Provided by: inn_1.7.2q-44.1ubuntu2_i386 bug


       batcher - article batching backend for InterNetNews


       batcher  [  -a arts ] [ -A total_arts ] [ -b size ] [ -B total_size ] [
       -i string ] [ -N num_batches ] [ -p process ] [ -r ] [ -s separator ] [
       -S alt_spool ] [ -v ] host [ input ]


       Batcher  reads  uses  a  list  of files to prepare news batches for the
       specified host.  It is normally invoked by a script run out of  cron(8)
       that  uses  shlock(1)  to  lock the host name, followed by a ctlinnd(8)
       command to flush the batchfile.

       Batcher reads the named input file, or standard input  if  no  file  is
       given.      Relative     pathnames    are    interpreted    from    the
       /var/spool/news/out.going directory.  The input is taken as  a  set  of
       lines.   Blank  lines and lines starting with a number sign (``#'') are
       ignored.  All other lines should consist of one or two fields separated
       by  a  single  space.  The first field is the name of a file holding an
       article; if it is not an an absolute pathname it is taken  relative  to
       the  news  spool  directory,  /var/spool/news.   The  second  field, if
       present, specifies the size of the article in bytes.


       -S     The ``-S'' flag may  be  used  to  specify  an  alternate  spool
              directory  to  use  if  the  article  is  not  found; this would
              normally be an NFS-mounted spool directory of  a  master  server
              with longer expiration times.

       -r     By   default,   the   program   sets   its   standard  error  to
              /var/log/news/errlog.  To suppress  this  redirection,  use  the
              ``-r'' flag.

       -v     Upon  exit,  batcher  reports  statistics via syslog(3).  If the
              ``-v'' flag is used, they will also be printed on  the  standard

       -b     Batcher  collects  the  text of the named articles into batches.
              To limit the size of each  batch,  use  the  ``-b''  flag.   The
              default  size  is  60 kilobytes.  Using ``-b0'' allows unlimited
              batch sizes.

       -a     To limit the number of articles in each batch,  use  the  ``-a''
              flag.   The  default  is  no limit.  A new batch will be started
              when either the byte count or number of articles written exceeds
              the specified limits.

       -B     To  limit the total number of bytes written for all batches, use
              the ``-B'' flag.

       -A     To limit the total number of articles that can  be  batched  use
              the ``-A'' flag.

       -N     To  limit the total number of batches that should be created use
              the ``-N'' flag.

              In all three cases, the default is zero, which is taken to  mean
              no limit.

       -i string
              A batch starts with an identifying line to specify the unpacking
              method to be used on the receiving end.  When the ``-i'' flag is
              used, the initial string, string, followed by a newline, will be
              output at the start of every batch.  The default is to  have  no
              initial string.

       -s     Each  article  starts with a separator line to indicate the size
              of the article.  To specify the separator use the  ``-s''  flag.
              This  is  a  sprintf(3)  format  string  which can have a single
              ``%ld'' parameter which will be given the size of  the  article.
              If  the  separator  is  not empty, then the string and a newline
              will be output before every article.  The default  separator  is
              ``#! rnews %ld''.

       -p     By default, batches are written to standard output, which is not
              useful when more than one output  batch  is  created.   Use  the
              ``-p''  flag to specify the shell command that should be created
              (via popen(3)) whenever a new batch is started.  The process  is
              a sprintf format string which can have a single ``%s'' parameter
              which will be given the host name.  A common value is:

              ( echo '#! cunbatch' ; exec compress ) | uux - -r -z %s!rnews


       If the input is exhausted, batcher will exit with a  zero  status.   If
       any of the limits specified with the ``-B,'' ``-A,'' or ``-N'' flags is
       reached, or if there is an error writing the batch, then  batcher  will
       try  to  spool  the input, copying it to a file.  If there was no input
       filename,    the    standard    input     will     be     copied     to
       /var/spool/news/out.going/host  and the program will exit.  If an input
       filename was given, a temporary file named input.bch (if  input  is  an
       absolute   pathname)  or  /var/spool/news/out.going/input.bch  (if  the
       filename does not begin with a slash) is created.  Once  the  input  is
       copied,  batcher  will try to rename this temporary file to be the name
       of the input file, and then exit.

       Upon receipt of an interrupt or termination signal, batcher will finish
       sending  the  current  article,  close  the batch, and then rewrite the
       batchfile according as described in the previous paragraph.


       Written by Rich $alz <> for  InterNetNews.   This  is
       revision 1.18, dated 1996/10/29.


       ctlinnd(8), newsfeeds(5), shlock(1).