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Re: problems with "mail"

From: Sergey Poznyakoff
Subject: Re: problems with "mail"
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 23:24:41 +0200

Hola, Jordi

> Finally we got a new mailutils snapshot from Jeff (hi Jeff ;) and while
> it fixes the "mail won't send any mail at all" bug, it doesn't make this

Could you please tell me which snapshot you are using (the last
modification date from the ChangeLog)? It is evolving
rather quickly :^) 

> command quite usable yet.
> Issues:
> mailx compat:
> In mailx's `mail`, you can end the data part of a message using
> <br>.<br> or ^D in a new line. In mailutils, the "." method doesn't
> appear to work. It confused me a little at the beginning.

The 'composition-terminating' character is controlled by the boolean
variable 'dot'. If it is set, then typing dot on a line alone
terminates the letter. Otherwise, mail expects end-of-file
character (C-D) to terminate the letter. So, in your case, it will
suffice to add

        set dot

to your /etc/mail.rc or ~/.mailrc.

> reading mail:
> In short, I haven't been able.
> While mailx would show my mail in /var/mail/jordi just invoking it with
> "mail", mailutils seems to only look after ~/mbox by default.

That is, when you run mail with no arguments it opens ~/mbox, right?
OK, I'll check it.

> If I use the -f switch, it completely ignores it:
> 65563:address@hidden:~$ mail -f /var/mail/jordi

This is a very frequent mistake, unfortunately. In mailutils' mail
an argument to --file (-f) is optional, therefore it must follow
-f option without intervening whitespace. Similarly, if the long
form is used, its argument must be preceeded by an equal sign
(again, no intervening whitespace). So, the right form of invocation
will be either

     mail -f/var/mail/jordi


     mail --file=/var/mail/jordi

> 65565:address@hidden:~$ mail --file=3D/var/mail/jordi=20
> mail (mailutils) 0.0.9c, Copyright (C) 2001 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
> mail is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
> For details type `warranty'.
> Send bug reports to <address@hidden>.
> Can not read mailbox

Very alarming. I will try to reproduce the situation on my box.
Did you use any special options when configuring the package?

> There's also Debian Bug#139678, which says that the -m long option name
> "--maildir", is confusing. I agree. I wish the option was called
> --mailspool or --spooldir or whatever, so it doens't clash with the
> Maildir format.

Agreed. This is quite reasonable.

Thank you.

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