Keeping a contact manager database
The Insidious Big Brother Database is a contact manager tool for use with Emacs, and it's compatible with all of the Emacs email and news readers. It stores contact information in "records" and allows you to search for records that match a regular expression as well as records whose particular fields match a regular expression.
There are several ways to add a record to the database. Use the
"bbdb-create" function to manually add a record (when you run this
bbdb prompts you to enter the relevant
information for each field). When in a mail reader inside Emacs, type
: to display the record for the author of the current
message; if there is none,
bbdb asks whether or not one
should be created.
To manually create a new
bbdb record, type:
To make a new
bbdb record for the author of the
current email message, type:
Use the "bbdb" function to search for records -- it takes as an option the pattern or regular expression to search for.
To output records containing the text "scott" anywhere in the record, type:
M-x bbdb scott
There are additional functions that let you narrow your search to a particular field: "bbdb-name", "bbdb-company", "bbdb-net" and "bbdb-notes", which respectively search the name, company, e-mail address, and notes fields.
To output records matching the regular expression "*\.edu" in the e-mail address, type:
M-x bbdb-net *\.edu
Next week: using Linux for reminders.
Michael Stutz was one of the first reporters to cover Linux and the free software movement in the mainstream press.
Read more Living Linux columns.