Rodger V. Anderson > NNTPClient > News::NNTPClient

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Module Version: 0.37   Source  

NAME ^

News::NNTPClient - Perl 5 module to talk to NNTP (RFC977) server

SYNOPSIS ^

    use News::NNTPClient;

    $c = new News::NNTPClient;
    $c = new News::NNTPClient($server);
    $c = new News::NNTPClient($server, $port);
    $c = new News::NNTPClient($server, $port, $debug);

DESCRIPTION ^

This module implements a client interface to NNTP, enabling a Perl 5 application to talk to NNTP servers. It uses the OOP (Object Oriented Programming) interface introduced with Perl 5.

NNTPClient exports nothing.

A new NNTPClient object must be created with the new method. Once this has been done, all NNTP commands are accessed through this object.

Here are a couple of short examples. The first prints all articles in the "test" newsgroup:

  #!/usr/local/bin/perl -w
 
  use News::NNTPClient;
 
  $c = new News::NNTPClient;
 
  ($first, $last) = ($c->group("test"));
 
  for (; $first <= $last; $first++) {
      print $c->article($first);
  }
 
  __END__

This example prints the body of all articles in the "test" newsgroup newer than one hour:

  #!/usr/local/bin/perl -w
 
  require News::NNTPClient;
 
  $c = new News::NNTPClient;
 
  foreach ($c->newnews("test", time - 3600)) {
      print $c->body($_);
  }
 
  __END__

NNTPClient Commands

These commands are used to manipulate the NNTPClient object, and aren't directly related to commands available on any NNTP server.

new

Use this to create a new NNTP connection. It takes three arguments, a hostname, a port and a debug flag. It calls initialize. Use an empty argument to specify defaults.

If port is omitted or blank (""), looks for environment variable NNTPPORT, service "nntp", or uses 119.

If host is omitted or empty (""), looks for environment variable NNTPSERVER or uses "news".

Examples:

  $c = new News::NNTPClient;
or
  $c = new News::NNTPClient("newsserver.some.where");
or
  $c = new News::NNTPClient("experimental", 9999);
or
  # Specify debug but use defaults.
  $c = new News::NNTPClient("", "", 2);

Returns a blessed reference, representing a new NNTP connection.

initialize

Calls port, host, connect, and response, in that order. If any of these fail, initialization is aborted.

connect

Connects to current host/port. Not normally needed, as the new method does this for you. Closes any existing connection. Sets the posting status. See the postok method.

host

Sets the host that will be used on the next connect. Not normally needed, as the new method does this for you.

Without an argument, returns current host.

Argument can be hostname or dotted quad, for example, "15.2.174.218".

Returns fully qualified host name.

port

Sets the port that will be used on the next connect. Not normally needed, as the new method does this for you.

Without an argument, returns current port.

Argument can be port number or name. If it is a name, it must be a valid service.

Returns port number.

debug

Sets the debug level.

Without an argument, returns current debug level.

There are currently three debug levels. Level 0, level 1, and level 2.

At level 0 the messages described for level 1 are not produced. Debug level 0 is a way of turning off messages produced by the default debug level 1. Serious error messages, such as EOF (End Of File) on the file handle, are still produced.

At level 1, any NNTP command that results in a result code of 400 or greater prints a warning message. This is the default.

At level 2, in addition to level 1 messages, status messages are printed to indicate actions taking place.

Returns old debug value.

ok

Returns boolean status of most recent command. NNTP return codes less than 400 are considered OK. Not often needed as most commands return false upon failure anyway.

okprint

Returns boolean status of most recent command. NNTP return codes less than 400 are considered OK. Prints an error message for return codes of 400 or greater unless debug level is set to zero (0).

This method is used internally by most commands, and could be considered to be "for internal use only". You should use the return status of commands directly to determine pass-fail, or if needed the ok method can be used to check status later.

message

Returns the NNTP response message of the most recent command.

Example, as returned by NNTP server version 1.5.11t:

  $c->slave;
  print $c->message;

  Kinky, kinky.  I don't support such perversions.
code

Returns the NNTP response code of the most recent command.

