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Usenet Tidyup

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Usenet Tidyup

Hi,

We looking at doing a bit of a tidy up regarding Binary Usenet groups and would appreciate some feedback regarding this.

At the moment there are thousands of groups, but in actual fact only a very small number of these groups are ever used by our customers. In the last month there are around 2,500 binary groups that haven't been read.

As you can probably imagine these groups take up a big chunk of space on the servers and plenty of needless processing of posts that are never read.

What we are looking at doing is making a list of all the newsgroups that have not been used in the past month, i.e. where no-one has downloaded a single header or article or posted to it, and remove them from the Usenet platform.

By removing all these groups we are expecting to see an inprovement in the performance of Usenet and we may also be able to increase retention of articles, although it's difficult to say by how much yet.

We would also provide a mechanism, via Contact Us, where a customer can request that an unused group be re-instated. Any re-added groups though would of course only start collecting posts from the point of re-instatement.

This would only affect binary groups, text groups would not be affected or removed.

I've added poll which just asks if you think this is a good idea.

Any questions or thoughts? Ask away.
39 REPLIES
N/A

Usenet Tidyup

Yeh I think it is a good idea.
It would increase the retention of the rest of the groups. Do you know how much space these groups are taking up??

I mainly use a.b.dvdr, with a group of that size, would it make much diffrence to the retention??

Kind Regards

Dave
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Usenet Tidyup

I don't mind since I don't use usenet at all.

But I think that the people who never visit the forums and more or less live on usenet should be able to have thier say. I know a lot of them would never visit the forums so I think the vote isnt reflective.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Usenet Tidyup

Could I ask that anyone voting no, please add a comment (if they wish) explaining why you do not want this to happen so those reasons can be given due consideration.
channel
Grafter
Posts: 697
Registered: 03-09-2007

Usenet Tidyup

Or, indeed, anyone voting yes.

I voted yes, as long as PN will react to requests for group additions subsequently. In order to do this, maybe an alt.plus.net.newsgroups.requests
or whatever could be set up so that it can be transparent to the user base that this is happening.
N/A

Usenet Tidyup

There are probably 10,000+ newsgroups (binary and text) which are not accessed. Why not just get rid of the lot?

Simon
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Usenet Tidyup

Hi,

There are probably a lot more than 10,000 text groups that aren't read, but they only use a fraction of the resources that binaries use.

Take a look at the usenet stats

http://ptn-nntp-spool01.plus.net/stats/current.html

Text groups have one 400GB partition which is currently only about a third full for all text groups with several months worth of articles. Whereas the binary groups have 15, 400GB partitiions and less than a week's retention.

We've got a tool that can re-add a group quite easily (it's just a case of typing the group name and a couple of other details). We'll set up a path in the wizard so a customer can request a group to be re-added.
N/A

Usenet Tidyup

Quote
There are probably 10,000+ newsgroups (binary and text) which are not accessed. Why not just get rid of the lot?


You would be amaze about the numbers:

Current number of groups: 61538
Binary Groups: 2707
Text Groups: 58818

Disk Space used by Text Groups: 83 GB
Current Retention Time: 6 months

Disk Space used by Binary Groups: 5712 GB
Current Retention Time: 4.5 days

Number of binary groups with no reads on the last month: 2048
Disk Space used: Unknown

Average of read groups (both binary and texts) per day: 1500
SpeedEvil
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 30-09-2007

Usenet Tidyup

I would say that this is utterly pointless, before you quantify
Disk Space used: Unknown

Many here could compute the size easily, if given a list of groups.
N/A

Usenet Tidyup

I'm behind the idea in principle, but I'm concerned about the implementation. So I'll tick the "I don't know yet" box ;-)

I would like to see the "removed" groups as named empty newsgroups - placeholders, if you like. It's very handy knowing what is available, while you use your newsreader. The groups would contain a single entry - a faq telling the customer how to request activation of the newsgroup. I'm told that this happens already at some ISPs, so it IS possible.

Unfortunately, getting one of these groups activated will be subject to manual intervention of a nine-till-five techie. Automatic activation (via the portal) would be better. Similarly, I see no reason why inactive (for say 3 months) newsgroups shouldn't be put into the "dormant" state.

Otherwise, it's a good idea if it saves wasted resources and improves performance and retention.
SpeedEvil
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 30-09-2007

Usenet Tidyup

I have been asked not to reveal newsgroup names, so I won't.
Of the list of 2048 groups, 1142 have nearly zero messages.

The total amount of messages in the groups mentioned, that are not
crossposted on existing groups not on the list is around 2TB.

The top group mentioned uses 8% of this, and you've got to go to the 28th
group to get to 1% of the traffic.

Half the traffic is in the 26 biggest groups, 3/4 in the first 68,
and 90% in the first 140.

However, I'm unsure if the list is accurate.
I know that in January, I downloaded quite a bit from the sixth, 25th, and
37th/167th group, was intending to at some time in the near future (though
I have not as yet) download from the 52nd group, and have downloaded about
5GB from #61, and was intending to finish off my collection of X with odds
and ends from #89.

I have in the past had 3 of the smaller groups on my .binrc, to download
everything from them.

The first and second/third groups mentioned are TV groups, with episodes
of several dramas in the top 5 of Sky 1 viewing.
N/A

Usenet Tidyup

I voted no.

The reason for this is that I am still exploring newsgroups and finding ones which are valuable to myself and as my interest is mostly in obscure 80's material as I struggle to rediscover the child inside of me, I would think that these groups would not be the most popular and would be the most likely to go.

Access to full newsgroups (other than the dodgy ones) was one of the key factors in my deciding to migrate here and not to an alternative ISP.

Due to not being able to use newsgroups while I was on AOL I have a lot to catch up on and that will understandably take me longer than the two weeks I have been here.

What is the proposed time-scale for this? If it could be postponed till say June 1st to give myself and others in a similar position chance to make sure that we at least know what we are to be requesting if it is specific newsgroup activation that is needed.

For instance I am a subscriber to a binary newsgroup for a certain 80's pop "star" which receives very little traffic but which at times is an extremely valuable source of interviews and such like as she doesn't come over here and her interviews no longer get shown here. Would such a group be included in the cull?
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 12,959
Thanks: 749
Fixes: 69
Registered: 04-04-2007

Usenet Tidyup

This will only affect binary groups, not text groups. The groups in question have not been used by any customers over the past month. The work is scheduled 14th March and will be completed that day.

Regards,

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Products Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

csogilvie
Grafter
Posts: 5,852
Registered: 04-04-2007

Usenet Tidyup

Apparently someone on Usenet that has seen the list downloaded headers from one of the groups on the 2nd March, so I think the accuracy of the list needs to be checked.
N/A

Usenet Tidyup

are you talking about newsgroups in outlook express? or have i been missing newsgroups here I can read etc? if I have please educate me and steer me to them thank you
norm Cheesy