Hypernews

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Please, read the Hypernews in STAR section before registering a new account (you may otherwise miss a few STAR specificities and constraints).

General Information

HyperNews is a cross between the hypermedia of the WWW and Usenet News. Readers can browse postings written by other people and reply to those messages. A forum (also called a base article) holds a tree of these messages, displayed as an indented outline that shows how the messages are related (i.e. all replies to a message are listed under it and indented).

Users can become members of HyperNews or subscribe to a forum in order to get Email whenever a message is posted, so they don't have to check if anything new has been added. A recipient can then send a reply email back to HyperNews, rather than finding a browser to write a reply, and HyperNews then places the message in the appropriate forum.

Hypernews in STAR

In STAR, there are a few specificities with Hypernews as listed below. 

  • Your Hypernews account should match your BNL/RCF account by name. This account must be part of the STAR group. For example, if you have a RCF STAR account named 'abc', you should create an Hypernews account named 'abc'.  Any other account will be removed automatically. Note that if you have any other RCF unix account but not a STAR account, the result will be the same (you will not be able to register to STAR's Hypernews). This is done so automation of account approval can be achieved while complying with the DOE requirement mentioned in Getting a computer account in STAR. If you are a STAR user in good standing, the automation especially allows for immediate use of your account without further approval process.
  • You should NOT use the same password for an Hypernews account as your RCF account. Hypernews has a weak authentication method and while physical access to the machine is needed to crack it, a focus on keeping the password different from the interactive login password(s) is important. In general, Web-based password authentication should  not be the same than interactive account passwords. 
  • Hypernews does not accept Email attachments. This includes Emails containing a mix of text and html - they will be rejected by the system. Please, be aware that whenever you send "formatted" Emails (bold character, font changes etc...), your Email client does NOTHING ELSE than sending the content in two parts: one part is plain text, the second an attached HTML. Hence, Hypernews will NOT process formatting (but will take your Email anyhow).
  • Hypernews posting DO NOT need to be done from the Web interface (this is true for ANY Hypernews systems); you can send an Email directly to the list address. However, posting must have a subject. Subject-less posting will be rejected. Also, we have a spam filter in place and it is noteworthy to mention that to date, we had no accidental rejections of valid Emails.
  • As per 2012/06, all STAR Hypernews fora were made protected. In other words, and in addition of your Hypernews personal account, you MUST use the 'protected' password to access the Web interface.

Startup links

Here are a few startup links and tips, including where to start for a new Hypernews account.

  • If you DO NOT have a STAR account, consult Getting a computer account in STAR first BUT you will STILL need the additional below information:
    • You will need the famous “protected” area password. If you do not understand what this means, you are probably not a STAR collaborator ... Otherwise, you can get this information from your PAC, PWGC, OPS manager, council rep, etc ...
    • For your RCF user account name, you will need to chose a User ID other than “protected”. Hopefully, this will be the case.
  • After you get a RCF Unix account
    • create an Hypernews account  (as indicated in the Hypernews in STAR section) starting from here.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: please wait at least one hour after you get  confirmation from the RCF before creating your Hypernews account as there is a delay in information propagation of accounts to the Hypernews system.
  • To connect to the Web based Hypernews interface, please login to the system first. This will allow for your session to be authenticated properly and postings to be identified as you. As per 2006, any anonymous posting will be rejected.
  • You can then proceed to either
    • The forum list with all Hypernews forum displayed in descending order of 'last posted'
    • You can Edit your membership to change your personal information (this is a typical link which DO require for you to login first)
    • Use the Hypernews Search engine to search / locate a particular message. This is slow and painful (we have too many message) but is te only way you can search the huge 10 years worth of Email archive.
  • Note again that as soon as you have located your forum of interest and it's address, you can send Emails directly to that list forum and/or answer previous post by using your mail client 'Reply'.

 

Tips related to message delivery to Hypernews

If you have problems sending EMail to Hypernews, please understand and verify the following before asking for help:

  • Hypernews will silently discard EMails detected as spam. This is good news for our Hypernews subscribers but be aware that Spam filtering is a tricky business and some legitimate Email may be rejected unwillingly.
    • The first and foremost reason for rejection is the use of internet service provider (ISP) EMail servers to send Emails to Hypernews. Several ISP are blacklisted as they do not protect their service against anonymous Emails. Using such ISP will have as unfortunate consequence to have your Email rejected. Be sure to use your lab or university as provider or a trusted ISP.
    • The other reason is font encoding - DO NOT use special font encoding while sending Email - Korean (EUC-KR) or Chinese (GB2312, GB18030, Big5, ...) especially gets a high mark from the Spam filter and get you closet o the rejection rating threshold. A few unfortunate words here and there and ...
  • Hypernews in STAR DOES NOT accept attachments: your Email will be silently rejected if any appears.
    • Send instead a note of where your document resides for consulting.
    • DO NOT send messages as HTML - HTML EMail actually send plain text and HTML as an attachment ... and your post will be rejected. Typically, your mail client gives you the possibility to send plain-text for entire domain matching. Hypernews is covered by the www.star.bnl.gov domain.
      • To set this up in Thunderbird so as follow
        Select the _Tools_ menu 
           Select _Options_ a window opens. Select the tab [Composition] -then-> [General]
            click on <send option> in the new opened pannel, then select the [Plain text domain] tab
              click [add] and add star.bnl.gov
              click OK
    • Sending EMail from BNL's Exchage server will result in MIME attachements and hence, cause a rejection of your posting. Two possible solutions offers themselves
      • Use the Hypernews Web interafce to send messages (after making sure you are logged in, click on the bottom reference to go to the message and [Add message]
      • Use a tool like Thunderbird with the SMTP outgoing server set to use the RCF server. Instructions are available here.
         
  • The folowing  restrictions  apply:
    • Use only one Hypernews forum in the To: field (and do not use CC: to another HN forum) - HN will not know where to post if you use multiple fora and the result will be un-predictable (depending on syntax used for the To: field and mailer, the post will end up in one of the specified fora or be discarded entirely)
    • You will NOT be able to forward a post from one forum to another - HN will know and send the message again to the original forum. This is because the information HN keeps for archiving your posts and threading them is part of the message header and not based on where you send the message (header includes Newsgroups, X-HN-Forum, X-HN-Re and X-HN-Loop). Your options could be to strip the header or cut-and-paste the original message into a new one.
    • Multiple recipient on the Email "To:" field will not post your EMail. Strictly speaking, this is a shortcoming in the parsing of the header as defined in RFC2822 (the RFC allows for a list, STAR HN implementation disallow mass posting).
  • One frequent source of issues and unrelated to any of te above (and very STAR infrastructure specific):
    • Always use address book entries using the alias of the form list [at] www.star.bnl.gov and NOT the node specific address (connery, orion, etc...). Especially, older users should remove from their address book any address not specifying the alias.
  • If you need to test sending Email to the system, please do not spam an existing active list - instead, use our test fora: startest or tesp.
    • Remember that Hypernews is a centralized system, if your Email passes and is deleiverred to the test forum, it should be to any other lists
    • Both fora are near identical - testp is nowadays used for testing new code and features so for a casual Email check, you may prefer startest.