Dec 312017
Multinet offline reader for OS/2 written in REXX.
File READBBS.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category OS/2 Files
Multinet offline reader for OS/2 written in REXX.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
COMPACT.CMD 34482 9219 deflated
NEWMAIL.CMD 8890 2740 deflated
NEWREAD.EXE 44416 44246 deflated
READ.ME 11582 4362 deflated
READBBS.CFG 763 405 deflated
READBBS.CMD 43551 11714 deflated
READBBS.DOC 27144 9950 deflated
REFLOW.CMD 2558 994 deflated

Download File READBBS.ZIP Here

Contents of the READ.ME file

Revision History:

9/9/91 -- Don Babcock

Changed READBBS to account for addition of three more message bases.
Changed Scripts where wildcard = REP?????.? to REP?????.?? to get
two digit extensions.
Included READBBS.CFG updated for the new message bases.

11/29/91 -- Dovid Gross
User-defined variables, includes drive&path, editor name
Elapsed time counter
Merge new messages directly into old (index update)
DUP duplicates index entries eliminated (during merge)
Unknown conferences are added as "extended conferences"
Improved main (conferences) prompt contains more info
Main prompt allows direct entry of conference number
Main prompt by default skips "extended conferences"
Reply file extension is "true" conference number
Improved error handling in config file (alphabetic lastreads)
Checks for existing sent AND unsent replies
Added "original message" information in message quoting
Prompts to delete "null" (unchanged) replies
Improved "72-column" message flowing incorporated
Indexing function displays a message count
Log file lists reply actions (create/delete) and time counter
(Limited) error handling routine
Closes files; avoids processing errors when calling programs

User-defined variables: provides access to the internal program
variables used by READBBS. Useful to change default settings,
especially drive/path (for replies), editor name, and signature file.
See READBBS.DOC for more information on user variables.

Merge new messages directly into old (index update): allows READBBS to
append a new mail file to an old one, adding index entries for the new
file (without having to reindex the old file). This saves time, because
you don't have to append the file manually, and also, since after a
while the "old" file can become pretty large, you avoid the majority of
the indexing time READBBS would spend needlessly reindexing the old

DUP duplicates index entries eliminated (during merge): when more than
one copy of a message exists in the mail file, READBBS lists all copies
of the message in the index -- wasting space and increasing load time.
A feature of the merge system eliminates duplicate index entries from
the base ("old") file.

Unknown conferences are added as "extended conferences": in previous
versions of READBBS, if a conference was found in the mail file that was
not listed by name in the config file, READBBS would make believe all
such conferences were part of an automatic conference #99: CONFERENCE
NOT FOUND. This could easily happen if the conference names changed on
the BBS (as has happened) or if you do not lists all conferences in your
config file (because some aren't of interest to you). This version
automatically adds the new conferences by their true names, assigning
them a conference number starting from 1000.

Improved main (conferences) prompt contains more info: lists the number
assigned to the conference in the config file, and lists the current
message in the conference.

Main prompt allows direct entry of conference number: you can now jump
directly from one conference to another, without going through all the
conferences in between, by entering the number assigned to the
conference (in the config file) at the conference prompt. For example,
if conference 20 is BBS Questions and Comments, you can go directly to
that conference at the first prompt by entering the number twenty.
READBBS will then skip all th conferences and jump to BBS Questions and

Main prompt by default skips "extended conferences": conferences that
were added automatically (see "extended conferences" above) can be
skipped by default. The default action for a null command (just
pressing enter) at the main promptis the same as the "yes" (read
conference) command; for extended conferences (comferences whose
assigned number is at least 1,000), the action of the null command is to
display a "skipping" message and to execute the "quit" command.

Reply file extension is "true" conference number: in READBBS, reply
files (REPxxxxx.##) have the conference number as the extension, making
it easy to find the conference to which to send the reply file. In
previous versions, this number was a sequence number, 1 to the number of
conferences you have in your config, with the numbers corresponding to
the order the conferences are listed in the config. The problem is
that there are only ten conferences, but they are numbered one through
nine, with the tenth being number 20 (there are no conferences 10
through 19). COnference 20 replies were recorded as if they were to
conference 10; AUTOPOST.EXE and REXXTERM.ZIP had to be coded "around"
problem. The problem has been resloved; the reply file extension is now
the true conference number as listed in the config. This has other
benefits: you can reorder the conferences so you read the conferences
most important to you first; the reply extension won't change. Also,
since AUTOPOST and REXXTERM use only two-character extensions, extended
conference replies, whose number is made up by READBBS, will have an
"unused" extension (they are numbered 1,000 and up; only the first three
digits of the number are used, but that still creates a three-digit
extension, ignored by AUTOPOST and REXXTERM).

