Table of Contents
- The first start
- Working with newsgroups
- The Advanced KNode Features
You can find KNode in the Menu under the entry: the menu entry launches the program.
If the entry for KNode cannot be found or if KNode does not appear after clicking on the menu entry, read Questions and Answers.
The main window of KNode should now be displayed on your desktop as shown; on the first start, the settings dialog will be invoked.
The windows shows the menu bar, the toolbar below and the status pane at the buttom. The area between the toolbar and the status pane is occupied by a three-part window.
There is a folder view, which currently contains only three entries:
|The folder Outbox|
|The folder Drafts|
|The folder Sent|
When KNode is completely and correctly configured, the news servers and the subscribed news groups will appear there.
In the upper section is the article view; it is currently empty and does not show any articles. Directly below the article view is the article window; the body of the currently-selected article appears there. These windows are also blank at the moment, as there are no articles, of course. You should not be concerned, though, as before reading and publishing news some things have to be configured; this will be covered by the following section.
We are now beginning the setting up of KNode. Most settings are not important for daily use, but you should know what settings are possible and what they are for. Some may skip the “Quickstart” chapter but those who prefer a quick start will just glance over the manual anyway. For others, especially those who have not any or much experience with a news reader, this chapter offers the chance to fully perform the configuration, although some things may become clear only later on.
Via → you will enter the preferences dialog of KNode.
The dialog is divided into two parts: in one part there is a view, in which the top entry Identity is already highlighted; in the other part is the corresponding tab — these settings relate to the identity with which you navigate through the newsgroups.
Select to open this dialog:
If you have already configured your personal settings in the System Settings before the first start of KNode, they will be adopted.
In the field Name you enter your name, e.g.
Joe Miller or
Gordon. This name will later appear in the newsgroups as
sender, and can be seen by anyone.
Filling out the field Name is mandatory.
In most newsgroups, it is considered polite and appropriate to appear with one's real name; other newsgroups are less strict about this. But, there are also cases when one would not want to appear with one's real name, e.g. in newsgroups where one would like to (and can) talk about very personal matters without being exposed; these groups mostly do tell you in their Charter that the anonymity of their members is explicitly approved.
For those special cases, KNode offers settings that can be adjusted to each newsgroup individually; further information can be found under Group local Identities.
The input field Organization is optional and does not have to be filled out. You can enter, e.g., the name of your company or your university if you use KNode there; if you leave this field blank, it will often be filled out later by your Internet service provider.
The email address you enter here will be used as sender in news articles, i.e. as actual address of the author, in conjunction with the real name (set in the field Name).
The field Email Address shows up when someone wants to reply to you by email: the email will be sent to the address entered here. Many newsreaders display the sender address together with the name in the Header of the article.
Filling out the Email Address field is mandatory.
Note that the e-mail address will only be used for replies to you if the field Reply-to Address is not filled out; in this case, the field Email will be ignored for replies and the address given under Reply-to Address will be used.
Reply-to Address offers you the possibility to enter a different address than your sender e-mail address: if someone replies to you by email this address will be displayed as target address in the reply. An example for using Reply-to Address would be that you write the article at the office during the day but want to receive the answer in your home inbox, because your boss co-reads your mail.
Only enter an e-mail address in that field if it actually differs from the field Email Address.
Some news readers deliberately set this to an invalid e-mail address in order to prevent spam mails from being received; what could happen, though, is that a reader sends an e-mail to this invalid address which you will therefore never receive. You should drop a note about this in the signature.
If you enter an email address here every article will be sent to the usenet and to this email address.
If this option is selected a signature is appended to news written with this identity.
The field Specify file determines the file, the content of which is appended to each of your articles.
The signature file is a simple text file, which should not contain more than four lines; it can, for example, contain a reference to your homepage with the corresponding link, your postal address with your telephone number (which would then be of course visible to the whole world with every article) or just a cool quote. The signature is your brand, so to speak, which will mark all your articles; therefore, your signature should not be designed sloppily or in the long run annoying to others: an old joke that one would have to read over and over again does not foster sympathy or the interest of the other newsgroup subscribers.
