What's New in Gravity 2.2 ?

Enhancements, Additions, and Changes

Beta 1 and 2 add:
  • Tools - VCR
  • Navigation Options With Forward-Back
  • Next Unread Local
  • Include Thread Filter Setting
  • Nickname Servers
  • Retrieve Tagged Articles From Selected Groups
  • Limit Number Of Articles
  • Exclude Group When Fetching For The Server
  • News Farm Setting
  • Thread By Id Option
  • Rules Can Expire
  • Scoring Entries Can Expire
  • Outbox Purge Settings
  • Reworked Bozo Bin
  • New Data Storage
  • Trace File From Menu
  • Copy Self
  • Warn before running binaries
Beta 3 adds:
  • A keyboard shortcut to unprotect an article (CTRL+SHIFT+L)
  • A keyboard shortcut to move to top in Image Factory (ALT+P)
  • An option for focus behavior. (Global options, preferences)
  • A new memory manager (subsequently canned)
  • Optional Low Disk Space Warning
  • Improved URL handling
Beta 4 adds:
  • + and - keys expand/collapse threads
  • A new indicator for collapsed threads that have new articles
  • 1, 2 and 3 keys are mapped to the three panes (zoomed or not)
  • If lines > X either decode, view, beep, or display (under preferences)
  • New warning for deleting an article
  • VCR sorts servers
  • The search window auto-closes when switching servers
  • Incomplete decode jobs are put back in the queue
  • Retry button added to Image Factory
  • Space bar opens article
  • Numerous bugs and glitches fixed
  • Click to read more

VCR Mode

VCR mode allows you, with one command, to sweep all your servers (or just selected ones) and get headers and/or articles. You can save your VCR settings to a file or several files for different configurations. If you want to get even more specific you can specify only certain groups.

VCR mode has a command line option to start Gravity in VCR mode with the config file of your choice. And you can set VCR so Gravity disconnects when finished or even to start by itself at a specified time. Very cool indeed ! Click the following link for a screenshot of the VCR command window. (opens in a new window)

VCR Screenshot (10k gif)

Navigation Options and Aids

Forward and Back are two new navigation options which allow you to go back and forth through the articles you have read, like a browser. They have both keyboard commands and toolbar icons.

There are some new navigation commands: N, E and B go to next unread, next unread in thread, and next unread local. If you hold the SHIFT key with any of these three keys you will SKIP to the article without opening it.

Also, global options has a new navigation tab. It may be easier to show it than tell about it. To see a screen shot in a separate window click the following link. (opens in a new window)

Navigation Tab Screen Shot (24k)

Next Unread Local

I know I already said it, but it is worth repeating: "B" views the next unread local.

Include Thread Filter Setting

This setting allows you to include the whole thread according to the filter condition(s). The obvious use would be to show the thread for any unread articles. But, in true Gravity style, it can be applied to other conditions as well. I can think of a few uses.

Nickname Servers

Now you can give names to your servers. Besides being cute, this adds some more functionality because it allows you to setup the same server multiple times without using IP addresses.

Retrieve tagged articles from selected groups

A new server command, to get tagged articles only from selected groups.

Limit Number of Articles

I don't know how many times this one was asked for. Well, now you can get the next user defined number of articles. It can be used in three places. First, in server properties for all groups on the server. Second, you can over ride server settings on a per newsgroup basis. And lastly, from the right click menu with a different setting.

Exclude Group(s) When Fetching For The Server

While we are talking about server operations, you can specify NOT to include a group when you issue the command to retrieve headers from the server.

News Farm, Server Creates Messages Out Of Order

I better let Tony explain this server setting. It has to do with people whose servers are set up in a news farm. If you enable this setting Gravity will keep asking for articles that appear to be missing but may have been generated somewhat out of sequence.

Thread by ID Option

There is a new setting to either thread by the message ID and subject OR by the message ID only.

Rules Can Expire

You can set rules to expire if they don't fire within a given number of days. They become disabled if not fired.

Scoring Can Expire

You can set scoring entries to expire if they don't fire within a given number of days. The score entry is removed.

Outbox Purge Settings

Now you will have an option (user definable of course) to purge articles older than x days from the outbox. I think each outbox can be configured independently.

Bozo Bin

Changes were made to the bozo bin structure. It is no longer a rule with a long regular expression, but a list. You can set the expiration so items are automatically removed after x number of days.

Data Storage

The data storage scheme seems to have been totally reworked. The new scheme is intended to reduce data corruption. It is rather complicated to explain but you can read about it in the release notes. Basically, the settings saved in the Global Settings file have been broken out into individual files. Also, backups are made and if file operations fail Gravity reverts to the backup. Group data has been isolated from the server settings file. This file, if corrupted, caused you to lose all groups for the whole server. Now, you may lose only one group, if it occurs.

Trace File From Menu

You can enable logging from a menu rather than using the command line option. A word of warning, trace files can get rather large in a short period of time, so if you enabled it be sure to turn it off when you don't need it.

Copy Self

Copy yourself by email.

Warn before running binaries

Under global options there is a comma separated list of file extensions. If you try to run a binary which is not in the list Gravity or Gallery will issue a warning.


  • There is a server setting to let the news server generate the message ID.
  • There are tooltip-like balloons that appear if you hover over a newsgroup. Right now they work better in Win98. Win 95 users may not see them unless they have another active window.
  • Zoomed column settings are saved separately.
  • The newsgroup list pane is more explorer-like. A horizontal scroll bar was added. You can also double click the gray space in a column heading and it will resize for the largest item in the list.
  • The Search Deja News button points to Deja News main page (http://www.deja.com/). In fact you can set your own if you are familiar with the registry.
  • Image Gallery has two new settings; Shrink image to fit window and Enlarge image to fit window.
  • There are new toolbar buttons for several commands.

Beta 4

If lines > X either decode, view, beep, or display

This global option (under preferences) will allow you to perform one of the above actions when opening an article with more than X lines.

This works very nice and can keep you from opening large articles or it will do an automatic decode (or view). I was experimenting with this option and the single key read and it looks great for binaries. With this combination you can click once on an article and it is automatically decoded (or viewed).

Collapsed Thread With New Article Indicator

Gravity finally has one ! Click here for a screenshot (50.5 kb gif) (opens in a new window)

Back to Tom's Gravity Home Page

Tom Bates
October 21, 1999