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7.2 Anonymous Attributions

When the author's name cannot be found in the ‘From:’ mail header, a fallback author name and attribution string must be supplied. The fallback author name is contained in the variable sc-default-author-name and the fallback attribution string is contained in the variable sc-default-attribution. Default values for these variables are "Anonymous" and "Anon", respectively. Note that in most circumstances, getting the default author name or attribution is a sign that something is set up incorrectly.

Also, if the preferred attribution, which you specified in your sc-preferred-attribution-list variable cannot be found, a secondary method can be employed to find a valid attribution string. The variable sc-use-only-preference-p controls what happens in this case. If the variable's value is non-nil, then sc-default-author-name and sc-default-attribution are used, otherwise, the following steps are taken to find a valid attribution string, and the first step to return a non-nil, non-empty string becomes the attribution:

  1. Use the last selected attribution, if there is one.
  2. Use the value of the "x-attribution" key.
  3. Use the author's first name.
  4. Use the author's last name.
  5. Use the author's initials.
  6. Find the first non-nil, non-empty attribution string in the attribution alist.
  7. sc-default-attribution is used.

Once the attribution string has been automatically selected, a number of things can happen. If the variable sc-confirm-always-p is non-nil, you are queried for confirmation of the chosen attribution string. The possible values for completion are those strings in the attribution alist, however you are not limited to these choices. You can type any arbitrary string at the confirmation prompt. The string you enter becomes the value associated with the "sc-lastchoice" key in the attribution alist.

Once an attribution string has been selected, Supercite will force the string to lower case if the variable sc-downcase-p is non-nil.

Two hook variables provide even greater control of the attribution selection process. The hook sc-attribs-preselect-hook is run before any attribution is selected. Likewise, the hook sc-attribs-postselect-hook is run after the attribution is selected (and the corresponding citation string is built), but before these values are committed for use by Supercite. During the post-selection hook, the local variables attribution and citation are bound to the appropriate strings. By changing these variables in your hook functions, you change the attribution and citation strings used by Supercite. One possible use of this would be to override any automatically derived attribution string when it is only one character long; e.g., you prefer to use "initials" but the author only has one name.