Section: User Contributed Perl Documentation (3)
Updated: 2007-05-11
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Mail::Internet - manipulate Internet format (RFC 822) mail messages  


    use Mail::Internet;



This package provides a class object which can be used for reading, creating, manipulating and writing a message with RFC822 compliant headers.

If you start writing a new application, you may want to use the Mail::Box set of packages (requires perl 5.6.1), which has more features and handles modern messages much better. See <>.  


new ( [ ARG ], [ OPTIONS ] )
"ARG" is optional and may be either a file descriptor (reference to a GLOB) or a reference to an array. If given the new object will be initialized with headers and body either from the array of read from the file descriptor.

"OPTIONS" is a list of options given in the form of key-value pairs, just like a hash table. Valid options are

The value of this option should be a "Mail::Header" object. If given then "Mail::Internet" will not attempt to read a mail header from "ARG", if it was specified.
The value of this option should be a reference to an array which contains the lines for the body of the message. Each line should be terminated with "\n" (LF). If Body is given then "Mail::Internet" will not attempt to read the body from "ARG" (even if it is specified).

The Mail::Header options "Modify", "MailFrom" and "FoldLength" may also be given.



body ( [ BODY ] )
Returns the body of the message. This is a reference to an array. Each entry in the array represents a single line in the message.

If BODY is given, it can be a reference to an array or an array, then the body will be replaced. If a reference is passed, it is used directly and not copied, so any subsequent changes to the array will change the contents of the body.

print_header ( [ FILEHANDLE ] )
print_body ( [ FILEHANDLE ] )
print ( [ FILEHANDLE ] )
Print the header, body or whole message to file descriptor FILEHANDLE. $fd should be a reference to a GLOB. If FILEHANDLE is not given the output will be sent to STDOUT.

    $mail->print( \*STDOUT );  # Print message to STDOUT

as_string ()
Returns the message as a single string.
as_mbox_string ( [ ALREADY_ESCAPED ] )
Returns the message as a string in mbox format. "ALREADY_ESCAPED", if given and true, indicates that ->escape_from has already been called on this object.
head ()
Returns the "Mail::Header" object which holds the headers for the current message


The following methods are more a utility type than a manipulation type of method.
remove_sig ( [ NLINES ] )
Attempts to remove a users signature from the body of a message. It does this by looking for a line equal to '-- ' within the last "NLINES" of the message. If found then that line and all lines after it will be removed. If "NLINES" is not given a default value of 10 will be used. This would be of most use in auto-reply scripts.
tidy_body ()
Removes all leading and trailing lines from the body that only contain white spaces.
reply ()
Create a new object with header initialised for a reply to the current object. And the body will be a copy of the current message indented.
add_signature ( [ FILE ] )
Append a signature to the message. "FILE" is a file which contains the signature, if not given then the file ``$ENV{HOME}/.signature'' will be checked for.
send ( [ type [ args.. ]] )
Send a Mail::Internet message using Mail::Mailer. Type and args are passed on to "Mail::Mailer"
smtpsend ( [ OPTIONS ] )
Send a Mail::Internet message via SMTP, requires Net::SMTP

The return value will be a list of email addresses that the message was sent to. If the message was not sent the list will be empty.

Options are passed as key-value pairs. Current options are

Name of the SMTP server to connect to, or a Net::SMTP object to use

If "Host" is not given then the SMTP host is found by attempting connections first to hosts specified in $ENV{SMTPHOSTS}, a colon separated list, then "mailhost" and "localhost".

The e-mail address which is used as sender. By default, the mailaddress() method provides the address of the sender.
Send the email to the given addresses, each can be either a string or a reference to a list of email addresses. If none of "To", <Cc> or "Bcc" are given then the addresses are extracted from the message being sent.
Send a HELO (or EHLO) command to the server with the given name.
Port number to connect to on remote host
Debug value to pass to Net::SMPT, see <Net::SMTP>
nntppost ( [ OPTIONS ] )
Post an article via NNTP, requires Net::NNTP.

Options are passed as key-value pairs. Current options are

Name of NNTP server to connect to, or a Net::NNTP object to use.
Port number to connect to on remote host
Debug value to pass to Net::NNTP, see <Net::NNTP>
escape_from ()
It can cause problems with some applications if a message contains a line starting with `From ', in particular when attempting to split a folder. This method inserts a leading "`"'> on anyline that matches the regular expression "/^"*From/>
unescape_from ()
This method will remove the escaping added by escape_from


Mail::Header Mail::Address  


Graham Barr. Maintained by Mark Overmeer <>  


Copyright (c) 2002-2003 Mark Overmeer, 1995-2001 Graham Barr. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.



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