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6. Configuration variables

The following variables can be set using the set configuration command:

6.1 abort_unmodified_edits

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, slrn aborts posting or email operations if the user did not modify the article.

See also: editor_command, post_editor_command, mail_editor_command

6.2 art_help_line

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This string is displayed in the bottom line while you are reading an article. It is intended as a quick help when you cannot remember what key to press ;-) If unset, the following line is used (localized):

SPC:Pgdn  B:PgUp  u:Un-Mark-as-Read  f:Followup  n:Next  p:Prev  q:Quit

See also: group_help_line, header_help_line

6.3 art_status_line

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable can be used to customize the status line of the article pager. It accepts all % escapes that work for header_display_format plus the ones listed here:

        H  Prints `H' unless headers are hidden
        I  Prints `P' unless PGP signatures are hidden
        L  Current line (e.g. "1/18")
        P  Percentage of the way through the article
        Q  Prints `Q' unless quotes are hidden
        T  Prints `S' unless signatures are hidden
        V  Prints `V' unless verbatim text is hidden
        W  Prints `W' if wrapping is enabled
        p  Prints `<' if the window is panned (scrolled horizontally)
        v  Prints `v' unless verbatim marks are hidden

When unset, slrn uses "%p%n : %s %-20g -- %L (%P)" (localized).

See also: group_status_line, header_status_line, top_status_line

6.4 auto_mark_article_as_read

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, every article you open will automatically be marked as read.

6.5 beep

Type: integer
Default: 1

This variable controls how slrn tries to get your attention.

        0  do not beep
        1  send audible bell
        2  send visible bell
        3  send both visible and audible bell

6.6 broken_xref

Type: integer
Default: 0

When you set this variable to a non-zero value, slrn requests articles by Message-ID instead of header number. This provides support for servers with broken "Xref:" headers and should otherwise be left untouched.

6.7 cansecret_file

Type: string
Default: (unset)

If you want slrn to put cancel-locks into the articles you post, set this variable to a file that contains the secret (the password, which you can chose arbitrarily) you want to use to generate them.

Cancel-locks are a way of making sure that nobody else but you can cancel or supersede your articles (as long as he does not have your password, so keep it to yourself). Please note that this feature needs to be enabled at compile time (it requires the additional library canlock) and that cancel locks only have an effect if the server supports them.

6.8 cc_followup

Type: integer
Default: 1

This variable controls whether slrn sends email copies ("courtesy copies") of followups:

        0  Never send email copies automatically
        1  Prompt if original poster requested a copy
        2  Send email copy if original poster requested it
        3  Always prompt
        4  Send copy if poster requested it; prompt otherwise

The original poster can indicate that he wishes to receive an email copy by adding an "(X-)Mail-Copies-To:" header line to his posting. If it contains the keyword "nobody" ("never" is not covered by current drafts, but also accepted), the poster does not want any email copies. slrn will not prompt you in that case.

When using settings three or four, please keep in mind that many people on usenet consider "courtesy copies" to be impolite because they do not want to read the same message both in their private email and in a newsgroup.

See Also: cc_post_string

6.9 cc_post_string

Type: string
Default: "[This message has also been posted to %n.]" (localized)

This string will be included in the mail copies of any article you send. However, it won't be displayed in the editor and will not be included in the posting sent to the newsgroup.

The variable may contain the sequence %n, which will be replaced by the newsgroup(s) the article was posted to. If you need a "verbatim" % character, use %%.

Note: cc_followup_string used to support all % sequences defined by followup_string. This has been changed, as it could lead to wrong data getting inserted in some cases. If you miss a special sequence, please report it as a feature request.

See Also: cc_followup

6.10 charset

This variable is obsolete, use charset instead.

6.11 check_new_groups

Type: integer
Default: 1

If you do not want to check for new groups on startup and when doing a group refresh (by default bound to `G'), you can set this variable to 0. This has the same effect as using the command-line parameter -n.

6.12 color_by_score

Type: integer
Default: 3

Determines whether or not color should be used to indicate the score of an article. The following settings are possible:

        0  scores do not influence colors
        1  scores are colored by their value
        2  subjects are colored by score
        3  both scores and subjects are colored by score

If this feature is enabled, slrn uses the color objects neg_score, pos_score and high_score when printing the score / subject of articles with a non-zero score value.

6.13 confirm_actions

Type: integer
Default: 31

This variable decides in which situations slrn will ask you to confirm an action. It has a bitmapped value which can be the sum of any combination of the following numbers:

        1   Confirm marking groups as read or un-read.
        2   Confirm printing an article.
        4   Confirm posts, followups, replies and supersedes.
        8   Confirm leaving a group by following a news: URL.
        16  Confirm quitting slrn.

Thus, the default means that the user is always asked for confirmation.

6.14 custom_headers

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Use this variable to create additional header lines when posting to a newsgroup. Note that they will only be added to articles you wrote using post (by default bound to `P'). If you want to have additional headers in followups, you need to set them in followup_custom_headers instead; headers in supersedes are set with supersedes_custom_headers. The header lines you add this way will also show up in your editor so you can modify them.

Although this variable currently does not support any % escapes, you need to double any % signs you may want to use inside it. This is because all other *_custom_headers variables do support % escapes and people who used the same values (mostly X-Faces) in all cases frequently were surprised at the different results.

Note: It is generally not possible to override existing headers using custom_headers. An exception to this rule is the "Message-ID:" header line which can optionally be set by using this variable. However, there is usually no need to do this as slrn has an excellent algorithm for creating Message-IDs itself. Let me repeat this: Only override the "Message-ID:" header if you know exactly what you are doing. When doing this, it's essential that you know (and, of course, follow) the RFCs and the rules of your ISP.

Example:

        set custom_headers "X-URL: http://foo.com\nX-No-Archive: yes"

See also: reply_custom_headers

6.15 custom_sort_by_threads

Type: integer
Default: 0

If sorting_method is set to 12 (custom sorting), this variable is used to decide whether or not to thread headers. In this case, any non-zero value activates threading.