You can directly enter the file name of the signature file but it is more convenient to use the button right-hand side of the input box. This opens a file open dialog and you can conveniently choose the signature file with the mouse. The button enables you, after choosing the file, to edit the signature.
It is not necessary to include a separation line in the signature file as KNode inserts it automatically.
If this option is selected, specify a command in the input field. The given command will be started and the output will be used as a signature. Through that you'll be able to choose a signature by accident or to use fortune or KSig to generate a cool slogan every time.
If this option is selected you can enter the text of the signature directly in the input field below.
Please make sure that in this case also your signature should not contain more than 4 lines. A separation line is not necessary as KNode inserts it automatically.
You can later adapt the identity individually for each of the subscribed groups via → , e.g. you can specify an English signature for English groups and a German one for German groups. Apart from the language it is also possible to have context-sensitive signatures, e.g. your favorite recipe in a cooking group or the names of your twelve cats in a cat owner group.
You find more in the section Group local identities.
The next step in the configuration covers the news account.
Now we must tell KNode about where we get the news from or where to send the articles to later on. Click on the Accounts entry with the mouse. Choose the Newsgroup Servers tab, because we first want to configure the news account: the list of accounts is still empty.
To create a new account click on . The following dialog appears:
The Name field can be filled in as you
like; the text you enter will later be visible in the folder view. You
could, for example, enter the name of your Internet Provider; for our example we
enter the name
My News Account.
The next field is labelled Server. Unlike the field Name, what you enter here is important. The name of the news server is fixed and you should be able to get it from your Internet service provider; if you do not know the name of the news server, you should get it now: without this information you can not read any news. If your Internet service provider doesn't own a news server you can use a public one (universities often provide public news servers.)
For our example configuration we enter the name
; you will,
of course, enter the real name of your news server.
If you want to use KNode with a local news server, enter the name
Port, the next field, has already a default value. The Port designates, roughly speaking, a data channel on which the server listens for whether someone wants to retrieve news: it defaults to the value 119, which is applicable in most cases; therefore, we do not change this default for our example.
If this setting is selected, KNode additionally requests the available group descriptions; they will be displayed in the Subscribe to Newsgroups dialog.
There is not a group description for every group, so it is not an error if no group description is shown when subscribing to a group later on.
The option Server requires authentication needs only to be selected if your news server requires a user name and a password when retrieving articles; you can find out if this is the case from your Internet service provider or the server's maintainer.
If you do not know if this setting is necessary forget about selecting it for now: if you encounter an error later on, you can try selecting it then. Otherwise, select this option and enter your user name under User and the associated password under Password.
On the Identity and Cleanup tabs you can choose an identity and cleanup settings specific for this server.
By now you have completed the setup of your news account. You can confirm and save your settings by clicking on the button: as soon as you have done that, the account will appear in the list by the name that you entered in Name earlier; and, if you have a close look, you will see that the account also appears in the folder view.
Using the button you could get directly to the dialog for subscribing to news groups; but, we still have more to do so we'll ignore it for now: there are several ways that lead to the goal.
In the Managing multiple news accounts chapter you can learn how to work with multiple news accounts, but first we will stay with this one; in most cases, one account is sufficient.
Please note that some Internet providers only allow retrieving news from their news server if you are connected to the Internet through them.
We will now move on to configuring the email account.
Select the Mail Server (SMTP) tab, click the button and select an account type from the list in the Create Outgoing Account dialog. For a SMTP account the following dialog box appears.
You will notice this dialog box is very similar to the news account settings dialog box; but why do we need an email account in a newsreader?
Sometimes you need to answer to the author of an article directly, without posting to the newsgroup; for example, when you want to make a very personal comment or want to correct an error. Sometimes an email is more appropriate than a public remark.
That's why KNode provides the possibility to reply by email; if you want to use this feature you must tell KNode how to send emails: you just need to insert the mail server's address. If you have already configured an email account, e.g. with KMail, you can reuse the settings used there.
