Comp.Windows.NeWS FAQ

This is the HTML version of a frequent posting intended explain the purpose of this newsgroup, and the moderation policies; and to answer some of the more frequently asked questions (if anything can be considered frequent in such a low-volume group...) Feel free to suggest additions or alterations.

Note that this is an entirely personal effort, and does not represent any sort of official statement from Sun Microsystems, Inc, or any of its subsidiaries or divisions.

I've tried to keep this document easy to read in the raw form, but if you would rather view it with a Web browser, the URL is:

NeWS is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.


(This section wouldn't be necessary if netnews allowed mixed-case groupnames; or if Microsoft hadn't perverted yet another generic computer science term into a specific product name...)

This group is for discussions about Sun's Network extensible Window System (NeWS); it is -NOT- for news about MS WINDOWS. There are a number of newsgroups for WINDOWS-related postings under the hierarchy; and a few scattered elsewhere.All of the MS WINDOWS groups have `ms' in their name somewhere. Often you can find the answer you want without the need to post the question. Check news.answers, news.groups.questions, news.announce.newusers and news.newusers.questions first. Even if they don't answer your question directly, they will often point you to a better source of info.

For many years this newsgroup was unmoderated; however the recent explosion of internet use has caused a corresponding increase in the number of postings to various groups by people who believe that if it says 'windows', it must be talking about 'MS-Windows'. (I blame the large Internet Service Providers who simply toss their new users a set of keys and say "Here, take a cruise on the Infobahn", without offering any sort of driver's training course first.) As a consequence, this group changed status, and is now moderated. (Submission address: cwn-submissions@Phoenix.Volant.ORG , administrative requests to cwn-request@Phoenix.Volant.ORG .)

Moderation Policy

As moderator, I will approve any message which meets the following constraints: Most cross-posted messages relating to NeWS will also be approved; particularly if none of the other groups are moderated, if the message contains a 'Followup-To:' header, and if I agree that the other groups are appropriate.

SPAMs will -NEVER- be approved for posting; otherwise, handling will be arbitrary. They may be forwarded to the usenet administrators or abuse addresses at the actual and apparent originating site, to their major netnews supplier, and to any other forum I feel will aid in preventing the sender from SPAMming again. In particular, Make Money Fast schemes are likely to be forwarded to the IRS net-abuse address (

Other rejected articles will be returned to the sender with an indication of the reason for rejection. If mail delivery fails there will be no further attempt at notification.


SunSoft has shifted from the X11/NeWS server to an X11+DPS based windowing system; and NeWS and TNT have entered End Of Life. As far as SunSoft is concerned, NeWS has no future (although some of the technology might wind up in other products.)

But some NeWS fans aren't willing to just quietly accept the demise of such an elegant and powerful environment. Some of them are working on NeWS clones; at least one of which is intended to support TNT. What reliable information I have on these projects is listed at the end of this document.


NeWSprint support continued for a couple of years after NeWS was EOL'd, but Sun's new printers don't need it, and it has now been EOL'd as well. NeWSprint is not supported on Solaris 2.6 and beyond. Sun is recommending PostShop by Vividata, Inc. as a replacement. PostShop supports the old SPARCprinter and NewsPrinter hardware.

Known NeWS applications

The following commercial applications are known to have either been written using NeWS, or have had NeWS ports: Non-commercial NeWS applications:

NeWS References

The NeWS 3.1 Programmer's Guide
SunSoft, Inc., 1992

The NeWS Toolkit 3.1 Reference Manual
SunSoft, Inc., 1992

The NeWS Book
James Gosling, David S. H. Rosenthal, and Michelle Arden
Springer-Verlag, 1989

NeWS Classes; an Update
Fifth computer Graphics Workshop
Owen Densmore
Usenix, 1989

Object Oriented Programming in NeWS
Computer Graphics Workshop
Owen Densmore
Usenix, 1986

A Window on the Future?
Unix Review, Volume 6, Number 6
Samuel J. Leffler

Methodology of Windoww Management,
F.R.A. Hopgood, D.A. Duce, E.V.C. Fielding, K. Robinson, and A.S. Williams
Springer-Verlag, 1986

Freely Available NeWS Clones


Josh Siegel and Robert Kroeger started writing a NeWS clone; but never completed. Version 0.1 is available at

If you use it for anything, please contact Robert Kroeger at

<cwn-request@Phoenix.Volant.ORG> Last modified: Sat Jan 1 11:14:30 2005