Provided by: gnuspool_1.7_amd64 bug


       spsyntax - option handling for GNUspool programs


       All of the options referred to in the descriptions of the shell-level programs for
       GNUspool below may be supplied in a configuration file (q.v.), or in an environment
       variable whose name is the same as the calling program, except that it is in lower case.

       This may enable defaults to be supplied according to the application from which the
       program is invoked. However any options and arguments supplied on the command line usually
       take priority.

       Additionally by editing the appropriate message file (q.v.) it is possible to change the
       option letters and keywords from those described.

   Option types
       In nearly all cases there are two alternative ways of supplying options:

       ·   Via a traditional Unix-style -letter option, for example as -z.

       ·   Via a keyword-style option, such as "+zero-charge". Keywords are case-insensitive.

   Option syntax
       The syntax of options is intended to be as flexible as possible. Options which do not take
       arguments may be grouped together as in


       or they may be given separately as in

               -w -m -v

       White space is optional in the case of options which do take arguments, thus both



               -p 150

       are acceptable and have the same effect.

       If the keyword version of an option is given, then it must be separated from its argument
       by white space thus

               +priority 150

   Configuration files
       To save the user from having to specify commonly-used combinations of options, there are
       mechanisms enabling these to be supplied to each program automatically.

       One mechanism is the use of a configuration file, .gnuspool in the current or user's home
       directory. The other is the use of an environment variable.

       These files may also be used to specify alternative message files.

       The format of configuration files is akin to a set of environment variable assignments,
       with empty lines and lines beginning with "#" being ignored.

       The name assigned to is the same as that of the calling program but in upper case and with
       "-" changed to "_" (underscore), for example that corresponding to gspl-pq is "GSPL_PQ"
       etc. This is the same as for the corresponding environment variable.

       Usually options are taken from the following places in order, so that later-processed ones
       override earlier ones:

       Standard defaults
           Each program has a set of standard defaults which are used to initialise the parmaters
           when the program is invoked.

       User profile
           In some cases, for example default priority, the user's profile as displayed by
           gspl-user(1) is used to initialise the defaults.

       Home directory
           The file ~/.gnuspool is read, and any options specified therein (i.e. with an
           assignment to the appropriate name) are interpreted.

           Please note that for historical reasons the actual path is ~$LIBRARY/.gnuspool. If the
           environment variable "LIBRARY" is null, then this will be equivalent to .gnuspool in
           the user's home directory.

           Any options specified in the appropriate environment variable (you will almost
           certainly have to use quotes when setting it via the shell in order to preserve the
           white space) are read and interpreted.

       Current Directory
           The file .gnuspool is read, and any options specified therein (i.e. with an assignment
           to the appropriate name) are interpreted.

           Note that this may mean that the .gnuspool file is read twice if the command is run
           from the current directory. Beware therefore of options which are cumulative, such as
           arguments and redirections, and use the "cancel existing" options.

       Command line
           Any options specified on the command line are interpreted last.

       Most options have inverses so that it is possible to reset anything which may have been
       set by previously-read options. Extra care should be taken with cumulative options,
       notably arguments and redirections, so that these are not doubled, especially in the case
       where the home directory is also the current directory.

   Option path
       The above description of the order of selection of configuration files, environment and
       command-line options is the default.

       It may be desirable to change the order of selection of options, in to eliminate some
       alternative locations or to include others.

       The environment variable "GS_CONFIGPATH" may be set to a colon-separated list of
       directories (environment variables and "~"user constructs are appropriately interpreted).

       The symbol "!" is used to represent the relevant environment variable, and "-" is used to
       represent option arguments.

       The default value of "GS_CONFIGPATH" is


       This provides the interpretation of options in various configuration files and the
       environment which is documented above.

       Note that it is possible to eliminate or override the interpretation of options on the
       command line by removing or relocating the "-". This may have very surprising effects
       especially where configuration files wipe out the effects of options which may have been
       set on the command line. Where the interpretation of options has been removed altogether,
       then any options supplied will probably be objected to or misinterpreted as file names or

       The commands




       and equivalents do not take into account the value of "GS_CONFIGPATH" in any way.

       Finally please note that any non-existent or inaccessible directories and files will
       (usually) be silently ignored. If a configuration file appears to exist but is
       inaccessible, a diagnostic may be given; however in some cases this may be misleading due
       to the fact that various versions of Unix are misleading or inconsistent with regard to
       the error codes reported from an attempt to open a non-existent or inaccessible file in a
       non-existent or inaccessible directory.

   Message files
       As well as providing help and error messages, screen key assignments etc, message files
       also provide the option letters and keyword names used to specify the options.

       For each command, there is a default message file. For most of the shell-based commands,
       this is Alternative message files may be specified using an environment
       variable or configuration file assigning values to a name. For most of the shell-based
       commands, this is "SPRESTCONF".

       Within the message file itself, the option letters and keywords are set up using sequences
       of the form


       Comments and the context should make clear which commands these options relate to.

       These sequences define

       A state number
           The state number, in the above example 300, which is used internally to denote the

       option letters
           A single character, often a letter, but in the above example "?", which is the single-
           character variant of the option, thus "-?".

           Several option letters, each separated by commas may be defined. To define <,> itself
           as an option "letter", use "\,".

       option keywords
           A string of alphanumerics, possibly including hyphens and underscores, is used to
           denote an option keyword, in the above example "+explain". Several such keywords may
           be defined, each separated by commas. Note that the case of letters in the keywords is

   Location of message files
       It is possible to specify alternative locations for message files so that alternatives are
       selected according to the application being run etc.

       The location may be specified using configuration files in a similar fashion to the search
       for options, except that the search runs the other way.

       The search is in the following order:

       Current Directory
           If a configuration file in the current directory specifies a location for the message
           file, by means of an assignment to the relevant variable (for most shell-based
           commands this is "SPRESTCONF"), then this file is taken.

           Environment variables in the form $ABC and users' home directories in the form "~"user
           are appropriately expanded. The sequence $0 is replaced by the name of the program
           being invoked. (This process may run recursively up to a level of 10).

           If the relevant environment variable (for most shell-based commands this is
           "SPRESTCONF") specifies a location, then this is taken.

       Home Directory
           A configuration file in the home directory may specify a location for the message

       Default Location
           If none of the above specify a replacment message file then the default location is

       If a file is specified but does not exist, then this is a fatal error.

       However there is an additional step to assist the user to set up some alternative files
       with a default name.

       Should the file not exist, then the search falls back to a name generated by taking the
       last part of the default file name (for example rest.conf) and substituting this for the
       last part of the file name specified.

       For example if the normal message file for the command were


       and the user had specified in a configuration file


       then if he or she were to run, say, gspl-pr, then the file


       would be searched for. If this did not exist, then a search would be made for


   Path to locate message files
       The above search path may be modified using the environment variable "GS_HELPPATH". The
       interpretation is very similar to the description above for "GS_CONFIGPATH", except that
       "-" fields are ignored.

       The default value of "GS_HELPPATH" is ".:!:~$LIBRARY" giving the interpretation described
       above. Note that this is in the opposite order to "GS_CONFIGPATH".


       ~/.gnuspool configuration file (home directory)

        .gnuspool configuration file (current directory)


           Path to search for options in.

           Path to search for location of message files in.


       Copyright (c) 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.  This is free software. You may
       redistribute copies of it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
       <>.  There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by


       John M Collins, Xi Software Ltd.