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BATCHER(8)									       BATCHER(8)

       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 path-
       names are interpreted from the <pathoutgoing in inn.conf> 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, <patharticles in inn.conf>.  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 <pathlog in inn.conf>/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 output.

       -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 arti-
	      cle.   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 <pathoutgoing in
       inn.conf>/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	<pathoutgoing  in
       inn.conf>/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  cur-
       rent  article,  close  the batch, and then rewrite the batchfile according as described in
       the previous paragraph.

       Written by Rich $alz <rsalz@uunet.uu.net> for InterNetNews.   This  is  revision,
       dated 2000/08/17.

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

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