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Re: [Nmh-workers] mhmail

From: norm
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] mhmail
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 07:26:12 -0700

David Levine <address@hidden> writes:
>Ken wrote:
>> Okay, here's my thinking, for what it's worth:
>> - "send" in my mind is mostly a front-end to "post" (or whatever you
>>   have your postproc set to).  You need to give it a already-formed
>>   draft.
>> - mhmail is more of a replacement for "mailx"; it does the draft
>>   composition for you.
>> So I'm thinking ... well, I think putting a lot of mhmail
>> into send is the wrong way to go.  Different tools and
>> all.  We still have people using mhmail, so my vote would
>> be to simply fix up mhmail.
>mhmail has traditionally been a front end to post, too.
>But it's now inadequate and it's a maintenance headache.
>I think that replacing it with a script that relies
>on send or post could solve both problems.
>Let me take a deeper look tonight and see what I come up
>Paul wrote:
>> i'll bet a patch to the man page would be welcomed!   :-)
>Well put :-)  So would contributions to the nmh test suite.
>That's a great way to learn more about nmh.
>Norm wrote:
>> mhmail has some features, that are relevant to writing quick
>> and dirty scripts and that send does not have: the -body,
>> -subject and -from switches, specifying recipients on the
>> command line, and taking the draft from the stdin.
>That's mhmail in a nutshell.  Sounds like a job for a shell
>script, which could pass along other switches to send/post.

Here is the sequence of my thoughts since last night about mhmail.

1. It needs a new option: --foo bar, which would add a component, foo, with
value bar

2. If it takes all options to send, it is really a super send. For example, in
any script using send, it could replace send.

3. It would have like 50 options. Way, way too many. Isn't there some way to
factor it.

4. YES THERE IS!! mhmail is more properly thought of as draft composition
utility, and not as a cheap version of send. That is, mhmail should not send at
all, but just create (or perhaps also modify) a draft. So that typically a
script would:

  mhmail ...
  send ...

5. mhmail should perhaps be renamed, maybe, 'mhcomp" or 'mhcreate"? Whether the
old mhmail should still be supported, for compatibility, is a question I leave
to my superiors.

    Norman Shapiro

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