Minimal skills

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Jun 4 19:23:48 UTC 2020

On Thu, 4 Jun 2020 02:59:04 -0600, Brandon helsley wrote:
> I looked at the link and could not tell what was wrong with
> the archive.

There is nothing wrong with the archives - they work as expected.
However, the MUA you are using leads to distorted messages and
disrupts the flow, so it's not possible to see "who wrote what",
i. e., what did you write, what was cited, what was being replied
to, and so on. It also damages the message's formatting (newlines
and tabs and citing indentation), which makes the message look

> I will install an MUA and use that and try and set up the mail
> server later with postfix.

A good idea. There is plenty of choice. Basically, you can even
use Thunderbird, but make sure it's configured properly (no HTML
message, plain text, line wrapping suggested at < 70 colums, and
citing indentation is "> ", note the space). But there are also
lightweight and powerful GUI mailers such as Sylpheed, or TUI
mailers like pine, alpine, or mutt, which are very popular among
FreeBSD users.

> I'm assuming there are multiple layers that go along with email.

Of course. :-)

You can see the MUA, the mail _user_ agent, at the top, facing
the user, and you have several things in between before your
message reaches a recipient, such as a MSA (mail submision agent),
a MTA (mail transfer agent), and you can have additional components
like spam filters or IMAP interfaces or even a web mailer. All
those are available on FreeBSD, by the way, so if you wanted to
do local experiments, you could run all of those (!) on your own
machine without having to worry about static IPs...

> Again may I ask what is writing shell scripts. Is that the same
> as editing .xsession or .xinitrc?

More or less.

While .xinitrc and .xsession are rather simple scripts used to
do "autostart" functions, shell scripts can be quite complex and
contain a lot of logic. Just see /etc/rc - it's a shell script
that controls the boot process of your FreeBSD system. It uses
other files to be conditionally incorporated and processed.
Those files are in /etc/rc.d/ (for OS components) and in
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/ (for 3rd party components installed from
ports or packages).

Internally, the ports collection as well as the system sources
also use shell scripts, often embedded in Makefiles - files that
are used by the tool "make" to automatically resolve dependencies
and provide a "processing logic" for source files.

Again, the primary tool here is a text editor. Advanced editors
like vim, emacs, mcedit etc. are able to display and edit shell
scripts and Makefiles in a convenient way. The difference in
editing those scripts compared to .xinitrc or .xsession is the
complexity and the involved constructs.

An overview about the shell used for shell scripting, its language
and its built-in functions can be found in "man sh".

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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