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  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.


       -S alt_spool
              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
              expiration times.

       -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

       -b size
              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
              batch sizes.

       -a arts
              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 total_size
              To limit the total number of bytes written for all batches,  use
              the ‘‘-B’’ flag.

       -A total_arts
              To  limit  the  total number of articles that can be batched use
              the ‘‘-A’’ flag.

       -N num_batches
              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,
              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 separator
              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’’.

       -p process
              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 <> for InterNetNews.  This is
       revision, dated 2003/10/18.


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


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