X-Face headers describe a 48x48 pixel black-and-white (1 bit
depth) image that's supposed to represent the author of the message.
It seems to be supported by an ever-growing number of mail and news
X-Face header either requires an Emacs that has
‘compface’ support (which most XEmacs versions have), or that you
have suitable conversion or display programs installed. If your Emacs
has image support the default action is to display the face before the
From header. If there's no native
X-Face support, Gnus
will try to convert the
X-Face header using external programs
pbmplus package and friends, see below. For XEmacs it's
faster if XEmacs has been compiled with
X-Face support. The
default action under Emacs without image support is to fork off the
On a GNU/Linux system, the
display program is included in the
ImageMagick package. For external conversion programs look for packages
with names like
On Windows, you may use the packages
from http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net. You need to add the
bin directory to your
PATH environment variable.
gnus-article-x-face-command controls which programs
are used to display the
X-Face header. If this variable is a
string, this string will be executed in a sub-shell. If it is a
function, this function will be called with the face as the argument.
gnus-article-x-face-too-ugly (which is a regexp) matches the
From header, the face will not be shown.
x-face is used in the variable/function names, not
Face and variable:
((pbm . (:face gnus-x-face)) (png . nil))for Emacs or
((xface . (:face gnus-x-face)))for XEmacs. Here are examples:
;; Specify the altitude of Face and X-Face images in the From header. (setq gnus-face-properties-alist '((pbm . (:face gnus-x-face :ascent 80)) (png . (:ascent 80)))) ;; Show Face and X-Face images as pressed buttons. (setq gnus-face-properties-alist '((pbm . (:face gnus-x-face :relief -2)) (png . (:relief -2))))
See Image Descriptors,
for the valid properties for various image types. Currently,
pbm is used for X-Face images and
png is used for Face
images in Emacs. Only the
:face property is effective on the
xface image type in XEmacs if it is built with the
If you use posting styles, you can use an
x-face-file entry in
gnus-posting-styles, See Posting Styles. If you don't, Gnus
provides a few convenience functions and variables to allow easier
insertion of X-Face headers in outgoing messages. You also need the
above mentioned ImageMagick, netpbm or other image conversion packages
(depending the values of the variables below) for these functions.
gnus-random-x-face goes through all the ‘pbm’ files in
gnus-x-face-directory and picks one at random, and then
converts it to the X-Face format by using the
gnus-convert-pbm-to-x-face-command shell command. The
‘pbm’ files should be 48x48 pixels big. It returns the X-Face
header data as a string.
gnus-random-x-face and inserts a ‘X-Face’ header with the
randomly generated data.
gnus-x-face-from-file takes a GIF file as the parameter, and then
converts the file to X-Face format by using the
gnus-convert-image-to-x-face-command shell command.
Here's how you would typically use the first function. Put something like the following in your ~/.gnus.el file:
(setq message-required-news-headers (nconc message-required-news-headers (list '(X-Face . gnus-random-x-face))))
Using the last function would be something like this:
(setq message-required-news-headers (nconc message-required-news-headers (list '(X-Face . (lambda () (gnus-x-face-from-file "~/My-face.gif"))))))