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[Nmh-workers] deprecate msh(1)

From: David Levine
Subject: [Nmh-workers] deprecate msh(1)
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:44:05 -0500


Unless there's objection, I'm going to deprecate msh(1).
Here's why.  Starting with the man page:

  nmh commands operating on a single file in packf'd format.
  That is, msh is used to read a file that contains a number of
  messages, as opposed to the standard nmh style of reading a
  number of files, each file being a separate message in a
  folder.  msh's chief advantage is that the normal nmh style
  does not allow a file to have more than one message in it.
  Hence, msh is ideal for reading BBoards, as these files are
  delivered by the transport system in this format.  In
  addition, msh can be used on other files, such as message
  archives which have been packed (see packf(1)).

I get the impression that msh should be able to handle mbox
files.  mbox is the default format produced by packf.  But
msh can't handle mbox, and there's no indication that it can't.

Jerry points this out in his book: "your system mailbox will
look like one long message to msh."[1]  But that's at best:
a scan within msh might not show the subject of that one
long message, which is how I tripped over this.  And worse,
msh would lead the user to believe that the mbox file has
only one message in it.

Here's why msh doesn't handle mbox files:
  1) setup() fopen's the file
  2) read_file() calls mbx_read() to read the file
  3) mbx_read() can only parse mmdf files properly

This hasn't changed since the earliest recorded history
that I have, from May of 1989.

If setup() used mbx_open() instead of fopen(), it could
detect the mailbox style mismatch.

Or, if mbx_read() used m_getfld() instead of its own parsing
routine, then it could support mbox.  That's right,
mbx_read() doesn't use m_getfld()!

Finally, there's Norm's recent note [2] about never having
occasion to use it.  I can't imagine that anyone else needs
msh, either.


[1] http://oreilly.com/openbook/mh/mhsoamfm.htm
[2] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/nmh-workers/2012-12/msg00115.html

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