|-a FILE||Specifies the actionscript ( FILE) to read the actions (see below) from.|
|-p FILE||Specifies the location ( FILE) of the named pipe. If the pipe does not exist it will be created for the running time of respond. For a discription of the creation of a named pipe see: mkfifo(1). respond locks the directory of the pipe and processes relative paths in the actionscript as relative to this directory.|
Each line in actionscript (unless commented with #) specifies a regular expression/command pair, sepperated by whitespace. As a result of this syntax whitespace in the expression or the command needs to be commented by either preceeding it with #146; or by placing it inside a quoted (") string. You need to escape " and #146;, even when they are within quotes. In addition to this the $-character has special behaviour inside the command. When not escaped $n will translate to the matched subexpression n (if existing) and $0 will be replaced by the entire match. Information on subexpressions as well as on the syntax used for the regular expressions is provided in a seperate manual ( re_format 7 for the default regex library).
Although respond will detach from the terminal that calls it, it is as much a daemon as it has the "~d" suffix. This means that it does, for one thing, not drop privileges. This is really a feature and not a bug since it makes it possible to control multiple actionscripts for multiple users without the need of a configuration file.
The most likely reason for respond to not start is a malformed actionscript. When a read error is reported be sure to triple check the syntax used in your actionscript. In some cases too long lines in the actionscript can also trigger a read error.
A sudden dead of respond will probably be caused by a failure reading the named pipe. Normally though, respond quits when it receives a SIGINT or SIGTERM signall from kill(1).