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Re: The Manual about the MAIL environment is misleading

From: Ingo Krabbe
Subject: Re: The Manual about the MAIL environment is misleading
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 20:00:51 +0200

Hi Chet,

thank you for your answer. I will send a summary about this problem to the 
gentoo maintainers, then.

Best Regards,


> On 7/13/16 8:37 AM, address@hidden wrote:
>> Bash Version: 4.3
>> Patch Level: 42
>> Release Status: release
>> Description:
>>      In a bash session where the MAIL variable is not explicitly set, the 
>> MAIL variable might be auto-set through a compile time definition of 
>> DEFAULT_MAIL_DIRECTORY. There is no method (no method I know of) to find 
>> about about these compile time definitions and / or configuration flags.
>>      To find out about this bevaiour I needed to read the source code and 
>> finally found this line in CHANGES:
>>      hhh. Improved the mail checking code so it won't check (and possibly 
>> cause an
>>           NFS file system mount) until MAILPATH or MAIL is given a value -- 
>> there
>>           is no default if DEFAULT_MAIL_DIRECTORY is not defined at compile 
>> time.
>> Repeat-By:
>>      Install bash and remove all occurences of MAIL= or similar from the 
>> several profile and rc files.
>> Fix:
>>      Please describe the dependency of the MAIL variables on the manual 
>> page. If you manage to do so, add the value of DEFAULT_MAIL_DIRECTORY and 
>> it's effects in the generated manual pages.
> The precedence of the MAIL and MAILPATH variables is already described in
> the man page.  I will look at changes to the man page to indicate that
> there is no default value for MAILPATH; there is some language in there
> that implies bash sets a default value (which it did in the past).
> The manual page describes bash as I distribute it.  If a vendor or
> distribution wishes to change the default, to supply a default for
> MAILPATH, for example, I expect them to modify the documentation for
> their distribution to reflect that.  Some do, many don't.
> -- 
> ``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' - Chaucer
>                ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' - Hippocrates
> Chet Ramey, UTech, CWRU    address@hidden    http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/~chet/

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