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Af's extension language; a small programming language which allows you to write commands for af.

A body part which has been marked as an attachment with the `Content-Disposition' header. Af requires confirmation before it will display an attachment.

To bind a key sequence means to give it a binding (q.v.). See section 21.6 Customising Key Bindings.

A key sequence gets its meaning in af by having a binding, which is a command (q.v.) that is run when the user types that sequence. See section Binding. Customisation often involves rebinding a character to a different command. The bindings of all key sequences are recorded in the keymaps (q.v.). See section 21.6.1 Keymaps.

Blind Copy
A copy of an outgoing message, sent so someone in such a way that the other people receiving the message won't know that the person received a copy. See section 8. Composing and Sending Mail.

The body of a mail message is the actual text of the message, excluding the headers. See section 1.3 The Message Body.

Bouncing a message, means to re-send the message "as is" to someone, while making it appear that the new message is still from the person who sent the original message. See section 8.1 Commands for Sending Mail.

The buffer is the basic mail-reading unit; one buffer corresponds to one mail folder being read. You can have several buffers, but at any time you are processing only one, the `selected' buffer, though several can be visible when you are using multiple windows (q.v.). Most buffers are visiting (q.v.) some folder. See section 19. Using Multiple Buffers.

C- in the name of a character is an abbreviation for Control. See section C-.

C-M- in the name of a character is an abbreviation for Control-Meta. See section C-M-.

Carbon Copies
A copy of an outgoing message to someone, with an inference that the person should not regard the message as being addressed to them.

A command is an af function which can be bound to a key. When you type a key sequence (q.v.), its binding (q.v.) is looked up in the relevant keymaps (q.v.) to find the command to run. Alternatively, any command can be invoked by name using M-x See section 3.2 Keys and Commands.

Complete Key
A complete key is a key sequence which fully specifies one action to be performed by af. For example, RET and C-n and M-m are complete keys. Complete keys derive their meanings from being bound (q.v.) to commands (q.v.). Thus, RET is by default bound to a command to open and read the current message; M-m is by default bound to a command to begin composing a mail message. See section 3.1 Keys.

Completion is what af does when it automatically fills out an abbreviation for a name into the entire name. Completion is done for minibuffer (q.v.) arguments when the set of possible valid inputs is known; for example, on command names, buffer names, and file names. Completion occurs when TAB, SPC or RET is typed. See section 7.6 Completion.

Control Character
ASCII characters with octal codes 0 through 037, and also code 0177, do not have graphic images assigned to them. These are the control characters. To type a control character, hold down the CTRL key and type the corresponding non-Control character. RET, TAB, ESC, LFD and DEL are all control characters. See section 3. Characters, Keys and Commands.

A copyleft is a notice giving the public legal permission to redistribute a program or other work of art. Copylefts are used by left-wing programmers to give people equal rights, just as copyrights are used by right-wing programmers to gain power over other people.

The particular form of copyleft used by af is that used by the Free Software Foundation's project GNU, and is called the GNU General Public License. See section GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.

Current Buffer
The current buffer in af is the buffer on which most commands operate. You can select any af mail buffer as the current one. See section 19. Using Multiple Buffers.

Current Directory
When you specify a file name that does not start with a `/' or a special prefix character such as `~', it is interpreted relative to the current directory. See section 18.1 File Names.

Current Message
The message point is before. Many af commands operate on the current message. See section 2.1 Point.

The cursor is the pointer on the screen which indicates the position called point (q.v.) at which insertion and deletion takes place. It may be represented by an arrow pointer or by the terminal's cursor. The cursor is on the message (or character in the minibuffer) that follows point. Often people speak of `the cursor' when, strictly speaking, they mean `point'. See section Minibuffer.

Customisation is making minor changes in the way af works. It is often done by setting variables (see section 21.4 Variables) or by rebinding key sequences (see section 21.6 Customising Key Bindings).

Default Argument
The default for an argument is the value that will be assumed if you do not specify one. When the minibuffer is used to read an argument, the default argument is used if you just type RET. See section 7. The Minibuffer.

