Usenet may not be as popular as it used to be years ago, but this worldwide net definitely still has its users. According to Wikipedia, it was established in 1980, so Usenet users observe a nice anniversary this year. Given its popular stance throughout the Internet history, there exist, without much surprise, many FLOSS solutions to access Usenet, or to work with the NNTP. Using GNOME software, you can accomplish it e.g. with the official GNOME PIM Evolution.
And then there’s Pan, quite minimalist, HIG respecting, easy-to-use newsreader for GNOME, that has been developed for a decade. Unfortunately, owing to the limited time resources of the main Pan developer Charles Kerr (whom you might also know from the Transmission project), the Pan development has slowed down considerably during the last two or three years, and it’s now officially in hiatus.
The community around the newsreader will hopefully be able to organize itself enough to resume and continue with the active development in the Pan official repository hosted on git.gnome.org. Luckily for Pan users, there’s a competent developer K. Haley around who has been working on Pan during the last few years, although not in the official repository.
Anyway, what the project now needs is, preferably, a bunch of volunteers with interest in Usenet and NNTP who are willing to lend a hand and get involved in the project.
The much needed roles include:
- a developer with experience in C++, to help out with the Pan main development, to review and accept patches that got accumulated during the years in the “Pan” product at bugzilla.gnome.org,
- possibly a developer who may be willing to take over the maintainership in the future, once it is needed, or in case K. Haley will resolve to participate in the project not as the maintainer,
- bug triagers, patch reviewers, testers,
- people who are willing to work on user documentation and Pan website that might be migrated from its current location, and which is in serious need of getting up-to-date; I, for myself, am willing to work on these and will appreciate any help,
- translators who are thankfully willing to work on Pan without break, as the last commits to the official Pan repository are those from the GNOME Translation Project members,
- users, users, users.
If interested, please contact the Pan community that gather together on the following mailing lists:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (the main one)
- email@example.com (this one has been quite inactive recently, for obvious reasons)
Naturally, as with other FLOSS projects, every help and every contributor is welcome. TIA.