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Composing a message is probably one of the reasons for using a mail
program. It's very likely that you may survive without Filters or Roles,
but very few people would use an e-mail program if it did not have the
ability to be able to compose a message (if you had a choice).
There are many configuration options that affect how you start, or
finish a composition of a message, we will try to cover them here.
Starting a New Message
In order to start a new message, you must press either the
C or the # key, in any non
configuration screen, which is not the composer screen.
Here are their meanings.
- The # command is used to compose a message
setting a specific role. If there are no roles defined then key will do
nothing but show you an error message at the bottom of the screen, however
if you have defined at least one role, you will be shown a screen with the
list of all of your roles, from where you can select the one that you want
to use. In order to cancel composing using a role you must press the E key. If you do not have a newsgroup open, then you
will be taken to the composition screen, which we will discuss later. This
is by far the easiest way to start composing a message. If you are already
in a newsgroup, then the behavior is different and what happens next is
described in the News page.
- The C command is much more complicated than the
# command, because what happens after you press this
key will depend on many settings, so bear with me while I explain what
- If you have never configured anything in Pine, ever sent a message
using Pine, then you will go directly into the composer.
- If there is a ".pine-interrupted-mail" file in your directory, then
Pine will assume that somehow you could not finish writing an earlier
message and ask you if you want to continue it at this time. If you answer
yes to this question, then Pine will include the message and headers
taken from that file into the composer and you will continue composing the
interrupted message. If you answer No to this question or if you do not
have this file in your home directory then proceed to the next step.
- If you defined the "postponed-folder" configuration option, and this
folder exists in the mail/ collection, then Pine will ask you if you want
to continue the message that you intentionally postponed earlier. If you
answer yes and this folder is empty then Pine will erase this folder and
continue to the next step, but if not it will show you a screen with all
the messages that are postponed, from where you should select one.
Pressing the E key in this screen, will cancel the
composition of the message. If there is only one message in the
postponed-folder screen, then Pine will assume that you want to continue
this message, and will put you automatically in the composer.
- If you defined the "form-letter-folder" configuration option, and
this folder exists in the mail/ collection, then Pine will ask you if you
want to start your message with one of the messages from this folder. If
you answer yes and this folder is empty then Pine will skip this step, but
if not it will show you a screen with all the messages that are form
letters, from where you should select one. Pressing the E key in this screen, will cancel the composition of the
message. If there is only one message in the form letter folder, then Pine
will assume that you want to use this message, and will put you
automatically in the composer.
- If at this stage you are not composing a message, then Pine will
check your roles configuration. If there are no roles defined then Pine
will go directly into the composer. In other words, if you do not have
any interrupted, postponed, or form letter messages and you do not have
any roles defined then Pine will go directly into the composer.
If there is at least one role defined, Pine will go through your list of
roles and check to see if there is a match. If there is a match, then what
will happen is already explained in the the roles section, under How do Roles Work?. If there's no match of
any role, then what will happen next will depend on the configuration
option: [ ] confirm-role-even-for-default . If
this configuration option is set, then Pine will confirm with you that you
do not intend to use a role, and pressing ^T will allow you to select one.
Note that pressing RETURN, Y and N all have the same effect of putting you
in the composer. The way to cancel the composition at this stage is by
Again what will happen next will depend on if you have a newsgroup open
or not. In fact, if you do not have a newsgroup open, then you will be
taken to the composition screen, which we will discuss later. If you are
already in a newsgroup, then the behavior is different and what happens
next is described in the News
Starting a New Message (Part II)
If the above seemed too complicated, in order to reduce the complexity
and prompting of Pine there is an alternative to all this process. As we
saw before, checking for Postponed messages, is done after checking for
interrupted messages and before checking for roles. There is a way to put
all of these questions at the same level.
In fact, if you set the ,
then the first thing that will happen will be that you will see a menu in
the bottom of the screen. This menu contains a few options. Here are all
the possible options:
- , is the default entry. It means that if you
press N or RETURN, then you will be taken to the composer directly, or if
you have set the confirm-role-even-for-default, be
asked to confirm if you do not want to compose using a role.
- , to continue composing an interrupted message.
This option is only available if such a message exists.
- , to continue composing a postponed message. This
option is available only if the postponed folder exists.
- , to start composing using a form letter. This
option is only available if the form-letter-folder exists.
- , to start composing a message using a Role. This
option is only available if you have at least one role defined.