js-home.org, 28.06.2022

The XCmail FAQ ($Revision: 2.17 $)

This file has been started to give you a first help and answers to
your questions on XCmail.

All listed questions have the following structure:
Q - the question
A - the answer
N - later added note, like "bug fixed" or "replaced by new feature"
    or so

This FAQ may be published together with XCmail or with a remark (like
a hypertext link) in any electronical way.


Q: Why do I have to enter my POP3 password every time?
A: To save the password in a file is a security risk because every one
   maybe possible to read this file.
N: added in 0.10 beta 19 with DES-Crypt encryption - still a risk!
N: Obsolete

Q: If I press "next unread mail" button XCmail crashes.
A: Right, some early beta releases crashed if this button was
   pressed in an empty folder (hard to test if you get many
   mails every day.. ;-)

Q: I sent a mail but it was not seen again.
A: Check if you enabled the spool option in general preferences.
   You can send all spooled mails with the "Send spooled mails"
   option in the "Special" pull down menu. Read the documentation
   for more about spooling mails.

Q: XCmail crashed when I pressed the REPLY button.
A: Right, was a bug in 0.10-beta-11 to 0.10-beta-16.

Q: Some UUENCODED mails crashed.
A: Before 0.10-beta-17 the uudecoder had a memory problem because it
   was developed on IRIX which is more tollerant if you access memory
   behind an allocated block.

Q: If I use Umlauts other mailers show crazy letters and signs but
   XCmail does fine. The subject line looks good.
A: XCmail currently uses as MIME encoder for text 7bit encoding so
   all letters greater than 127 are translated for transmission
   and converted back to show them. Some other mailers can't this
   and others use an other name for this encoder. But XCmail will
   offer a workaround soon.
N: fixed to quoted-printable, 8bit and 7bit

Q: If I press "Next unread" or "Delete & next unread" the window is
   closed but no other mail is shown. Did I damage the buttons?!
A: No, but your mail folder. It seams that you have the same mail
   to times - exactly the same mail. XCmail uses sender, subject,
   date and messageID of a mail distinguish the mails from each
   other. And if you press one of this buttons XCmail looks for the
   next unread mail and wants to show it. But then it sees that it 
   seams to be already open and stops this action. Finally it closes
   the original window and so no window is open.
N: In the first XCmail releases this worked fine but then people
   as me not to hide and delete double mails...

Q: Is it true that XCmail can't create folders?
A: No, of course not! Simply select "choose..." in the "save in folder"
   menu and enter a new filename.
N: Since 0.10-beta-18 this menu item was renamed to "choose/create
N: Obsolete

Q: Is it possible to edit spooled mails before I send them?
A: No! Not within XCmail. If you don't have a spool folder you
   can't change them anyway. So think before you send... ;-)
N: Workaround: Look in the ~/Mail/POPSPOOL directory to find the
   mails. Delete them and use the resend function in the outbox.

Q: But Netscape allows me to edit spooled mails...
A: ...and Netscape is 7 MB and needs hours to launch and costs money!

Q: Always if I start XCmail is says that it has expired.
A: Right, beta releases of XCmail expire. You should look out for a
   new release with more functions and (hopefully) less bugs.

Q: I have a new release of XCmail but it still says it has expired
   with the same date as before.
A: Thats impossible! Check for shell PATH variable if it looks for
   another XCmail binary before the one you mean. Start XCmail
   with the path included. XCmail uses two ways of date check so
   it is impossible to have problems with installed localisation.

Q: Is it possible to disable the help boxes?
A: Yes, look the Xclasses setup window in the general page.

Q: What mean this "N", "O", "R" in the mails list?
A: N - new mail
   O - old mail but not read
   R - mail was replyed
   F - mail was forwarded
   S - mail was saved

Q: I am the only user on my system and use mail only for POP3. It it
   possible to make XCmail default to my POP mailbox?
A: Yes! Look the POP3 general preferences "POP3 mode".

