Argo can deal with relations between nodes beyond what is provided by the internal (contextual or clink) links. There are two such relations: hierarchical and linear. In hierarchical relations, nodes have zero or one parent, zero or more children and therefore also zero or more sisters. Children are ordered, but it is possible to go from the parent to any of the children and from the children back to the parent.
In linear relations, a node has at most one predecessor and at most one successor. You can go one node forward or backward, but you cannot skip intermediate nodes.
For example, when reading news, there is a hierachical relation between the newsgroup list, the newsgroups and the articles within each newsgroup. Likewise with mail folders or FTP directories.
When reading Gopher or WWW nodes, on the other hand, there is normally no relation between nodes other than that provided by the hyperlinks.
But an HTML document can define a path, which means that all nodes on that path acquire a linear relationship. It is good to note that such relationships are independent of the individual nodes: there is no information in the node itself that indicates that it is part of hierarchical or linear relation. Indeed, the same node can appear in a hierarchy and quite independently also as a hyperlinked document elsewhere.
The mode is indicated by the color of the Argo window: yellow means flat hyperspace, cyan is for a document in a hierarchy, green for a document in a path. Note that a document in a path is always also part of a hierarchy, viz. with the node that defined the path. The fourth color, pink, is used when editing a document.
Argo offers many functions that work on (almost) all nodes,
independent of their relation with other nodes. Some of these
functions may depend on the particular medium (or format) of
the document, however, but that is usually obvious. One such
command, of course, is the
The history subsystem caches the last 6 nodes
Displayed nodes can be saved to a local file, edited, replied
to (if the author is known), forwarded, reloaded or printed.
New files can be created with
The hotlist subsystem maintains a list of nodes. There are commands to add nodes to this list (at the end), to remove nodes from the list, or to display (jump to) a node on the list.
You can also enter a URL directly with the
There are commands to change aspects of the interface itself,
Nodes that are part of the Gopher or WWW-proper world are presented as belonging to a flat network of documents, with only hyperlink relations between them. The fact that Gopher menus often correspond to hierarchical file systems is simply ignored. The hierarchy is not strict enough and much too large (i.e., deep) anyway.
The document are normally displayed fully formatted, but you
can see the underlying HTML by setting
When viewing FTP directories or local directories, Argo is in
hierarchical mode, which means that you can go `up' to the
parent of a directory with the
Special commands that only apply to FTP and local directories
Directories and files can be created or deleted (but the
operations may fail due to protection violations) with
An alternative for
News is also hierarchical, but with only three levels: news root, where a list of all newsgroups is displayed, newsgroup level, which shows a list of articles in a particular group, and article level, which shows a single article.
The root level can be filtered, with the help of
The articles within a newsgroup are collected into `threads'
and then the collections are sorted with the oldest on top.
The HTML path mechanism is used to put all the
articles in the newsgroup into a linear path, so that they all
have successors and predecessors. From every article except
the first and the last, you can thus select
News articles are sometimes (but very seldom) made unreadable
with the Rot-13 method. The
When replying to an article, the reply can be send either to the newsgroup (`posted') as a follow-up, or send to the author or to anybody else. The dialog box that pops up when you finish editing gives the first option as the default. When creating a new document, not in reply to an existing article, the `send to author' option is not available.
Like news, mail is organized hierarchical as a collection of
folders and messages within folders. The difference with news
is that messages are not automatically distributed over
folders, but instead arrive in the incoming mailbox. To move
them to other folders the
Sorting of messages within folders is analogous to the method for news and the same path mechanism applies.
Argo tries to be smart about mailing lists, recognizing when a
message is not personal, but coming from a list. When the
Not all mailing lists are known to Argo and new mailing lists may be set up that are not in Argo's database. To cater for that, it is always possible to add the name and address of a mailing list by hand, from the subscribe or unsubscribe dialog boxes.
In addition, Argo uses some heuristics to check if a mail message might be coming from a mailing list, by looking for typical header lines, such as To: Multiple recipients of... and X-Listprocessor-Version:.