A Guide to Interrogating ...

                               ECHOBASE
                         The Echolist program
                   Copyright (c) 1995 by Dana Bell
     ECHOBASE is a database program that maintains a database of
     echomail conference information.  This particular program was
     written to meet the need to maintain and distribute echomail
     conference lists within FamilyNet.  In addition to published
     lists, you can also get information about the echoes listed in
     the database by sending an ECHOBASE query.

     Querying ECHOBASE is done by using the FTSC netmail system to
     request information using tags and area names.  The program will
     read the message, search the echolist database and then reply to
     the person requesting information.

     Address netmail messages

     To:   ECHOLIST, 1:1/21  or  echolist@fidonet.us
     Subj: ECHO QUERY

     and use the following keywords to tag the kind of search and
     response you want.

     Search Keywords
     /TAG  or  /T = areatag to search for
     /MOD  or  /M = moderator names to search for (Use '_' for spaces)
     /GROUP or /G = group
     /DESC or /PD = search the description fields for the word(s)
     /PT          = search for tags matching the global tagspec
     /PM          = search for moderators matching the global spec

     Response Format Keywords
     /LIST  or /SHORT = one-line response showing Tag and title
     /DETAIL or /LONG = respond with a detailed information about the echo
     /MODUPD          = respond with a message in Moderator Update format
     /FORMAT
     ... %--- = respond with a message using the designated format.
     /HELP            = responds with a help message.

     When searching for areatags, ECHOBASE will try to make ONE exact
     match.  When searching for moderator names, ECHOBASE will respond
     will all entries moderated by that person.  When searching for a
     moderator or tag with the /PT and /PM options, ECHOBASE does a
     global replacement search (* and ?) for multiple areas.  When
     searching for a word in the description field, ECHOBASE will do
     an imbedded search for the expression specified.  In order to use
     multiple words in a single search, replace spaces with '_'.
     Keywords may be capitalized or lowercase.

     All options are sticky.  When you selected /DETAIL information,
     every response will be detailed until you change it to /LIST.
     When you select /MOD information, every search will be for
     moderators until you select one of the other kinds of search.
     It's a good idea to specify the search and response for each line
     of queries.  Words not preceded by / are considered the words or
     names to search for.
     /T /DETAIL FAMILY HOMELIFE
     /PD /LIST FAMILY HOME CHILD
     /M Dana_Bell

     Specifying a response format

     A response format can be defined by using the keyword /FORMAT.
     The actual format must begin on the next and end with the
     terminal sequence %---.  All characters and new lines within the
     format will match the format in each response.  Information for
     each area searched for is designated by using keywords preceded
     by a '%' character.

     A keyword followed by a period and a number indicates the number of
     characters to use in the output. That's what's needed to format a
     tabular list.  An actual period following a keyword would be
     formatted with two periods. The Description line is indented 7
     spaces from where the keyword is found, with subsequent lines
     indented 7 spaces from the left margin.

     The terminal three dashs (%---) is used to indicate where the
     formatting ends.  The following are two sample formats you might
     use.
     /FORMAT
     %TAG.20 %MOD.20 %ADDR
     %---

     /FORMAT
     %TAG.35
          (%GROUP) %TITL
          Moderator: %MOD %ADDR
          Last changed: %UPDA
     %---

     The formatting keywords are
          %TAG      <areatag>
          %TITL     <brief area description>
          %DESC     <description of the echo>
          %MOD      <moderator name>, <moderator node>
          %COMOD    <co-moderator name>, <co-moderator node>
          %TOT      <number of nodes carrying this conference>
          %VOL      <number of messages>/Month
          %REST     <Flag restrictions>
          %NOTE     <freeform restrictions>
          %ORIG     <origination of the distribution>
          %DIST     <distribution>
          %GATE     <gateways>
          %GROUP    <group echo belongs with>
          %RULE     <rule file>
          %CREA     <creation date>
          %UPDA     <update date>
          %ADDR     <Moderator's Address>
          %ADDR2    <CoModerator's Address>
          %MSGR     <Messenger>
          %MSGA     <Messenger's Address>
          %%        literal %
     So that Echobase will know when to stop reading the message for
     keywords, you need to include a line beginning with three-dashes
     to indicate the end of a message. Here's a final, full example.
     This message requests detailed information on tags FAMILY and
     HOMELIFE, and formatted information on all listing in group
     CFN. Note the difference between %--- and ---.

     To:   ECHOLIST, 8:70/2
     Subj: ECHO QUERY

     /T /DETAIL FAMILY HOMELIFE
     /FORMAT
     %TAG.35
          (%GROUP) %TITL
          Moderator: %MOD %ADDR
          Messenger: %MSGR %MSGA
          Last changed: %UPDA
     %---
     /G CFN
     ---

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