One of the more fun features of exmh is its ability to display the facesaver bitmap of the person that sent you mail. There are two sources of the bitmap images: the facesaver database or inline X-Face: mail header fields. These two sources can be used independently, but the main trick is getting exmh configured properly to use them.
Faces Root Directory: /usr/local/faces
Faces Search Path: parc logos news facesaver
If you are setting up your own database, you need to understand how the database is organized. It is easiest to demonstrate by example. For myself, firstname.lastname@example.org, my facesaver image is found as com/xerox/parc/welch/face.xbm. exmh looks for this file under each of the directories named by the faces search path. The complete pathname might be /usr/local/faces/parc/com/xerox/parc/welch/face.xbm. If a bitmap is not found, then the search algorithm trims off trailing components in an effort to find a more general bitmap, typically a company or organizational logo. At your site, for example, you might only have /usr/local/faces/logos/com/xerox/face.xbm, which contains the Xerox corporate logo.
If your exmh installation is not correct, or if you have a personal faces database that the exmh maintainer doesn't know about, then you can also override the install-time settings with the FACEPATH environment variable. This is a more traditional search path of colon-separated directory names. For example, you could override the search path with this value of FACEPATH:
uncompface | ikon2xbmTo create an X-Face: header field, use:
xbm2ikon myface.xbm | compfaceThe uncompface program comes with the faces software. It also has a version of ikon2xbm, but a faster version of this program (a C program instead of some scripts) is distributed with exmh in its misc directory. Future versions of exmh will cache the results of decompressing the X-Face: line in a personal faces database, but in the current version it just writes to the file /tmp/FACES.pid. If you are inspired you could add a Hook_MsgDisplay (Section Programming exmh) to stash this file into a real facesaver database.
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This file is from the third edition of the book MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers, ISBN 1-56592-093-7, by Jerry Peek. Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. This file is freely-available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. For more information, see the file copying.htm.
Suggestions are welcome: <Brent.Welch@eng.sun.com>