FAQ for comp.mail.pine - Part 2

Composing, Replying options

When I send out email, my From address is user@machine.domain.com instead of user@domain.com. How do I correct it?

Set the user-domain option to whatever it needs to be. In my case, it is set like so:

user-domain = cse.sc.edu

Note that this affects the completion of unqualified addresses. For example, if I wanted to send email to help@cse.sc.edu , I could just type in help in the To: field in the composer, and it would automatically add the domain name to it.

If I changed my user-domain to sc.edu, then the composer would complete the address as help@sc.edu.

When I typed in a local username in the To: field, I got an error message that it wasn't in my addressbook. What's wrong?

You need to unset this option as follows:

[ ] compose-rejects-unqualified-addrs

Otherwise, Pine will assume that if you don't fully qualify an address, then it must be a nickname in your addressbook.

I want to run a mailing list. Can I do it using Pine?

It depends. You can set up a distribution list, which is just an addressbook entry that has a list of email addresses. email is sent out all addresses in the entry. If you add the entry to your global addressbook, everyone on your system can use it.

If you mean something like having a single address that everyone posts to, and the messages are delivered to everyone, then Pine is not the right tool to use. Look at majordomo or something similar.

How do I send email to many people without everyone knowing who else it's going to?

That's what the Bcc: header is for. Bcc stands for "Blind carbon-copy". You should leave your To: field blank, and type in all the addresses in the Bcc: field. The message will be delivered to all recipients, but they have no way of knowing who else received it.

When they reply, they can only reply to the person that sent the message, and people that were listed in the To: and Cc: fields.

Because the To: field cannot be blank, Pine will insert a line there. You can define what it says using the empty-header-message option.

You can also type in whatever you want when you compose, as long is you make sure that it if followed by a colon, and the To: line ends in a semi-colon. Anything between the : and ; will be regarded as a real address. You may leave nothing but a space between them if you wish.

For example, I can do the following:

To      : Whatever I want to say here: ;
Cc      :
Bcc     : a@a.com, whole@a.com, bunch@a.com, of@a.com, addresses@a.com
Subject : Hello everybody!

For whatever it is worth, you could also have had some peoples' addresses show like so:

To: Whatever I want to say: real1@address.com, real2.address.org ;

A related header is the Lcc: header. This is exactly like the Bcc: header, except that if you type in the name of a distribution list that's in your addressbook into this field, Pine will automatically insert the Full Name of the list into the To: header so that the headers aren't cluttered.

Reply behavior for Lcc: is the same as that for Bcc:

Can I send email from the command-line using Pine without using the composer?

No. Pine was not designed for that. If you want to send email from a cron job or from a shell script, use sendmail or mailx.

If you must use Pine, then Eduardo Chappa has written an unofficial patch for Pine that will allow you to do this. You can pick it up from his page at http://math.washington.edu/~chappa/pine/.

How do I set my Reply-To: header?

In (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig, go to the customized-hdrs option. Add Reply-To: to that field. This will make Reply-To: appear in the headers section every time you compose a message. You can type in the address in that field in your message.

If your Reply-To: address is always the same, you can add it in the customized-hdrs option so that you don't have to type it every time you compose a message. In that case, it should look like this:

customized-hdrs = Reply-To: xyzzy@example.edu

How do I change my From: header?

There are many things that must be done. First of all, Pine must have been compiled with that ability. Due to wide-spread dissent with the default setting, the ability to change the From: header is now the default behavior of Pine.

Then, you should edit your .pinerc and add allow-changing-from under the feature-list = list. Note that this is a hidden feature, and you cannot see it in (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig unless you have the expose-hidden-config option added to your .pinerc or unless you started up Pine with that option temporarily enabled.

Then, in your Pine setup, you should add From: to your customized-hdrs list. That should do it. When you compose, you can write anything you want in the From: header. If you want a default value to appear there, you should specify it in the customized-hdrs list as From: address@example.com.

If the above didn't work, it probably means that your SysAdmin has disabled users' ability to change their From: header.

The UW FAQ entry for this is at http://www.washington.edu/pine/faq/config.html#9.5

You may also want to check out Nancy's Pine page on this issue at http://www.ii.com/internet/messaging/pine/changing_from/

Another much more painless method is described in the Rules, Roles and Filters section.