Example:

  $c->article(1);
  print $c->code, "\n";

  412
postok

Returns the post-ability status that was reported upon connection or after the mode_reader command.

eol

Sets the End-Of-Line termination for text returned from the server.

Returns the old EOL value.

Default is \n.

To set EOL to nothing, pass it the empty string.

To query current EOL without setting it, call with no arguments.

Example:

  $old_eol = $c->eol();     # Get original.
  $c->eol("");              # Set EOL to nothing.
  @article = $c->article(); # Fetch an article.
  $c->eol($old_eol);        # Restore value.
gmt

Sets GMT mode. Returns old value. To query GMT mode without setting it, call with no arguments.

A true value means that GMT mode is used in the newgroups and newnews functions. A false value means that local time is used.

fourdigityear

Sets four digit year mode. Returns old value. To query four digit year mode without setting it, call with no arguments.

A true value means that four digit years are used in the newgroups and newnews functions. A false value means that an RFC977 compliant two digit year is used.

This function is available for news servers that implemented four digit years rather than deal with non-y2k compliment two digit years. RFC977 does not allow four digit years, and instead chooses the century closest. I quote:

    The closest century is assumed as part of the year (i.e., 86
    specifies 1986, 30 specifies 2030, 99 is 1999, 00 is 2000).
version

Returns version number.

This document represents @(#) $Revision: 0.37 $.

NNTP Commands

These commands directly correlate to NNTP server commands. They return a false value upon failure, true upon success. The truth value is usually some bit of useful information. For example, the stat command returns Message-ID if it is successful.

Some commands return multiple lines. These lines are returned as an array in array context, and as a reference to an array in scalar context. For example, if you do this:

  @lines = $c->article(14);

then @lines will contain the article, one line per array element. However, if you do this:

  $lines = $c->article(14);

then $lines will contain a reference to an array. This feature is for those that don't like passing arrays from routine to routine.

mode_reader

Some servers require this command to process NNTP client commands. Sets postok status. See postok.

Returns OK status.

article

Retrieves an article from the server. This is the main command for fetching articles. Expects a single argument, an article number or Message-ID. If you use an article number, you must be in a news group. See group.

Returns the header, a separating blank line, and the body of the article as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

Examples:

  print $c->article('<art1234@soom.oom>');

  $c->group("test");

  print $c->article(99);
body

Expects a single argument, an article number or Message-ID.

Returns the body of an article as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

See article.

head

Expects a single argument, an article number or Message-ID.

Returns the head of the article as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

See article.

stat

Expects a single argument, an article number or Message-ID.

The STAT command is like the ARTICLE command except that it does not return any text. It can be used to set the "current article pointer" if passed an article number, or to validate a Message-ID if passed a Message-ID.

Returns Message-ID if successful, otherwise returns false.

last

The "current article pointer" maintained by the server is moved to the previous article in the current news group.

Returns Message-ID if successful, otherwise returns false.

next

The "current article pointer" maintained by the server is moved to the next article in the current news group.

Returns Message-ID if successful, otherwise returns false.

group

Expects a single argument, the name of a valid news group.

This command sets the current news group as maintained by the server. It also sets the server maintained "current article pointer" to the first article in the group. This enables the use of certain other server commands, such as article, head, body, stat, last, and next. Also sets the current group in the NNTPClient object, which is used by the newnews and xindex commands.

Returns (first, last) in list context, or "first-last" in scalar context, where first and last are the first and last article numbers as reported by the group command. Returns false if there is an error.

It is an error to attempt to select a non-existent news group.

If the estimated article count is needed, it can be extracted from the message. See message.

list

Accepts two optional arguments. The first can be used indicate the type of list desired. List type depends on server. The second is a pattern that is use by some list types.

Examples:

  print $c->list();
  print $c->list('active');
  print $c->list('active', 'local.*');
  print $c->list('newsgroups');

With an argument of "active" or with no arguments, this command returns a list of valid newsgroups and associated information. The format is:

  group last first p

where group is the news group name, last is the article number of the last article, first is the article number of the first article, and p is flag indicating if posting is allowed. A 'y' flag is an indication that posting is allowed.

Other possible arguments are: newsgroups, distributions, subscriptions for B-News, and active.times, distributions, distrib.pats, newsgroups, overview.fmt for INN.

