Details on how to purge news articles to make the Ant Suite more efficient

Possible 'missing' newsgroup messages?

One common problem that can occur with the Ant Suite is that you can download several hundred newsgroup messages, only to find that only a few tens have actually appeared in Marcel's newsgroup window when you logon as a local user. I'm not entirely sure exactly what causes this, but it appears that InetSuite has got it's pointers muddled up somewhere a long the way.

However, before you purge all the messages it's worth making a few quick checks to see that you haven't set something obviously wrong somewhere.

Firstly, Marcel is capable of ignoring multiple, or cross-posted, messages. This means for example, if a message is posted to two newsgroups and you are subscribed to both, when you view the messages in one newsgroup and then open the second newsgroup, any messages which you read in the first one will be ignored. This will generally make the total number of messages to read drop slightly - mainly because people tend to cross-post messages frequently, especially on newsgroups with similar interest charters or where the person posting the message couldn't decide which newsgroup best fitted the question being asked - or simply 'spammed' (the annoying trait of posting the same message across multiple newsgroups for no apparent purpose other than to irritate people or to advertise something).

The second thing that can result in lost messages, is slightly more obscure but can depend upon how frequently you check your news messages coupled with the frequency at which either InetSuite itself or your ISP expire messages. Due to the extensive bandwidth and storage requirements of Usenet (the generic term for the whole of the newsgroup hierarchy) many ISPs may expire or remove old messages from their servers after a certain time. This is more noticeable when you've configured InetSuite to only fetch message headers, then logon several days later to fetch the body text.

InetSuite is also capable of expiring news messages after a certain time, so you need to make sure that you either login and download them more frequently than the expiry time you may have set or, if you don't wish to do this, set the expiry time slightly longer. The times set for InetSuite to expire messages for you is set within the news setup window (fig.1) in the main configuration.


This is indicated by the 'T' in the Flags column (T for 'T'ime). The expiry time can be edited by double-clicking on the relevant newsgroup entry in the list. This will open the window shown in figure 2. In this you can edit the time period for which InetSuite keeps the messages in the selected group before expiring them. This should be be less frequently than the frequency with which you log onto the internet - otherwise as soon as you log on, all your previous messages will be expired.


Purging news messages

To actually delete all messages, press MENU over the main list of subscribed newsgroups (fig.1) and click on 'Select all'. This will highlight all the newsgroups you are subscribed to. Now press MENU and move across to the 'Selection' sub-menu and click on 'Delete'. This will open a warning window (fig.3) in which you should confirm whether or not you actually want to carry out this task.


If you confirm your choice by clicking on 'Delete' the computer will open a standard 'filer' style window and delete the articles. This may take a few minutes, depending upon how many messages you've got. This is likely to be many thousand if you are like me and subscribe to quite a few newsgroups. Perhaps time to make a cup of tea! :-)

Note:There is temptation to try to move ahead and close the configuration windows whilst it is deleting the articles. DO NOT do this before InetSuite has finished deleting the news messages because it doesn't physically update its pointer files until it closes the filer window. Wait for the messages to finish deleting and then click on the 'close' icon in the news setup window. Once you've closed the window you should click on 'Save' in the main configuration window which will update all the pointers to zero.

All your news messages should now be purged and there should be zero messages in all newsgroups next time you login to Marcel.

Well that's about it!

That's about it really. I hope these instructions have made purging news messages slightly clearer than mud. If there is something you still don't understand, or you would like to point out an error or confusing bit in my instructions, please DO email me and tell me. That way I can hopefully improve these instructions for others to understand a bit easier. After all, I generally know what I'm doing (I hope) so I might have glossed over something which may not be so clear to a newcomer or someone less familiar with the workings of the InetSuite.

I hope you find these instructions useful.

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Last edit: 10th Apr 2016 at 1:55pm
(2968 days ago)

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