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Re: [Nmh-workers] Relative Message Numbers

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Relative Message Numbers
Date: Sun, 07 Apr 2013 19:29:33 +0100

Hi Bill,

> > Then name+n is the nth message of name; name_n is the nth to last
> > message of name.(1 based ordinals. That is, name+1 is the first
> > message of name and name_1 is the last message of name).
> Hey Norm, how is this useful? I can't see anyone manually referring to
> the nth item in a sequence on the command line. The point of a
> sequence is that you don't have to know the constituents. Maybe you
> have a use case.

Many times an hour I do `-sub foo' or something else, e.g. -from, where
~/bin/-sub does a pick and scan, and then spot the one I'm interested in
is the third from the top and do `s 3141', with ~/bin/s being show.  I'd
much rather do `s lp+3' as my muscles' memory is adept at `s lp' already
and the `+' followed by the, typically single, digit would come quickly.
Note, I don't have to count to know it's the third, I just know, just as
old-time vi(1) users know it's 7dd that's needed at a glance.  Given it
may be easier to see it's five from the end an `s lp_5' mechanism is

IIRC, `foo-bar' isn't valid for sequence names, even if foo and bar are
both single-message sequences?  If so, it would seem `-' is available
for `foo-5'.  I can see that could be confusing though.  As a dc(1)
user, I'm happy with `_'.  `~' suggests something more fuzzy and
approximate to me, e.g. awk's regexp matching operator, so would perhaps
be better suited to some other use in the future.

Cheers, Ralph.

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