Returns an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

newgroups

Expects at least one argument representing the date/time in seconds, or in "YYYYMMDD HHMMSS [GMT]" format. The GMT part is optional. If you wish to use GMT with the seconds format, first call gmt. Remaining arguments are used as distributions.

Example, print all new groups in the "comp" and/or "news" hierarchy as of one hour ago:

  print $c->newgroups(time() - 3600, "comp", "news");

Returns list of new news group names as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

newnews

Expects one, two, or more arguments.

If the first argument is a group name, it looks for new news in that group, and the date/time is the second argument. If the first argument represents the date/time in seconds or in "YYYYMMDD HHMMSS [GMT]" format, then the group is is last group set via the group command. If no group command has been issued then the group is "*", representing all groups. If you wish to use GMT in seconds format for the time, first call gmt. Remaining arguments are use to restrict search to certain distribution(s).

Returns a list of Message-IDs of articles that have been posted or received since the specified time.

Examples:

  # Hour old news in news group "test".
  $c->newnews("test", time() - 3600);
or
  # Hour old in all groups.
  $c->newnews(time() - 3600);
or
  $c->newnews("*", time() - 3600);
or
  # Hour old news in news group "test".
  $c->group("test");
  $c->newnews(time() - 3600);

The group argument can include an asterisk "*" to specify a range news groups. It can also include multiple news groups, separated by a comma ",".

Example:

  $c->newnews("comp.*.sources,alt.sources", time() - 3600);

An exclamation point "!" may be used to negate the selection of certain groups.

Example:

  $c->newnews("*sources*,!*.d,!*.wanted", time() - 3600);

Any additional distribution arguments will be concatenated together and send as a distribution list. The distribution list will limit articles to those that have a Distribution: header containing one of the distributions passed.

Example:

  $c->newnews("*", time() - 3600, "local", "na");

Returns Message-IDs of new articles as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

help

Returns any server help information. The format of the information is highly dependent on the server, but usually contains a list of NNTP commands recognized by the server.

Returns an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

post

Post an article. Expects data to be posted as an array of lines. Most servers expect, at a minimum, Newsgroups and Subject headers. Be sure to separate the header from the body with a neck, er blank line.

Example:

  @header = ("Newsgroups: test", "Subject: test", "From: tester");
  @body   = ("This is the body of the article");

  $c->post(@header, "", @body);

There aren't really three arguments. Perl folds all arguments into a single list. You could also do this:

  @article = ("Newsgroups: test", "Subject: test", "From: tester", "", "Body");
  $c->post(@article);

or even this:

  $c->post("Newsgroups: test", "Subject: test", "From: tester", "", "Body");

Any "\n" characters at the end of a line will be trimmed.

Returns status.

ihave

Transfer an article. Expects an article Message-ID and the article to be sent as an array of lines.

Example:

  # Fetch article from server on $c
  @article = $c->article($artid);
  
  # Send to server on $d
  if ($d->ihave($artid, @article)) {
      print "Article transfered\n";
  } else {
      print "Article rejected: ", $d->message, "\n";
  }
slave

Doesn't do anything on most servers. Included for completeness.

DESTROY

This method is called whenever the the object created by News::NNTPClient::new is destroyed. It calls quit to close the connection.

quit

Send the NNTP quit command and close the connection. The connection can be then be re-opened with the connect method. Quit will automatically be called when the object is destroyed, so there is no need to explicitly call quit before exiting your program.

Extended NNTP Commands

These commands also directly correlate NNTP server commands, but are not mentioned in RFC977, and are not part of the standard. However, many servers implement them, so they are included as part of this package for your convenience. If a command is not recognized by a server, the server usually returns code 500, command unrecognized.

authinfo

Expects two arguments, user and password.

date

Returns server date in "YYYYMMDDhhmmss" format.

listgroup

Expects one argument, a group name. Default is current group.

Returns article numbers as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

xmotd

Expects one argument of unix time in seconds or as a string in the form "YYYYMMDD HHMMSS".

