Debian Weekly News - email

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 21:18:57 -0600 (MDT)
From: Jason Gunthorpe <>
To: Debian Developers <>

I have put up a new way to enter your location information, it is a PGP
signed mail gateway at It can actually change quite
a few things, but for the moment I am only announcing the ability to set
location and contact information :>

The server is line oriented much like and
regex's each line to determine what to do, here is a sample session:

c: CA
l: Edmonton, Alberta
Lat: 55n33 Long: 113w28

---> Daemon sends back this:
> c: ca
Changed entry c to ca
> l: Edmonton, Alberta
Changed entry l to Edmonton, Alberta
> Lat: 55n33 Long: 113w28
Position set to +5533/-11328 (+55.55/-113.47 decimal degrees)

[aside, the 'fast' way to enter the data is like:
 echo "Lat: 55n33 Long: 113w28" | gpg --clearsign | mail
 or pgp -fast. The gateway should work with most popular mailers too and

Which will set your country code, city value and location. The parser that
handles the lat/long for -this- service is more sophisticated that the web
page or command line version and can handle alot of the common formats
found on the net. It converts them to the 'standard' form of DGMS, DGM or
Decimal degrees, which ever is most natural for the input. A quick rundown
on the supported types is:

 D = Degrees, M = Minutes, S = Seconds, x = n, s, e, or w
  +-DDD.DDDDD,  +- DDDMM.MMMM,  +-DDDMMSS.SSSS   [standard forms]

I haven't seen a format outside of that yet, but let me know if you find

The end result is that people who had troubles entering their positions
before should be able to cut and paste straight from the original source
and get correct results. Also people who don't have SSL/Web access can now
use the mail gateway.

Here is my list of links to find out some decent coords for yourself:


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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.