See also: custom_sort_order

6.16 custom_sort_order

Type: string
Default: (unset)

If custom sorting is enabled by setting sorting_method to 12, this variable defines the sort order you want to use. It is a comma-separated list of the following keywords:

        author     Sort alphabetically (A-z) by realname
        body       Sort articles without body first (true offline mode)
        date       Sort by date, oldest first
        highscore  Sort high scoring articles, those without high scores first
        id         Sort alphabetically (A-z) by Message-ID
        lines      Sort by number of article lines, lowest number first
        number     Sort by server number, lowest first
        score      Sort by score, lower numbers first
        subject    Sort alphabetically (a-z) by subject, ignoring case

As you can see, all keywords use an ascending sort order by default. You can however capitalize each keyword to reverse its order (i.e. Highscore would sort high scoring articles first, which is usually what you expect).

When comparing two articles, slrn steps through this list, starting with the first keyword, until it finds an entry for which the articles differ.

You may want to use different criteria for sorting initial articles of threads than for "siblings" inside of threads. This is possible by using the delimiter '|': The comma-separated list before this delimiter is applied when sorting initial articles in threads; the string after the delimiter specifies the sort order to be used inside threads. For example, if you want to see high scoring and recent threads first, but sort the messages within the thread from oldest to newest, you could set custom_sort_order to Highscore,Date|date.

There is no performance penalty when using custom sorting. Actually, the other sorting methods are merely there for convenience and use the same algorithm internally. As an example, here is a list of those settings for custom_sort_order that are equivalent to the sorting methods:

        0 and  1  ""
        2 and  3  "Highscore,subject"
        4 and  5  "Score"
        6 and  7  "Score,subject"
        8 and  9  "Highscore,Date"
        0 and 11  "Highscore,date"

6.17 decode_directory

Type: string
Default: (unset)

The directory where uuencoded files, shar archives and things like that are placed after decoding. This variable has no effect if slrn is built without support for decoding articles (i.e. if SLRN_HAS_DECODE in slrnfeat.h is disabled at compile time; default on VMS). If decode_directory is unset, save_directory is used.

6.18 display_cursor_bar

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, the "cursor" will be displayed as a horizontal bar across the screen rather than an arrow ("->") in the first column.

6.19 drop_bogus_groups

Type: integer
Default: 1

When a group is removed from the server, slrn will automatically drop it from your newsrc file, which is generally what you want to do in this situation. However, some broken servers make groups appear as if they were removed, requiring their users to re-subscribe manually when they become available again. If your server is affected, you can set this variable to zero.

6.20 editor_command

Type: string
Default: (unset)

The value of this variable is used as a shell command to start your favourite editor. However, slrn will prefer the more specific variables - there is one for each case in which an editor is needed:

Posting an article or a followup:

slrn uses post_editor_command

Replying by mail:

slrn uses mail_editor_command

Editing a score file:

slrn uses score_editor_command

editor_command is a kind of fall-back if the more specific editor command is not set. If editor_command is empty, slrn looks at $SLRN_EDITOR et al.

The following % escapes can be used:

        %s  name of the file to edit
        %d  number of the first line of the message body

If no escapes are found, the filename is simply appended to the specified command.

Example:

        set editor_command "jed '%s' -g %d -tmp"

See also: charset editor

6.21 editor_uses_mime_charset

This variable is obsolete, use charset instead.

6.22 emphasized_text_mask

Type: integer
Default: 1

This variable controls what parts of an article should be scanned for emphasized text (like *this*, _this_ or /that/), which will then be processed according to the value of emphasized_text_mode. It has a bitmapped value which can be the sum of any combination of the following numbers:

        1  scan message portion (the non-quoted, non-signature part)
        2  scan quoted text
        4  scan signature
        8  scan header lines

For example, if you wanted slrn to look for emphasized text in both the message and the quoted portions, you would set this variable to 3 (1+2).

6.23 emphasized_text_mode

Type: integer
Default: 3

This variable controls how slrn displays text that has been recognized as emphasized. If it is non-zero, the text will be highlighted according to the color objects boldtext, italicstext and underlinetext. Additionally, there are two values which have special meanings: If set to 1, the characters which were used for emphasis (`*', `/' and `_', respectively) are not printed on the screen; if set to 2, these characters are written as spaces. In all other cases (including the default value), they will not be changed.

See also: emphasized_text_mask

6.24 failed_posts_file

Type: string
Default: (unset)

If posting failed for some reason, your article will be saved to the file specified by failed_posts_file.

It this variable is unset, it defaults to the value of SLRN_FAILED_POST_FILE in slrnfeat.h, typically either "slrn-failed-post.txt" (UNIX and VMS) or "failpost.txt" (OS/2 and Windows).

See also: save_posts

6.25 fallback_charset

Type: string
Default: iso-8859-1

Violating RFC recommendations, some broken newsreaders post unencoded 8 bit characters in the headers or post non us-ascii characters in the body with a missing "Content-Type:" declaration. Setting this variable will help slrn to guess the correct encoding of the posting.

Hint: It might be a good idea to set this variable to "Windows-1252" if you read Western or to "iso-8859-2" if you read Eastern European newgroups.

Note: There is no need to set this variable to "utf-8"; slrn will always try "utf-8" first.

6.26 fold_headers

This variable is obsolete.

6.27 followup_custom_headers

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Use this variable to create additional headers when posting a followup. You can use all % escapes that are defined in followup_string. The headers you add this way will also show up in your editor and can be modified.

Note: It is generally not possible to override existing headers using followup_custom_headers. See note at custom_headers for details.

See also: reply_custom_headers, supersedes_custom_headers

6.28 followup_date_format

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable defines the format string for the "%D" specifier in followup_string. Its syntax is identical to the one of strftime(3).

If unset, slrn uses %Y-%m-%d (localized).

See also: use_localtime

6.29 followup_string

Type: string
Default: "On %D, %r <%f> wrote:" (localized)

Each followup you write will automatically be prefixed by the value of followup_string. The following % sequences are recognized and replaced with the corresponding text that is extracted from the article you are answering:

        %s  Subject
        %m  Message-ID
        %r  Real name
        %R  Real name up to the first space (first name)
        %f  Email address
        %n  Current newsgroup
        %d  Date
        %D  Date (as defined by followup_date_format)
        %%  %

Note: It is common practice to have at least the name of the person you are quoting in your followup_string.

