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Re: [Nmh-workers] Braindump: Extended MH Format

From: Jerry Peek
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Braindump: Extended MH Format
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 12:57:42 -0800 (PST)

--- Chad Walstrom <address@hidden> wrote:
> Let's call it "Extended MH Format".
> Any merit to this idea?  I understand it would change the way
> sequences would need to be handled, but we could hide that in
> a library call.  The
> command-line utilities don't need to change the way they reference an
> email.

I'm traveling, so I haven't read the discussion in detail.  My main
concern about these changes is that a fair number of users still access
MH files and data structures directly -- that is, not through a
command-line utility.

Users who come from other MUAs -- where all of the internal data
structures and etc. are either impossible to parse or too difficult to
make it worth the work ;-) -- may think that the sort of thing MH lets
us do is sort of pointless.  IMO, that may be because they haven't
learned how handy it is to be able to muck around and access email and
its metadata directly.  They may say that because some of the
structures aren't thoroughly documented, that no one should be
depending on them -- and should only use the CLI tools for access. 
Valid point, but MH does have long years of history...

I'm not saying that MH doesn't have problems in locking and some other
areas.  I'm just saying that this feels like a *major* change to me, an
old-timey MH user.  I hope that the implications will be discussed
thoroughly before anyone does too much coding.  MH/nmh is unique, and I
hope we'll do what we can to keep its useful parts as we (thanks,
Chad!) try to solve the outstanding problems.

Jerry Peek, address@hidden, http://www.jpeek.com/

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