Resurrecting suckMon, Dec 4, 2017
I stumbled upon an old bug in the openSUSE bugzilla. It was a proposal to add IPv6 support to a package named suck.
Funny name, what is it about?
Turns out its an NNTP client. NNTP, the protocol behind the USENET.
Often heard about the USENET, never used it, never looked into it. Reason enough to check this package out.
I saw that several distributions still have suck in their repositories all with some patches. Upstream however was dead and it was not too easy to find some good information about it.
Some good things to read about suck, inn and how to setup your own server are:
- Usenet transport for Internet sites
- Russ Albery’s site
- TLDP Howto
- Freifunk Wiki (german)
- Wikibooks (german)
First I configured my mail client, claws, to pull some news from the perl NNTP server:
Wow, there are still people using this stuff!
Then I started to collect patches from openSUSE, Fedora, Debian and Gentoo. I looked at the differences, adapted the patches and applied what made sense.
suck was in a different state in all of the distros, all used their own patches but some had missing important things.
So I decided to create a new upstream where I can create new releases so distributions can pull from there and suck doesn’t diverge further.
Maybe in the future I will even find more packages which were dead but should be kept.
So I started a new GitHub group: lazarus-pkgs - resurrecting dead packages
New suck repository is now at https://github.com/lazarus-pkgs/suck. It contains the distro patches and some more cleanup.
If I find some time I might even work more on it and clean up some other stuff.
Also created a small website for the lazarus-pkg group to list all the packages and give some information about them: https://lazarus-pkgs.github.io/lazarus-pkgs/.
All the people I showed suck previously, said “oh that package probably sucks!”. Now it sucks less!