BBS Software Development News

March 4, 2000

Argus Mailer News:

Max Masuytin announced yesterday that the Argus mailer is now open source, and is also freeware for non-commercial use. Argus is a powerfull FTN mailer, supporting both dialup and tcp/ip methods of using the FidoNet technology network.

Argus is currently designed for the Win32 platforms. It's written in Delphi, so its possible to see it ported over to Linux soon as well.

Argus was designed using the Win32 Application Programming Interface (API) available in in Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows 9x. This gives Argus a major advantage over most of the other mailers - true multitasking. Argus uses a minimum of system resources to achive maximum performance because most of its processes are divided into parallel tasks. Using separate threads for events handling, communication data reading and writing allows Argus to work with a minimumal system load.

Argus supports dialup, and three types of tcp/ip connections: Telnet, BinkP, and RAW connections. Besides handing FTN mail, it can also act as a front end to a multiline BBS, automaticly opening up additional BBS nodes as needed and passing over the dialup or telnet callers it finds to the BBS software. It includes its own telnet routines and can also be used with with COM/IP (a Windows virtual telnet modem).

Max says that he will continue to support Argus, and will also coordinate the open-source development.

EleBBS News:

EleBBS 0.07g1 is finally being released tomorrow. Maarten Bekers had planned to release this version last month, but it was delayed due to several additional bugs being reported just before then.

The messagebase code was re-designed to be more flexable and now fully supports the users combined message settings, the scripting language was enhanced allowing scripts to use less CPU overhead, and nearly 40 reported bugs were fixed. There were also several enhancments made to the NewsGroup routines in EleNews and NewsServ, as well as enhancments to the internal file transfer protocols.

EleBBS continues to be freeware, available in multiple versions for DOS, Win32, OS/2 and Linux platforms. Maarten Bekers is also developing a CGI-HTML version of EleBBS known as EleWeb, and plans to offer POP3/SMTP support to future versions of EleBBS.

RemoteAccess BBS News:

Bruce Morse released RemoteAccess 2.60gamma1 to registered users on February 20th. This was the first update since version 2.50 was released nearly 4 years ago. The main improvment is that RA is finally Y2K complient, using 4 digit date fields internally. Over a dozen other problems were also fixed in this version, which Bruce has been working on since he took over the code in December of 1998.

RA 2.60Gamma2 was just released, which fixes some minor issues found just after Gamma1 was released. While RA is still only DOS based, it continues to operate under other platforms as well. There are currently no plans of offering native OS versions anytime in the near future.

Synchronet BBS News:

As we mentioned in December, Rob Swindell recently resumed development of Synchronet BBS. Since then he has been working on the Win32 version which will include internet support such as Telnet, FTP, SMTP, POP3, IRC, NTTP, and even HTTP. Synchronet v3 for Win32 is now very close to a wide-beta release.

An FTP server was recently been added to the betas, which supports file descriptions, dynamic file indexes, QWK message packet transfers, and more. Rob says it's never been easier to seemlessly integrate FTP with a BBS package.

The Mail server is a full functioning SMTP and POP3 server which supports MX record lookups, forwarding, aliases, and more. Again, no BBS package makes it easier to send/receive Internet e-mail to/from the BBS. Sysops love using standard e-mail clients (like Eudora and Outlook) to read their BBS mail too. Look for NNTP support in the near future to extend this convenience to the public message areas (conferences/echoes).

All of these servers (including the Telnet server) and all of the BBS nodes run in a single process/window. Rob is currently accepting alpha test sites. The only strict requirements are that they are able and willing to run a 24/7 telnet BBS and they connect to DOVE-Net, the Synchronet support network using QWKnet technology.

The priorities for the near future are the Linux version and integrated IRC and NNTP servers. Rob says that although web-sites are all the rage, as far as communities go, nothing beats IRC and newsgroups (NNTP) for sheer volume of users and the smart client applications available. He plans on creating dynamic HTML versions of the message and file areas and including a basic HTTP server in the future.

He also mentions that he is seriously considering open-sourcing Synchronet after the Linux version is released to encourage co-development and ports to other platforms.


WWIV v4.30 and Net37 will be released on Monday, March 06 2000. This long awaited release contains over 200 functional and cosmetic changes suggested by registered sysops and users. Major changes and enhancements include:

  • Fossil Support added and now required for the BBS
  • Full screen WFC and ANSI callout screens
  • "ListPlus" Style Transfer Section
  • Registration Passcodes for ALL registered systems.
  • New full screen string editor (STREDIT.EXE) replaces MINIESM.
  • Event Manager that allows multiple events
  • Internal callback verifier
  • WYSIWYG Macro editor
  • Automated GUEST account
  • New Advanced ASV System now standard Equipment
  • Multiple configurable archivers (up to 15)
  • Registered sysops with an active SDS account will be allowed to download the source code from their site, and Registered sysops without an active SDS account may request a source code disk from WSS for a $5.00 (US) charge.

    RGC BBS News:

    RGC BBS and its developer Brian Tofoya seem to have vanished last month, just after the first beta cycle began.

    Last year the development of RGC was put on hold for several months untill Brian desided to resume it back in early December of 1999.

    RGC BBS was going to be a full internet server for Windows, including dial-up / ppp / telnet / web / ftp / email / news/ dns servers all in one package. Hopefully we will have more news on what happened soon.

    Renegade BBS News:

    Jeff Herrings has taken over development of Renegade BBS, and plans to release a Y2K fix for it within a few weeks.

    This is the second time Renegade has changed hands. Originally Renegade was written by Cott Lang back in 1991, who based it on the Telegard source code. For several years it was one of the most popular scene BBS's in the United States, though it never caught on much in Europe. In 1997 Patrick Spence took over the development, but never managed to bring it's features up to date. It still lacked a standard messagebase structure while Telegard progressed considerably during those years.

    Jeff has not indicated if he will add JAM/Squish message base support to Renegade, but he is considering porting it to Win32.

    ProBoard News:

    Proboard version 2.20b dropped dead on March 1st due to the new expireware policy at Telegrafix, and sysops using the software were down for 48 hours while they waited for Telegraphix to release an update. Telegraphix did release version 2.20c late last nite.

    This new version of Proboard is also expireware, and will stop functioning after June 1st 2000. Pat Clawson blames the delayed release on a hacker who attacked their site in January, and says they plan to offer the final release of 2.20 before the current version expires. Telegrafix has desided to continue developing proboard beyond version 2.20 dispite their previous announcment that they were moving on to non BBS related projects.

    While the current version is still limited to 2 nodes, Clawson offers additional nodes to those willing to pay, though upgrade priceing was not announced.

    If you have any additional BBS related news, please send to

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