Yay the continuation of the nntpchan blogs is here, part 2 specifically, probably more to come when things go down. In my last blog I talked about the history of overchan, specifically why it came to be but did not really touch on how it came to be.

There was never one single reference implementation for overchan, it was designed in a way so that the implementation doesn't matter so long as it can speak NNTP properly. Everyone on overchan ended up using SRNd because no one else had their source code accessable, there was on written in haskell but I could never find the source code for it. It's entirely possible that one could use INN2 with a webserver running perl cgi scripts to generate articles and markup and you'd have a compliant overchan setup. I really wish they used another name for overchan since it's already a thing on clearnet that's totally different but whatever.

SRNd is/was a modular nntp daemon with a relatively simple plugin api written from scratch in python. That sounds great right? Turns out it's not, the configuration was a nightmare and the author sparsely present in most of the common meeting places. The biggest problems I have had with SRNd are that it uses 5 separate sqlite databases and the entire program is single threaded. If you look past the configuration problems and the sqlite bottleneck, it was a pretty okay daemon. From my experiences trying to fix SRNd so it "sucked less" I learned the hard way to what point python projects can scale to before it becomes a chore rather than a hobby. I don't like SRNd but I digress...

Livechan is a neat imageboard that does "live posting", instead of refreshing the page to get more posts, they stream in via websockets and appear just as they are posted. I have for a bit played with the livechan port to go, doing lots of work on it I had an idea: "What If Overchan had live posting?". The thought hit me in the face really hard, it would be a really cool idea but would also flood the existing nntp backbone so that it becomes non functional for those running the older software. If I ever made this overchan "live posting" idea a thing I'd have to use another nntp prefix entirely, instead of using overchan.* newsgroups I'd have to use something else, so... why not nntpchan.* ? In the end I ended up calling the project nntpchan to fit that and possibly remove the confusion between this project and the existing overchan on clearnet.


Posted at by Jeff     Tags: blog, nntpchan, livechan