RE: Fidonet Mail Processing

Chuck Robinson (
Sun, 23 Mar 1997 17:14:23 -0500

Pablo Saratxaga,

Thank you very much for your complete explanation. I DO have the LINUX system, up and running, and
doing it's jobs very well. What I was looking for was a way to move my fidonet mail processing from the
NT and OS/2 world to the LINUX world. From your explanation, it would seem that there is no way, with
a true LINUX package to provide the same functionality (of inbound FTN packets being tossed to
multiple downlinks as FTN packets) in the LINUX environment as I get in the OS/2 or NT environments.

I serve as a major hub for Fidonet mail, and need the ability to send FTN packets downline, and to
provide my downlinks the ability to automatically turn certain areas on and off for distribution. I think
your explanation indicates that this is not possible with the ifmail package.

The ability to store the messages, for local consumption, as SQUISH, MSG, or UUNET format is not
really an issue for me, I would feel comfortable in any of the environments.

What I guess I am asking, is there anyway to process FTN fidonet mail in the "Unix way"?

Thanks again

From: Pablo Saratxaga
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 1997 8:25 PM
Subject: Re: Fidonet Mail Processing

Kaixo !

> Now, how do I process FIDONET echomail, put the mail into normal, viewable,
> echomail areas, and process the FIDONET echomail for my downlinks?
> I know how to do this in DOS, OS/2 and NT with a tosser,
I see that kind of messages quite often.
In fact you are missing the point of what ifmail is, and what is not.
Because you look at it from the wrong side.

The ifmail package is a _converter_. It converts fidonet style paquets
into a format that fits in the existing tools on unix world.
You are expected to know how a unix machine work, specially how mail,
news and UUCP work.
In fact ifmail only adds another one "transport agent" for the mail/news
daemons, a "transport agent" that converts to FTN pkt format and put it
on the FTN mailer outbound.

So _first_ you need to understand how mail and news are handled in a typical
Unix machine, then you just use ifmail/ifnews instead of uucp, that's almost
all. The ifmail configuration by itself is quite simple (the more teddious
task is the writting of the echoareas <--> news.groups names translation table)

I recommend you to read Electronic-Mail-HOWTO, News-HOWTO and UUCP-HOWTO
that you can find on almost any Linux ftp site (even if you don't use Linux,
their info is valuable for any kind of Unix, even if the documents themselves
are targeted to Linux).

Things aren't more complicated that a mean DOSish FTN setup, but they
are certainly different (Unix is multitask and multiuser, the design of
the different tools and programs, including those handling mail and
news, show it. It is another philosophy) so a learning is needed.

If in the other hand you doesn't wan't to learn "the Unix Way" you can still
use a "walled" (I don't knwo how to say it in english, I mean enclosed behind
walls) fido system. A system whithout interaction whith the rest, like running
on an emulator. And indeed that is an alternative: running a DOS program on
an emulator. You can also use a program like FEddi that is a fidonet reader
and tosser like those used under DOS. But I wonder why to use a unix system
at all if you prefer to run programs that aren't at all on that philosophy.
However, the choice is yours.

PS: this message isn't addressed to anyone in particular, nor is it a
criticism of any sort; I just wanted to correct some misconceptions on what
ifmail is really, I hope that will be of some help for newcomers.

-- rA bientôt,
Pablo Saratxaga

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