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Re: [Nmh-workers] [PATCH] scan message numbers from stdin

From: Chris Garrigues
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] [PATCH] scan message numbers from stdin
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 12:49:48 -0500

It occurs to me that aside from efficiency issues, that "| xargs -n scan" currently does the same thing as "|scan -" does with the patch.

On Aug 19, 2008, at 11:08 AM, Michael O'Dell wrote:

sorry - i was very unclear in my comment

my point was that...

if the commands are going to take text from stdin
for the purpose of emulating "command line behavior",
then the parsing must indeed emulate SHELL parsing
lest it create a massive violation of

        The Law of Least Amazement

(KRE can forgive the spelling as required - grin)

so how does the following not do what is desired?

        echo 1 2 3 4 5 | xargs scan

if so, in the original spirit of MH,
exactly what needs fixing?


Michael O'Dell wrote:
uh, "whitespace between message numbers" is parsed by the SHELL
not the MH commands. the commands never see whitespace unless
it's quoted
Eric Gillespie wrote:
Peter Maydell writes:

Is there any reason why it shouldn't allow any random whitespace between
message numbers?

Room for future expansion?  Folders with spaces in names?
I'm just used to thinking of newline-delimited rows, I guess.
I'm slightly against allowing spaces, but only slightly.  I guess
if I implement folder changing later, we could say not to put
message numbers after folders; anything between + and newline is
the folder name.

Peter Maydell writes:
I think that it would be nice if 'scan 4 1 2' actually output the messages in the order stated on the command line. I also think that it would be
I, too, would rather 'scan 3 4' print the lines in that order
(first 3, then 4).
That it already does. The question is what it does (or should do) if you
say 'scan 4 3'.

Oops, of course I meant 'scan 4 3'.  Obviously 'scan 3 4'
couldn't possibly print the messages in any order but 3, 4 :).

Just for consistency (and because you'd probably want to implement it
by having common code for doing this).

I'll take a whack at it, as long as it doesn't mean refactoring
too much old, painful code.

less at least seems happy with
stdin being /dev/null, as does my editor, so I think that argument is
a red herring.

Huh, OK.  Bad assumption on my part.

Sounds good. (I couldn't remember whether nmh wrote sequences
in sorted order.)

Near as I can tell, it never deals with message numbers in
anything but sorted order, by the very nature of the structure it
uses for them.

line not being sorted either). [I appreciate that doing things this
way would be a fairly big change, though.]

We'll see.  I'll start with show; do you have any other commands
in mind?  I'm just not feeling foo | refile; I don't see any way
it's better than refile `foo`, unlike scan and show, where you
want to see immediate output.


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