Is today's shape of apps was inevitable? (Part IV - a shining old man and the only gifted grandson)

Cont. [Is today's shape of apps was inevitable? (Part III)].

Usenet and Eternal September

I have been writing about it in the previous posts. Yesterday I set up Usenet on my shell account. I had been using Usenet almost thirty years ago. I had a problem figuring out what is the best, or simply the best from available for now, server for that. Then I must configure the proper client. But after a while, I was able to use it. I thought that this knowledge could be unique, and there are many people who don't know what Usenet is.

It's not like I know everything. So I was using Usenet in the late '90s. In the time, when I was part of the Vandals horde sacking ancient Rome. I didn't know that, and of course, I was exploring Usenet on my own then. [Eternal September] continues to this day, but a horde of Vandals went further away many years ago. And Usenet needs to be renovated.

I've read in the last few days several mentions about Usenet on Mastodon. So maybe the idea of Usenet is waking up now.


I'll note a few lines for those willing to try. Today Usenet sometimes is brought back to Torrent alternative, filled with binaries groups. But there are available text-only servers for free, for everyone. One of the clients is slrn.



$ slrn -f ~/.jnewsrc --create

It's enough to read and write test posts on some `misc.test` group.

For the Geminispace users, it is important that there is `comp.infosystems.gemini` group.

Usenet in 2022

So we can use Usenet, the technology of the '80s, in the 21st century. And it could be competitive, and everything is set up and ready. It's waiting for new users. There is no need to be like welded to proprietary and centralized solutions. Many people don't aware of that forgotten alternative.

Afterword (about the only gifted grandson)

As we can look at the passing almost half of a century, people aren't too creative. There are not many new solutions similar to Usenet. For several decades people lost the ability to do distributed discussion because most concurrent solutions aren't distributed. It seems that role of Usenet took over proprietary services like Reddit,, and then social media and micro-blogging platforms. Most of them are more like to be web fronted for simplified Usenet assumptions.

I don't know if I'm not too pessimistic. But if the current atmosphere of the net had been at the beginning of the net, standards like SMTP, Usenet, and IRC wouldn't be popularized.

Also, it could be that the only big change in the last two decades was Git. There were many revision control systems, but only Git makes bottom-up standardization. Today it's so obvious that everyone could pass their source, project, or any content via Git, that it's easy to forget how complicated it was before. We packed all complicated server environments into a regular file, which is more robust, effective, and fast than it was.

[Is today's shape of apps was inevitable? (Part III)]

[Eternal September]




@ Sun 03 Apr 2022 09:41:52 PM CEST

tags: #usenet, #software, #cli, #slrn