Web-News: A Web-based News (NNTP) Reader


Web-News is a web based newsgroup (NNTP) client written in PHP 4.0. It's for the easy access of any NNTP server through web browser and RSS client.

View Web-News v1.6.3 online demonstration now!!

Features highlight:

  • Supports common NNTP servers which implement RFC 997 and RFC 2980.
  • Supports NNTP to RSS 2.0 news feed (newly added in v.1.5.4).
  • Group messages by thread as tree structure for easy browsing.
  • Supports HTML formatted messages with embedded images.
  • Posting and viewing messages with attachments is supported (MIME multipart or UUEncoded).
  • Search on message subjects and sender names.
  • Compatible with common newsgroup clients (e.g. Outlook, Mozilla, tin, ...).
  • Compatible with plain text browsers (e.g. lynx) as well as graphical browsers.
  • Supports Mutli-levels of user authentication.
  • HTTP tunneling (connection to NNTP server) through proxy server with basic authentication is supported.
  • Easy configuration for multi-languages interface.

The Web-News project is hosted in SourceForge.net Logo

System Requirements:

  • Web server with PHP 4.1.0 or above with session management turned on.


Web-News v1.6.3 Language pack
  • English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese are included in the Web-News download archive.
  • For other language versions, please download from SourceForge.net Logo
Older versions' archives are in here

Current user list:

And many more...


Donation to this project is always welcome. Support This Project

Discussion and Bug Report:

If you have any questions regarding Web-News or want to report a bug, please visit forum in SourceForge.net Logo. Or feel free to contact me at chtyim@gmail.com.
You may know more about me in my personal blog


  • Release Web-News 1.6.3 (29-3-2006).
  • Release Web-News 1.6.2 (3-10-2004).
  • Release Web-News 1.6.0 (20-9-2004).
  • Release Web-News 1.5.7 (14-8-2004).
  • Release Web-News 1.5.6 (14-8-2004).
  • Release Web-News 1.5.5 (12-8-2004).
  • Release Web-News 1.5.4 (8-8-2004).
  • The Web-News project is now put under Sourceforge.net.
  • Patch release: Web-News 1.5.3 (3-8-2004).
  • Release Web-News 1.5.2 (1-8-2004).
  • Bug fix release (29-7-2004): Web-News v1.5.1.
  • New Release (28-7-2004): Web-News v1.5.0.
  • For all users who have downloaded Web-News v1.4.4 or v1.4.5, please upgrade it to v1.4.6 or later as soon as possible. For details, please read the bug fixed section for v1.4.6 below
  • Since versions before v1.4 do not support user authentication, you are recommended to upgrade to the most update version as soon as possible.

Release Notes:

New features in v1.6.3

  1. Added the recent messages thread when reading individual article.
  2. Config "thread_search_size" added to "webnews.cfg.php".
  3. Two new messages are added to language file: current_msg, recent_thread

Bugs fixed in v1.6.2

  1. Fixed the incorrect pagination when displaying the search result.
  2. Fixed the problem with no search result displayed when the search is not perform on the first page of the message list.
  3. Correctly escaped the HTML symbols in the search text.
  4. Correctly escape the special regular expression symbol in the search text.
  5. The information string displayed when no search result is found is corrected to read from the messages*.ini file.
  6. Use of the "register_shutdown_function()" function to make sure any NNTP connection opened is closed when the script finished its execution. This solve the problem of connection timeout on some machine.

New features and Bugs fixed in v1.6.0

  1. Added the search feature for searching subject and author.
  2. Re-format the control button layout.
  3. Save user language and messages per page preferences in client browser cookies.
  4. The "webnews.cfg" file is renamed into "webnews.cfg.php" to improve security.
  5. A new setting "$over_link_color" is added in the "webnews.cfg.php" to set the color of a link when mouseover.
  6. Bugs fixed in some regular expression to have better compatibility across different PHP version.
  7. Correctly URL-encode the newsgroup name in the links. This fixed the problem of not able to show newsgroups with space in its name.
  8. Fixed the bug of not showing empty newsgroup (newsgroup with no message in it) correctly.

