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3.5.5 Scripting

Comments

The ‘#’ character introduces an end-of-line comment. All characters until and including the end of line are ignored.

Displaying Arbitrary Text

The ‘echo’ (‘ec’) command prints its arguments to stdout.

Sourcing External Command Files

The command ‘source filename’ reads commands from the named file. Its minimal abbreviation is ‘so’.

Setting and Unsetting the Variables

The mail variables are set using ‘set’ (‘se’) command. The command takes a list of assignments. The syntax of an assignment is

name=string

Assign a string value to the variable. If string contains whitespace characters it must be enclosed in a pair of double-quote characters (‘"’)

name=number

Assign a numeric value to the variable.

name

Assign boolean True value.

noname

Assign boolean False value.

Example:

? set askcc nocrt indentprefix="> "

This statement sets askcc to True, crt to False, and indentprefix to “> ”.

To unset mail variables use ‘unset’(‘uns’) command. The command takes a list of variable names to unset.

To undo the effect of the previous example, do:

? unset askcc crt indentprefix

When used without arguments, both set or unset list all currently defined variables. The form of this listing is controlled by variable-pretty-print (varpp) variable. If it is set, a description precedes each variable, e.g.:

# prompt user for subject before composing the message
ask
# prompt user for cc before composing the message
askcc
# output character set for decoded header fields
charset="auto"
# number of columns on terminal screen
columns=80

If variable-pretty-print is not set, only the settings are shown, e.g.:

ask
askcc
charset="auto"
columns=80

A special command is provided to list all internal mail variables:

variable [names...]

If used without arguments, it prints all known internal variables. If arguments are given, it displays only those internal variables that are listed in command line. For each variable, this command prints its name, data type, current value and a short description. For example:

? variable ask datefield
ask, asksub
Type: boolean
Current value: yes
prompt user for subject before composing the message

datefield
Type: boolean
Current value: [not set]
get date from the `Date:' header, instead of the envelope

Setting and Unsetting Shell Environment Variables

Shell environment may be modified using ‘setenv’ (‘sete’) command. The command takes a list of assignments. The syntax of an assignment is:

name=value

If variable name does not already exist in the environment, then it is added to the environment with the value value. If name does exist, then its value in the environment is changed to value.

name

Delete the variable name from the environment (“unset” it).

Conditional Statements

The conditional statement allows to execute a set of mail commands depending on the mode the mail program is in. The conditional statement is:

if cond
...
else
...
endif

where ‘...’ represents the set of commands to be executed in each branch of the statement. cond can be one of the following:

s

True if mail is operating in mail sending mode.

r

True if mail is operating in mail reading mode.

t

True if stdout is a terminal device (as opposed to a regular file).

The conditional statements can be nested to arbitrary depth. The minimal abbreviations for ‘if’, ‘else’ and ‘endif’ commands are ‘i’, ‘el’ and ‘en’.

Example:

if t
set crt prompt="& "
else
unset prompt
endif
if s
alt gray@example.com gray@example.org
set

GNU Mailutils Manual (split by node):   Section:   Chapter:FastBack: Programs   Up: mail   FastForward: Libraries   Contents: Table of ContentsIndex: Function Index