Tin vs. Slrn - Console Newsreaders Showdown

Dan Nicholson dbn.lists at gmail.com
Thu Apr 13 08:23:21 PDT 2006

Hi everyone,

Currently, there is only one newsreader for the console in the book. 
Slrn uses the S-Lang library for screen display.  Another newsreader
application is available: TIN.  This uses ncurses for display
management.  I believe TIN should replace Slrn.  Read below for some
justification and references.

For reference, here are the relevant home pages for the respective projects:

Reasons for preferring TIN over slrn:

1.  slrn is currently broken since it was designed for use with
S-Lang1, and the book is now using S-Lang2.  Both a backported patch
and development version are available to address this, though.  See
this BLFS bug here:


2.  Given one of the fixes in 1., TIN is much better at handling
non-ASCII characters.  This goes for displaying non-ASCII text as well
as entering it.  Follow this thread to see some testing:


3.  TIN is actively maintained, slrn currently is not.  TIN has both a
stable and a development version which have been released within the
past two months.  slrn is mainly one person's project, Thomas Schultz,
and says that he is busy now.  Possibly this will clear up in the
future, and he posted to the mailing list that he is planning a new
release after he completes his Master's thesis.

4.  Alexander has tested TIN and found it to be satisfactory.  He has
posted instructions on the Wiki and opened a ticket to add it to the


The instructions work and could basically be dropped into the book.

I'm proposing dropping slrn from the book and putting in TIN.  slrn
could stay with a note that it has locale related issues, but it seems
silly to have two console newsreaders in the book.  Presently,
Alexander seems to be the only person who uses one.  Richard tried for
a bit, prompting the slrn fixes, but now is no longer using them.

Please let me know what you think.  If you don't care about this
issue, then I will take from your silence that the above action is OK.


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