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Usenet Newsreaders


Home Page Release Notes License:
Shareware; see text

Current Version: 1.8.4 (May 31, 2009)

Thoth is another world-class newsreader from Brian Clark, author of the awesome-but-discontinued YA-NewsWatcher newsreader. Thoth has all the features that made YA-NW so great, including an attractive user interface, power-user preferences, automatic FAQ retrieval, queued article and header downloads, quoted text coloring, reference-based article threading (with a handy view of the thread available while you're reading its posts), multi-threaded connection to the news server (up to 4 connections), sophisticated filtering with regex support, comprehensive multiple character set support, binary posting and built-in binary viewing, finely integrated support for multiple news servers (even simultaneously) - and, like YA-NW, hundreds of other small features too numerous to mention here. Thoth is an astounding piece of work.

If Thoth has not been registered then it will stop working 30 days from when it was first installed. There's also a limit of 50 queued transfers or inline attachments displayed per session until Thoth has been registered. Alerts reminding you that Thoth is shareware will be shown at startup until the program has been registered and you have entered your registration key. These are the only differences between registered and unregistered copies of Thoth. The nag alert, 30 day expiration, and queued transfer/inline image per session limit serve as incentives to register Thoth without preventing the program from being fully evaluated and all its features fully tested prior to registration. Version 1.8 adds/changes the following from version 1.7.2 (the previous public release):

  • The OS X only version of Thoth now offers spelling checking for message windows. In message windows misspelled words can optionally be displayed in a distinct color and underlined (similar to URL styling, and enabled or disabled the same way in the "Fonts and Styles" pane of Preferences) to make them more obvious. When a single misspelled word is selected and there are guesses available, the contextual menu will have a submenu listing the guesses to paste in to correct the spelling. The Messages pane of the Preferences and Newsgroup Settings dialogs now allow you to set the default spelling check language for message windows. That setting, along with the one to display misspelled text in a distinct color and underlined, can also be adjusted for individual open message windows via the "Message Options" dialog opened via the appropriate toolbar button.
  • Added support for SMTP authentication (PLAIN and CRAM-MD5 methods). Note that for mail sending to work, you probably must specify a valid email address for your email address (which you'd want to do for a private email message anyway) and not one that ends in .invalid or which is otherwise invalid or nonexistent. Note that will reject email if the From address isn't your email address. Other SMTP servers may impose comparable rules.
  • Tried to work around an OS X bug with drawing checkmark and other special system symbols on non-Roman systems.
  • Fixed a problem with the column formatting of the thread view in article list windows.
  • Added detection and support for JPEG2000 image files (viewable only under OS X with QuickTime 6). JPEG2000 images may not display correctly due to possible problems with non-standards compliance by the encoding application or QuickTime, since JPEG2000 is a new and evolving standard.
  • The View menu Resort command can now be used with the Queued Transfers List to re-sort items alphabetically by the name of the article being downloaded or posted. Holding down the shift key resorts only the selected items. Holding down the option key causes reverse order sorting. This command was also added to the contextual menu for the Queued Transfers List window.
  • When using the option to add new binaries to extract to the top of the Queued Transfers list (by holding down the shift key), the items are now added in such a way that their order in the article list window is maintained. Previously, since each item in succession was added to the then-top of the list, the newly added items would appear in the reverse order of how they were shown in the article list window.
  • Fixed a problem with background window updates when editing a filter from the "Matching Filters" window.
  • Added "Show Post Info" command to Special menu for article list windows to display a text window with header information for the selected posts. This is similar to the Export command, except the headers are shown in a text window as they would appear in the original posts, in a more human readable form that the tab-delimited table of data produced by the Export command. The main keyboard short for this new command is 'h.' This command was also added to the contextual menu for article list windows.
  • Modified the 'm' shortcut key to also work in locked size image windows to change the magnification so that the image is as large as possible (while not zooming the window larger as is done with non-locked windows).
  • Added Date and Newsgroups headers to the post information text (optionally) saved with extracted binaries.
  • Changed how decoder and queued transfer error sounds are played to try to work around an OS bug that sometimes causes crashes when playing the sounds.
  • Fixed a bug that erroneously caused filter actions to be done for article list windows opened from a search window (they should only be done for article list windows opened from a subscribed group list window).
  • It is now possible to set a long "Expire Active Connections After" value to deal with news servers that abruptly close connections that have been open and active a long time.
  • If the connection to the news server is lost while downloading a binary attachment, an attempt to try again with a new connection is now done automatically.
  • After clicking on the Reset button in the Statistics pane of the "News Server Settings" dialog, the displayed start date wasn't updated to reflect the change. Fixed.
  • Shift-clicking in an image window now works like Ptah to create a selection rectangle that can then be used to change the magnification of the image to make the rectangle fill the window, etc. Previously the change in magnification would happen immediately as soon as the shift-click and drag was completed.
  • Added a work-around for the changed behavior of the Drag Manager in OS X 10.3 that causes TrackDrag to block when the mouse is not moved, which interfered with dragging something to the top of bottom of a view and having the view autoscroll unless the mouse was constantly wiggled.
  • Modified how Date headers are parsed to handle the most common forms of non-RFC compliance. When filtering on dates it is now possible to specify a filter that just matches such bad dates without also specifying that the post be older or newer than a specified number of days. With these changes it's still possible to filter on bad dates (most often found in posts by spammers) while still showing a date (instead of a question mark) in article list windows.
  • Renamed "matches the pattern" style live filtering and group Find searches to "starts with the pattern" to more clearly indicate what it is supposed to do, and added the similar "contains the pattern" style live filtering and Find searches. Also, formerly if a newsgroup didn't match the pattern but did include the pattern in literal form as part of its name, that group would count as a match (i.e. if the pattern was "a.b" then both "aaa.bbb.ccc" and "xxa.bbb.ccc" would match, as the first matches the pattern, and the second name contains it as part of its name). This is no longer the case, since it was inconsistent and would lead to unwanted matches, and because the "contains the string" option is available when this type of matching is desired.
  • Fixed a problem in how sorting reply threads by subject was performed and also ensured than in non-threaded mode replies will follow non-replies with the same subject.
  • When editing multiple selected filters in the filters list window, if the expiration settings for a filter are changed, the filter will now also be unexpired if it was previously expired by removing the leading '•' character from the filter group name. This means it's now easy to batch unexpirations of filters (if the option to keep expired filters is enabled, and you find that you wish to again use some expired filters. When editing a single expired filter, it is still necessary to manually change the filter group name to remove the leading '•' to unexpire the filter.
  • Modified scrollwheel support. Now holding down the control key while scrolling will accelerate scrolling by a factor of 4 (previously the option key was used for scrollwheel acceleration). Holding down the option key while using the scrollwheel now acts the same as holding down the option key while clicking in the scrollbar arrow buttons, typically causing page by page scrolling.
  • Added a graphical tree display to the thread list in article windows (when reference threading is enabled). This works with the indenting to help show the relationship of the various posts in the thread, as does the preexisting feature of bolding the parent and child posts for the currently displayed thread. Also, since a single-click is always used to choose a new post from the thread list, which is always drawn selected in the list, the asterisk that was formerly used to indicate the current post in the list is no longer drawn. Finally, when the graphical thread tree is drawn, any gaps in the thread caused by a missing parent post are indicated by a gap with an x in the tree's horizontal limb rather than prefacing the author's name with an ellipsis.
  • Worked around a bug in OS X 10.4 which caused incorrect word boundary finding, causing words with apostrophe's to be treated as 2 separate words when doing a spelling check or double-clicking in the word.
  • Temp files are named ending in ".noindex" to prevent Spotlight indexing and possible file deletion errors. However, under OS X 10.4 and later, Spotlight can still cause a variety of problems with Thoth and other applications, so it makes sense to disable Spotlight indexing for folders that don't benefit from such indexing. In the case of Thoth, it is strongly recommended that you disable Spotlight indexing for the "Thoth Outbox" folder for each news server you use (or perhaps better yet, for the folder used for each news server and its contents) and the download folders you've configured Thoth to use to save articles and binaries.
  • If you hold down the control-key while doing an Extract Binaries command, the posts are added to the Queued Transfers list but are marked as done/canceled, so that they can be downloaded at a later time.
  • Changed how random signature files are recognized to eliminate the test for a file type of 'TEXT' but note that it's still important that the files be saved as plain text files and not RTF or anything else. Files with unix-style end of line breaks are now also handled properly.
  • Updated the work-around for a Carbon bug Apple still hasn't fixed that sometimes keeps windows from being shown when switching back into Thoth after Thoth's windows have been hidden via the Application menu Hide command/Hide Others command. Any window that is updated or rebuilt while hidden may fall prey to this bug, and now the work-around tries to unhide all types of windows that could be affected, including article list and message windows.