Bug fixed in v1.5.7

  1. Yet, another bug in uucoder.php. This bug makes the decoding of some uuencoded message incorrectly.

Bug fixed in v1.5.6

  1. A bug in uucoder.php was discovered. There was an endless loop inside.

Bugs fixed in v1.5.5

  1. uucoder.php changed for faster decoding of uuencoded attachment(s)
  2. util.php changed for better case checking for the read_ini_file() function.
  3. Better error checking in newsgroups.php script.
  4. Fixed decoding bug for UUEncode attachment with whitespaces in file name.

Bugs fixed and enhancements in v1.5.4

  1. NNTP to RSS 2.0 feed is now supported. Now newsgroups not only can access through HTTP, but also through RSS feed using Web-News.
  2. A minor fix on closing the NNTP connect properly in "show_header.php" script.

Bugs fixed and enhancement in v1.5.3

  1. The use of the persistant socket connection is revoked back to non-persistant one since the use of persistant socket connection may cause stability to some web server.
  2. NNTP connections not closed correctly and this may have trouble with some NNTP server.
  3. Newsgroups listed using WILDMAT is sorted for the display.

Bugs fixed and enhancement in v1.5.2

  1. Improved the chopping of the "subject" column in subject list page.
  2. Regular Expression fixed for parsing quoted-printable encoded header.
  3. $newsgroups_list in webnews.cfg now supports the WILDMAT format. E.g. comp.lang.* to include all newsgroups that starts with "comp.lang." in the list. Please see section 3.3 of RFC 2980 for the WILDMAT format.

Bugs fixed and enhancement in v1.5.1

  1. Correct the $message_per_page_choice variable in "webnews.cfg" file to eliminate the error message when the user choose to list all subjects.
  2. Fixed the incorrect message grouping problem in subject listing page.
  3. The Name and E-mail fields are remembered for consecutive messages composition.

Bugs fixed and Enhancements in v1.5.0

  1. Fixed the security problem of login with empty username and password (when setting $auth_level to 2).
  2. Fixed the display of multi-level multipart message, i.e. multipart messages embedded in a multipart message.
  3. Enhanced the MIME message parser to supports multipart/related and multitype/alternative type. This helps to fix the messy display of some messages sent by Microsoft Outlook.
  4. Supports showing HTML content. A new option $filter_script was added in the "webnews.cfg" file to set whether the <script> tag will be stripped off or not.
  5. Correct encoding of sending 8 bit message header.
  6. Improved pagination.
  7. Use persistant socket connection which improves the response time.
  8. Correct the display of unicode encoded as entities (&#code;).
  9. Minor changes to the layout to make it more consistant between different browsers.

Bugs fixed and Enhancements in v1.4.12

  1. Enhanced message composition so that a message can be posted with more than 3 attachments.
  2. Introduce the messages.ini file and a $text_ini entry in the webnews.cfg file for easy configuration of the text displayed in Web-News. English and Traditional Chinese language pack has been included in the download.
  3. In some server, the logout procedure may fail. This problem has been solved by referencing to $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] rather than $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'] for the script path.
  4. When adding attachments, any messages you've typed will be lost in previous versions. This problem has been solved.

Bugs fixed in v1.4.11

  1. The status of the "magic_quotes_gpc" setting in the "php.ini" file is checked. This solved the problem of some messages will be posted with incorrect content when the "magic_quotes_gpc" is set to "Off" (default is "On").
  2. Minor bug fix for display message list when no pagination is used.

Bug fixed in v1.4.10

  1. When a newsgroup with some articles being deleted, Web-News may not be able to display some articles in that newsgroup. This bug was introduced since Web-News v1.4.
  2. Hyperlink highlight and link correctly. Please notice the current version only supports 5 types of protocol for the hyperlink highlight , which are http, https, ftp, ftps and news.

Enhancement in v1.4.9

  1. A "art_group" parameter is added for the article display page so that articles in different newsgroups can be linked correctly.

Bug fixed in v1.4.8

  1. A minor bug that cause some hyperlinks incorrectly displayed is solved.

Bugs fixed in v1.4.7

  1. The post article is fixed to strictly follow the RFC standard. This can solve the timeout problem when post message to some NNTP server.
  2. Some logical bugs fixed.

