Aliases Option

Mail aliases are alternative names defined for an e-mail address or a group of addresses. This window lets you add, change, or delete aliases.

The system's mail transport program (e.g. sendmail) may have a list of aliases. Only your system administrator can change this list.

In addition to the system alias list, you can define aliases within Ishmail. These aliases are expanded to their full value before being sent to the mail transport program.

When composing a message you can use aliases in the To:, Cc:, or Bcc: fields. See Header Fields in the chapter entitled Composition Window for more information.

Aliases are saved in files. Ishmail looks for alias files in three places:

Your private alias file
This file, typically in your home directory, contains aliases you define. You can modify this file with an editor program, or use the Aliases Window in Ishmail to make your changes, as described below.

The default name of this file is $HOME/.mailrc. Alias definitions must conform to syntax defined by the sendmail program. (The easiest way to ensure this is to make changes only with the Aliases window rather than with an editor program). You can override the file name by adding a mailrcFile resource to your $HOME/.ishmailrc file.

Group alias file
Aliases shared by a group of Ishmail users can be placed in a common file. If your have permission to write to this file you can use the Alias window to modify it. The format of the aliases is the same as your private alias file.

The default name of this file is mailrc, and the default location is the lib subdirectory of where the Ishmail program was installed. You can override the file name by adding a groupMailrcFile resource to your $HOME/.ishmailrc file.

Other alias files
Ishmail can understand alias definitions from other mail programs, such as Z-Mail, elm, and pine. You cannot, however, modify these files with the Alias window. If you have other alias files, you can tell Ishmail to use them by adding an otherAliasFiles resource to your $HOME/.ishmailrc file. For example:

otherAliasFiles: $HOME/.zmailrc $HOME/.elm/aliases.text

Figure: Aliases Window

Specifying Aliases

The Aliases window shows the list of defined aliases in a box, containing two text fields - the Alias name field and the name field's associated Address field. (If no aliases have been defined, both fields are empty).

Each alias can have one or more addresses associated with it. The address can be an e-mail address, another alias, or it can be a comma-separated list of aliases or addresses.

Click the Sort Aliases button in the upper left corner of the window to cause the list to be sorted alphabetically. Otherwise, the list is shown in the order that entries were added.

You use the four buttons to the left of the text fields to:

E-mail addresses can have many possible formats. Here are four that are commonly used:

This format is valid if name is another user on your system, or is an alias known to the mail transport program (e.g. a sendmail alias).

This is the format used for Internet addresses (see Address Formats.) The name specifies a user on the host system. The host may be a specific system name, or more commonly, the name of a domain (which is a group of related systems). For example:

name@host (Real Name)
The (Real Name) is known as a comment. It is typically the name of a person or organization. This information is ignored by the mail transport system, but makes the addresses more readable to humans. Comments can appear anywhere in the address, not just to the right of name@host.

Real Name <name@host>
If this form is used, the Real Name must appear on the left and the name@host must be enclosed in angle brackets. If you edit the mailrc file directly, you will see addresses of this form enclosed in double quotes. You do not need to use double quotes in the Alias Entry window.

The addresses you define must be either valid alias names or valid e-mail addresses, or your mail will bounce.

The Composition window has a Check Addresses function which can be used to see if an address is valid. See the help card for the Composition window for more details.

The best way to create aliases is to cut and paste e-mail addresses from actual mail you received. Typing mistakes are avoided, and you can be confident that the address is valid.

When you click the New ..., Insert ..., or Edit ... buttons, the Edit Alias window appears. It contains text fields in which you can create or modify an alias.

Figure: Edit Alias Window

The Address: field contains one or more addresses or aliases. Use commas to separate multiple addresses, or put each address on a separate line.

To Create a New Alias:

  1. Click the New ... button or the Insert ... button. The Edit Alias window appears.

  2. Place the pointer in the Alias: text field and enter an alias name.

  3. Place the pointer in the Address: text field and enter an address, comma-separated address list, or other valid alias(es) that will be associated with the alias name you just entered in the Alias: field.

  4. Click Ok or Apply in the Edit Alias dialog window to add the new alias to the Alias List.

To Edit an Alias:

  1. Select an alias in the Alias List, and click the Edit ... button or double-click an alias. The Edit Alias window appears with the alias name and associated address in the text fields.

  2. Make your modification(s) in the text fields.

  3. Click Ok or Apply in the Edit Alias dialog window to add your changes to the Alias List.

To Delete One or More Aliases:

  1. Select the alias(es) you want to remove.

  2. Click the Delete button.

    A pop-up confirmation box prompts you for confirmation before completing the operation.

Applying Your Changes

Apply or cancel your changes using the row of buttons across the bottom of the window. See Applying Your Changes.

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