More' prompt - at the `More'
prompt, a `:' just gets you to the `What next?' prompt, so you
have to hit two colons.

10. I get `write/text: No such file or directory, D:\NEWS/monitor/1'
    when posting a message.

You must create the monitor newsgroup manually.  monitor and
local newsgroups are the only ones that must be created manually;
rnews will create directories for groups in your FORUMS file
as needed.

this is _not_ a `/' vs. `\' problem.

people who write third-party newsreaders:  please have your
package create the directory, and save grief all around.  thanks.

11. My users want to use their QWK offline reader to read their netnews.
    Does Waffle support this?

(make sure they don't try to reply using QWK packets, since
without a lot of playing around and lying to software, it just
won't work incredibly well, if at all.)

There is a .QWK door for Waffle, called WafLineMail, which was
written for 1.64 .  It will sort-of work with 1.65 if you use
the `explode' utility to unpack your 1.65 mailbox; it works as
well as it ever did with news in 1.65 still.  Unfortunately,
WafLineMail 1.0 is the sort of program that works perfectly on
some machines and doesn't work at all on others and nobody can
ever figure out why.

There is a beta of WafLineMail 2.0 floating around, which knows
about 1.65's mailbox format, and may or may not be more reliable.

WafLineMail 1.0r is available as `', and the beta that
I saw was on .

As far as I know, development work on WafLineMail has been dropped.

===begin FAQ caption
   From: (Kristopher Nelson)
   Newsgroups: comp.bbs.waffle
   Date: 17 May 1994 03:17:16 GMT

First off, yes, development has stopped (as per Waffle FAQ) for the time
being [...]

Second, source is available to both the 1.0 edition and the (buggy and 
pretty much useless) 2.0 version. I'm not sure where else it's available, 
but you can email me and request it (

I haphazardly monitor this group, but I am always available to answer 
questions about WaflineMail via email.
===end FAQ caption

If you want your messages to not have their headers stripped to fit
inside the old QWK format, look in the group alt.usenet.offline-reader
to see what software there is available.  both solar and zipnews
are available as packers for waffle sites, and a handful of
packages for various machines handle reading/writing their formats.
solar uses the SOUP (formerly HDPF/HPF/SLNP) format, while zipnews
has its own, slightly different, format.

for contact information and software ftp locations, please see the
comp.os.msdos.mail-news and alt.usenet.offline-reader FAQs.

12. Can I get FidoNet echoes on my Waffle BBS?

There is one package, Amanda, written by David Douthitt to
process Fidonet news packets for MSDOS Waffle v1.65.  Amanda
is on (old) SimTel.
  <> [old]

There is another package, Erin, written also by David Douthitt,
which will handle Fidonet mail packets for MSDOS Waffle v1.65.
However, this package is not yet released.  Information on Erin
will be released through the amanda-l mailing list [now defunct]
as it becomes available, and will be available there first.

Both Amanda and Erin require MSDOS Waffle v1.65 (complete), and
a Fidonet mailer such as FrontDoor or BinkleyTerm.

13. What hosts should I put in my `backbone:' static file entry?

This information comes from the (very old) post:

> From: (David C Lawrence)
> Newsgroups: news.lists,news.admin.misc,news.answers
> Subject: How to Construct the Mailpaths File
> Date: 1 Jan 1995 19:50:36 -0500

> Archive-name: mailpaths/part1

I have had problems with at least one site on this list recently,
so I switched my backbone to `', which works.

The sites [at one time] maintaining these lists are given in the
following list.  Pick the one that is `closest' to your site
that works and use it in your `backbone' format string:               

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