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Missing Usenet posts

mavison
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Missing Usenet posts

I have used the usenet.f9.net.uk Newsgroup server for a few newsgroups for many years, but I have noticed recently that there appear to be some missing posts. Has anyone else seen this?

usenet.f9.net.uk resolves to 212.166.185.145, which is europe.isp.giganews.com, as GigaNews have provided the service since 2008. I have also seen references to news.plus.net, but that resolves to the same IP address.

9 REPLIES 9
198kHz
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Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: Missing Usenet posts

@mavison I don't use Usenet so frequently these days, so I'm not able to assess the extent of the problem, but in the past few weeks I have noticed an increasing number of occasions where I see replies to posts, but not the post which is being replied to.

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darjeelingf
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Registered: ‎10-12-2021

Re: Missing Usenet posts

Someone posted about this on the Usenet Plusnet.service.customer-feedback group a few days ago, and I posted some technical details about the problem, but it seems nobody from Plusnet reads that group any more.

So here are the details I have observed:

There is a problem which has been going on for at least several months, although it seems to have got markedly worse in the last two or three months.  I don't know if it's particular to the European Giganews server, or a global Giganews problem?  (Someone on comp.theory complained recently that his posts were not being shown on his (US based) Giganews server, but I couldn't get him to confirm the exact symptoms, so that might be a different problem.)

The problem seems to be common across all hosted newsgroups, but is not observed on other (free) Usenet servers like AIOE!

This is what seems to be happening:

1. Giganews server receives an article, and "allocates" an article ID
   for each newsgroup for the article.  The high-water article
   number for the groups are incremented to reflect this.

2. However, the server does not "publish" the article for some
   reason.  What I mean is that retrieval commands based on
   article id (as opposed to message-id) show the article as
   being missing.  The article itself is visible on the server
   if retrieved by message-id, and I notice that these "secret"
   articles all are missing the Xref header, which would normally
   list the allocated article numbers for each newsgroup for the
   article.

3. Normally at some later point (typically hours later, maybe
   several hours, or even days!) the server decides for whatever reason that
   it's time to "publish" the "secret" articles, meaning that now
   the articles will appear in their respective news groups, and
   they become retrievable via their article numbers allocated
   for each newsgroup.  (Also the Xref header appears
   At this point if you had not used your
   newsreader since before the article arrived, the newsreader
   would see the new high-water mark and retrieve the new
   articles for the group, including the previously "secret"
   article.

4. BUT by now, depending on what client newsreader is being used,
   clients may well have given up on the article and maybe they
   will NEVER be picked up by the client.  (That's what my
   newsreader [SeaMonkey] does, in any case.)

The problem seems to have very bad, and not so bad periods, and during bad periods there could be a message fallout rate of around 40% !!!!!  The service is pretty much unusable these days...

If a Plusnet technical person wants to discuss details with me I'd be happy to do so by email or telephone.  E.g. I can provide lists of missing articles and their "secret" message-ids for different groups etc..

Mike.

 

mavison
Dabbler
Posts: 24
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Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Missing Usenet posts

Posts are certainly being omitted. There is evidence on the plusnet.service.customer-feedback group that in the last 4 days 4 posts have vanished from that group alone! Because it is a Plusnet-only group, it is a very local Giganews problem, and not a problem with propagating from other servers. It also seems to affect the same posts for several users, regardless of the news reader application being used.

Tomorrow I will attempt to raise a problem ticket for this, as no PN staffer has yet commented on this thread.

mavison
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Missing Usenet posts

I have now raised a problem ticket ... and will await a response from PN.

bobpullen
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Missing Usenet posts

In case the reply I've just posted on p.s.customer-feedback doesn't show:-

I can see the issue and have reported the problem to Giganews, although I haven't received support ticket acknowledgement yet.

The initial response I have received via their chat service is not particulalry encouraging (read: server upgrades), however I will perservere.


Edit: ref: 4679298

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

mavison
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Missing Usenet posts

Thanks Bob - now we await a reply from Giganews!

 

And I have not seen your post yet on Giganews.

bobpullen
Community Gaffer
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Re: Missing Usenet posts

An update: despite some back and forth, the information I'm being drip fed doesn't fill me with too much promise.

It seems there are some server upgrades underway and that is what's being attributed to the problem. The concerning thing is, the ETA's I have for completion of this work are weeks, if not months, away!

I checked alt.giganews earlier and there's a strikingly similar report in there from an Earthlink customer (I believe Earthlink use a resold Supernews service). Supernews is owned by Giganews, which implies this problem extends beyond Plusnet.

Edit: Ignore the Earthlink comment. That post was from earlier in the year.

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

mavison
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Missing Usenet posts

Thanks Bob for the update ... even if there is no real progress yet.

The problem certainly extends beyond the plusnet groups, as others more generally available are also affected.

We just have to hope that some progress is made next year, as currently it is not really a useful service.

bobpullen
Community Gaffer
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Posts: 15,447
Thanks: 3,142
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Missing Usenet posts

Aware it extends outside of the Plusnet groups. I was referring more to other ISPs that resell Giganews' services.

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