See also: followup_date_format, reply_string

6.30 followup_strip_signature

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, the signature is stripped automatically from the article you are answering when writing followups or replies. This is considered good netiquette whenever you do not want to refer to the signature in your reply.

See also: ignore_signature, hide_signature, strip_sig_regexp

6.31 followupto_string

Type: string
Default: "["Followup-To:" header set to %n.]" (localized)

When you write a followup to a crossposting, slrn will ask you whether you want to set a "Followup-To:" header line (which is good netiquette in many cases). If you tell slrn to include the header at that point, it will also insert followupto_string as the first line of the body of your article to inform your readers about this.

In this variable, you can use the same percent escapes as in followup_string.

6.32 force_authentication

Type: integer
Default: 1

If this variable is set to ``0'', slrn sends authentication data only if the server requests it. Although this conforms to RFC 2980, in practice you need to volunteer authentication to some servers, so the default setting is ``1'' whenever a username and password are specified with the nnrpaccess command. Usually, changing this setting from the default will produce undesirable results, such as being able to read but not post, or seeing only a limited number of newsgroups.

Note: If you need to set this variable on a per-server basis, use a startup_hook():

Example:


        define startup_hook()
          {
            !if (strcmp (server_name(), "send-no-password.com"))
               set_integer_variable("force_authentication", 0);
          }

See also: nnrpaccess

6.33 generate_date_header

Type: integer
Default: 0

Usually, the generation of "Date:" header lines can be left to the server. If it does not do this correctly, please complain to its administrator, as a working system clock is essential for a news server.

That being said, you can still have slrn generate that header line itself by changing this variable; you might want to use this to make postings sent via slrnpull reflect the time they were written. However, please note that this might lead to articles being rejected if your system clock does not work correctly or an outgoing post was left in the queue for a long time.

6.34 generate_email_from

Type: integer
Default: (system dependent)

If non-zero, a "From:" header line is generated when sending email. On Unix systems, this is usually not necessary, because the MTA will do the job for you and might even be configured to reject messages that already have a "From:" header.

This variable defaults to 0, except on Windows and OS/2, where this feature is turned on by default. Its value cannot be changed when SLRN_HAS_STRICT_FROM was enabled at compile time (default is off).

6.35 generate_message_id

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, slrn creates its own "Message-ID:" header lines (consisting of the string "slrn", time, process id, user- and hostname) when posting. Setting this variable has no effect if creation of Message-IDs has been disabled at compile time.

Note: Although creating your own Message-IDs has a lot of advantages, you should only allow slrn to do so if the hostname of the machine it is running on is a FQDN (fully qualified domain name) or you can provide a unique hostname. Otherwise, you cannot guarantee that your Message-IDs are unique and should leave the job to your news server. Also consider turning on use_recommended_msg_id.

See also: posting_host, username

6.36 group_help_line

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This string is displayed in the bottom line of the group menu. It is intended as a quick help. If unset, the following line is used (localized):

SPC:Select  p:Post  c:CatchUp  l:List  q:Quit  ^R:Redraw (u)s:(Un)Subscribe

See also: art_help_line, header_help_line

6.37 group_status_line

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable affects the status line in group mode. It accepts all % escapes that are defined for group_display_format plus the following ones:

        D  Prints `*' if newsrc file needs saving, `-' otherwise
        L  Current line (e.g. "1/34")
        P  Percentage of the way through the group window
        s  Name of the current server

When unset, slrn takes -%D-News Groups: %s %-20g -- %L (%P) (localized) as the default.

See also: art_status_line, header_status_line, top_status_line

6.38 grouplens_host

Type: string
Default: (unset)

If you intend to use GroupLens, this variable has to contain the name of the server that carries the GroupLens scores.

This variable does not have an effect if GroupLens support is disabled; see use_grouplens for details.

See also: grouplens_port, grouplens_pseudoname

6.39 grouplens_port

Type: integer
Default: 0

This variable contains the port you want slrn to use when connecting to grouplens_host.

See also: grouplens_pseudoname, use_grouplens

6.40 grouplens_pseudoname

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable is for your registered GroupLens pseudoname.

See also: grouplens_host, grouplens_port, use_grouplens

6.41 header_help_line

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This string is displayed in the bottom line in article mode when no article is shown (e.g. while you are just browsing through the headers). If unset, the following line is used (localized):

SPC:Select  Ctrl-D:PgDn  Ctrl-U:PgUp  d:Mark-as-Read  n:Next  p:Prev  q:Quit

See also: art_help_line, group_help_line

6.42 header_status_line

Type: string
Default: (unset)

You can use this variable to customize the status line of the header window. Here is a list of valid % escapes:

        L  Current line (e.g. "1/74")
        P  Percentage of the way through the header list
        T  Number of articles in the current subthread
        h  Number of high scoring articles in the group
        k  Number of articles killed by the scorefile
        l  Number of low scoring articles
        n  Name of the current group
        p  Prints `<' if the window is panned (scrolled horizontally)
        r  Number of read articles in the group
        t  Total number of articles in the group
        u  Number of unread articles in the group

The special descriptors "%g" and "%?" work like in header_display_format.

When unset, the default is (the localized form of) "%p[%u/%t unread] Group: %n%-20g -- %L (%P)".

See also: art_status_line, group_status_line, top_status_line

6.43 hide_pgpsignature

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, PGP signatures in articles will not be displayed. The setting of this variable can be changed using toggle_pgpsignature (default binding: `]') while slrn is running.

See also: hide_signature

6.44 hide_quotes

Type: integer
Default: 0

This variable can be used to hide quoted text. If it is non-zero, quoted text from the nth level on is hidden in the article pager (where n is the value of hide_quotes).

To toggle the value at runtime, you can use the toggle_quotes command.

6.45 hide_signature

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, signatures in articles (as defined by strip_sig_regexp) will not be displayed. The setting of this variable can be changed using toggle_signature (default binding: `\') while slrn is running.

