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Re: [Nmh-workers] [patch] undo of install-mh (Debian bug #551704)

From: Peter Maydell
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] [patch] undo of install-mh (Debian bug #551704)
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2010 23:12:26 +0000

markus schnalke wrote:
>[2010-11-08 15:28] address@hidden
>> Bottom line - you *really* need to front-end an 'uninstall-mh' with some
>> checks to verify that you're trying to clean up a virgin never-used MH
>> environment.  If the user has been monkeying with its innards, it's
>> really hard to do correctly.
>Of course, the use case are only fresh installations, meaning, if you
>had run install-mh(1) by accident.
>I don't want to have this script, but I want to document it correctly
>in the man page. The reason why I sent this additional mail was to
>correct the script that appeared to be wrong.

Having thought about this a little, I think that rather than
quoting rm commands in the manpage we should try for something
a little more explanatory, like this:


If you only ran install-mh to try out nmh briefly, you might
like to remove the configuration files it creates. (This is
not obligatory -- install-mh creates only a few small files
so simply leaving them in place will not cause problems.)

Most nmh configuration information lives in the user's nmh
directory; you can print its name by typing
   mhpath +
Note that this directory holds not just configuration files
but also any email you have written or read with nmh. Don't
delete it without carefully checking that there's no mail
in there that you might want later!

The only configuration file that lives outside the nmh
directory is your profile file. You can print its name by
   echo "${MH:-$HOME/.mh-profile}"
If you aren't using nmh any more you can delete this too.

I'm aiming for:
 * reassurance that install-mh doesn't do anything irrevocable
 * explanation of what the user might actually be deleting
 * not including "rm" commands, to increase the chance
   that the user will check what they might be blowing away
 * a warning about not blithely blowing away Mail if it
   has any email in it...

of which I think the first one is the important one:
if a few paragraphs in the man page can avoid somebody
being put off playing with nmh because they're not sure
what install-mh is going to do, we can have the text.

(I note in passing that if we behaved like your average
gnome program and just silently created a pile of config
files the first time any nmh command was run, this whole
issue would never have come up :-))

-- PMM

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