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I-5. What can't it do?

There are many things that people would _love_ to have WinVN be able to do. We have been asked about these features several hundreds of times (or at least it seems like that many times). Many of these features are simply too difficult to add to WinVN, and are not worth the effort of implementing. Note, however, that this is my opinion. You may feel differently. Lucky for you, the WinVN sources are available to all, and if you _really_ want a feature, you are welcome to write it, and we hope that you will submit your changes back to the project for inclusion.

The reason that some of these features are difficult to implement lies in

WinVN's 'fragility'. It is a relatively old program, having been started in 1989. Many early implementation decisions are now practically 'carved in stone'. Changing these characteristics would require rewriting large portions of the code, which is simply not feasible for a project that literally tens of thousands of people are relying on. Even the simplest change can lead to the complete failure of WinVN for some set of users.

. WinVN cannot do 'off-line' news reading.

. WinVN can be frustratingly slow over a slow modem-based slip/ppp link.

. WinVN does not allow me to ignore already-read articles.

WinVN was originally designed with LANs (ethernet) in mind. Assumptions were made that certain operations were relatively 'cheap' in terms of user time and computer resources. For this reason, WinVN tends to grab as much information as possible about the set of articles you are reading. Changing this tendency would require modifying WinVN's network state machine, which is hopelessly tied together with WinVN's display code and user interface.

. WinVN's editing capabilities are lacking

WinVN does what it can with the standard windows edit object (the same used by 'notepad' - the 'Edit' class window). Writing a replacement editor is somewhat outside the scope of our project. Other editors can be used, however, with judicious use of the cut and paste capability. To our knowledge, there are no freely available editor DLL's that could be used in place of the edit class window. If you know differently, please contact us.

. WinVN does not 'word-wrap' in the edit window.

Although this capability is available with the edit windows, using it causes problems... the word wrap capability is not sufficiently flexible to allow us to avoid mangling long headers. This kind of mangling is unacceptable behavior on UseNet. We hope that eventually someone can 'split' the header and body of a new message into two separate windows, so that word-wrap can be turned on in the body portion and left off in the header.

[from Sam Rushing]

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