See also: followup_strip_signature, hide_pgpsignature, ignore_signature

6.46 hide_verbatim_marks

Type: integer
Default: 0

If process_verbatim_marks is turned on, you can hide "verbatim marks" (#v+ and #v-) in the article body by setting this variable to a non-zero value. It can also be changed using toggle_verbatim_marks while slrn is running.

6.47 hide_verbatim_text

Type: integer
Default: 0

If process_verbatim_marks is turned on, you can hide text marked as "verbatim" by setting this variable to a non-zero value. It can also be changed using toggle_verbatim_text while slrn is running.

See also: hide_verbatim_marks

6.48 highlight_unread_subjects

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, the subjects of unread articles are highlighted. There are two possible ways of doing this:

When set to one, unread subjects are printed bright (when using colors) or bold (in monochrome mode). This will obviously not have any visible effect if the subject is printed bold or in a bright color anyways. Besides that, the special color "default" does not have a bright version.

When set to two, unread subjects are printed in the color you set with unread_subject. In this case, only subjects of unread articles can be colored by score.

6.49 highlight_urls

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, URLs are highlighted in the article pager using the url color object. This affects all portions of the message that are scanned for emphasized text.

Note: When mouse reporting is enabled, highlighted URLs are also "clickable"; if you use the left or right mouse key, slrn will prompt you for changes to the URL before launching the browser.

See also: emphasized_text_mask, mouse

6.50 hostname

Type: string
Default: (unset)

hostname is used as the domain part of the email address slrn puts in your "From:" header, so it should be set to just that. This may or may not be the hostname of the machine slrn is running on, depending on whether you have an email account on that machine and whether you want to use it for your usenet postings.

Please see the entry $HOSTNAME for a discussion of slrn's default behaviour if this variable is unset.

Note: In each case, slrn either uses the information you set in posting_host or returned by gethostbyname(3) to generate its Message-IDs, so their domain part is not influenced by the value of this variable.

See also: realname, username

6.51 ignore_signature

Type: integer
Default: 0

If you use article_page_down (default binding: space) to read an article "page by page", you might find it annoying if the last page contains nothing but the author's signature. If you set this variable to a non-zero value, slrn will not scroll down in those cases, but immediately goes to the next article instead.

See also: hide_signature, strip_sig_regexp

6.52 inews_program

Type: string
Default: (compile time setting)

To post your articles, you can use an external program (usually inews(1)) instead of the builtin NNTP routines slrn offers (see post_object for details). In this case, inews_program can be used to specify the command you want slrn to pipe outgoing articles to.

Note: This variable will not work if SLRN_HAS_USER_INEWS in slrnfeat.h was disabled at compile time. Obviously, it also has no effect if inews support is not compiled in.

6.53 kill_score

Type: integer
Default: -9999

When the score of an article is equal or less than kill_score points, it will be killed. This means that it will not be displayed in article mode at all, so you won't be bothered with it.

See also: max_low_score, min_high_score

6.54 lines_per_update

Type: integer
Default: 50

When entering a group or reading an article, slrn displays a "percentage meter" in the bottom line, telling the user how many articles (or lines) have already been read. This variable controls how often this message is updated (default is to update it every 50 read articles / lines). You may want to change this value, depending on the speed of your server connection and of your display.

Note: If you set this variable to less than 5, slrn will ignore it and use the default of 50 instead (or 20, when reading short articles that contain less than 200 lines).

6.55 macro_directory

Type: string
Default: (compile time setting)

This variable specifies (in a comma separated list) paths to additional directories where you wish to keep your S-Lang macros. These paths may be absolute (beginning with "/") or relative to $HOME (or $SLRNHOME if set), and tell slrn where to look when loading macros with the interpret command.

In Unix, the configure script automatically sets the default of this variable to the directory where the macros that come with slrn are installed. If it was called without any parameters, this is /usr/local/share/slrn/slang. If a macro does not exist in a path listed in macro_directory, slrn will first try to find it in $HOME (or $SLRNHOME), then in the compile-time default directory.

Example:

        interpret "News/macros/my-macro.sl"
        interpret "/usr/share/slrn/slang/util.sl"
can be replaced with
        set macro_directory "News/macros,/usr/share/slrn/slang"
        interpret "my-macro.sl"
        interpret "util.sl"

6.56 mail_editor_command

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable is interpreted as a shell command which will be used to invoke your editor of choice when you want to reply by email. If it is unset, slrn will use the editor defined by editor_command.

Note: The variable may contain % escapes. A list of them can be found in the section on editor_command.

See also: post_editor_command, score_editor_command

6.57 mail_editor_is_mua

Type: integer
Default: 0

Set this variable if your mail_editor_command is a Mail User Agent, i.e. sends the email itself. This makes sure it does not get sent twice (both by your MUA and slrn).

Example (using mutt as an external mailer):

        set mail_editor_command "mutt -H '%s'"
        set mail_editor_is_mua 1

6.58 max_low_score

Type: integer
Default: 0

Articles with a score lower than max_low_score will automatically be marked as read and receive the "HEADER_LOW_SCORE" header flag. However, they are still displayed in the header overview.

See also: kill_score, min_high_score

6.59 max_queued_groups

Type: integer
Default: 20

To reduce startup time, slrn sends the initial GROUP commands needed to find the number of unread messages in each group in batches (by default, 20 at a time). However, there are (few) servers which do not seem to like this - in those cases, slrn hangs at startup. If you experience this, try setting max_queued_groups to 1.

Note: If you set this variable to 0 (or lower), it will switch back to 1 automatically.

6.60 metamail_command

Type: string
Default: (unset)

When you select an article which uses a MIME content type or encoding not supported by slrn, an external program can be launched to view it. This variable contains the name of the program which will be used in those cases. slrn will write the article to a temporary file, so the command used here has to accept a filename as its argument.

If this variable is unset, slrn will try to invoke metamail. Setting this variable has no effect if MIME support has not been compiled in.

See also: use_metamail

6.61 mime_charset

This variable is obsolete, use charset instead.