Default Response
A default response for an argument is a value that is initially inserted into the minibuffer for you to edit. See section 7. The Minibuffer.

DEL is a character that runs the command to delete one character of text. See section Basic Editing.

Deletion of Messages
Deleting a message means flagging it to be eliminated from your mail file. Until you save (q.v.) the buffer, you can still undelete the messages you have deleted. See section 5.4 Deleting Messages.

Deletion of Windows
Deleting a window means eliminating it from the screen. Other windows expand to use up the space. The deleted window can never come back, but no actual text is thereby lost. See section 20. Multiple Windows.

File directories are named collections in the file system, within which you can place individual files or subdirectories. See section 18.1 File Names.

See `Electronic Mail'.

Electronic Mail
Electronic mail means messages sent from one user to another through the computer system, to be read at the recipient's convenience. Af has commands for composing and sending mail, and for reading and editing the mail you have received.

Echo Area
The echo area is the bottom line of the screen, used for echoing the arguments to commands, for asking questions, and printing brief messages (including error messages). See section 2.2 The Echo Area.

Echoing is acknowledging the receipt of commands by displaying them (in the echo area). Af never echoes single-character key sequences; longer key sequences echo only if you pause while typing them. See section 2.2 The Echo Area.

An error occurs when an af command cannot execute in the current circumstances. When an error occurs, execution of the command will normally stop, and af reports the error by printing an error message (q.v.). Then af is ready to read another command.

Error Message
An error message is a single line of output displayed by af when the user asks for something impossible to do (such as, killing a message when point is at the end of the buffer). They appear in the echo area, accompanied by a beep.

The information used to route a mail message to the correct people. The information is usually stored in the message's headers. See section 1. An Introduction to Electronic Mail.

ESC is a character used as a prefix for typing Meta characters on keyboards lacking a META key. Unlike the META key (which, like the SHIFT key, is held down while another character is typed), the ESC key is pressed once and applies to the next character typed.

File Name
A file name is a name that refers to a file. File names may be relative or absolute; the meaning of a relative file name depends on the current directory, but an absolute file name refers to the same file regardless of which directory is current. On Unix systems, an absolute file name starts with a slash (the root directory) or with `~/' or `~user/' (a home directory).

File Name Component
A file name component names a file directly within a particular directory. On Unix systems, a file name is a sequence of file name components, separated by slashes. For example, `foo/bar' is a file name containing two components, `foo' and `bar'; it refers to the file named `bar' in the directory named `foo' in the current directory.

A file which contains mail messages. See section 18. Folder Handling.

Folder Directory
The directory where folders are stored. See section 18. Folder Handling.

Sending an annotated copy of a mail message to someone other than the original sender of the message. See section 8.1 Commands for Sending Mail.

Global Keymap
The global keymap (q.v.) contains key bindings that are in effect except when overridden by local key bindings in a major mode's local keymap (q.v.). See section 21.6.1 Keymaps.

Header Line
A single line on the screen which shows details of a mail message, and represents that message in the buffer. See section 2. The Organization of the Screen.

The part of a message which contains information about the message itself, rather than the content of the message. The headers appear at the start of the message, and are separated from the body (q.v.) by a blank line.

Incoming Mailbox
The folder where the system delivers you incoming mail. See section 18. Folder Handling.

Input Event
An input event represents, within af, one action taken by the user on the terminal. The only Input Events currently accepted by af are those for typing characters. See section 3. Characters, Keys and Commands.

Insertion means copying messages or text into a buffer, either from the keyboard or with some other af command.

Keyboard Macro
Keyboard macros are a way of defining new af commands from sequences of existing ones. See section 21.5 Keyboard Macros.

Key Sequence
A key sequence (key, for short) is a sequence of input events (q.v.) that are meaningful as a single unit. If the key sequence is enough to specify one action, it is a complete key (q.v.); if it is not enough, it is a prefix key (q.v.). See section 3.1 Keys.

The keymap is the data structure that records the bindings (q.v.) of key sequences to the commands that they run. For example, the global keymap binds the character C-n to the command function next-line. See section 21.6.1 Keymaps.