Q: Are there any plans to make XCmail shareware or commercial?
A: Not really! XCmail will be published as free binary for private
   use. Maybe later on commercial users may pay for it but this has
   not been layed down.
N: read the XCmail license

Q: XCmail tells me that it can't write my mailfolder in /var/spool/mail
A: Check the file permissions. There are two solutions:
   1st: set S-bit for group MAIL on XCmail
   2nd: the directory must have world write access
   Best way is the second on:
   Set Sticky bit (T) on the mail spool directory and give it write 
   access for all to let XCmail write its lock and folder backup files 
   (most other mail tools do this!).

   This will look like this:
   drwxrwxrwt   2 root     root         1024 Dec 28 13:33 mail/

   The IRIX man page of 'chmod' says:

    If a directory is writable and the sticky bit, (t), is set on the
    directory, a process may remove or rename files within that directory
    only if one or more of the following is true (see unlink(2) and

       the effective user ID of the process is the same as that of the
       owner ID of the file

       the effective user ID of the process is the same as that of the
       owner ID of the directory

       the process is a superuser.

   To set the shown permissions use:
    chmod a=rwx,u+t /var/spool/mail

Q: But ELM works fine here.
A: Right, most distributions have S-bit set for ELM.

Q: But PINE has no S-bit and works!
A: Right, PINE may work without write access - and this may currupt
   your mail folder.
    PINE tech-notes.txt:
          This feature affects Pine's behavior when it encounters a
          problem acquiring a mail folder lock. Typically, a secondary
          file associated with the mail folder being opened is created as
          part of the locking process. On some systems, such file
          creation has been administratively precluded by the system
          Pine issues a warning when such failures occur, which can
          become bothersome if the system is configured to disallow such
          actions. Setting this feature causes Pine to remain silent when
          this part of lock creation fails.
          WARNING: systems that have been configured in a way that
          precludes locking introduce some risk of mail folder corruption
          when more than one program attempts to modify the mail folder.
          This is most likely to occur to one's INBOX or other "Incoming
          Message Folder".

Q: Others call this a bug or a missing feature of XCmail.
A: We call it a bug or risk for the user in other programs. If you receive
   mails durring writing the folder it is corrupted! XCmail don't offer
   such a bad option.

Q: How does XCmail realize locking of folders?
A: There are two standard locking mechanisms which handle
   program-contention locking. To be on the safe side, XCmail implements
   both of them. The older mechanism places a file xxxx.lock (where xxxx
   is the name of the file being locked) in the same directory as the
   file being locked. This makes use of the fact that directory
   operations are atomic in UNIX and mostly works across NFS. There are
   involved algorithms used to determine if a lock has been held for an
   excessive amount of time and should be broken. The second
   program-contention locking mechanism uses the flock() system call on
   the mailbox. This is much more efficient and the locks can't get stuck
   because they go away when the process that created them dies. This is
   usually found on 4BSD and related machines. But this don't work with
   NFS (V2)!

Q: My system has most of its binaries and options in /opt not in
   /usr/local. Is there any way to make XCmail use this?
A: Since 0.11.2 set env XCMAILDIR (defaults to /usr/local/XCmail).

Q: How can I change the dark color of the textboxes in the readmail
A: Set the X Resource 
   to a X11 or Xclasses color name (eg 'red', '#d0d0d0' or

Q: XCmail crashes with RedHat 5.x (glibc).
A: We know of this - maybe if you install libc5 this could help for the
   moment. But we are working on it. Try to build Xclasses on your system,
   this may help!
N: Fixed in 0.99.7

Q: XCmail doesn't start - it simply beeps forever.
A: Your libc is too old for the Xclasses library. Update to a newer
   one (we use 5.4.33) or try to build Xclasses on your system.
N: XCmail couldn't open /var/spool/mail/ or the foldername
   set in MAIL - because of a bug in releases before 0.99.5 this 
   results in a neverending beep. Create this file.

Q: I want to change the From: address but there is no settings.
A: Right! Normally there is no reason to change the sender name
   and mostly the local sendmail server will ignore it or print
   a warning.
N: If you really want it set "FROMMAIL" environment.

Q: I need, I want, why can't XCmail.... ?
A: Please, is this function really needed for a mail client? If so
   try to add it! ;-)

Q: I get "xcmail: can't resolve symbol '_11helper_test.option1'" when I
   start XCmail.
A: Remove the old unused "test" plugin. This is not needed and was part
   of some early releases for test purpose.

