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 <pathoutgoing in
inn.conf> directory. The input is taken as a sequence 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 either the storage token of an article or
the name of a file holding an article; if it is not an an absolute
pathname or storage token, it is taken relative to <patharti-
cles in inn.conf>. The second field, if present, specifies the size of
the article in bytes.
The ‘‘-S’’ flag may be used to specify an alternate spool direc-
tory to use if the article is not found; this would perhaps be
an NFS-mounted spool directory of a master server with longer
-r By default, the program reports errors to
<pathlog in inn.conf>/errlog. To suppress this redirection and
report errors to standard error, 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
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 ‘‘-b 0’’ allows unlimited
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.
To limit the total number of bytes written for all batches, use
the ‘‘-B’’ flag.
To limit the total number of articles that can be batched use
the ‘‘-A’’ flag.
To limit the total number of batches that should be created use
the ‘‘-N’’ flag.
In all three of the above cases, the default is zero, that is,
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
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’’.
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(3) format string which can have a single ‘‘%s’’ param-
eter 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 remaining input, copying it to a file. If there was
no input filename, standard input will be copied to <pathoutgoing in
inn.conf>/host and the program will exit. If an input filename was
given, the input will be copied to a temporary file named input.bch (if
input is an absolute pathname) or <pathoutgoing in inn.conf>/input.bch
(if the filename does not begin with a slash). 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> for InterNetNews. This is
revision 220.127.116.11, dated 2003/10/18.
ctlinnd(8), inn.conf(5), newsfeeds(5), shlock(1).
Man(1) output converted with