Provided by: cnews_cr.g7-40.4_i386
newsoverview - netnews overview files
Each newsgroup directory contains a file named ‘.overview’, containing
one-line summaries of articles in that group. Fields are separated by
tabs, and any tabs or newlines in the original articles headers have
been replaced with spaces. The fields are, in order:
1. article number (file name)
7. byte count
8. line count
optionally other headers, as arranged locally (none are supplied by
the database maintenance software, as shipped).
The line-count and references fields may be empty. If the optional
other headers are present, they include their header keyword and colon;
if they are absent entirely, the tab after the line-count field may
also be absent.
The file is maintained in numerical order, by article number.
At the time of writing (late 1992), the lines in an overview file are
typically 150-300 characters long, and an overview file for a typically
busy group is often 30,000 bytes to 60,000 bytes long, with notable
exceptions exceeding 500,000 bytes.
A few lines from one overview file, with tabs displayed as ‘│’ and
lines continued after ‘\’.
8870 strange message id s: <something>QUIT email@example.com (John Schmitz)\
18 Sep 1992 19:57:16 GMT <19dcasINNce@hpscdf.scd.hp.com> 821
8871 Re: BNF rule for newsgroup names? firstname.lastname@example.org (Kristian Koehntopp)\
Fri, 18 Sep 1992 17:51:09 GMT <1992Sep18.email@example.com>\
<BuLG5A.xH@cs.psu.edu> <339@blars.UUCP> 926 Supersedes: <1234@foovax>
Written by Geoff Collyer as part of the C News project.
The contents of the line-count field should not be believed and are
really pretty worthless yet popular.
There is some confusion about whether the order and content of the
first eight fields is a local decision, or a standard. It’s intended
to be a standard; please do not mess with it. All, repeat all, local
variations should be done by adding the optional fields at the end, and
those fields must include their header keywords (and colons) to make
28 Aug 1994 NEWSOVERVIEW(5cn)