6.62 min_high_score

Type: integer
Default: 1

Articles with a score of at least min_high_score points are marked as "high" (the "HEADER_HIGH_SCORE" header flag is set; this is indicated in header overview by an exclamation mark). Articles with "high" scores are displayed first in sorting modes 2-11 and you will be able to jump to the next "high scoring" article using next_high_score (default binding: `!').

See also: kill_score, max_low_score, sorting_method

6.63 mouse

Type: integer
Default: 0

If this variable is non-zero and you run slrn inside an xterm compatible X terminal emulation program, some basic mouse support will be activated. The following table lists what you can do with the mouse:

In group mode:

        Object              Button  Action
        ---------------------------------------
        Top Status line     any     specified by button label
        Group Name          any     select group
        Bottom Status line  middle  toggle display of unread groups
        Bottom Status line  left    page-down
        Bottom Status line  right   page-up

In article mode:

        Object                 Button      Action
        ---------------------------------------------
        Top status line        any         specified by button label

        Header status line     left        header page down
                               right       header page up
                               middle      hide article window

        Article status line    left        next unread
                               right       previous unread
                               middle      toggle quotes

        Header item            any         select item

        Article window         left        article page down
                               right       article page up
                               middle      hide article window
        URL in article window  left/right  confirm and browse URL
                               middle      browse URL

Note: Setting this variable to -1 will always activate mouse support, even if it does not work (and is therefore useless) on the current terminal.

6.64 netiquette_warnings

Type: integer
Default: 1

When non-zero, slrn will warn you if your posting does not conform to some generally accepted netiquette guidelines. You can still force the posting, so it's probably a good idea to keep this turned on to make sure that you do not violate these rules without noticing it.

Note: Currently, this feature warns you when crossposting to more than four groups or without setting a "Followup-To:", or if the "Followup-To:" header line contains multiple groups. Additionally, you are notified if your signature has more than four lines.

See also: reject_long_lines

6.65 new_subject_breaks_threads

Type: integer
Default: 0

In large threads, the tree built by looking at the "References:" can become quite complex and sometimes confusing. Thus, some people prefer to see a separate thread tree whenever the "Subject:" header line changes. Set this variable to 1 if you want this (more, but smaller trees).

By default, slrn puts articles with identical subjects into the same thread, even if they are not linked by a "References:" header. If you want slrn to thread based on references only, set this variable to 2 (also gives you more, but smaller trees). If you want to enable both of these features, use 3 as the value.

Note: Before comparing subjects, a leading "Re: " and a trailing "(was: ...)" is cut off. However, the regular expressions in strip_re_regexp and strip_was_regexp are not used.

6.66 no_autosave

Type: integer
Default: 0

By default, slrn creates an autosave copy of your newsrc file (ending in ".as") whenever you leave a group. Thus, you won't lose (much) data if slrn (or the system it runs on) should go down hard.

If you set this variable to 1, this feature is turned off. If you set it to 2, slrn will autosave to the newsrc file itself (not to a temporary file).

See also: no_backups

6.67 no_backups

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, no backups of the newsrc file are created.

See also: no_autosave

6.68 non_Xbrowser

Type: string
Default: (unset)

The command in this variable will be used to start a text mode web browser when browse_url (default binding: `U') is called. slrn will chose the text mode web browser if $DISPLAY is unset or no command could be found in Xbrowser.

6.69 organization

Type: string
Default: (compile time setting)

Using this variable, you can set the "Organization:" header line to an arbitrary string. A discussion on how slrn obtains the default value can be found in the entry on $ORGANIZATION.

6.70 overview_date_format

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable defines the format string for the "%D" specifier in header_display_format. Its syntax is identical to the one of strftime(3).

If unset, slrn uses "%d %b %y %H:%M".

See also: use_localtime

6.71 post_editor_command

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable is interpreted as a shell command which will be used to invoke your editor of choice when you edit a new posting or write a followup. If it is unset, slrn will use the editor defined by editor_command.

Note: The variable may contain % escapes. You will find a list of them in the section on editor_command.

See also: mail_editor_command, score_editor_command

6.72 post_object

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Controls the method slrn uses to post articles. It can be one of "nntp" (use builtin NNTP support), "inews" (pipe article to an external program) or "slrnpull" (spool messages for slrnpull to send). If the variable is unset, the default depends on the compile time setting of SLRN_DEFAULT_POST_OBJ in slrnfeat.h.

See also: server_object, use_slrnpull

6.73 postpone_directory

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Directory where articles you want to postpone are saved. If this variable is unset, slrn will try to use "News/postponed" for this purpose.

6.74 prefer_head

Type: integer
Default: 0

This variable affects "expensive scoring": If available, slrn uses the XOVER and XHDR extensions to retrieve only the needed header lines; otherwise, the HEAD NNTP command is used to get all headers. Although this notably increases network traffic, it might be faster, depending on your connection and the number of "expensive" headers you score on. In this case, you can set this variable and slrn will prefer HEAD over XOVER / XHDR.

When set to 2, slrn never tries to use XOVER. This is only useful for servers with broken XOVER implementations.

6.75 printer_name

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable can be used to customize the print function. Its meaning and the default action depend on the operating system:

On Unix systems, it can contain a command to which slrn will pipe the article you want to print. For example, you would set it to "my_print_filter | lpr -Pmy_printer" if you want the article to be processed by my_print_filter and then printed on "my_printer". If unset, the default action is to use lpr with the value of $PRINTER as the -P option.

On Windows98, you can set this variable to the name of the print queue you want to use. Here, the default is to use the setting in "win.ini".

On Windows XP, you have to share your attached printer and assign a "share name". The printer_name string has to be set to this "share name".

print is not yet implemented for VMS.

6.76 process_verbatim_marks

Type: integer
Default: 1

If this variable is set to a non-zero value, slrn will interpret text enclosed by "#v+" and "#v-" (on a line of their own) as "verbatim". Verbatim text will be displayed according to the color object verbatim; emphasized text it might contain will not be highlighted. This is especially useful when dealing with source code.

Note: slrn is currently the only program that interprets these verbatim marks. This is due to the lack of a standard that would describe a way to mark text as "verbatim" in usenet articles.

