Provided by: fortune-mod_1.99.1-7build1_amd64 bug


       strfile - create a random access file for storing strings
       unstr - dump strings in pointer order


       strfile [-iorsx] [-c char] sourcefile [outputfile]
       unstr [-c char] datafile[.ext] [outputfile]


       strfile  reads  a  file containing groups of lines separated by a line containing a single
       percent `%' sign (or other specified delimiter character) and creates a  data  file  which
       contains  a  header  structure  and  a table of file offsets for each group of lines. This
       allows random access of the strings.

       The output file, if not specified on the command line, is named sourcefile.dat.

       The purpose of unstr is to undo the work of strfile.  It prints out the strings  contained
       in  the  sourcefile,  which  is  datafile.ext  without  its  extension,  or datafile if no
       extension is specified (in this case, the extension .dat is  added  to  the  name  of  the
       datafile) in the order that they are listed in the header file datafile.  If no outputfile
       is specified, it prints to standard output; otherwise it prints  to  the  file  specified.
       unstr  can  also  universally  change  the  delimiter  character in a strings file.  It is
       possible to create sorted versions of input files by using strfile -o and then using unstr
       to dump them out in the table order.

       The options are as follows:

       -c char
              Change  the  delimiting  character  from  the percent sign to char.  This option is
              available for both strfile and unstr.

       -i     Ignore case when ordering the strings.

       -o     Order the strings in alphabetical order.  The offset table will be  sorted  in  the
              alphabetical order of the groups of lines referenced.  Any initial non-alphanumeric
              characters are ignored. This option  causes  the  STR_ORDERED  bit  in  the  header
              str_flags field to be set. (It also now really does sort! It didn't used to).

       -r     Randomize  access  to  the  strings.   Entries in the offset table will be randomly
              ordered.  This option causes the STR_RANDOM bit in the header str_flags field to be
              set. (And really does randomize)

       -s     Run silently; don't give a summary message when finished.

       -x     Note  that each alphabetic character in the groups of lines is rotated 13 positions
              in a simple caesar cypher.  This option causes the STR_ROTATED bit  in  the  header
              str_flags field to be set. Note that it does not rotate the strings--that operation
              must be performed separately.

       The format of the header is:

       #define VERSION 1
       unsigned long str_version;  /* version number */
       unsigned long str_numstr;   /* # of strings in the file */
       unsigned long str_longlen;  /* length of longest string */
       unsigned long str_shortlen; /* shortest string length */
       #define STR_RANDOM    0x1   /* randomized pointers */
       #define STR_ORDERED   0x2   /* ordered pointers */
       #define STR_ROTATED   0x4   /* rot-13'd text */
       unsigned long str_flags;    /* bit field for flags */
       char str_delim;             /* delimiting character */

       All fields are written in network byte order.


       Fewer now, one hopes.  However, fortunes (text strings) beginning with a blank line appear
       to  be  sorted  between random letters.  This includes ASCII art that contains no letters,
       and first lines that are solely non-alphanumeric,  apparently.   I've  no  idea  why  this
       should be.


       What  can  you do with this besides printing sarcastic and obscene messages to the screens
       of lusers at login or logout?

       There are some other possibilities.   Source  code  for  a  sample  program,  randstr,  is
       included  with this distribution: randstr splits the difference between unstr and fortune.
       It reads a single, specified file, and randomly selects a single text string.

       1      Include  strfile.h  into  a  news  reading/posting  program,  to  generate   random
              signatures.  Tin(1) does something similar, in a much more complex manner.

       2      Include it in a game.  While strfile doesn't support 'fields' or 'records', there's
              no reason that the text strings can't be consistent: first line, a die roll; second
              line, a score; third and subsequent lines, a text message.

       3      Use  it to store your address book.  Hell, some of the guys I know would be as well
              off using it to decide who to call on Friday nights  (and  for  some,  it  wouldn't
              matter whether there were phone numbers in it or not).

       4      Use  it  in  'lottery' situations.  If you're an ISP, write a script to store login
              names and  GECOS  from  /etc/passwd  in  strfile  format,  write  another  to  send
              'congratulations,  you've  won'  to the lucky login selected.  The prize might be a
              month's free service, or if you're AOL, a month free on a real service provider.


       byteorder(3), fortune(6)


       The strfile utility first appeared in 4.4BSD. This version was heavily modified,  much  of
       it in ways peculiar to Linux.  Work has since been done to make the code more generic, and
       has so far been tested to work  with  SunOS  4.x.   More  platforms  are  expected  to  be
       supported as work continues.