Accessing the News.Answers Archive
The news.answers archive is a mixed bag of information.
All files have in common that they have been posted
in one or more Usenet news.groups and therefor have
Because they are posted in news.answers
they have been issued with a unique archive-name.
So, there are three ways to access the archive:
The best way to find information is to start with a keyword search.
Look at the first few items and select something that looks related
to what you are looking for, but possibly not quite it.
From that faq, you can go to related stuff in the archive-hierarchy
(pointer at the top of the faq), or you can look at other faqs
posted in the same newsgroup as the one you selected.
- By archive-name and subject
- Because each file in the archive has a unique archive-name,
the archive can be viewed as an ordinary hierarchical filesystem.
There is a top directory, and every directory contains files
and/or other directories (for instance
Walking the by-archive-name hierarchy you get to see these directories.
In each directory the subdirectories are presented in bold
and the files are presented by their subject.
Each directory also contains (at the top) a link to its parent
directory (the directory of which the directory you see is a
- By news.group
- The news.groups also form a hierarchical system.
The top-level groups (alt,comp,rec,soc etc)
contain subgroups (comp.lang,comp.sys etc) and so on.
When you walk the by-group hierarchie, at first you'll see the
top-level groups. Descending further to some news-group,
you'll see the subgroups of that group (presented in bold)
and the faqs appearing in that group.
- By contents
- The contents of the faqs can be searched by typing one or more
keywords in the box, and clicking the submit button.
The result is a list of pointers to faqs, together with a score.
The score of a faq indicates how often the keywords appear in the faq.
Full text searching of faqs by keywords is something of an art,
and results often a mystery (to me).
Use 'rare' words if possible ('Meertens' rather than 'abc').
The trick is to use a mix of the three access-methods available.
About the department: