All GNKSA/U evaluations are compiled by Tim Pierce at <URL:http://http.bsd. uchicago.edu/~twpierce/news/>.

This is the second evaluation of WinVN (previous evaluation by myself for version 0.99.7).


The software as reviewed still fails to receive the Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval for Usenet Software for the following reason :

  1. No syntax check on From: and Reply-To: adresses. See note 5) below for more explanations about WinVN authors/contributors position (WinVN is a cooperative work based on freely available source code originated from NASA).

Though not required by GNKSA/U, some points could be improved :

  1. Default options should allow to modify the "Reply-To: " header when posting a new article or a followup (see note 2)
  2. Prevent posting of only quoted text (though a detailed explanation appears when an article with too much quoted text is refused by INN),
  3. Really standard terminology for "Reply".

This software may be downloaded at : <URL:ftp://ftp.ksc.nasa.gov/pub/w invn> or <URL:ftp://ftp.ibp.fr/pub/pc/winvn&g t;


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                NO                1)
   
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               2)               
   
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               
  
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               3)
  Y         identifies author                     YES               3)               
  N         gives message-id                      YES               3)
   
Y   10  Subject is mandatory                                 
  Y       do not post empty or provide <none>     YES               4)
  Y       allow change while editing body         YES   
   

Y   11  Must provide valid From: header                   NO
  Y       syntactically valid                     NO                5) 
  N       belongs to the user                     NO                6)
   
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                   
  N       external editor conforms                N/A   
   
N   14  Prevent obvious errors                            NO          
  N       prevent posting empty article           YES
  N       prevent posting only quoted text        NO

Notes to the checklist

First a short description of what the columns in this checklist stand for:

Req?:
A "Y" means that the item or subitem is a MUST for the software in order to get the Good Net-Keeping Seal Approval.
ITM ##:
This is the item number in the GNKS document : <http://www.cybe rcom.net/~rnewman/Good_Netkeeping_Seal>
Description:
Follow the above link to the original document for a more detailed description and an explanation of the rationale behind it.
Subitem OK ?: and Item OK?:
If the item is required, this is marked "YES" if all _required_ subitems are ok. If it is _not_ required, it is marked "YES" if if _all_ subitems are ok.
Notes:
These are given below:
  1. The terminology is not completely standard. "Followup Mail" is used for "Reply",
  2. "Reply-To" is not shown when composing a post or a follow-up with the default options. In order to alterate this field, the user has to change a display setting for the composition window. GNKSA/U does not explicitely require the modification of this field to be possible in the same "window", thus I do not consider this as a full software flaw. It should however be changed in future versions, IMHO,
  3. With default options.
  4. Mandatory,
  5. Jim Dumoulin, WinVN development coordinator, argues that the software is very widely used at NASA for internal use where non FQDN adresses are "legal". Thus a From/Reply-To syntax check may not be added to the "normal" WinVN (WinVN is historically a "NASA project" and thus keeping it satisfying NASA users needs first is pertinent (imho, at least). Of course, as WinVN sources are freely available, anyone may hack them and add a syntax check. I will try again to ask WinVN contributors if this could become a configurable option (ON by default).,
  6. This may be considered impossible on a single user (no real system administrator) platform,

This evaluation has been conducted by Christian Perrier
-- BuBulle Canal Historiqu