Q: I get "Warning in class 
   This gadget object will get a width of 0 - this will fail!"
   Or some other class.
A: Check your font settings. Open the Xclasses pull down menu in the
   main window and select the "Xclasses setup" and change the fonts
   (seams like you haven't some fonts installed Xclasses wanted to
   use by default - helvetica and courier). Save this and restart
   If you can't start XCmail you'll need to edit the .Xclasses or
   .Xclasses_XCmail setup file by hand.
N: This has been fixed in Xclasses 0.40.2pre4.

Q: XCmail dies when I press the "new mail" button.
A: See question before - this is a problem of font names, especially
   on IRIX systems.

Q: XCmail prints this messages and sometimes crashes:
   "can't resolve symbol 'pstatus__FPc'"
A: Remove the test plugin - it is no longer supported (or simply remove all
   plugins and reinstall them with the install script.

Q: XCmail crashes when I attache a file - I use a glibc2 system.
A: This is a known bug and fixed in 0.99.7

Q: If I enter text in the newmail textbox the cursor moves faster
   or is somewhere else placed but not at the place the new letters
   appear - and editing by clicking with the mouse pointer is
   nearly impossible.
A: Check your font settings in the Xclasses pull down menu - there is
   a font called "fixed" - this has to be a fixed width font (eg. courier).

Q: I changed my password in the preferences window but the old one
   (eg in the "get pop3 mail" window) is still used.
A: Restart XCmail with the saved prefs. XCmail uses the old password
   until restart.

Q: There is one option I cannot seem to find however. How can I adjust the
   default font size of everything? i.e., Larger button fonts, text 
   fonts, etc.
A: Maybe you should have a look in all pull down menus? The "Xclasses" menu
   has a "setup" item which opens a nice window that allows you to change 
   ALL fonts.

Q: XCmail requests for libstdc++ - I don't have it...
A: Install it ;-) On most distributions it is located in the
   gpp (g++) package.

Q: XCmail requests for libstdc++ 2.9 - but I only have 2.8.
A: XCmail was compiled on a Suse system which has libstdc++ 2.9 installed.
   Get the sources and compile XCmail for your machine - that shouldn't
   be a problem. Some people reported that symlinking 2.8 to 2.9

Q: I can't see all my mail folders in the popup and pulldown menus.
A: There is a limit of 30 folders. But this could be changed in the
   config.h file in the src directory.

Q: XCmail crashes if I try to open one of the pull down menus in the
   main window.
A: Apply this work around patch:
Index: reader.cxx
RCS file: /home/CVS/xc/xc-mail/src/reader.cxx,v
retrieving revision 2.58
diff -r2.58 reader.cxx
<       else
<       {
<               static message msg;
<               msg.Add(mn,new msgget_int(&mn,
<                       (int (callable::*)(void))&menu::Selection),
<                       NULL,NULL,NULL);
<               msg.Add(status,NULL,NULL,new msgset_int(&status,
<                       (void (callable::*)(int))&bannertext::MenuHelpText),
<                       NULL);
<       }
> //    else
> //    {
> //            static message msg;
> //            msg.Add(mn,new msgget_int(&mn,
> //                    (int (callable::*)(void))&menu::Selection),
> //                    NULL,NULL,NULL);
> //            msg.Add(status,NULL,NULL,new msgset_int(&status,
> //                    (void (callable::*)(int))&bannertext::MenuHelpText),
> //                    NULL);
> //    }

Is was also published in the mailing list (Juli 2000) as file attachment.
N: Obsolete

Q: XCmail and Xclasses compiled fine but I can't start it. Something about
   "can't find library".
A: Check your library path (eg. /etc/ld.so.conf on Linux). A path to
   /usr/local/lib is required (if you installed the Xclasses libraries

Q: Does XCmail support other charsets than iso-8859-1?
A: Yes, but at the moment not with a nice GUI... open the preferences file
   with a text editor (when XCmail is NOT running) - ~/.XCmail/settings -
   and look for the line "encoding8bit" and replace the iso-xxxxx string
   with one you want.
   Btw: any help for better national charset support is welcome!!

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