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Re: [Nmh-workers] 128 byte field name limit in NAMESZ breaks scan(1)

From: bergman
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] 128 byte field name limit in NAMESZ breaks scan(1)
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 10:50:32 -0400

In the message dated: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 08:19:59 BST,
The pithy ruminations from Peter Maydell on 
<Re: [Nmh-workers] 128 byte field name limit in NAMESZ breaks scan(1)> were:
=> David Levine wrote:
=> >Mark wrote:
=> >> Messages with very long envelope "From" lines break scan(1). This
=> >> behavior happens with nmh 1.3 and 1.2.
=> >> 
=> >> These messages are typically from mailing lists (Yahoo groups, in
=> >> particular ).  The "Subject" field in the scan listing is displayed
=> >> as just an asterisk (*) .
=> >I've noticed this, too.  Glad that you tracked it down,
=> >thanks :-)
=> I think this has been reported on the bug tracking system before.
=> (https://savannah.nongnu.org/bugs/?14975)

Yes, that does sound like the issue I'm seeing. Note that the bug was opened in 
2005. I'm really not a "C" programmer, but it took me almost as long to read 
the bug report as it did to increase the value of NAMESZ. As far as I'm 
concerned, this is a trivial fix to a signficant interface issue (ie., not 
being able to see the fields in the scan listing).

=> What I want to know is why you have files in your ~/Mail/whatever/
=> with envelope 'From ' lines in the first place. The usual path
=> via inc doesn't have them (I think because they are the delimiters

I do the same thing that's described in the bug report...I use formail & 
procmail & rcvstore. I haven't typed "inc" in years.

=> in a mail spool file and so get stripped out as the messages are
=> split). So perhaps this bug should be fixed by making whatever
=> path you're using to put messages in the folder strip out the
=> envelope From as inc does.

Perhaps, as the bug report from 2005 stated, that would break mail filtering 
that actually looks at the "From " line. Why strip it out...it's data about the 
mail delivery process, and may have some value to some other process (spam 
filtering? mail statistics? random number generation?).

Personally, I think that the philosophical argument about whether tools strip
out the "From " line or not is really separate from the fact that the the scan
listing breaks because of an arbitrarily small value in NAMESZ. The first
issue is difficult to resolve (as evidenced by the 3 year-old bug), while the
second issue is trivial to fix (though maybe not as "pure" as some would
want)....but what do I know? :)


=> -- PMM

Mark Bergman    Biker, Rock Climber, Unix mechanic, IATSE #1 Stagehand


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