Near the end of Nov 2004, Google Groups unleashed it's despised Google Groups Beta. Since nothing has been done to put things back to working order, I will try to get back some of the things that were taken away from me, IF at all possible.
However, since Google has done this before, like it had been done by Deja, but finally quit the practice only to do this again in Nov 2004. When they have something else to try, they include everything. Divide and conquer is their motto. Whether it applies indexing noindex pages, or ignoring robots.txt, or adSense, or or anything else, Google pretty much does what they want to do regardless of consequences. AdSense placed links on web pages that did not belong to Google including links to competitors of the web page, porn sites, and other unwanted advertising links. Currently, there is a way out of the current messing up of coding, message-id, and email addresses, so those that know better can use google.co.uk which puts the dissenters off until control is established by Google then they will convert what's left with only opposition from a few.
Why is the message-id important, because regardless of where or how a newsgroup posting is created this is the universal standard means of identifying a posting and a posting to it's thread. So if Google goes away or changes their formats or becomes damaged in any way -- you should still have the original message-id and could find it in another database for instance.
After the dust cleared from Google taking over a failing Deja a link such as
which could be shortened as
With the Beta you are redirected to a very long url that no longer carries the message-id which is the keystone to identify a unique posting.
After all no matter where old newsgroup postings are archived they should always be available by their unique message-id. So the question is how to find the message-id to make a proper link.
This message describes some of the rules of conduct on Usenet. The rules vary depending on the newsgroup.* Refer to articles by Message-ID, and never by article number. Article numbers vary on every news system, Message-IDs are always preserved throughout the network.
- Click on the message you want to point directly do by clicking on the authorname as shown in the left frame. A red indicator arrowhead will appear to the left.
- Click on "show options" on the central frame.
- click on "show original" with the shaded show options area.
- Pull out the "Message-ID:" line
Oops, you've been (look up an acronym for screwed), see those periods before the @-sign they indicate deleted characters in the message-id.
They've destroyed the very building block, the keystone that uniquely identifies a posting.
Message-id, and only message-id, appears to be working now. (2005-05-05 after six months). Broken again about two days later
What's Up and What's NOT
- Destruction of @ or characters preceding it Looks like Google has stopped destroying the message-id and it's references and is including it unchanged in the original message. That was short lived, back to destruction. Remember the message-id is the building blocks of USENET threads.
- It is still destroying email addresses in from, and in body, and anything else in the body with embedded @ — don't expect your code to be rendered properly either with the Google Beta Groups Disaster.
If you want to find the message-id you will will have to try again with the UK version. At this point you might want to give up on Google Groups defaulted Beta altogether and switch the UK version and hope you get the same hits that you wanted.
instead of using http://groups.google.com/advanced_search?q=x+group:*excel*&num=100& or it's evil twin http://groups-beta.google.com/advanced_search?q=x+group:*excel*&num=100 use instead http://groups.google.co.uk/advanced_group_search?hl=en
The UK and Canadian versions can no longer be used as an escape to Classic Groups (google.co.uk and google.co.ca)
You can try other country codes that may still retain the classic format as suggested by someone named Hank, but I think this is simply setting yourself up for defeat as long as Google is taking a divide and conquer approach rather than returning to proper text displays without all of the HTML nonsense which has certainly proven bad for message-id, code, screen footprint, readability, and access speed. Examples of other Google sites with different country codes: groups.google.se, groups.google.tm, groups.google.uz, groups.google.pl, groups.google.co.th, groups.google.lt, groups.google.no, groups.google.com.ph, groups.google.pt, groups.google.com.vn, groups.google.sk, groups.google.am, — so that you won't have to adjust for having all of Google's annotations in another language each of the above includes /en at the end of each link so that you should see English, and it sets a cookie since future visits will be in English as well. You might want to change your preferences by appending /preferences?hl=english at the end to set your other preferences as well (or use the preferences link at the site). More information on newsgroups and searching newsgroups particulary Excel newsgroups can be found on my xlnews.htm page.
The following quote from Google was reported by Sandy Mann (2005-05-11, misc)
"Thank you for your note about Google Groups Beta. We're putting most of our energy into improving Google Groups Beta. For a quick answer or to contact the Google Groups Beta support team, check out our Help Center at http://groups-beta.google.com/support
We've also created a Google Groups Beta discussion forum on Google Groups: http://groups-beta.google.com/group/google-labs-groups2. We encourage you to post questions and join other Google Groups Beta users in sharing your thoughts and expertise."
The help link is what you get -- nothing there. The link to the forum though, I don't think has any happy campers there.
Find message id in full headers -- Message-ID: <4066C933.50AFE4E8%40msn.com>
Firefox shortcut for msgid: http://groups.google.co.uk/groups?threadm=%s
Example -- msgid: 4066C933.50AFE4E8%40msn.com
Search for all words: one two three
Firefox shortcut for gg: (or gguk:) http://groups.google.co.uk/groups?as_q=%s&safe=images&as_ugroup=*Excel*&lr=&num=100&hl=en
Example -- gguk: one two three
I actually use an Excel VBA macro to extract to convert the message-id but I think this method works, haven't tried it for all the message-id variates with National Characters (@ # $)
My correct posting of code was trashed by the Beta version on Google, compare the code above (or even Beta Groups own original view) with the discombobulated code at at Google Groups (Beta), and that the old version of google groups at google.uk.co is still useable.
Google apparently has an agenda to proprietize newsgroups and take ownership of postings. The one thing that makes threads unique in a posting is the message-id in your posting. Google is once again trying to hide that and create their own identifier.
The Google Beta groups has made a lot of things rather useless
- Email addresses and anything that looks like an email address (use of @) is frequently destroyed. People have been harvesting email addresses from newsgroup postings and specifically from Google searches. But the cure is worse than the problem. This has destroyed your ability to look at the original and find the message-id. It has destroyed posted coding in newsgroups.
- The newsgroups that Google collects are plain text only newsgroups, so it should seem rather obvious that converting plain text to HTML would probably not have the same appearance, content, and meaning as originally posted.
- The use of HTML has been included so that Google Inc. can add their advertising to your your postings and webpages without your consent. Read about link hijacking in a GoogleWatch article.
- Trying to force plain text into HTML has essentially changed the format and syntax of my attempted code correction for the User Defined Function shown on this page. Trying to match parens or something.
- To divide an conquer Google has allowed the google.uk.co to still function but since the atrocious beta is still up since Nov 2004 (now Mar 2005) it is apparent they don't care what anyone thinks.
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