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Connect to a NNTP server

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Question:

How to extract a thread from a newsgroup?

I want to extract a complete thread from a newsgroup folder from within Outlook Express.

  • each message into a single textfile?
  • all messages into one textfile?
  • with or without thread indentation?
  • sorted by datetime?
  • sorted by sender?
I need some guiding and concrete help.

Answer:

You could put together a basic script to access a NNTP server via the Winsock extender. (ie TELNET)

Here is an UNDEBUGGED pass at it.

The way that threading works is that each message has a unique id (Message-ID:) and if a message is a reply then the message-id of the parent is listed under References: (in reverse order)

There are a number of other commands but this should get you going for now. If you want to see a bit more about it have a look at RFC977 (and possibly RFC 2980).

AddExtender("WWWSK34i.DLL")
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;smtpConnect : Connects to a NNTP server                                         ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;server_address   : e-mail address as IP or resolveable name                     ;
;port             : port to connect on                                           ;
;user             : username or "" if not needed                                 ;
;pass             : password or "" if not needed                                 ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;Returns          : socket handle if succesful , False otherwise                 ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
#DefineFunction nntpConnect(server_address,port,user,pass)
   If port == "" Then port = "119"
   max_line = 256
   handle = sOpen ()
   If !sConnect (handle, server_address, port) Then Return @FALSE
   line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
   If !nntpCheckReturn(line,200) Then Return StrCat(@FALSE,@TAB,line)
   If user <> "" Then
      sSendLine(handle,StrCat("AUTOINFO user ",user))
      line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
      If !nntpCheckReturn(line,381) Then Return StrCat(@FALSE,@TAB,line)
      sSendLine(handle,StrCat("AUTOINFO pass ",pass))
      line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
      If !nntpCheckReturn(line,281) Then Return StrCat(@FALSE,@TAB,line)
   EndIf
   Return handle
#EndFunction

;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;nntpDisconect : Disconect from a NNTP server                                    ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;handle           : handle returned from nntpConnect                             ;
;force            : true to not try a nice disconect                             ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;Returns          : True if succesful , False otherwise                          ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
#DefineFunction nntpDisconect(handle,force)
   If !force Then
      max_line = 256
      sSendLine(handle,"QUIT")
      line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
      If !nntpCheckReturn(line,205) Then Return StrCat(@FALSE,@TAB,line)
   EndIf
   Return sClose (handle)
#EndFunction

;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;nntpSelectGroup  : Set current news group on NNTP server                        ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;handle           : handle returned from nntpConnect                             ;
;group            : group name to select                                         ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;Returns          : "210 MsgCount FirstMsg LastMsg GroupName Desc",False otherwise;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
#DefineFunction nntpSelectGroup(handle,group)
   max_line = 256
   sSendLine(handle,StrCat("group ",group))
   line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
   If !nntpCheckReturn(line,211) Then Return StrCat(@FALSE,@TAB,line)
   Return line
#EndFunction

;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;nntpGetMessage   : get one message from the current group                       ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;handle           : handle returned from nntpConnect                             ;
;msg_id           : the artical id for the message to return                     ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;Returns          : True if succesful , False with error details otherwise       ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
#DefineFunction nntpGetMessage(handle,msg_id)
   max_line = 512
   sSendLine(handle,StrCat("article ",msg_id))
   line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
   If !nntpCheckReturn(line,220) Then Return StrCat(@FALSE,@TAB,line)
   msg = ""
   line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
   While line <> "."
      msg = ItemInsert(line,-1,msg,@CR)
      line = sRecvLine (handle, max_line)
   EndWhile
   msg = StrReplace(msg,@CR,@CRLF)
   Return msg
#EndFunction


;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;nntpCheckReturn : Check returned message for expected error number              ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;line             : string returned from e-mail server                           ;
;number           : expected error number                                        ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
;Returns          : True if succesful , False otherwise                          ;
;--------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
#DefineFunction nntpCheckReturn(line,number)
   Return ItemExtract(1,line," ") == number
#EndFunction



test = nntpConnect("news.zen.co.uk","","","")

reply = nntpSelectGroup(test,"nz.net.admin")

start_msg = ItemExtract(3,reply," ")
end_msg = ItemExtract(4,reply," ")

For m = start_msg To end_msg
   msg = nntpGetMessage(test,m)
   Message(m,msg)
Next

nntpDisconect(test,0)

Article ID:   W15878
File Created: 2017:07:28:13:58:49
Last Updated: 2004:03:30:15:41:20