See also: emphasized_text_mask, emphasized_text_mode, hide_verbatim_marks

6.77 query_next_article

Type: integer
Default: 1

When you use article_page_down (default binding: space) while you are already at the end of an article, slrn moves to the next unread article. If this variable is set to 0, this will happen automatically; if it is 1, you will be asked to confirm that you want to select the new article.

See also: query_next_group

6.78 query_next_group

Type: integer
Default: 1

When you use article_page_down (default binding: space) while you are at the end of the last unread article in a group, slrn can move to the next newsgroup that contains unread articles. If this variable is set to 0, this will happen automatically; if it is 1, you will be asked to confirm that you want to select a new group.

See also: query_next_article

6.79 query_read_group_cutoff

Type: integer
Default: 100

When you enter a newsgroup and slrn is about to read more than query_read_group_cutoff article headers, it will prompt you to confirm (or change) the number of articles to read. This feature is turned off if you set this variable to 0.

Setting this variable to a negative number -n has a similar effect. However, slrn will not prompt you in this case; instead, it will automatically download n articles if more are present.

6.80 quote_string

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This string will be used to indent quoted text in followups and replies. If the variable is unset, slrn uses ">".

Note: slrn's default is the only quote prefix commonly accepted on Usenet. Please do not change it unless you are posting to a group or network that follows different rules.

See Also: smart_quote

6.81 read_active

Type: integer
Default: 0

If this variable is non-zero, slrn will read the active file from the server when starting. If your server carries few groups or your network connection is fast (e.g. because you are using a local newsserver), this may lead to a faster startup. If it is slow, you should leave the default setting untouched.

6.82 realname

Type: string
Default: (unset)

It is considered good netiquette to set this variable to your real name. It will be included in the "From:" header line. If you do not set it, slrn tries to get a value from $NAME. On UNIX systems, it also queries the /etc/passwd gecos field.

See also: hostname, username

6.83 reject_long_lines

Type: integer
Default: 2

If set to 1, slrn will not allow you to post articles containing non-quoted lines which are longer than 80 characters. If you set it to 2, slrn will merely issue a warning that you can decide to ignore (e.g. when posting source code). Setting this variable to 0 turns the check off. Please note that long lines are generally considered bad netiquette.

See also: netiquette_warnings

6.84 reply_custom_headers

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Use this variable to create additional headers when replying to a posting (via email). You can use all % escapes that are defined in followup_string. The headers you add this way will also show up in your editor and can be modified.

Note: It is not possible to override existing headers using reply_custom_headers.

See also: custom_headers, followup_custom_headers, supersedes_custom_headers

6.85 reply_string

Type: string
Default: "In %n, you wrote:" (localized)

This variable determines the attribution line slrn uses when replying via email. You can use the same % escapes as in followup_string.

6.86 replyto

Type: string
Default: (unset)

You can use this variable to set the address you want replies to your articles to be sent to. You only need to set this if you do not want people to send replies to the address in the "From:" header line. If you do not set this variable, slrn tries to get a default value from $REPLYTO.

See also: hostname, username

6.87 save_directory

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Sets the default directory where saved articles are placed. If it is unset, slrn uses "News".

Note: If save_directory is not an absolute pathname, it is interpreted as being relative to your home directory as determined by the environment variables $SLRNHOME or $HOME.

See also: decode_directory, postpone_directory

6.88 save_posts

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Specifies a file to which every article you post should be appended (in standard mailbox format). If unset, slrn will not even try to make a copy of your postings; if it cannot write to the specified file, it will give a warning and post nonetheless.

Note: If the filename in save_posts does not contain an absolute path, it is interpreted as being relative to your home directory (see $SLRNHOME).

Hint: If you get error messages when using this variable, you possibly pointed it to a directory instead of a file.

See also: save_replies

6.89 save_replies

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Specifies a file to which every reply you send by email should be appended (in standard mailbox format). The same rules apply as for save_posts.

Note: If you send a Cc (carbon copy) of one of your articles by email, the posting will only be appended to the folder in save_posts, not to save_replies.

6.90 score_editor_command

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Defines the program that will be called to edit your score file. If unset, the editor in editor_command is used.

Note: The variable may contain % escapes. They are listed in the section on editor_command.

See also: mail_editor_command, post_editor_command

6.91 scorefile

Type: string
Default: (unset)

If you want to score articles, you need to set this variable to the filename of your scorefile. It is interpreted as being relative to your home directory (unless it starts with a slash), or relative to $SLRNHOME if this is set.

If you want to use more than one scorefile, you need to use an include statement in the scorefile itself. Please do not confuse this with the include slrnrc command discussed above.

For further details on scoring, please refer to the file score.txt that should have come with your slrn distribution. The FAQ also answers questions about scoring and includes some examples. A future version of this manual might also include a separate section about the concept of "scoring".

6.92 scroll_by_page

Type: integer
Default: 0

If set to non-zero, both group window and header window will scroll by a full page instead of a single line. This does not affect the article window, as it has separate commands for scrolling by lines and by full pages.

Note: If you change this variable at runtime, the change will take effect as soon as you select a group or enter group mode.

6.93 sendmail_command

Type: string
Default: (compile time setting)

slrn uses this string as a command to send email (when forwarding or replying). Input will be piped to the program if the system supports it. On systems without pipes, sendmail_command will be given the name of a temporary file containing the email as the last command line argument.

The default is set at compile time. On Unix, the configure script tries to find the sendmail binary; otherwise, you can set SLRN_SENDMAIL_COMMAND in slrnfeat.h.

Hint: Some sendmail replacements for Windows expect the input to be piped to the program, what slrn is not able to do. You can handle this by adding a "<" at the end of the string.

6.94 server_object

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Controls the method slrn uses to read news. It can be either "nntp" (connect an NNTP server) or "spool" (read from a local spool).

If this variable is unset, the default behaviour depends on the compile time #define SLRN_DEFAULT_SERVER_OBJ in slrnfeat.h. If NNTP support is compiled in, it is used by default.

