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newsgroup Organisation

The newsgroups are organised in a hierarchical tree, each level separated by a dot. The top level is called a category.

The [original] USENET News consisted of 7 categories/groups (based on [5, p. 154]). Table 1.6 displays those categories.


Table 1.6: USENET News Categories.
Category Description
comp computer science related.
news network news related.
rec hobbies; recreational activities; arts.
sci scientific research and applications.
soc social issues; politics.
talk forum for debate on controversial topics.
misc other topics.


But since any newsgroup may be created locally and be distributed to all other news servers, a number of other categories are now accessible from most sites.

The most important other categories are (based on [5, p. 155-6]) shown in Table 1.7.


Table 1.7: Other important Network News Categories.
Category Description
alt alternate groups that don't quite fit anywhere.
bionet for biologists.
bit BITNET listserv discussion groups.
biz for business; one of the only categories where advertisement
  and marketing are allowed.
de different groups, in the German language.
fj different groups, in Japanese.
hepnet High Energy Physics.
ieee related to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
info mailing lists on wide variety of topics.
gnu Free Software Foundation and GNU project.
k12 for teachers and students of kindergarten to grade 12.
relcom groups originating in the former USSR.
u3b AT&T 3B computer series.
vmsnet Digital VAX/VMS and DECnet groups.


Any newsserver may chose which groups are allowed on the system. NRC has only a subset of the Network News groups on the main newsserver, news.nrc.ca, in addition to many other categories, some of which are seen in Table 1.8.


Table 1.8: More Local Network News Categories.
Category Description
nrc NRC related; eg: nrc.test, nrc.events.
uw University of Waterloo; eg: uw.unix, uw.outers.
ut University of Toronto; eg ut.chinese; ut.dcs.graphics.
ott Ottawa related; eg: ott.general, ott.forsale.
tor Toronto specific; eg: tor.news, tor.test.
ont Ontario-wide; eg: ont.jobs, ont.uucp.
can Canadian groups; eg: can.newprod, can.domain.



next up previous contents
Next: FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions Up: The Network News Previous: NetNews terminology   Contents
Claude Cantin 2010-10-24