Bug fixed in v1.4.6

  1. There is a bug in v1.4.4 and v1.4.5 which will only let you to post message to the first newsgroup in the newsgroups list. This bug is fixed in this version

Enhancements in v1.4.5

  1. Changed some of the display code to make it more readable on small screen display, e.g. using frame.
  2. Removed some redundant code to make the code more human readable.
  3. One more template file, template2.php, is provided. The template2.php includes a fancy welcome header like the one in the demonstration. You can change the template file name at the end of the webnews.cfg file.
  4. I have designed a new logo for Web-News. :-)

Bug fixed in v1.4.4

  1. If "allow_cross_post" is set to FALSE, posting of message will be failed in v1.4.3

Enhancements/Bugs fixed in v1.4.3

  1. Showing of the e-mail addresses of the messages' senders is now controlled by the authentication level. If the authentication level is 2 or 3 (i.e. requiring login), the e-mail addresses will only be shown after successful authentication. This is to prevent some web robots to scan the web page and extract the e-mail address. This can protect privacy of the senders.
  2. A new parameter, called message_per_page_choice, is added in the webnews.cfg file. This variable gives the flexibility of setting the choices for the message per page option.
  3. A new parameter, called allow_cross_post, is added in the webnews.cfg file. This control whether posting across multiple newsgroups is allowed of not.
  4. A display bug is fixed when showing an empty newsgroup.

Bug fixed in v1.4.2

  1. A tiny bug was fixed in the show_header.php file. The problem is in the setting of the message per page. This problem will only arise if the PHP server is configured with "register_globals" option turned on (Default is off in versions after PHP 4.1.0).

Enhancements/Bugs fixed in v1.4.1

  1. A logout button is provided. In the previous version (v1.4), users have to exit the browser in order to clear the cached login information.
  2. A new parameter logout_url is added in the webnews.cfg file to let the administrator to config the URL of the page shown after user logout.
  3. Next and previous arrows are added for the easy navigation between pages.
  4. The "Next 10" and "Previous 10" display is fixed by showing the actual number represented by the "pages_per_page" parameter in the webnews.cfg" file. Previously, it was hard coded as "10".

New Features/Changes in v1.4

  1. Three levels of user authentication is now supported through NNTP authentication.
  2. Use mulitple pages for subject listing to avoid lengthy loading time.
  3. Enabled the setting of default subjest list expansion status through the webnews.cfg file.
  4. The namelist.db file is no longer used for user authentication

Enhancements in v1.3.5

  1. Web-News is now compatible with Apache James NNTP server

Enhancements in v1.3.4

  1. Support tunneling through proxy server.
  2. Add parameters in the configuration file for controlling the maximum length of the subject line that will be displayed.

Enhancements/Bugs fixed in v1.3.3

  1. Code re-written to use 'superglobal' variables for get, post, cookies and session variables.
    This removed the need for turning the 'register_global' option On, which is default set to Off after PHP 4.1.0
  2. Fixed the bug for checking valid e-mail address against the e-mail list. For details, please refer to the webnews.cfg file.

Bug fixed in v1.3.2

  1. The Server Ready No Post status (201) is also checked when connecting to NNTP server.
    This solve the connection fail problem when connecting to NNTP server that doesn't allow posting

Modification in v1.3.1

  1. The article display is modified so that it is easier to read message with attachments.

New features/Bugs fixed in v1.3

  1. File attachment is now supported (view and post). Both MIME Multipart message and UUEncoded attachment can be correctly decoded.
  2. Fixed the messy display when the content is base64 or quoted printable encoded.

Modification in v1.2.2

  1. A better error message will be given if the sender's e-mail address is not in the authorized list

New features in v1.2.1

  1. Validate e-mail address of sender from a pre-built database

New features in v1.2 (included the changes in v1.1)

  1. Add the "Expand All Threads" and "Collapse All Threads" function

New features/Bugs fixed in v1.1

  1. Support session name. This enable different sites running under same hostname to be viewed in the same browser session.
  2. Some layout bugs solved.
  3. Solve the problem of having \ before character ",' and \

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