The name (address) of your mail server as provided by your Internet service provider or system administrator; all you have to do here is enter the mail server's name in the Outgoing mail server field.
In our example we enter
If you have one you can send your mail via a local mail server; if this is the case select Sendmail in the account type list.
Again, the Port field has a default value; in this case it's port 25. You should not need to change this, unless your ISP has a very exotic configuration and tells you to do so. We do not change this for the example.
Some ISPs only allow you to send email using their mail server after you have checked your mailbox for new mail: this reduces spamming.
For the same reasons, some ISPs will only allow you to send mail using their mailservers if you are online with them or if you are logged in at the mailserver; for example, this is the normal configuration at GMX and isn't supported by KNode or KMail yet.
With the Appearance tab you are given the ability to set the colors, the character code and the font size of the text in the article window; the picture below shows the dialog.
If you select this option you can adjust the color settings of KNode in the list field below; to change a color setting do a double-click with the mouse button on the list entry to open the KDE color-selection dialog.
The color selection can only be configured after the checkbox has been checked; otherwise, a double-click on the list entries won't do anything.
If the Use custom colors setting is selected KNode won't use colors which have been changed later globally for KDE but will only use the colors defined here instead.
If you select this setting you can adjust the fonts which KNode uses for the display in the list field below; to choose a font do a double-click with the mouse button on the list entry to open the KDE font-selection dialog.
The font can only be configured after the checkbox has been checked; otherwise, a double click on the list entries won't do anything.
If the setting Use custom fonts is selected KNode won't use later changes to the global font settings for KDE but will use the fonts defined here instead.
Now click on and then select the tab; the figure below shows the tab containing the preferences you can configure there.
You don't need to change most of these settings, but we will discuss them step-by-step to give you an overview of the possibilities of KNode.
If this box is checked KNode tries to request new articles from the server when selecting a newsgroup. These settings especially make sense when you use KNode together with a local news server: downloading the messages obviously only works when the server is reachable; for a server which is only reachable via an Internet connection, this setting rarely makes sense and should stay deactivated.
If your system isn't set up to establish an Internet connection if necessary, you will get an error message each time you select a newsgroup.
If you want to keep control over when a connection to the server is established, the → menu option is appropriate.
This sets a restriction on the number articles which are requested from the server while downloading. The value configured here is for each newsgroup separately. If this is set, for instance, to 300 only the 300 newest articles of the newsgroup are requested; other articles will be discarded.
For newsgroups with relatively high traffic you might lose articles if this value is too low; this especially occurs when you've just subscribed to a newsgroup or only occasionally download articles and the traffic for this reason rises above the value specified here.
Articles you have opened in the article window are marked as read after the number of seconds specified here. If you set this value to be relatively high you avoid articles you have just glanced at being marked as read; on the other hand, it can be annoying for relatively short articles, for which you need less time to read than specified: if you browsed too quickly through the articles they would stay unread even though you have read them. Therefore, you should adjust this value to your personal preferences.
Sometimes an article will be posted to more than one group; this is known as crossposting. If you activate this option, those crossposted articles will be marked as read in all the newsgroups to which they were posted if you read it in one newsgroup.
If this option is selected the lines in the article list are scrolled smoothly instead of jerkily.
This setting lets a discussion be displayed completely (over multiple answer levels) if you click on the plus in front of the discussion; if this setting isn't checked, only the immediate answers to the current article are displayed.
Here you can toggle whether the scoring column should be shown in the article view.
Here you can change some navigation properties of KNode. Normally everything here is switched off, but if you don't like this kind of navigation you can change it.
If the box Switch to the next group is checked, KNode automatically switches to the next group if you mark all articles as read.
If Close the current thread is checked, KNode automatically closes a thread if you mark it as read.
If Go to the next unread thread is checked, KNode automatically shows the next thread if you mark the previous thread as read.
To sort the articles you have the possibility to score them. The standard score is 0: a higher score means that the article is interesting; a lower score means it is less interesting.
