NNTP Command Extensions
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The base command set described in RFC 977 was sufficient to enable client-server and inter-server functionality, but was in many ways quite basic and limited in efficiency and usefulness. As Usenet grew larger and more popular in the late 1980s, demand grew for changes to improve the usability of NNTP. In 1991, work began on a formal revision to the NNTP standard, but was never completed. Despite this, many of the concepts from that effort were adopted informally in NNTP implementations in subsequent years. In addition, some Usenet software authors created their own non-standard features to improve the protocol. Some of these themselves became de facto standards through widespread adoption.
As a result, by the late 1990s, most Usenet software actually implemented variations of NNTP with capabilities far exceeding what was documented in the standard. Naturally, not all NNTP software supported the same extra features, leading to potential compatibility difficulties between servers and clients. RFC 2980, Common NNTP Extensions, was published in October 2000 to formalize many of these extensions to the base NNTP standard as defined in RFC 977.
The NNTP extensions primarily consist of new NNTP commands that are added to the basic NNTP command set, as well as some minor changes to how other commands and functions of NNTP work. The extensions generally fall into three categories: those that improve the efficiency of NNTP message transport between servers; those that make NNTP more effective for client message access, and miscellaneous ones that don't fall into either of those two groups.
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