Lucy 004

Lucy is for power users already familiar with usenet.

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3.1/5 14
Jamie H.
ROOT \ Office \ News/Diary
Lucy is for power users already familiar with usenet. It won't hold your hand or nag you about proper etiquette. In fact, you are free to edit all the headers of your posts, if you want. (You can even violate the RFC protocols for usenet, and Lucy won't complain unless you ask it to) This may seem like a bug, but I don't consider it as such, it's designed for people who are already familiar with usenet.

This newsreader is ideally suited to perl programmers. The examples include a skeleton outline for adding text-to-speech capabilities (for blind users, it works on a mac through the osascript command) as well as a built in regular expression calculator.

Lucy is a newsreader which incorporates all the features of a modern application of this kind, even if it works in command line. The keys are configurable and you can choose every key you want.

Some of the other things it supports are subject and newsgroup filtering, lets suppose you wanted to narrow down your list of newsgroups to those containing "perl" in their names, Lucy lets you do this.

One of the frustrating things about newsreaders (or any software programs for that matter) is remembering the keystroke to perform an action you seldom use. This is where a command interface comes in handy, commands are easier to remember than keystrokes.

When Term::ReadLine::Gnu is installed (highly recommended) command completion is available, so you only have to type a portion of the command to get a list of them. Lucy also has online help.

At first, one would be tempted to believe a perl newsreader would be slow, this is not the case with Lucy, it's startup time is much faster than most other newsreaders because it will not contact the server until you've selected a group.

To minimize the startup time, it will load it's perl modules dynamically. To improve loading time of your newsrc it uses it's own variant of News::Newsrc (With dynamic creation of Set::IntSpan objects)

Currently, it requires the news server to support the XOVER command, most servers already do this (It was developed with the leafnode news server). You will find that using XOVER is much faster than downloading headers.

Whenever possible, it will use external programs. This was one of the things I didn't care for about other newsreaders, I wanted to use my favorite pager (less) to page articles, and I wanted to use my favorite mail program (mutt) for email. I don't like having different pagers for different programs. Furthermore, you've probably configured your email program to your settings, why should a news reader implement it's own mail interface?

To make the pager work better within the newsreader, you can configure it to use the program exit code as a keystroke. This is very handy with the lesskey utility. With this approach, jumping from 'less' straight into a followup is possible.

Lucy now has better support for usenet binaries, with background downloading. (Select files to download, it figures out which parts are needed and then downloads them)

It has several new commands to help in binary readings, such as a binary thread model.

To install, unpack it wherever you want, run perl and it'll check for modules it thinks it needs, offering to run CPAN for you. It'll then create a simple shell script for running Lucy.

Last updated on June 7th, 2006

#rss reader #news client #news reader #rss #news #newsreader #perl

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