In the middle of the window you see a big, white area; here you can see your scoring rules. Scoring rules are used by KNode to score the incoming articles automatically; if, for example, a person always posts nonsense you can automatically score the articles of that person down and hide them.
With the buttons below the list of scoring-rules you can edit, add, remove and copy a rule. We will skip this feature for now, because it is not essential for the setup of KNode.
You can learn more about scoring; in the chapter Scoring, watching and ignoring.
Normally you only need the functions ignore and watch; this simply shows if a thread is interesting or not. Here you can configure a default score for the ignored threads; choosing the → menu item will give this score to all the posts in that thread, and will apply that score also to future posts that follow up the thread.
If an article is interesting, it will get a score above 0. Here you can enter the default score for those articles; choosing the → menu item will give this score to all the posts in that thread, and will apply that score also to future posts that follow up the thread.
You can use the W key to watch a thread or the I key to ignore it.
This screenshot shows the filter settings.
This tab shows two lists. The upper list, labeled Filters, shows all defined filters; when you use KNode for the first time, you will only see the predefined filters.
With the buttons , , and you can add new filters or delete filters which are no longer needed; we will skip this feature for now, because it is not essential for the setup of KNode.
You can find more-detailed information about filters in Defining and using filters.
The lower list, labeled Menu, shows the appearance of the → menu, which you can reach from the menu bar; the order of the filters in the this menu can be configured in this list.
The button shifts the selected filter one position up. Try it: select the second filter and press ; this entry will then go up one position.
The button does the opposite action: select the filter you just shifted one up and press until it reaches its old position.
With the two buttons and
you can visually group
the filters on the menu. The separators are shown as
in the list; in the Menu they show up as some more-appealing
horizontal lines. Try adding separator; then, select the
separator and remove it by pressing .
Any changes you make here, you can see in → after closing this tab.
In this tab you can set how the single header lines are displayed in the article window.
This list shows all the header lines which are to be display in the article window. The identifiers at the left will be displayed alongside the header lines in < > to their right; the header lines are taken from each message, e.g. for From the From header line will be used (indicating who send the message).
Using you can alter the shown identifiers, alter the header line shown by each identifier and change the font settings of the text used. To make things clearer, we'll now simply select the From:<From> entry in the list and open the dialog for editing the header display by clicking on .
The Header selection box shows the entry From: that is the name of the header line for the sender, as present in the article and evaluated by the newsreader. If you drop down the selection box KNode shows a range of other identifiers, which stand all for a certain header lines in the article: for now, we'll leave the From identifier configured; we'll work with this list later, when we add a header line to the display.
This field holds the name you'd like to be later shown in the article window as a label alongside the actual header line text; for example, for the From header line the label From is used. If you leave this field blank, only the content of the header line appears in the article window; this is, for example, the default setting for the Subject header line. We won't change anything here either, for now.
To explain the possibilities of this dialog to you we're going to add a new header line to the display.
Example 2.1. Show the newsreader used for a post in the article window
This pictures shows the dialog with the header line
It would be nice if one could see which newsreader another subscriber uses in the article window; it is actually quite easy to do this because there is a (optional) header line which contains the necessary information.
Drop down the Header selection field and select the X-Newsreader entry from the list.
In the Displayed name field, enter
Now acknowledge your input with the button: the new header line appears now in the list and will later be shown in the article window.
Use the and buttons to arrange the order of the headers in the article window.
The statement that the new header line will be shown in the article window is actually pretty optimistic, because the entry X-Newsreader isn't required for Usenet articles; therefore, not all articles will contain that header line: if the line doesn't exist, the according entry simply won't be shown. You can get more information about headers at http://www.kirchwitz.de/~amk /dni/headerzeilen (german)
If this option is active, the text wrapping in the viewer will be automatically corrected.
If this is active empty lines at the end of the article will be automatically hidden.
If this setting is activated, the signature of the sender is displayed in the article window; if it isn't, the signature is surpressed.