Kill Ring
The kill ring is where all messages you have killed recently are saved. You can reinsert any of the killed messages still in the ring; this is called yanking (q.v.). See section 14.2 Yanking Messages.

Killing means erasing messages (or text in the minibuffer), and saving it on the kill ring so it can be yanked (q.v.) later. Some other systems call this "cutting". See section 14.1 Killing Messages.

Local Keymap
A local keymap is used in a particular major mode; the key bindings (q.v.) in the current local keymap override global bindings of the same key sequences. See section 21.6.1 Keymaps.

M- in the name of a character is an abbreviation for META, one of the modifier keys that can accompany any character. See section 3. Characters, Keys and Commands.

M-C- in the name of a character is an abbreviation for Control-Meta; it means the same thing as C-M-. If your terminal lacks a real META key, you type a Control-Meta character by typing ESC and then typing the corresponding Control character. See section C-M-.

M-x is the key sequence which is used to call an af command by name. This is how you run commands that are not bound to key sequences. See section 9. Running Commands by Name.

See `electronic mail'.

Mail Aliases
A short mnemonic name which stands for one or more mail addresses. See section 8.7 Defining and Using Mail Aliases.

See `incoming mailbox'.

Major Mode
The Af major modes are a mutually exclusive set of options, each of which handles different functions within af. See section 3.3 Major Modes.

The mark points to a position in the text. It specifies one end of the region (q.v.), point being the other end. Many commands operate on all the text from point to the mark. Each buffer has its own mark. See section 12. The Mark and the Region.

A single electronic mail message. See section 1. An Introduction to Electronic Mail.

Meta is the name of a modifier bit which a command character may have. It is present in a character if the character is typed with the META key held down. Such characters are given names that start with Meta- (usually written M- for short). For example, M-< is typed by holding down META and at the same time typing < (which itself is done, on most terminals, by holding down SHIFT and typing ,). See section Meta.

Meta Character
A Meta character is one whose character code includes the Meta bit.

A standard for transferring messages that contain information other then plain ASCII text. See section 1.3 The Message Body.

The minibuffer is the window that appears when necessary inside the echo area (q.v.), used for reading arguments to commands. See section 7. The Minibuffer.

Minibuffer History
The minibuffer history records the text you have specified in the past for minibuffer arguments, so you can conveniently use the same text again. See section 7.7 Minibuffer History.

Minor Mode
A minor mode is an optional feature of af which can be switched on or off independently of all other features. Some minor modes have a command to turn it on or off. See section 3.4 Minor Modes.

Mode Line
The mode line is the line at the bottom of each window (q.v.), giving status information on the buffer displayed in that window. See section 2.4 The Mode Line.

Modified Buffer
A buffer (q.v.) is modified if its contents have been changed since the last time the buffer was saved (or since when it was created, if it has never been saved). See section 18.6 Saving Files.

Moving Messages
Moving messages means erasing them from one place and inserting them in another. The usual way to move messages is by killing (q.v.) and then yanking (q.v.). See section 14.1 Killing Messages.

Narrowing means creating a restriction (q.v.) that limits the display of message in the current buffer to only some of the messages in the buffer. Messages which are not displayed are inaccessible to the user until the buffer is widened again, but it is still there, and saving the folder saves it all. See section 17. Narrowing.

Numeric Argument
A numeric argument is a number, specified before a command, to change the effect of the command. Often the numeric argument serves as a repeat count. See section 5.8 Numeric Arguments.

Point is the place in the buffer at which most commands take effect. Point is considered to be between two messages, not at one message. A cursor (q.v.) indicates the location of point. See section Point.
Prefix Argument
See `numeric argument'.

Prefix Key
A prefix key is a key sequence (q.v.) whose sole function is to introduce a set of longer key sequences. C-x is an example of prefix key; any two-character sequence starting with C-x is therefore a legitimate key sequence. See section 3.1 Keys.

A prompt is text printed to ask the user for input. Displaying a prompt is called prompting. Af prompts always appear in the echo area (q.v.). One kind of prompting happens when the minibuffer is used to read an argument (see section 7. The Minibuffer); the echoing which happens when you pause in the middle of typing a multi-character key sequence is also a kind of prompting (see section 2.2 The Echo Area).

Quitting means cancelling a partially typed command or a running command, using C-g. See section 5.6 Quitting.

Quoting means depriving a character of its usual special significance. In af this is usually done with C-q. What constitutes special significance depends on the context and on convention. For example, in the minibuffer, an "ordinary" character as an af command inserts itself; so in this context, a special character is any character that does not normally insert itself (such as DEL, for example), and quoting it makes it insert itself as if it were not special. Not all contexts allow quoting. See section 7. The Minibuffer.

Quoting a Message
When replying to a message, quoting is copying the text of the original message into the text of the new message, prefixed with some characters to mark it as the text to which you are replying. See section 8. Composing and Sending Mail.

Read-Only Buffer
A read-only buffer is one whose contents you are not allowed to change. Normally af makes buffers read-only when the folder they are visiting is write-protected. See section 19. Using Multiple Buffers.

Redisplay is the process of correcting the image on the screen to correspond to changes that have been made in the text being edited. See section 2. The Organization of the Screen.

See `regular expression'.

The region is the text between point (q.v.) and the mark (q.v.). Many commands operate on the region. See section 12. The Mark and the Region.

Regular Expression
A regular expression is a pattern that can match various text strings; for example, `l[0-9]+' matches `l' followed by one or more digits. See section 15.4 Syntax of Regular Expressions.

Repeat Count
See `numeric argument'.

RET is a character that is used to terminate most arguments read in the minibuffer (q.v.). See section Minibuffer.

Saving a buffer means copying its contents back into the file that was visited (q.v.) in that buffer. This is the way in which folders actually get changed by af. See section 18.6 Saving Files.

Scrolling means shifting the messages (or text in typeout) in the window so as to see a different part of the buffer. See section 5.3 Scrolling.

Searching means moving point to the next match for a specified regular expression. See section 15. Searching Mail Folders.

Search Path
A search path is a list of directory names, to be used for searching for files for certain purposes. For example, the variable load-path holds a search path for finding afl library files. See section 22. Afl.

Selecting a buffer means making it the current (q.v.) buffer. See section Selecting.

Self-documentation is the feature of af which can tell you what any command does, or give you a list of all commands related to a topic you specify. You ask for self-documentation with the C-h. See section 10. Help.

Signature File
A file which is automatically appended to the text of any messages you send. See section 1.4 Signatures.

System Tags
Tags (q.v.) which are automatically set by af to show status information about a message. See section 13. Tags.

Tags are markers which are set on a message either by af (See `system tags') or a user. Af allows you to perform commands on messages which meet specified criteria for tags. See section 13. Tags.

The set of messages which match a tag expression. See section 13.1.4 Tag Expressions.

Top Level
Top level is the normal state of af, in which you are looking at the contents of the folder you have visited. You are at top level whenever you are not in typeout (q.v.) or the minibuffer (q.v.), and not in the middle of a command. You can get back to top level by quitting (q.v.). See section 5.6 Quitting.

Typeout is the mode used for paging text or messages inside af. The typeout window pops up when it is needed, and disappears when typeout is complete. See section 6. Typeout.

A variable is an object that can store an arbitrary value. Af has some variables (called "configuration variables) that exist just so that you can set their values to control the behaviour of af. See section 21.4 Variables.

Visiting a folder means reading its contents into a buffer (q.v.) where they can be processed. See section 18.3 Visiting Files.

Whitespace is any run of consecutive formatting characters (space, tab, newline, and backspace).

Widening is removing any restriction (q.v.) on the current buffer; it is the opposite of narrowing (q.v.). See section 17. Narrowing.

Af divides the screen into one or more windows, each of which can display the contents of one buffer (q.v.) at any time. See section 2. The Organization of the Screen, for basic information on how af uses the screen. See section 20. Multiple Windows, for commands to control the use of windows.

Yanking means reinserting messages or text previously killed. It can be used to undo a mistaken kill, or for copying or moving messages. Some other systems call this "pasting". See section 14.2 Yanking Messages.

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