Turn 1.1 Release Notes

Table of Contents:

The authors of this product are: Mark Callow and Terry Weissman

Copyright 1995, Mark Callow & Terry Weissman. -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is turn

Turn is a multi-threaded, threading newsreader. (That is, it has multiple light-weight processes, and it groups articles together in trees based on the References line) with some very special features.

One of the main goals of turn is to make the user wait as little as possible for the newsreader.

Other Documentation

For much more information about turn you can consult turn's on-line documentation at http://reality.sgi.com/turn.

Support Policy

Freeware products are not supported by Silicon Graphics or any of its support providers. The software contained in this package is made available through the generous efforts of their authors. Although they are interested in your feedback, they are under no obligation to address bugs, enhancements, or answer questions.

Installation Information

Turn Subsystems

turn includes these subsystems:

The turn executable and supporting files. If you will not be reading newsgroups containing pictures, sounds or movies, you need install only this subsystem.
A basic man page for turn.
These release notes.
Utilities for viewing pictures, sounds and movies posted to newsgroups such as alt.binaries.sounds.misc. This subsystem has prerequisites on other products needed for viewing the pictures, sounds and movies. These products are:
The products prefixed with fw_ are all on the freeware CD or contained within the turn
distribution. The remaining products are standard parts of the IRIX distribution. The dmedia tools must be at least those from Desktop-Special-Edition 1.0. This is version 5.5 of the dmedia tools.
Man pages for the utilities installed by turn.sw.pict. This subsystem has prerequisites for the man images of the products listed above.
The viewers used for the various types of pictures, sounds and movies are determined by mime.types and mailcap files. Because it encounters types not found by metamail or netscape, Turn needs additional mime.types and mailcap files. This subsystem contains
those additional files used when you have netscape installed on your system.
This subsystem contains mime.types and mailcap files specifying the handling of every type encountered by turn. Use this subsystem when you do not have netscape installed.
This subsystem contains the html sources of turn's on-line documentation. Normally turn fetches the on-line documentation from a World-Wide Web site at Silicon Graphics. If you do not have access to the World-Wide Web outside your organization, you will need to install this subsystem and set the following X resource in your .Xresouces or .Xdefaults files or in the file Turn in one of the directories along your XUSERFILESEARCHPATH:

turn.helpURL: /usr/freeware/doc/turn

Turn Subsystem Disk Space Requirements

This section lists the subsystems (and their sizes in 1024-byte blocks) of turn.

If you are installing this product for the first time, the subsystems marked ``default'' are the ones that are installed if you use the ``go'' menu item. To install a different set of subsystems, use the ``install,'' ``remove,'' ``keep,'' and ``step'' commands in inst to customize the list of subsystems to be installed, then select the ``go'' menu item.

Note: The listed subsystem sizes are approximate. Refer to the Software Installation Administrator's Guide for information on finding exact sizes.

fw_turn.docs.help122 KB
fw_turn.man.base (default)1 KB
fw_turn.man.pict (default)8 KB
fw_turn.man.relnotes (default1 KB
fw_turn.sw.base (default)1134 KB
fw_turn.sw.pict (default)425 KB
fw_turn.sw.mm-netscape (default)6 KB
fw_turn.sw.mm-nonetscape9 KB

Installation Method

All of the subsystems for turn can be installed using IRIX. You do not need to use the miniroot. If you are installing from the Freeware 1.0 CD, refer to the Software Installation Administrator's Guide for complete installation instructions.

The synopsis is:

    swmgr -f <foo>/fw_turn
        (Type "go" at the "inst>" prompt.)

Replace <foo> with the location of the turn distribution on your network or CD. You can use inst instead of swmgr if you prefer command line programs.

If you do not have the Freeware 1.0 CD or the turn software distribution pick one of the following:

  • Installng turn outside the Silicon Graphics
  • Installing turn inside the Silicon Graphics (page not available outside SGI)
  • Prerequisites

    The turn.sw.pict and turn.man.pict subsystems have prerequisites to ensure you have all the necessary picture, sound and movie viewers installed. The prerequisites are:

    The turn.man.relnotes subsystem has the following prerequisite:

    The products prefixed with fw_ are all on the freeware CD or contained within the turn distribution. The remaining products are standard parts of the IRIX distribution. The dmedia tools must be at least those from Desktop-Special-Edition 1.0. This is version 5.5 of the dmedia tools.

    Mmail is needed for the program metamail which is used to decode MIME encoded messages posted as articles.


    System Software Requirements: IRIX 6.2

    Configuration Files

    All configuration files are in /usr/freeware/lib/turn.

    This file maps file types, as indication by the filename extensions, into a MIME type.
    This file specifies which viewer to use for a given MIME type.
    advert, scam, spam
    These files contain the templates used when sending messages of complaint to poster's adminstrators about inappropriate posting.


    Turn, like everything on the Freeware 1.0 CD installs under /usr/freeware. For normal operation you must add the following elements to your search paths.

    Add /usr/freeware/bin
    Add /usr/freeware/catman and /usr/freeware/man.

    Using Turn for the First Time

    When you use turn for the first time, use your existing .newsrc file. If you don't have a .newsrc file then turn will display a dialog listing all newsgroups available on your server. Click on the newsgroups to which you wish to subscribe then press the Done button. It is not advisable to press the Subscribe To All button unless you really want to be subscribed to several thousand newsgroups.

    If your existing .newsrc file only has entries for the groups to which you are subscribed, then turn will display a dialog listing all newsgroups available on your server to which you are not already subscribed. Click on any additional newsgroups to which you wish to subscribe then click the Done button.

    Changes and Additions

    There are no new features in turn 1.1.

    Bug Fixes

    Known Problems and Workarounds

    READ ME. Care Needed During Startup

    At startup turn has to obtain the list of newsgroups and the threads overview for each newsgroup from the NNTP server. Given the large number of newsgroups, a lot of data must be transferred. Turn caches the overviews from your last session to minimize the amount of data transferred. Nevertheless obtaining the information takes a considerable amount of time during which the Updating Threads lamp on the menu bar will be lit.

    During this phase you can use turn normally as lines appear in the newsgroup list. However there will be many short periods uring which turn does not pay attention to the user and displays a watch cursor. Normally one of these periods lasts for only 1 or 2 seconds. It could last longer if interruptions occur in the network connection to your NNTP server. If you pop up a menu just before one of these periods, your system will appear frozen until turn once again pays attention to the user and handles the menu events. This is because turn grabs the X server while a menu is popped, an unavoidable necessity with the X Window System.

    We recommend that you leave turn running and minimized when you are not reading news.

    If a lengthy network interruption occurs at one of these times when you have a turn menu popped, and your need to unfreeze your system, rlogin from another system and killall turn.

    Last modified: Fri Dec 29 12:57:59 PST 1995