Improved error handling in config file (alphabetic lastreads): in
previous versions of READBBS, the program could abend if a
last-message-"number" was not really a number; now such bad numbers are
treated as if they were zero.

Checks for existing sent AND unsent replies: some versions of READBBS
check for an existing REPxxxxx.## reply file for the message you are
replying to, and if it does, ask you whether you want to zap it with a
new "quoted/signatured" reply, or simply edit the existing file. This
version also checks for reply files that have been already sent to the
BBS, and asks you if you want to continue; if you do, the historical
"sent" file (SEPxxxxx.##) is deleted so as not to cause problems with
AUTOPOST/REXXXTERM when they attempt to change your reply file to a
historical reply file of the same name (which would fail, causing
AUTOPOST/REXXTERM to think the reply file was NOT historical on the next
run, and would keep sending the reply over and over each run).

Added "original message" information in message quoting: the message
quoting function now includes an "additional" first line listing the
message number being replied to, the name of its sender (recipient of
the reply), the name of that message's recipient, and if that message
was in reply to another (the REFER # is not "None"), the message number
of the "original" message.

Prompts to delete "null" (unchanged) replies: if you create or edit a
reply, and do not save the reply file when you exit the editor, READBBS
detects this, and kills the reply (with your permission). Note 1: if
you make no changes but save the "unchanged" reply anyway, READBBS will
not detect this, and will assume there were some changes; it will NOT
kill such a reply. Note 2: Sometimes, you may wish to look at a reply
you hav already entered. An easy way to do this is to jump to the
message you replied to, choose the reply function again, and specify
that you wish to re-edit the existing reply, not zap it and start anew.
Often in such cases, you will not make changes to the file and will not
save it. READBBS will detect this and will want to kill the reply; MAKE
REPLY MESSAGE WILL BE KILLED! Of course, this provides a relatively
convenient way to backtrack and easily kill a reply you decide you don't
wish to really send.

Improved "72-column" message flowing incorporated: Previous versions of
READBBS would wrap too-long lines in the quote by simply breaking them
at the first word beyond the 72-column margin and putting a "notice"
that the word was broken. Furthermore, if you made changes to the
quote, no reflowing was done; nor was any reflowing performed on the
material you added as a reply; a separate program NO73.CMD was
provided for you to run manually. NO73 has been improved to recognize
initials and "rewrap within" the initials (i.e., on the quoted section,
to not wrap the initials themselves, and to apply a 69-column margin to
the quote itself, making sure each line of the quote retains initials.
Non-quoted text is wrapped within the standard 72-column margins. To
reflect the added functionality, NO73.CMD is now called REFLOW.CMD.
READBBS automatically calls REFLOW to create message quotes, and to
reflow replies each time you edit, eliminating the need to run REFLOW
manually (unless you edit a reply without directly using the reply
command for that specific reply).

Indexing function displays a message count: whenever indexing,
reindexing, or merge update indexing, READBBS displays a count of all
index entries (which is essentially a count of all messages, including
duplicates among the new messages; dups among the old messages are
eliminated from the index).

Log file lists reply actions (create/delete) and time counter: each
time a reply is created, or an "unchanged" reply automatically killed, a
note is made in a session log; the session log also includes the elapsed
time counter.

(Limited) error handling routine: instead of allowing the default REXX
"oops there's an error in READBBS.CMD" to be called, a built-in
rudimentary error handler is inlcluded. This was deemed necessary
because the new user variables handling allows the user to create a
config file that can blow READBBS right out of the water. It invokes
REXX's interactive trace; enter the "exit" command or hit enter sevral
time to exit back to OS/2. If things go awry, this tool can be used in
conjunction with a READBBS programmer's guidance to discover the cause
of the error and correct it.

Closes files; avoids processing errors when calling programs: READBBS
did not always close files it used, creating a problem for some users
when they ran other programs to process files READBBS had opened (in
particular, when the user-installable editor feature was used [an
example of the user variables feature], some editors had trouble when
called from READBBS).

1/24/91 -- Dovid Gross
Fixed "end-of-conference" message bug (not recording last msg)
Using above, fixed last-message-out-of-range error
Smart (fast) sorter (only sorts when and what is necessary)
Smart (fast) direct message finder for locating message #xyz
More concise message menu; avoids "lost top line" scrolling
Added OPTION to display more/less status information
Added OPTION to display extra blank message lines or not
Added [N]o equivalent to [Q]uit for screen-at-a-time display
(avoids accidentally quitting from conference menu)
List subjects can now list from any starting message number
You can re-list (re-Display) a message from message menu
Threading from "unthreaded" messages does not cause redisplay
Can "adapt" to index with manually deleted message lines
(messages are treated as purged; after the next merge
operation the index will be in standard format, and COMPACT
can be used to actually delete those messages)

 December 31, 2017  Add comments

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