1.5 mailabbrev

mailabbrev is Emacs’s “abbrev-expansion of mail aliases”, and it is part of Emacs. It stores all information in a mailrc file, whose location, and name can be configured via the variable mail-personal-alias-file (which see). The mailrc file has the same format as the mail and mailx commands use for their startup configuration file. mailabbrev processes ‘alias’, and ‘source’ statements in the mailrc file. ‘alias’ statements can define simple aliases and distribution lists, and can be nested in that the alias expansion can contain references to other alias definitions. Forward references, that is references to aliases before they are actually defined, are possible, too.

Originally, mailabbrev was designed to be used with abbrev-mode. The mailabbrev EUDC backend does not use abbrev-mode, but queries mailabbrev for alias entries only, and returns these as EUDC results. All entries where the alias name exactly equals either the email, name, or firstname attribute value in the EUDC query, will be returned as matches. When a mailrc alias defines a distribution list, that is it expands to more than one email address, the EUDC result will contain a single entry, which will contain an email attribute only, whose value will be a comma-separated list of RFC 5322 formatted recipient specifications.