Special note for Gravity evaluation : this evaluation was quite
different from others I already conducted. In early May 1996, I was contacted
by a representative of MicroPlanet who asked me if I would make a
of the software they were preparing. After some hesitation, I accepted with the
back idea that GNKSA/U main goal is to help software authors in improving their
products so that they may be Usenet friendly.
Thus, during 1 1/2 month I had several prereleases of Gravity for evaluation. I have here to mention that I was very impressed by the quick modifications made by people at MicroPlanet for making their software GNKSA/U compliant. The first version I had for reviewing was non compliant with points that are often debated by software authors (default display of essential headers, syntax checking of email addresses, etc.). In a few weeks, MicroPlanet made their software fully GNKSA/U compliant (see below) by modifying it according to my remarks.
This is my personal feeling that this is a very good example of efficient collaboration between commercial companies and Usenet volunteers with the goal of having a cleaner Usenet. I sincerely hope that other software vendors consider this approach for the benefit of everyone.
Well, now to the evaluation!
All GNKSA/U evaluations are compiled by Tim Pierce at <URL:http://http.bsd. uchicago.edu/~twpierce/news/>.
The software is qualified to receive the Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval for Usenet Software (see <URL:http://www.cybercom.net/~rnewman/Good_Netkeeping_Seal>) . I congratulate people at MicroPlanet for this.
All necessary and suggested features are already there. The software even defaults to 8-bit characters postings (see recent (in June 1996) threads in news.software.readers...:-)). It should maybe insert the appropriate MIME headers in such case :
Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: Text/Plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
One nice thing : the software does never post articles with QP encoding. This is a debated subject where my own opinion is that news software should not send Quoted-Unreadable but should have QP decoding when reading ("be liberal when receiving and conservative when sending"). I would thus suggest that Gravity properly decodes QP.
Some useful features not required by GNKSA/U are included. I mention them as I think that other software should implement these :
This software may be found at <URL:http://www.microplanet.com>.
Below is the detailed evaluation checklist :
Req Itm Sub- Item rd? ## Description item OK? OK? Notes Y 1 Display all essential header info YES Y default is to display YES Y a) display author YES Y b) display subject YES Y c) display newsgroups list YES Y d) display Followup-To list YES Y e) display Reply-To if /= From: YES Y 2 Provide standard commands YES Y clear YES Y separate YES Y a) post a new article YES Y b) post a followup article YES Y c) reply by email YES N use standard terminology YES Y 3 Implement cross-posting YES Y allow user specification YES Y cross-post (not multi-post) YES Y 4 Change essential headers YES Y change headers while editing body YES Y change Subject YES Y allow at least 70 chars in subject YES Y change Newsgroups YES Y change Followup-To YES Y allow followup-to: poster YES Y change Reply-To YES Y 5 Correct Subject headers in flwup/rply YES Y a) prepend "Re: " (exactly!) YES Y b) preserve entire Subject YES Y even subjects > 80 chars long YES Y 6 Respect Followup-To YES Y use to initialize Newsgroups: in flwup YES Y recognize and act on 'poster' YES 1) Y 7 Followups contain References YES Y contains message-id of original YES Y never truncate individual message-id YES N contains three Refs from original YES N contains entire Refs of original YES Y 8 Direct email reply to Reply-To YES Y 9 Quotation and attribution YES Y provide method YES Y set off by prepend YES Y attribution line YES 2) Y identifies author YES N gives message-id YES Y 10 Subject is mandatory YES 3) Y do not post empty or provide <none> YES Y allow change while editing body YES Y 11 Must provide valid From: header YES Y syntactically valid YES 4) N belongs to the user NO 5) Y 12 Must provide cancel YES Y of own articles YES Y *not* of others YES N 13 Respect line length, and post WYSIWYG YES N line brks shown are present when posted YES N do *not* post paragraph w/o line brks YES N warn if body has lines > 80 chars YES 6) N external editor conforms N/A N 14 Prevent obvious errors NO N prevent posting empty article YES 7) N prevent posting only quoted text YES 7)
First a short description of what the columns in this checklist stand for: