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Re: [Nmh-workers] Replace mh-format?

From: Joel Reicher
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Replace mh-format?
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 14:23:33 +1100

> I hope John Romine -- who did MH maintenance at UC Irvine for years
> -- won't mind my repeating something he mentioned to me years ago.
> He was thinking about replacing mh-format -- that is, code like:
>     %4(msg)%<(cur)+%| %>%<{replied}-%?{x-done} %|>%>
> with a scripting language like Tcl, or something else more standard.

Is formatting really a job that requires a Turing-complete language? The
possibility of a formatter that doesn't terminate on some input is
NOT appealing.

Anyway, I think we should take advantage of past experience and choose
the substitute language based on how difficult it is to implement
the mh-format language in it. mh-format has evolved based on the
requirements of message formatting, and is probably a good representative.
Attempting a "microcode-like" system for compatibility with mh-format
strikes me as a good litmus test.

Some functional language without the ability to recurse is what I'd
look for.


        - Joel

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