Returns the news servers "Message Of The Day" as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

For example, the following will always print the message of the day, if there is any:

  print $c->xmotd(1);
  NNTP Server News2

  News administrator is Joseph Blough <joeblo@news.foo.com>
xgtitle

Expects one argument of a group pattern. Default is current group.

Returns group titles an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

Example:

  print $c->xgtitle("bit.listserv.v*");

  bit.listserv.valert-l   Virus Alert List. (Moderated)
  bit.listserv.vfort-l    VS-Fortran Discussion List.
  bit.listserv.vm-util    VM Utilities Discussion List.
  bit.listserv.vmesa-l    VM/ESA Mailing List.
  bit.listserv.vmslsv-l   VAX/VMS LISTSERV Discussion List.
  bit.listserv.vmxa-l     VM/XA Discussion List.
  bit.listserv.vnews-l    VNEWS Discussion List.
  bit.listserv.vpiej-l    Electronic Publishing Discussion
xpath

Expects one argument of an article Message-ID. Returns the path name of the file on the server.

Example:

  print print $c->xpath(q(<43bq5l$7b5@news.dtc.hp.com>))'
  hp/test/4469
xhdr

Fetch header for a range of articles. First argument is name of header to fetch. If omitted or blank, default to Message-ID. Second argument is start of article range. If omitted, defaults to 1. Third argument is end of range. If omitted, defaults to "". The second argument can also be a Message-ID.

Returns headers as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

Examples:

  # Fetch Message-ID of article 1.
  $c->xhdr();

  # Fetch Subject of article 1.
  $c->xhdr("Subject");

  # Fetch Subject of article 3345.
  $c->xhdr("Subject", 3345);

  # Fetch Subjects of articles 3345-9873
  $c->xhdr("Subject", 3345, 9873);

  # Fetch Message-ID of articles 3345-9873
  $c->xhdr("", 3345,9873);

  # Fetch Subject for article with Message-ID
  $c->xhdr("Subject", '<797t0g$25f10@foo.com>');
xpat

Fetch header for a range of articles matching one or more patterns. First argument is name of header to fetch. If omitted or blank, default to Subject. Second argument is start of article range. If omitted, defaults to 1. Next argument is end of range. Remaining arguments are patterns to match. Some servers use "*" for wildcard.

Returns headers as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

Examples:

  # Fetch Subject header of article 1.
  $c->xpat();

  # Fetch "From" header of article 1.
  $c->xpat("From");

  # Fetch "From" of article 3345.
  $c->xpat("From", 3345);

  # Fetch "From" of articles 3345-9873 matching *foo*
  $c->xpat("From", 3345, 9873, "*foo*");

  # Fetch "Subject" of articles 3345-9873 matching
  # *foo*, *bar*, *and*, *stuff*
  $c->xpat("", 3345,9873, qw(*foo* *bar* *and* *stuff*));
xover

Expects an article number or a starting and ending article number representing a range of articles.

Returns overview information for each article as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

Xover generally returns items separated by tabs. Here is an example that prints out the xover fields from all messages in the "test" news group.

  #!/usr/local/bin/perl

  require News::NNTPClient;

  $c = new News::NNTPClient;

  @fields = qw(numb subj from date mesg refr char line xref);

  foreach $xover ($c->xover($c->group("test"))) {
      %fields = ();
      @fields{@fields} = split /\t/, $xover;
      print map { "$_: $fields{$_}\n" } @fields;
      print "\n";
  }

  __END__
                                # 
=item I<xthread>

Expects zero or one argument. Value of argument doesn't matter. If present, dbinit command is sent. If absent, thread command is sent.

Returns binary data as a scalar value.

Format of data returned is unknown at this time.

xindex

Expects one argument, a group name. If omitted, defaults to the group set by last group command. If there hasn't been a group command, it returns an error;

Returns index information for group as an array of lines terminated by the current EOL.

In scalar context a reference to the array is returned instead of the array itself.

xsearch

Expects a query as an array of lines which are sent to the server, much like post. Returns the result of the search as an array of lines or a reference to same.

Format of query is unknown at this time.

AUTHOR ^

Rodger Anderson <rodger@boi.hp.com>

COPYRIGHT ^

Copyright 1995 Rodger Anderson. All rights reserved. This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

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