See also: post_object, use_slrnpull

6.95 show_article

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, the first article is automatically displayed when entering a group.

6.96 show_thread_subject

Type: integer
Default: 0

When viewing a thread tree, slrn usually does not display subjects that are identical to the one of the previous posting as this would make the screen look busy without giving any additional information. If you still prefer to have all subject lines displayed, you can set this variable to a non-zero value.

6.97 signature

Type: string
Default: (compile time setting)

slrn can append a signature to all outgoing articles and mails. Set signature to the name of your signature file or to an empty string if you don't want to use a signature. slrn will not give any error message if the file specified in signature does not exist.

The default of this variable is defined in slrnfeat.h (SLRN_SIGNATURE_FILE): It is ".signature" on Unix and VMS and "signatur.txt" on OS/2 and Windows.

If the signature contains non us-ascii characters make sure they have the same encoding defined in charset editor

Note: If your signature file doesn't start with sig dashes ("-- \n"), slrn will add them automatically.

See also: signoff_string

6.98 signoff_string

Type: string
Default: (unset)

The value of this variable will be inserted before the signature. This is useful for people who want to sign off their messages with their name, like it is common in some groups.

Note: If you use this feature, do not append much more than your name with it, or you will annoy your readers. If you want to tell people the URL of your homepage or append some funny quote to your postings, put it in your signature file.

6.99 simulate_graphic_chars

Type: integer
Default: 0

If you see strange characters in the thread tree, you can set this variable to a non-zero value to make slrn restrict itself to the use of simple ASCII characters to represent the thread tree. slrn does this automatically if you use OS/2 or Windows and your system does not have line drawing characters.

Note: It also might be possible to fix your terminal to support proper line drawing (which looks much better). Please see the slrn FAQ for details.

6.100 smart_quote

Type: integer
Default: 1

slrn can be told to insert a blank between your quote_string and previously unquoted lines, leading to a result most people find better readable. This variable controls the way slrn formats quotes:

        1  Insert whitespace before previously unquoted lines
        2  Do not quote blank lines
        3  Do not quote blank lines, but insert a whitespace before others

6.101 sorting_method

Type: integer
Default: 3

This variable controls in which order articles will be displayed in the header window:

         0  do not sort
         1  perform threading
         2  sort by subject
         3  thread, then sort by subject
         4  sort by score
         5  thread, then sort by score
         6  sort by score, then by subject
         7  thread, then sort by score and subject
         8  sort by date with most recent first
         9  thread, then sort by date with most recent first
        10  sort by date with most recent last
        11  thread, then sort by date with most recent last
        12  custom sorting

As all the options offered by sorting_method can be replaced with a corresponding setting for custom sorting, this variable will be removed at some point in the future.

To learn more about the powerful options in custom sorting, please look at the variables custom_sort_order and custom_sort_by_threads.

6.102 spoiler_char

Type: character
Default: '*'

This character will be used to hide "spoiler" text (i.e. text preceded by a formfeed character). The interpretation of formfeed characters as "spoilers" can be turned off at compile time with:

        ./configure --disable-spoilers

See also: spoiler_display_mode

6.103 spoiler_display_mode

Type: integer
Default: 1

This variable defines what happens when a spoiler is revealed (this is typically done by hitting space, which is the default binding of article_page_down):

        0  keep the display still, and reveal the current spoiler
        1  start a new page, and reveal the current spoiler
        2  keep the display still, and reveal all spoilers
        3  start new page, and reveal all spoilers 

See also: spoiler_char

6.104 spool_active_file

Type: string
Default: "data/active"

Sets the location of the active file that lists all available newsgroups. The filename is relative to spool_inn_root, unless it starts with a slash ('/').

The default of this variable is set at compile time in slrnfeat.h (#define SLRN_SPOOL_ACTIVE).

Note: Of course, you only need to set the spool* variables if you want to read your news directly from spool (e.g. when using slrnpull). When using an NNTP server, setting them will have no effect.

See also: spool_inn_root, server_object, post_object, use_slrnpull

6.105 spool_activetimes_file

Type: string
Default: "data/active.times"

This variable provides the name of your news server's active.times file. This file contains the creation dates of the newsgroups.

The notes that can be found in the entry for spool_active_file also apply to this variable.

See also: spool_inn_root

6.106 spool_check_up_on_nov

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, slrn checks whether the articles referenced by the news overview files actually exist. This may add a perceptible delay and is redundant with servers that keep their overview files up to date. However, some servers don't, so if you see a lot of "article not available" errors, you might want to turn this on.

Note: Setting this option also allows slrn to find out the article size if it's not in the overview file,

See also: spool_active_file, spool_nov_file

6.107 spool_inn_root

Type: string
Default: "/var/lib/news"

The directory that contains the active, active.times and newsgroups files.

The default of this variable is set at compile time in slrnfeat.h (#define SLRN_SPOOL_INNROOT).

See also: spool_active_file, spool_activetimes_file, spool_newsgroups_file

6.108 spool_newsgroups_file

Type: string
Default: "data/newsgroups"

This variable provides the name of your news server's newsgroups file. The file contains a list of newsgroups with short descriptions (taglines).

The notes that can be found in the entry for spool_active_file also apply to this variable.

See also: spool_inn_root

6.109 spool_nov_file

Type: string
Default: ".overview"

The name of your news server's overview files.

See also: spool_nov_root

6.110 spool_nov_root

Type: string
Default: "/var/spool/news"

The root directory of the news overview database. Often, this is the same as spool_root.

See also: spool_nov_file

6.111 spool_overview_file

Type: string
Default: "data/overview.fmt"

This variable provides the name of your news server's overview.fmt file, which describes the format of the overview files.

The notes that can be found in the entry for spool_active_file also apply to this variable.

See also: spool_inn_root

6.112 spool_root

Type: string
Default: "/var/spool/news"

The root directory of your news spool.

See also: spool_inn_root, spool_nov_root

6.113 supersedes_custom_headers

Type: string
Default: (unset)

This variable is used to create additional headers when superseding a message. Otherwise, it works exactly like followup_custom_headers.

