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birthday - warn about upcoming birthdays and other events


birthday [-w|-c] [-f file] [-W defwarn] [-M maxwarn] [-m minwarn] [-l lines] [-p weeks]
[-d total] [-i width]


The birthday command reads a file, by default ~/.birthdays, which gives a list of events
in the near future (see section FILE FORMAT for details). It can then produce either a
list of events which are coming up within the next few weeks, or a text-based calendar
with a few lines for each day.


-w Display a list of upcoming events. This is the default.

-c Display a calendar, designed to be piped to lpr(1).

-f file
Read the events from file rather than ~/.birthdays. If file is a single hyphen,
read the events from the standard input (usually the terminal).

List Options
-W warn
Warn warn days in advance, for entries that have no w flag (see FILE FORMAT). If
this switch is not specified, it defaults to 21 days.

-M max Warn at most max days in advance. This overrides any flag given in the file.

-m min Warn at least min days in advance. This overrides any flag given in the file.

Calendar Options
-l lines
Print lines lines for every day.

-p weeks
Print weeks weeks on every page of the calendar. If set to 0, the default, disables
page breaks.

-d days
Print the calendar for up to days days in advance.

-i width
Print the calendar width characters wide. This affects the length of the lines
separating each day, and the point at which events will be word-wrapped.


Each line beginning with a hash sign, `#', is a comment and will be ignored. Lines
beginning with an ampersand, `&', are directives. Currently there is only one such
directive, &include file, which reads in a seperate file from your .birthdays file. file
should be given with an absolute path, which should not use the tilde notation to specify
your home directory.

Any other line specifies the name of a person or event, followed by an equals sign and a
date (DD/MM, DD/MM/YY or DD/MM/YYYY, where the form DD/MM/YY is assumed to give a date in
the 20th century and is now deprecated), and finally some extra options. These options

bd This line is a birthday (the default). The year, if given, should be when the
person was born. A line designated as a birthday will produce output like Erin has
a birthday in 3 days' time or Jemima is 3 in 2 weeks' time.

ann This line is an anniversary. The year, if given, should be the year in which the
thing happened, producing output like Pen exploded 3 years ago tomorrow given a
line such as Pen exploded=12/09/93 ann.

ev This line is an event of some sort. If a year is given, the text will be displayed
in that year only; otherwise, it will be displayed every year. The remaining time
is simply appended to the text; for instance, the input Easter=7/4/1996 ev would
give rise to the text Easter in 1 week's time.

wn Warn n days in advance of the date, rather than the default of 21 days or the
number given with the -W flag.

todate The event lasts until date, which should be in the same format as for the date of
the event.

The event lasts for days days.


The file format documented here handles dates in a couple of slightly non-standard ways.
Firstly, the dates are given in British format of DD/MM/YYYY, as opposed to the more
normal US format MM/DD/YYYY.

Secondly, dates with a two-digit year are assumed to be in the 20th century (19xx), rather
than taking the standard convention of assuming all two-digit years less than 70 are in
the 21st century. This is for reasons of compatibility with older data files, since many
people have birthdays before 1970, and the program was written before I came across the
Y2K issues. :-( You should probably avoid this format.


Joe Blow=25/04/1974

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