SUMMARY: Mailtool and Pipes

From: Clay Luther (
Date: Thu Aug 25 1994 - 00:36:37 CDT

My original question was about how to pipe data from mailtool to another
program (using pipes). I got several replies, one of which actually solved my

From: (Nelson Fernandez)

you can "pipe" a mailfile to the "Print Script:" (press "Edit"/"Properties"/
"Message Window".

This solved my problem rather elegantly. I rewrote the previewfax script to
either 1) display known fax data in the message or 2) print non-fax data on the
printer. Since the faxes we get are always "message-less" this is properly
deterministic. It is also simple, required minimal user participation to
set-up, and works nicely. Thanks.

Several people assumed that the fax-image-mail was actually a sun-enclosure;
for the record, it was nothing more than uuencode text inserted into the
message body without any header fanfare. Mailtool does not recognize the
image data as an enclosure.

Other suggestions included:

Writing a daemon script to watch the named pipe; unfortunately, this is a
modeless operation.

Creating an mail alias that would pipe the data; unfortunately, this does not
guarantee that a DISPLAY can be found.

Modifying the fax data so that it looks like a Sun-Enclosure, then using the
Binder program to Bind *.fax file types to my viewer; unfortunately, I have
NO control over the format of the fax-enclosed messages so this nice option
could not be exploited.

Get procmail; similar problems to the alias solution.

Using .textswrc or .text_extras_menu to add the functionality. This actually
works, but has one (rather immense) drawback -- the user must select the text
he wishes to pipe, an error prone operation and, quite simply, TMMC (too many
mouse clicks). Also, the setup is a little more involved that simply changing
the "Print Script" value.



Clay Luther Quantum Mechanics means
Systems Administrator (214) 578-6189 you can have your cake
Inet, Inc. Plano, Texas and eat it, too.
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