See also: custom_headers, reply_custom_headers

6.114 top_status_line

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Using this variable, you can customize the status line slrn displays at the top of the screen. It can be set to a format string that works like the one used in header_display_format. The following % escapes can be used:

        %  percent character
        d  current date
        n  name of the current newsgroup
        s  name of the current server
        t  current time
        v  version of slrn

The special sequences `%g' and `%?' work as described in header_display_format.

When unset, slrn uses "slrn %v ** Press '?' for help, 'q' to quit. ** Server: %s" (localized) as the default.

Note: The current time and date are printed in the preferred representation for the current locale. If you have date/time information in the status line, you should be aware that it is not automatically redrawn every second.

6.115 uncollapse_threads

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, all threads will be uncollapsed when entering a group.

6.116 unsubscribe_new_groups

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, new newsgroups won't be subscribed automatically.

6.117 use_blink

Type: integer
Default: (system dependent)

Enables blinking of display if non-zero. The default is 0 if your terminal supports colors, 1 if not.

Note: If you run a color terminal and find that setting this variable to 1 makes it possible to use bright colors for the background, please look into using a different terminfo entry. See section color for details.

6.118 use_color

Type: integer
Default: (system dependent)

Forces the use of colors (if set to 1) or the use of monochrom mode (if set to 0). When unset, color is automatically used if your terminal supports it according to its termcap entry.

6.119 use_flow_control

Type: integer
Default: 0

If set to non-zero, ^S/^Q processing by the terminal driver is enabled. This means that you will be able to "freeze" the screen using Control-S and "thaw" it by pressing Control-Q.

6.120 use_grouplens

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, slrn will try to contact your grouplens server to exchange GroupLens scores.

This variable has no effect if GroupLens has not been enabled at compile time.

Note: As far as we could find out, GroupLens is not in use any more. If this is incorrect, we would be grateful for a pointer to additional information on it.

6.121 use_header_numbers

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, header numbers are displayed at the left margin to make article selection more efficient.

6.122 use_localtime

Type: integer
Default: 1

This variable determines if your local timezone is used by the "%D" specifiers in followup_date_format and overview_date_format. The following settings are possible:

        0  always use GMT
        1  use local timezone in overview_date_format
        2  use local timezone in followup_date_format
        3  always use local timezone

Note: This setting does not affect the "Date:" header lines in your own postings. They are not even generated by slrn, unless you set generate_date_header. VMS and BeOS do not support using GMT.

6.123 use_metamail

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, slrn calls the program given in metamail_command to processes MIME articles it cannot handle.

6.124 use_mime

This variable is obsolete.

6.125 use_recommended_msg_id

Type: integer
Default: 0

When posting, some newsservers suggest a Message-ID to the client; that way, the client knows in advance which Message-ID the article will have and can save it for later reference. If this variable is set, slrn makes use of this: The server-proposed ID will be used for the posting and saved along with the article in the save_posts folder.

If both this variable and generate_message_id are set, slrn uses the server's ID rather than generating its own.

6.126 use_slrnpull

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, slrn will spool outgoing postings to let slrnpull send them instead of contacting the newsserver itself. The same effect can be achieved by setting post_object to "slrnpull".

See also: server_object

6.127 use_tilde

Type: integer
Default: 1

If non-zero, tildes ("~") are displayed at the end of an article like it is done in the vi editor.

6.128 use_tmpdir

Type: integer
Default: 0

If non-zero, temporary files for postings, followups and replies will be held in the directory specified by $TMP (the entry there also explains what will happen if $TMP is unset), and Randomized filenames will be used for posts instead of .article, .followup and .letter.

6.129 use_uudeview

Type: integer
Default: (compile time setting)

If your copy of slrn has support for external uudeview libraries (--with-uu), but you still want to use the (faster, but less sophisticated) builtin routines for decoding binary files, set this variable to 0. Otherwise, it has no effect.

6.130 username

Type: string
Default: (system specific)

Contains your user name (login name). It is used as the local part of your email address and as a part of the Message-ID: header (if slrn is configured to create one).

If it is unset, slrn tries to get your login name from the system first. If this fails, it looks at $USER and $LOGNAME. If it cannot find a valid user name, an error message is issued and the program is aborted.

Note: Do not confuse your user name with your real name!

See also: hostname, realname

6.131 warn_followup_to

Type: integer
Default: 1

When a "Followup-To:" header line is set, your followup will appear in different newsgroups than the original posting. If you always want to be notified of this, you can set this variable to 2. The default setting (1) only warns you when your followup would not appear in the group you are currently reading; setting it to 0 disables this warning completely.

6.132 wrap_flags

Type: integer
Default: 3

This variable controls what text is wrapped in the article pager when pressing the wrap_article key (bound to "W" by default):

        0  wrap body only
        1  wrap headers and body
        2  wrap quoted material and body
        3  wrap headers, quoted material and body

If you want to wrap long lines automatically, without having to press a key, you can set the variable to one of these values:

        4  wrap body only
        5  wrap headers and body
        6  wrap quoted material and body
        7  wrap headers, quoted material and body

See also: wrap_method, wrap_article

6.133 wrap_method

Type: integer
Default: 2

With this variable, you can control how slrn wraps long lines. When 0, it wraps at word boundries, leaving words that are longer than your line width untouched. When 1, it always wraps at the right border of the screen. When 2, it first tries so find a good place to wrap the line and wraps at the right border only when necessary.

See also: wrap_flags

6.134 write_newsrc_flags

Type: integer
Default: 0

If this variable is zero, all groups are saved when writing your newsrc file. If it is 1, unsubscribed groups are not saved; if it is 2, unsubscribed groups are not saved if there are any unread messages in them.

6.135 Xbrowser

Type: string
Default: (unset)

Used to start an X11 web browser on a URL when browse_url (default binding: `U') is called. If $DISPLAY is set, slrn tries to execute the command stored in Xbrowser. Otherwise, non_Xbrowser is used instead. The string may contain "%s" which will be replaced with the chosen URL. If no such substring is found, the URL is simply appended to the specified command.

Example:

        set Xbrowser "netscape %s &"

See also: non_Xbrowser


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