firstname.lastname@example.org (Rik van Riel) wrote on 26.03.01 in <Pine.LNX.email@example.com>:
> On Mon, 26 Mar 2001, John Cowan wrote:
> > In fact this has come up before: in Usenet software, which has to
> > differentiate between an article and a sub-newsgroup. An article has
> > to have an all-numeric name, and It Would Have Been Nice if all
> > newsgroup names began with non-digits, but then there was
> > comp.bugs.4bsd.
> What's wrong with using the _file type_ for these things ?
Wrong problem description, really. The problem is not components starting
with digits, the problem is all-numeric components as in alt.2600.
And the problem is that this hits a fast path in the classical news spool
layout article create path. The code for this assumes that you have
articles in the range X to Y, and you just got a new article, so you write
a file called /var/spool/news/group/name/Y+1. You really do not want to
cope with the possibility of a directory Y+1 existing in that place.
I think there are some other things that also get impacted on their fast
path, but this is probably the most important.
And then, it's an ugly user interface: the classical spool layout does
assume that you look at that scpool with Unix tools (like find and grep),
not only via NNTP and the server.
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