Next: , Previous: Directory Groups, Up: Other Sources

6.6.2 Anything Groups

From the nndir back end (which reads a single spool-like directory), it's just a hop and a skip to nneething, which pretends that any arbitrary directory is a newsgroup. Strange, but true.

When nneething is presented with a directory, it will scan this directory and assign article numbers to each file. When you enter such a group, nneething must create “headers” that Gnus can use. After all, Gnus is a newsreader, in case you're forgetting. nneething does this in a two-step process. First, it snoops each file in question. If the file looks like an article (i.e., the first few lines look like headers), it will use this as the head. If this is just some arbitrary file without a head (e.g., a C source file), nneething will cobble up a header out of thin air. It will use file ownership, name and date and do whatever it can with these elements.

All this should happen automatically for you, and you will be presented with something that looks very much like a newsgroup. Totally like a newsgroup, to be precise. If you select an article, it will be displayed in the article buffer, just as usual.

If you select a line that represents a directory, Gnus will pop you into a new summary buffer for this nneething group. And so on. You can traverse the entire disk this way, if you feel like, but remember that Gnus is not dired, really, and does not intend to be, either.

There are two overall modes to this action—ephemeral or solid. When doing the ephemeral thing (i.e., G D from the group buffer), Gnus will not store information on what files you have read, and what files are new, and so on. If you create a solid nneething group the normal way with G m, Gnus will store a mapping table between article numbers and file names, and you can treat this group like any other groups. When you activate a solid nneething group, you will be told how many unread articles it contains, etc., etc.

Some variables:

nneething-map-file-directory
All the mapping files for solid nneething groups will be stored in this directory, which defaults to ~/.nneething/.
nneething-exclude-files
All files that match this regexp will be ignored. Nice to use to exclude auto-save files and the like, which is what it does by default.
nneething-include-files
Regexp saying what files to include in the group. If this variable is non-nil, only files matching this regexp will be included.
nneething-map-file
Name of the map files.