Please notice that KNode can display the signature correctly only if it can be separated correctly from the article content in the current article: there are newsreaders which do this separation incorrectly. Two “-” characters followed by a “ ” (space) is correct.
Many participants in the newsgroups give hints on their homepage or say that they have intentionally erroneously specified their Email addresses in the header fields: if you disable displaying the signature, you might lose this information; on the other hand, you might save yourself from reading strange quotes.
To display the quoted text in another size or color, KNode needs to recognize that it's quoted text. Quoted text is normally marked with a “>” at the beginning of the line, but sometimes there are other characters. In this field you can enter all characters that should mark quoted text.
If this box is checked, attachments are opened with the external program which is configured for the MIME type; if there is no such association, a dialog for saving a file is opened and you can save the attachment to a separate file.
Articles which are sent as Multipart MIME contain the text of the message in multiple formats, for example as raw text and HTML; the newsreader decides which part of the article is displayed. This setting makes it possible for the other formats to be opened as if they were attachments with a mouse click.
If this setting is disabled, alternative contents are not displayed.
When you post articles with KNode the settings in the following tabs are used.
If you choose the wrong settings here your articles could be unreadable or not sendable at all, so please be careful with these settings.
Here you can choose the charset used for encoding your articles. Normally this is US-ASCII for English speaking countries, but your charset may differ. The default is the charset used in your global KDE settings, so you should not have to change this.
When you want to post articles in newsgroups with other charsets (e.g. eastern European or Asian) you can set the required charset here.
Here you set the encoding of the characters for the message transfer; you can choose between 8-bit and 7-bit (quoted-printable).
If you choose 8-bit encoding most special characters are transfered correctly; this is, for example, the normal option for the German groups (de.*).
If you choose quoted-printable 8-bit characters (e.g. German umlauts or special characters) are send as encoded 7-bit characters.
In the English newsgroups 7-bit encoding is quite normal.
If this option is active, KNode uses your default charset for replying instead of the charset of the article you're answering on.
When this is active, KNode generates its own Message-IDs for all articles you post.
The Message-ID must be unique worldwide: there would otherwise be collisions between messages with the same Message-ID and the news server would reject the second article because it thinks this article has already been received.
A Message-ID consists of a valid FQDN (Full
Qualified Domain Name); this means it looks similar to an email
address with an identification before the
@ and the
The identification is generated by KNode automatically, but you must provide a valid domain name in Hostname; if you do not have your own domain, you should not activate this option — let the newsserver generate a Message-ID for you.
Example 2.2. Message-ID
An example for a valid domain would be:
kde.org; a Message-ID generated with this domain
would look like:
An unique identification is only guaranteed if you have your own domain. Even when you do not use KNode for generating your Message-IDs there may be collisions when you are using a local newsserver; for example, leafnode generates a Message-ID which it derives from the local hostname.
You can get more information about this and how to own a free domain at http://www.hanau.net/usenet/faq/messageid.php.
Here you enter the Hostname of your computer; this is used to
generate the Message-ID. If you do not have your own domain you
should not activate this option — let the newsserver generate a
Message-ID for you. Using the example above this would be:
Here you can enter X-Headers which are not provided by KNode;
X-No-Archive: yes, which can be
used to prevent your articles from being archived by archive services
such as Google.
X-Headers are experimental headers, which are not included in the standard for Internet-Messages; they are, for example, used for extended information transfer. To prevent collisions with later standard headers, they have a “X-” prefix.
When this option is checked KNode does not include the corresponding line in the Header before posting.
This header is used for identification of the newsreader the article was written in; apart from statistical reasons, this allows non-standard newsreaders to be identified. You should not activate this option — KNode has no need to hide.
Here you can set the column number at which KNode wraps the line; also, you can deactivate the automatic word-wrapping completely.
It is recommended to use no more than 76 characters even if you are able to display more: many Usenet users use text-based newsreaders which cannot display more than 80 characters and it is difficult to read your articles in such a newsreader if you increase this value — this would reduce the probability of your articles being read at all.
