history - record of current and recently expired Usenet articles


   The file /var/lib/news/history keeps a record of all articles currently
   stored in the news system, as well as those that have been received but
   since  expired.  In a typical production environment, this file will be
   many megabytes.

   The file consists of text lines.  Each line corresponds to one article.
   The  file  is  normally  kept sorted in the order in which articles are
   received, although this is not a requirement.  Innd(8)  appends  a  new
   line  each time it files an article, and expire(8) builds a new version
   of the file by removing old articles and purging old entries.

   Each line consists of two or three fields separated  by  a  tab,  shown
   below as \t:
          <Message-ID>   \t   date
          <Message-ID>   \t   date   \t   files

   The  Message-ID  field is the value of the article's Message-ID header,
   including the angle brackets.

   The date field consists of three sub-fields separated by a tilde.   All
   sub-fields  are  the text representation of the number of seconds since
   the epoch --- i.e., a time_t; see gettimeofday(2).  The  first  sub-field
   is  the  article's  arrival  date.   If copies of the article are still
   present then the second sub-field is either the value of the  article's
   Expires header, or a hyphen if no expiration date was specified.  If an
   article has been expired then the second sub-field will  be  a  hyphen.
   The  third  sub-field  is  the  value  of  the  article's  Date header,
   recording when the article was posted.

   The files field is a set of entries separated by one  or  more  spaces.
   Each  entry  consists  of  the  name of the newsgroup, a slash, and the
   article number.  This field is empty if the article has been expired.

   For  example,  an  article  cross-posted   to   comp.sources.unix   and
   comp.sources.d that was posted on February 10, 1991 (and received three
   minutes later), with an expiration date of May 5, 1991,  could  have  a
   history line (broken into two lines for display) like the following:
          <312@litchi.foo.com>  \t  666162000~673329600~666162180  \t
              comp.sources.unix/1104 comp.sources.d/7056

   In  addition  to  the text file, there is a dbz(3z) database associated
   with the file that uses the Message-ID field as a key to determine  the
   offset  in  the  text  file  where  the  associated  line  begins.  For
   historical reasons, the key includes the trailing \0 byte (which is not
   stored in the text file).


   Written  by  Rich  $alz <rsalz@uunet.uu.net> for InterNetNews.  This is
   revision 1.12, dated 1996/09/06.


   dbz(3z), expire(8), innd(8), news-recovery(8).



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