"PG" == Philip Guenther <guenther(_at_)gac(_dot_)edu> writes:
PG> Wayne Stewart <wstewart(_at_)altaserv(_dot_)net> writes:
>> My reading of the formail man page leads me to believe that I can
>> produce a standard mailbox file from an emacs RMAIL (Babyl) file
>> using a command line like:
>> formail -Bds < RMAIL > mbox.emacs
>> The emacs 'rmail' package also has a function called 'unrmail'
>> which converts an RMAIL file into mailbox format. When I compare
>> what I obtain from 'unrmail' with the output of the above
>> 'formail' command, the two outputs are very different. The
>> output of emacs 'unrmail' definitely appears to be more correct.
>> For example, the formail output begins with:
>> From foo(_at_)bar Tue Jul 10 17:51:09 2001
>> Summary-line: ...
>> but the email address "foo(_at_)bar" does not occur in the RMAIL input
PG> The foo(_at_)bar is a standard sign from formail. To quote the
PG> second paragraph of the formail(1) manpage:
PG> If formail is supposed to determine the sender of the
PG> mail, but is unable to find any, it will substitute `foo(_at_)bar'.
>> If you're wondering why I don't just use 'unrmail', I want to use
>> formail to do more sophisticated processing of my RMAIL mailbox
>> ('unrmail' *only* converts the entire RMAIL file to inbox
>> format). However, first I would like to be assured that formail
>> is robust and reliable when processing emacs RMAIL/Babyl files.
PG> I would call formail consistent, but not robust, in its
PG> conversion of BABYL format files. I suspect it was originally
PG> added purely to help people converting from RMAIL to other
PG> packages, but I can't be sure. RMAIL's own unrmail function
PG> will be more robust and complete, but that's the because it was
PG> written by the RMAIL people themselves.
PG> While it wouldn't be as efficient, would it sufficient your
PG> purposes to invoke unrmail as a batch command, using "emacs
PG> -batch -f...." and then postprocess the resulting file using
PG> formail and other tools? If not, then hacking unrmail (how good
PG> are you with elisp?) may be your best bet.
PG> Philip Guenther
Thanks for the response, Philip. I'm a procmail/formail newbie, so I
just wanted to make sure that it wasn't pilot error on my part. I
gather the '-B' functionality of 'formail' isn't quite "all there",
and it doesn't sound like there are many people trying to use it in
I wouldn't exactly call formail "consistent", though, in its handling
of BABYL files. The RMAIL file I was attempting to split has 136
messages. Egrep of the output of 'unrmail' finds 136 lines with the
pattern '^From '. The same egrep of the output of formail finds 142
lines matching that pattern, 10 of which contain the address
Thanks again for the help.
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