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Re: [bug-mailutils] Configuration issue

From: Sergey Poznyakoff
Subject: Re: [bug-mailutils] Configuration issue
Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 21:22:49 +0300

Hi Chris,

> Perhaps the docs could be made a bit clearer on this about 'mail' using a
> completely different *syntax*?

Well, I thought that the paragraph quoted by Alfred makes this quite
clear.  If you can think of a better way to do so, your propositions
to reword it will be quite welcome.

In fact, 'mail' *has* to use the traditional syntax because it is
designed as a drop-in replacement for the usual unix /bin/mail (mailx)
command, and that syntax (as well as the locations of its configuration
files) are mandated by POSIX.  It could be possible to use *both* the
mailutils configs and traditional ones, but in practice it proved to be
too cumbersome and error-prone.

> Perhaps changing "Each line read from these files is processed like a usual
> `mail' command." to "Each line read from these files is expected to be a
> valid `mail' command. *Note: Mail commands"?

Perhaps so.  Thanks for the suggestion.

> Also might like to point out that it appears that 'mail' *requires* an
> initial config of some sort simply to work.

No, it does not.  It provides all needed defaults by itself.  Moreover,
in our testsuite we ensure that it is run without any configuration files.

> I also tried 'mail address@hidden',  resulting in the same error.

I seem to have missed something.  What error was it?  Sending mail
in default configuration can fail if there is no /usr/sbin/sendmail
on the local box or if this program does not conform to the sendmail
invocation syntax (e.g. it does not understand -t option).  In both
cases setting the "verbose" variable might help find out the cause.


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