Thoth 1.8.3

Even though Thoth development has officially ceased….. Brian released today an update for version 1.8. Version 1.8.3 just came out.

According to the release notes, the corrections in these version are:

  • Increased the maximum number of connections per news server to 8 (the same as the all server cumulative maximum).
  • Changed URL parsing to allow commas in URLs.
  • Fixed a bug with misspelled text styling in message windows that could cause Thoth to hang in certain conditions (when parsing text that looked like or was an URL and which contained a comma or quotation mark).

Brian still corrects the newly discovered crashers and small bugs.

Thoth Software: Thoth

Well I hadn’t forgotten about this blog, but I had very little information to provide so – well yes – it has been fairly quiet lately.

More news from Brian today. On his site:

I am trying to arrange for a way for existing Thoth users with valid registrations to download Thoth 1.8.0 as a free update. The download URL or other information will be posted here when available.

Yeepee!! (as far as I am concerned 🙂 )

More Thoth 2.0 screen captures

Brian sent me a few more screen captures today 🙂

The Filters List screenshot shows how the filters list has been simplifier and improved. With the change in how mfilter groups are named and applied, the live filtering has gotten simpler and less confusing. And It made sense to have two lists in the window: one with the filter groups, now likely to be many fewer in number than in Thoth 1.x, and the filters matching the items selected in the groups list. It’s now easy to rename groups, copy filters to a differnt group, or move the, etc.


There are two more Preferences dialog screenshots. The one for Personalities shows how this information is now set. The quotation in the signature is, of course, from Wordsworth’s famous sonnet about the King’s College Cambridge Chapel. The News Servers screenshot shows the first pane used to configure a news server. Note that the server name and authentication settings are now all in the first pane, so that when people first configure a news server the authentication setting can’t be forgotten or overlooked.



Thoth 2.0 new user interface

Well, unified prefs are not the only thing on the list of improvements in Thoth 2.0 (though it was a big one as far as I am concerned). Brian also put a lot of effort on the windows for the Posts.


Here are Brian’s comments:

Anyway, I went and made a screenshot of what the Thoth 2 article window looks like.
Headers are in a separate pane, and the old show/hide details command is now show full headers/show selected headers, and determines what’s in the headers text pane. The pane and thread list are of course resizeable, the dimples in the window now make it clearer where you click to do the resizing.

Thoth 2.0 image browser

Here is a screenshot of the new Image Window in Thoth 2.0


From Brian:

Image display is changed in Thoth 2. The old way had people choose between a catalog view (that could show selected images full size) or a plain image
window. The new design consists of a window with a list of thumbnails in a (hideable) list on the left side of the window. The thumbnail list shows all the downloaded images that have not been deleted. So it’s easy to go from one to the next, skipping around as desired, deleting what’s unwanted, etc. This seems to provide the usefulness of the image catalog with the ability to also show a full size image at the same time, and easily navigate around without switching or dealing with multiple windows.

Revamped Prefs

I have a couple of screen captures Brian sent me of Thoth 2.0. They have been taken from a developmental version of Thoth 2.0. They are still of course a work in progress, but I thought it was interesting to see the direction it was taking.Here is what he said about them:

The extra short summary:

In Thoth 1.x both filters and newsgroup settings worked according to the newsgroup hierarchy. Filter groups were named by newsgroup hierarchy or individual group name, and applied in order as they were found (if the user had defined the properly named filter group and had filters in it). Newsgroup settings were much the same, except only one setting was used, and it was searched for in the reverse order of filters (i.e. from the most specific – having the same name as the newsgroup in question) to more and more general (further towards the root of the newsgroup hierarchy).

This is a reasonable way to do things. It works fine when only a small number of newsgroups or group hierarchies are in use, and when there’s not so much usenet anarchy that similar groups end up in different hierarchies.

The problem is that this anarchy can happen. Or things can just get unwieldy, and you end up with lots of filter groups and newsgroup settings that have (or should have) the same settings.

In many cases people may just want a couple of newsgroup settings, say work and fun, or French and English, or … Similarly with filter groups, maybe text, binaries, jerks (put all the folks you want to killfile here), etc.

So that’s how Thoth 2 works.

For each newsgroup you define what named prefs you want to use. There’s always a default that’s available and can’t be deleted (but can be edited) which takes the place of the old global prefs settings. But there’s no longer any duplication between what’s in the global prefs and what’s in a newsgroup setting, or confusion about when you get one set of prefs versus the other. You can create as many named settings as you want, or as few, edit them as you wish, and define which group gets which prefs.

Similarly, for filters you define what filter groups you want to use, in what order, for each newsgroup of interest. Again, you choose what names to use, there’s a default that’s always available as a default, etc.

The result should be fewer filter groups and newsgroup settings to manage, making it easier to get what you want, less confusion on what to edit when you want different settings, etc. And with the elimination of the competition between the global prefs and the newsgroup settings, the dialogs in question are now simpler. All the things that used to be settable via newsgroup settings have been removed from general preferences.

In fact, all the prefs, newsgroup settings, and news server settings are all done from a unified Preferences dialog. (there’s still a Filters List window for editing filters, but it’s been revamped to make it easier to use too).

I’m attaching screenshots of the new Preferences dialog. One shows it in the General topic, where general prefs are edited. The other shows the Groups topic, where all the newsgroup specific settings are edited, the equivalent of the old newsgroup settings discussed above. The contents of other topics (Personalities, etc.) you can probably guess at.


As you can see, the management of all prefs is not more centralized and easier to manage 🙂