Version 1.8.4 makes the following additional changes:

  • Worked around a problem with some news servers such as Giganews that return an unexpected 503 response code for the XHDR command for unavailable header types. The 503 response is defined for the newer HDR command but is not a standard response for the XHDR command. Also modified XHDR command handling to allow 225 as a successful response code (the correct command successful code for the newer HDR command) in addition to the standard 221 response. Thoth has also accepted the 224 response that is erroneously returned by some Microsoft news servers for many years (224 is the correct response code for the XOVER command).
  • Modified the wording of the checkbox in the "Maximum Number to Fetch" dialogs from "Mark Unshown Posts Read" to "Mark "Maximum Number" Unread and Older Posts Read" and updated the User Guide to explain what this option does.
  • Worked around an OS X problem that could cause ever increasing RAM use when doing lots of file reads and writes (especially binary downloading).
  • (May 31, 2009 edition) Worked around a problem with some news servers such as Giganews that return an unexpected 501 or 503 response code for the XHDR command for unavailable header types. Also modified XHDR command handling to allow 225 as a successful response code (the correct command successful code for the newer HDR command) in addition to the standard 221 response. Other changes were made so that a filtering failure caused by this type of server problem should no longer prevent opening an article list window.

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Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Related Links

Andrew Starr has another marvelous page about Usenet newsreaders that you simply must check out.

Key Mac Newsgroups

There are several Usenet newsgroups dedicated to Macintosh-specific topics. Here are the most essential ones:

comp.sys.mac.announce is a moderated newsgroup that contains important general announcements to the Macintosh community.

comp.sys.mac.apps is the place to go when you have questions about specific Macintosh programs.

comp.sys.mac.comm is the place to discuss all things involving Macintosh telecommunications and Macs on the Internet.

comp.sys.mac.printing is for all printer- and printing-related discussion.

comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc is for discussion of all other Macintosh hardware-related questions.

comp.sys.mac.system is the place to go for MacOS-related discussions.

comp.sys.mac.misc is the place to post when other Macintosh-related newsgroups don't fit the bill.

Note: If you'd like to search the Usenet for Macintosh-related information, you really only have one option (but it's a good one): Google purchased the old DejaNews ( Usenet archive, and now offers sophisticated searching of all mainstream Usenet newsgroups, both past and present.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!