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Re: [Nmh-workers] A question for the nmh historians

From: Jerry Peek
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] A question for the nmh historians
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 06:33:47 -0600

[I just got a flood of old messages from the nmh-workers list.
Sorry if I'm saying the same things that someone else already has.]

Jon wrote:
> How useful is the notion of public and private sequences?

I think it's handy; it's one of the unique features of nmh.  For
me, private sequences are great when I want to look into a folder
where I don't have write access -- for instance, a group-wide
folder shared by many users (like we had at a help desk where I
worked, and the workers looked into a central folder of users'
email), a Usenet newsgroup directory, or a co-worker who gave
everyone permission to read through one of her folders.  With a
private sequence, my current message and any other sequences I
want to keep (like a list of messages from "pick") are remembered
for me.  Although I haven't checked all of the GUI/monolithic
email programs, I don't remember any others that can maintain
metadata about folders that aren't writable by the current user.

> Would it make sense to force sequences to be private if
> MHCONTEXT is set?

My gut feel is that nmh programs should follow the -public and
-private switches and what the mh-sequence(5) manpage says:

    In general, the commands that create sequences (such as pick
    and mark) will create public sequences if the folder for which
    the sequences are being defined is writable by the nmh user.
    For most commands, this can be overridden by using the switches
    -public and -private.  But if the folder is read-only, or if
    the "mh-sequences" profile entry is defined but empty, then
    private sequences will be created instead.

But that's just a guess.  I'm also confused about why you say
the MHCONTEXT machanism wasn't working properly when the other
user had cur as a public sequence.  All of my folders have cur
as a public sequence; changing MHCONTEXT hasn't been a problem. (?)


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