display | more...

The Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval (q.v.).

GNKSA is a set of requirements and suggestions that all newsreaders should support (considering RFCs, basic netiquette that can possibly be enforced by the program, and "user-friendliness" to certain extent).

GNKSA is the basic "quality metric" of Usenet software. Most modern newsreaders pass GNKSA/2.0 requirements.

Here's the summary (from the GNKSA 2.0 document):

  1. Display all essential header information
  2. Provide clear, separate commands for new posting, followup, and e-mail reply
  3. Provide cross-posting functionality
  4. Allow users to change essential headers
  5. Ensure followups and e-mail replies contain a correct Subject
  6. Direct followups to the correct newsgroups
  7. Make sure followups contain valid References
  8. Direct e-mail replies to the correct address
  9. Allow the user to change her mind about whether to post or mail
  10. Provide adequate quotation and attribution facilities
  11. Provide a user-specified "Subject: " header
  12. Provide a valid "From: " header
  13. Allow users to both cancel and supersede their own articles (and no others!)
  14. Try to respect the 80-character line-length conventions
  15. Separate signatures correctly, and don't use excessive ones
  16. Try to prevent obvious user errors
  17. Post human-readable articles unless ordered otherwise
  18. Provide self-protection
  19. Be kind to servers, leave room for others

Home page, as of writing: http://www.gnksa.org/

Described as "Basic Hygiene for Usenet Software", the Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval is intended to ensure that news readers are at least minimally idiot-resistant. Whether it succeeds at that goal is a judgment call, but its requirements are for the most part sound (if a bit heavy-handed at times).

To avoid the whole cut-and-paste thing, I'll point out that the full text of the GNKSA is at http://www.newsreaders.com/gnksa/. The actual document is fairly long, but most of it boils down to:

  • Display important headers (From:, Newsgroups:, Subject:, and a couple others
  • Make it crystal clear to whom, and to where, you're replying
  • Allow users to easily make new posts, reply publicly, and reply privately, and make sure they know which is which and what they're doing
  • Allow users to cancel or supersede their own articles, and not anyone else's (which makes GNKSA software pretty much useless for newsgroup moderators, but that's another story)
  • Respect netiquette: 80 characters per line, no obnoxious .signatures
  • Make sure what you see is what you post
  • Generally try to prevent the user from being a complete idiot

Software to be awarded the GNKSA includes tin, slrn, and Gnus. Software that failed to pass the test includes Outlook Express, Free Agent and trn.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.