Since it seems that this is not common knowledge, I'll add an explanation of one way that gmane can still be accessed. I know there are some people knocking about here who were accessing email in Emacs long before Sir Tim had even thought of the WorldWideWeb, but I wasn't, and in fact I didn't have any idea how to do it until shortly before posting the question above. If you don't understand any of the following at all, you understand it at least as well as I do.
This should work on any unixy sort of system. Windows users may need to use something like Cygwin (but I haven't tried this).
- If you don't have it, install Emacs. Current versions of Emacs include Gnus by default.
- Create a file called
.gnus.el in your home directory (the initial full stop is important). So it should appear as
- Put the line
(setq gnus-select-method '(nntp "news.gmane.io")) in it. If you want to make posts to mailing lists from Emacs you'll need to add more stuff about that (I've never done this).
.gnus.el and quit Emacs (if you've been using Emacs to do this). Open it up again (or for the first time).
alt-x gnus⏎. This starts Gnus and should put you straight into the
*Group* buffer. If you've never used it before, the message
No news is good news will appear.
- To add a new group, when you are in the
*Group* buffer, type
U (this must be a capital, so
shift-u) and then type in the name of the group followed by
⏎ (tab completion is supposed to work, but didn't work for me). For the categories mailing list, you would therfore type
gmane.science.mathematics.categories⏎. In cases of doubt, you can verify that the newsgroup exists by looking at admin.gmane.io on the web.
- You should end up back at the
*Group* buffer and the group name is now visible there (and will be there forever, unless you delete it somehow). Put the typing cursor over it and press
⏎ to access the newsgroup. You will be asked how many articles you want. I just press
⏎ here and get all of them.
- A new buffer will appear containing the archived posts. You can then search through posts using
alt-s to search forwards and
alt-r to search backwards. You can also filter by author, which is helpful if that information is given (I use the menus to do this). Unfortunately, I still don't know of any method of getting directly to the archived post from an old
- To access a post, put your typing cursor over it and press
⏎. A new buffer containing the post will then fill most of the lower part of the Emacs window, and you can change your typing cursor back and forth between the post's buffer and the mailing list's buffer using
ctrl-x o or the mouse, as you would normally in Emacs.
- You can copy text using
ctrl-space, moving the typing cursor, then
alt-w as you would normally in Emacs. In general everything you have in Emacs works as usual, e.g. creating files, pasting text into them, using
ctrl-x b to change between buffers and so on.
- Sometimes Gnus will just hang up for no apparent reason while retrieving a post or searching. If it does, type
ctrl-g to cancel and then try the same thing again.
- When you are finished, type
q until you get back to the main screen of Emacs (you can do this once to get back to the
*Group* buffer from the buffer of a particular mailing list). You will be asked if you are sure you want to quit, so press
y if you are. Then use
ctrl-x ctrl-c as usual to quit Emacs.
For more information about Gnus, see the manual or this tutorial. There's also an Emacs stackexchange.