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GNKSA Evaluation Form v2.0

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This is the GNKSA evaluation form. Note that for reasons of brevity some finesse may be lost; in case of doubt, please check the GNKSA on how to understand a particular requirement.

If possible at all, do consider sending the final review to the author(s) of the software you are reviewing, and posting it the appropriate newsgroups (including news.software.readers).

Someone may have beaten you to it, and have started reviewing a particular piece of Usenet software already. It might be sitting there, pending further work or final approval. If you're concerned about this, check the list of work in progress before you proceed.

Some basic on-line, additional, help is provided; suggestions are welcome.

Product Name:
Product Version:
Tested on which platform
Available for which platforms
Evaluation date:
Evaluated by:
(include email address)


  1. Software clearly displays
    1. Article's author (From)
    2. Article's Subject
    3. List of groups posted to (Newsgroups)
    4. Where (and how) to direct followups (Followup-To)
    5. Where to reply to if not the From-address (Reply-To)
  2. Provides clear, separate commands
    1. ... For posting a new article
    2. ... For posting a followup article
    3. ... For replying by e-mail
    4. Uses standard terminology
    5. Avoids ambiguous terminology
  3. Provides cross-posting functionality
    1. Allows specifying multiple groups
    2. Warns about, or prevents, posting to large numbers of groups
    3. Strongly encourages setting of a "Followup-To: " for large crossposts (`Y' if large crosspostings are entirely disallowed)
  4. Allows users to change essential headers
    1. Allows editing Subject at all times during composition
    2. Allows specifying new Subject of at least 70 characters
    3. Allows setting "Followup-To: poster"
  5. Ensures followups and e-mail replies contain a correct Subject
    1. Prepends "Re: " if (and only if) not already present
    2. Preserves entire original Subject (modulo minor repairs)
  6. Directs followups to the correct newsgroups
    1. Initiates e-mail reply rather than a followup posting on "Followup-To: poster", clearly informing the user of doing so
    2. Posts to groups in Followup-To if present
    3. Posts to groups in Newsgroups otherwise
  7. Ensures followups contain valid References
    1. Creates References header with Message-ID of original article as the last element
    2. Includes last three References from original
    3. Ensures References will fit in 998 characters
    4. Keeps as many References from original as fit
    5. Does not propagate broken Message-IDs in original References
  8. Directs e-mail replies to the correct address
    1. Uses Reply-To if present
    2. Uses From address otherwise
  9. Allows users to choose how and where to answer, and does no Bad Things regarding posting&mailing
    1. Allows users to change their mind and mail the reply, rather than post it after initiating a followup message
    2. Allows users to change their mind and post the reply, rather than mail it, after initiating a reply message
    3. Sends mail copies of followups only by singular, explicit user request
    4. When both post- and mailing, precedes mail copy with clear notification stating so
  10. Provides adequate quotation and attribution facilities
    1. Allows including quoted original
    2. Clearly distinguishes quoted material
    3. Prefixes quoted material with `>' (or `> ' for the "first" followup)
    4. Omits correctly (`-- ') delimited signatures from quoted text by default
    5. Offers users some means of indicating which part(s) to followup to
    6. Precedes quoted material with attribution line containing original author
  11. Ensures new postings contain a proper user-specified`Subject: ' header
    1. Requires a non-empty, user-specified Subject for new articles
    2. Refuses posting articles without, or with an empty, Subject
    3. Does not provide default Subject if user did not set one
    4. Allows changing the Subject at any time while editing
  12. Provides a valid `From: ' header
    1. Sets "From: " header to a syntactically valid e-mail address
    2. Refuses posting articles without a syntactically valid From: " header
    3. Uses correct e-mail address (valid and belonging to the user) as far as it can possibly know
  13. Allows users to both cancel and supersede their own articles (and no others!)
    1. Allows cancelling articles
    2. Allows superseding articles
    3. As far as possible, does not allow cancelling or superseding other peoples' articles
    4. Uses standard terminology
  14. Tries to respect the 80-character line-length convention
    1. Articles are posted as edited, with linebreaking intact
    2. Warns about lines over 80 characters
    3. Does not refuse to post articles containing long lines
    4. Allows rewrapping quoted text
    5. Enforces formatting requirements on article after external editing (`Y' if there is no support for external editors at all)
  15. Separates signatures correctly, and discourages using excessive ones
    1. Uses (and enforces) standard signature delimiter
    2. Warns against or refuses to use excessive signatures
  16. Tries to prevent obvious user errors
    1. Warns when attempting to post empty articles
    2. Refuses posting empty articles
    3. Warns when post articles containing quoted material only
    4. Refuses posting quoted-text-only articles
    5. Warns against posting articles multiply (`Y' if multiposting cannot occur at all)
    6. Prevents multiple posting entirely
  17. Posts human-readable articles (unless ordered otherwise) only
    • Does not (and can not) encode or encrypt articles unless on explicit user demand
  18. Provides basic self-protection
    • Allows filtering out annoying articles (killing)
  19. Is kind to servers, leaves room for others
    1. Does not unnecessarily open multiple connections
    2. Does not generate excessive server load otherwise


The software sports the following nice net-keeping features unmentioned by the GNKSA:

Additional Comments:

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Last modification: Sep 1940 1993 (Wed Dec 23 1998) by J$.