Manual page for XLBIFF(1)
xlbiff - mailbox message previewer for X
[ -option ... ]
program lurks in the background, watching your mailbox file, waiting for
new mail. When mail arrives, it invokes the MH scan(1)
command and pops up a window with the results. Clicking the left mouse
button anywhere in this window makes it go away. The window will also
disappear if iconified or if the mailbox size drops to zero.
accepts all of the standard X Toolkit command line options along with the
additional options listed below:
This option indicates that a brief summary of the allowed options should be
printed on standard output.
This option tells
to realize/unrealize() the output window instead of using XtPopup/down().
This has the effect of causing the window manager to reposition the window
each time it pops up, and is useful for when you specify negative Y
coordinates, ie, at the bottom of the screen. Running
in this situation without -bottom would cause new lines to run off the
bottom edge of the screen.
Opposite of -bottom.
- -file filename
This option specifies the name of the file which should be monitored. By
default, it watches /usr/spool/mail/username, where username
is your login name.
- -rows height
This option specifies the maximum height, in lines of text, of the
window. The default is 20.
- -columns width
This option specifies the maximum width, in characters, of the
window. The default is 80.
If this option is set,
will reset the screen saver when new mail comes in. This is useful if
you're doing something near your workstation but not on it.
Opposite of -resetSaver.
- -update seconds
This option specifies the frequency in seconds at which
should update its display. The default is 15 seconds.
- -fade seconds
Number of seconds to wait before popping window back down. This option
can be used to monitor events of non-lasting importance, such as syslog
or UUCP queues. The default value of 0 disables the
- -led ledNum
This option specifies a keyboard LED to light up when there is mail waiting
in the file. The default is zero (do not light a LED).
This option indicates that the LED should be turned off when xlbiff is
popped down. Ordinarily the LED stays lit to remind one of awaiting mail.
This option has no effect if the -led option is disabled.
Opposite of -ledPopdown.
- -refresh seconds
This option specifies the number of seconds to wait before re-posting the
mail window after you acknowledge it, and it still contains the same mail.
The default is 0 (no refresh). A useful value for this is 1800 (30 minutes).
- -mailerCommand command
Specifies the command to invoke when the the mailer() action is activated,
eg, "xterm -e elm" or "inc". By default this is bound to the second
Invoking this action will pop down the main window. When the command exits,
it will pop up again. Due to mailbox consistency considerations, the
mailerCommand should not exit before it is finished with the mailbox, i.e.
it should not be run in the background.
There is no default
- -scanCommand command
Specifies a shell command to be executed to list the contents of mailbox
file. The specified string value is used as the
argument to a system(3) call and may therefore contain i/o redirection.
The command's stdout is used to generate the window.
Internally, the command is generated as
sprintf(buf, scanCommand, file, columns)
so a %s and %d respectively in scanCommand will generate the values
of file and columns. The default
scan -file %s -width %d
- -checkCommand command
Specifies a shell command to be executed to check for new mail (or some
other condition) rather than simply examining the size of the mail file.
The specified string value is used as the argument to a popen(3)
call, and the output generated is important. Like
an exit status of 0 indicates that a change in condition demands a new
evaluation of scanCommand and subsequent popup, 1 indicates no change
in status, and 2 indicates that the condition has been cleared and the
window should pop down. By default, no shell command is provided.
This option may be useful to monitor logins (by checking update times
of /etc/utmp), when using POP or other custom maildrop mechanisms, and
Similarly to scanCommand, the checkCommand is generated internally as
sprintf(buf, checkCommand, file, previous)
is the numeric value output by the last time checkCommand was run, or
zero the first time. This is useful for allowing the checkCommand to
maintain state in a primitive fashion. For instance, a checkCommand
compare_size %s %d
would "do the right thing" if
were a script such as:
NEWSIZE=`wc -c <$1`
if [ $NEWSIZE -ne $2 ]; then
if [ $NEWSIZE -eq 0 ]; then
The author of
uses this facility to keep track of several maildrops with one command.
- -volume percentage
This option specifies how loud the bell should be rung when new mail comes in.
The following standard X Toolkit command line arguments are commonly used with
- -display display
This option specifies the X server to contact.
- -geometry +x+y
This option specifies the preferred position of the scan window.
- -bg color
This option specifies the color to use for the background of the window.
- -fg color
This option specifies the color to use for the foreground of the window.
- -xrm resourcestring
This option specifies a resource string to be used. This is especially
useful for setting resources that do not have separate command line options.
The application class name is XLbiff.
It understands all of the core resource names and classes as well as:
- bottom (class Bottom)
Same as the -bottom option.
- file (class File)
Same as the -file option.
- mailerCommand (class MailerCommand)
Same as the -mailerCommand option.
- scanCommand (class ScanCommand)
Same as the -scanCommand option.
- checkCommand (class CheckCommand)
Same as the -checkCommand option.
- resetSaver (class ResetSaver)
Same as the -resetSaver option.
- update (class Interval)
Same as the -update option.
- fade (class Fade)
Same as the -fade option.
- columns (class Columns)
Same as the -columns option.
- rows (class Rows)
Specifies the maximum height, in lines, of the
window. The default is 20.
- led (class Led)
Same as the -led option.
- ledPopdown (class LedPopdown)
Same as the -ledPopdown option.
- refresh (class Refresh)
Same as the -refresh option.
- sound (class Sound)
Specify a command to be run in place of a bell when new mail arrives.
For example, on a Sun Sparc you might use:
*sound: /usr/demo/SOUND/play -v %d /usr/demo/SOUND/sounds/doorbell.au
The command is generated internally with
so the characters ``%d'' will be replaced with the numeric value of the
- volume (class Volume)
Same as the -volume option.
provides the following actions for use in event translations:
This action causes the window to vanish.
This action causes
The default translations are
is used to get the default host and display number.
default mail file to check.
specifying dimensions in -geometry causes badness.
The led option does not work on Suns before SunOS 4.1/X11R5.
Ed Santiago, email@example.com
took shape around the xgoodbye sample program
in the O'Reilly X Toolkit Intrinsics Programming Manual. A lot of
code was stolen from xbiff, including this man page. Thanks also
to Stephen Gildea (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the many, many
contributions that made
grow from a midnight hack to a more mature product.
Created by unroff & hp-tools.
© by Hans-Peter Bischof. All Rights Reserved (1997).
Last modified 21/April/97