When I try to reply to message, I get prompted, Reply to all recipients? and it includes my own address. How do I make it exclude my addresses from the reply?

Add your other addresses to the alt-addresses option under (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig.

How do I add a tag-line or .signature to my emails?

In your Pine Setup, set your signature-file to the filename that stores your tag-line. For example,

signature-file = /home/gopi/.signature

This may also be the full path to a program whose standard output you want to read. In that case, you should append a pipe symbol (|) to the filename. Please note that the program cannot take any parameters, nor take any user input. Pine will run the program and capture any output that is sent to Standard Out. My signature entry looks like this:

signature-file = /home/gopi/scripts/sig|

A few notes: If you are posting to a mailing list or to USENET, please make sure that your signature is down to a minimum. The conventional limit is 80 characters wide and 4 lines long.

Also, it is a widely accepted convention to separate your message from your signature using what are called sig-dashes. Pine can automatically add them for you if you set the enable-sig-dashes option. Please make sure that it is set. You should also set the signature-at-bottom option so that your signature appears at the correct place when replying.

For further information on signatures, see my signatures page at http://www.zrox.net/Mail/Signature/.

I have a collection of .sig files in a directory/file. Can Pine use them to generate random signatures?

No. However, because Pine can accept output from a program, you can write a shell- or perl-script to generate the random signature and send it to STDOUT. Pine can use that.

For further information on signatures (including several scripts that do the above, and instructions), see my signatures page at http://www.zrox.net/Mail/Signature/.

Can I use a different set of signatures for certain email than others?

Yes. Look at the section on Roles.

Can I send messages with attachments and save just the message, and not the attachment in my sent-mail folder?

Yes. (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfigure and set the following option:

[X] fcc-without-attachments

With this option selected, when you send a message with attachments, it will default to NOT saving the attachments in your fcc folder (usually sent-mail). On a per-message basis, you can still choose to save the attachments by pressing ^F (Ctrl-F) after you press ^X (Ctrl-X) to send the message.

I don't like the default editor that Pine provides. Can I use a different one like vi or emacs?

Yes. You will have to set the following options:

[X] enable-alternate-editor-cmd

[X] enable-alternate-editor-implicitly

editor = /usr/bin/vi

The first one enables the use of another editor. You can invoke it in the composer by pressing ^_ (Ctrl-_). This will invoke the editor specified in the third option shown. If it is not set, the user will be prompted, and the value of the $EDITOR shell variable will be offerred as a default, if set.

The second one changes the behavior slightly. When the cursor is moved to the Message text area in the composer, it automatically spawns the alternate editor. When you are done in that editor and quit, you will be returned to Pine, and you can press ^X to send the message, or edit the header fields, or go back to the Message text area to edit your message using the alternate editor some more.

You can use any editor you want for the editor= setting. Pine will create a temp file and pass it as the parameter to the command you specify. The editor should write to the same file, and Pine will read it back into the composer as the message body when you quit the alternate editor. Make sure that your editor saves in a format that is acceptible to be sent as an email message body.

I have a dial-up connection to the Internet. Usually, I compose all my messages offline. Can Pine automatically send all my postponed messages when I connect to the Internet?

No. The most popular work-around is to run your own MTA. If you run sendmail on your machine, you can set Pine up to use sendmail instead of using your ISP's SMTP server. Then, you can setup a job that periodically connects to the Internet and sends all of the messages in the queue.

Can Pine authenticate me to my SMTP server before sending mail?

Yes. There are two different methods of authentication used by mail servers. One is called POP before SMTP or IMAP before SMTP which means that you have to authenticate yourself to the mail server by opening a mailbox before you can send mail. To do this, you usually only have to open your INBOX. If you use POP3 and set your POP3 mailbox as an incoming folder, then to automatically open your POP mailbox when you start Pine, set up an initial-keystroke-list in (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig to open the incoming folder.

The second method is true SMTP authentication. To make Pine use that, you need to add the /user= flag to the SMTP server specification in your setup. Specify the username on the SMTP server like so:

smtp-server = smtp.server.invalid/user=xyzzy