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Re: [Nmh-workers] sortm's Default of all is Brain-Damaged.

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] sortm's Default of all is Brain-Damaged.
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 19:01:45 +0100


Joel Uckelman wrote:
> Thus spake Ken Hornstein:
> > Hm.  I guess to me "sortm" defaulting to "all" makes sense; I mean,
> > don't you want to that the vast majority of the time?  (I'm guessing
> > "lp" is a sequence you created?).  And I guess I always figured the
> > order of messages was ephemeral; that's why sortm exists, after all.

The order of messages in a folder is the order they're initially placed
into the folder, which may be significant, and how they're thereafter
moved about, e.g. sortm(1) and `refile @. lp'.  That may not be defined
by anything else and as such seems to potentially valuable to lose.
Further, sortm doesn't go through rmmproc, just rename(2), so even if
that's something that keeps a complete history, e.g. all `rmm 42' exist
as `,42,$timestamp' until cleaned, it doesn't help restore after
invocation causes corruption.

> Speaking for myself only: I can't recall a single time in 15 years of
> using nmh that I've wanted to use sortm to sort less than a complete
> folder.

I often pick out messages I think are spam, e.g. by a script that steps
me through in less(1) with keys defined for S=spam, D=delete, K=keep,
etc., and then

    pick spam
    sortm -textfield subject -limit 0 lp
    scan lp
    rmm lp

except considerably more terse than that.  IOW, for my final scan of
labelled spam I find sorting by subject then date brings like spam
together making it a quicker list to skim.

There are quite a few other cases where I routinely sort a subset of a
folder by date or subject.  `sortm all' is rare;  just before a new
level-0 backup on some mail folders.

Cheers, Ralph.

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