When you write a new article or a followup, your signature is appended automatically if you have configured one in → +Identity.
When you write a followup, KNode inserts an introduction phrase before the quoted original text. You can put arbitrary text here; you can also use the variables which KNode extracts from the original article, e.g. the name of the author or the date the article was written.
The following variable are available:
The name of the original author;
The date on which the original article was written;
The original author's email address;
The Message-ID of the original article;
The name of the newsgroupthe article comes from.
Keep this short, because this introductory line appears in every followup: a long introductory line can be as repelling as a long signature.
Example 2.3. An example introductory line
Let us assume the original article was written by Konqui on Saturday the 17th of June at 17:42:32 - 0500. The article has the Message-ID <email@example.com>. KNode will then insert the following introductionary line.
On Sat, 17 Jun 2000 17:42:32 +0200 Konqui wrote in <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
When this is checked, the quoted text is wrapped at the correct border value; hence, every new line will be at the correct quoting level.
When this is activated not only the text of the original message, but also the signature of the author, is quoted in a reply.
Quoting a signature is unnecessary and is often considered impolite.
Normally the cursor will appear below the whole message when answering; with this option turned on the cursor appears below the introduction phrase.
This is especially helpful if you quote an article and wish to write between the quoted lines from top to bottom.
You can define an external editor here which is opened by selecting → in the Composer window.
When Start external editor automatically is checked the external editor is opened directly.
%f after the name of the
editor: this is a variable for the filename of the article you want to
edit; do not delete this — you will get an error message when opening
the external editor if you do.
If you have problems with starting your external editor, the
reason may be that the editor starting in "the background"; this is called
forking: KNode only notices the sub-process started and has finished, and
thinks you have quit the editor. The editor
gvim is an example for this; you can
disable the forking of gvim with the
-f. It is recommended that you refer to
the documentation of your editor you are experiencing this problem.
If you want to use gvim in Specify Editor enter the following:
gvim -f %f
Here you can configure the behavior of the spell checker. More information you find in the Spell Checker documentation.
Here you can configure KNode for signing articles with GnuPG or PGP. Your GnuPG/PGP ID will be built automatically from your configured name and email address; it is identical to the from line in the header of the article.
If this option is active you only need to type the passphrase for your private key once; KNode will remember your passphrase until you close KNode again.
The tab below shows the settings for the article cleanup; these settings are used to keep the number of articles on your local harddisk to a reasonable number. KNode administrates the articles in memory so there can be some decrease in speed if you have to many articles lying around; most of the time it makes no sense to keep articles for a very long time. Services like Google and Yahoo! make archiving unnecessary.
KNode isn't an offline reader, so all of the configuration refers to the headers which are managed by KNode; if you are running a local news server, such as leafnode, you should refer to its documentation to handle expiring the articles on the server — KNode cannot do this for you.
When this option is active all subscribed groups are checked for old articles in the time interval set here; the old articles will then be deleted.
You can force this check by selecting →
Here you can configure how often subscribed groups should be checked for old articles and how often those articles should be deleted; this option only has an effect when Expire old articles automatically is selected.
Read articles are deleted by the next cleanup if they are older than this value; KNode uses the creation date for this.
Unread articles are deleted by the next cleanup if they are older than this value; KNode uses the creation date for this.
It may happen that you'll see a header in KNode but the article is not available on the server; if this option is set, those articles will automatically deleted in KNode.
This selection forces a thread to be deleted only if all articles contained in it fulfil the delete conditions; this means that a thread will not be deleted until the last article in the thread should be deleted.
This prevents old articles in a long thread from vanishing before the discussion has ended.
KNode cannot predict whether there will be a reply after the set conditions are fulfilled; you will have to find your own settings for this. Some newsgroups have days between replies; others only hours. Use your own judgement.
This option refers to the memory behavior of KNode. If an article in a folder is deleted it will be marked as deleted but still take up space on your hard disk; with this option you can tell KNode to actually delete the articles and free the hard-disk space regularly.
You can force this check by selecting → or for all folders together with → .