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Re: [Nmh-workers] Search order of the lines in .mh_profile

From: norm
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Search order of the lines in .mh_profile
Date: Sat, 07 Jun 2014 08:16:35 -0700

Paul Fox <address@hidden> writes:
>address@hidden wrote:
>> Right now, all but the first line, of .mh_profile, assigning a given va=
>> is silently ignored. This seems wrong to me. All but the last assignmen=
>> should be ignored. Maybe an admonish message should be issued then.
>> =
>> But multiple assignment to the same variable, is almost always a user e=
>(by "same variable", i assume you mean "profile entry"?)
>> So maybe the program (i.e. pretty much every nmh command) should then a=
>i disagree.  the system copy of mhn.defaults contains fallback
>definitions, and the user is free to override those with entries in
>.mh_profile or with $MHSHOW or $MHSTORE.  that's the whole point of
>having one's own copy.  it would be very clumsy if one couldn't
>do that without causing an error.
>or perhaps i misunderstand.

Sorry for the confusion. By "multiple assignments", I meant multiple
assignment within .mh_profile, or perhaps, more generally, multiple
assignments within any one file.

>> =
>> Ken Hornstein <address@hidden> writes:
>> >> > Why the first instead of the last? Maybe because that's the way Br=
>uce Borden
>> >> > happened to program reading the lines of .mh_profile, one afternoo=
>n during the
>> >> > American Civil War? Or is there a better reason?
>> >>
>> >>if the search order was "system-installed file first", then using the
>> >>last match would make sense.  but since the user's profile comes
>> >>first, it has to be able to override the system setting, otherwise it
>> >>would be useless.
>> >>
>> >>the fact that the $MHSHOW/$MHBUILD etc variables come in between make=
>> >>no sense -- one would usually view an environment variable as a
>> >>high-priority override, but not in this case.
>> >
>> >I think some of this might be simple oversight.
>> >
>> >The way readconfig() is implemented now, a new profile entry won't ove=
>> >an existing one.  So like Paul said, it makes sense to read the files
>> >you want to override everything else first.
>> >
>> >I went back and looked; MHSHOW was always read after .mh_profile was
>> >loaded (MHSHOW was added for nmh).  But thinking about this, this
>> >doesn't really make sense; you'd think a program-specific environment
>> >variable should override .mh_profile.  So maybe this is a case that
>> >Richard Coleman didn't really think this through, or it was a simple
>> >bug, or he had reasons for doing it that we don't know.
>> >
>> >I think it would make more sense to have MHSHOW profile entries overri=
>> >.mh_profile(), but that's a post-1.6 change I think.
>> >
>> >--Ken
>> >
>> >_______________________________________________
>> >Nmh-workers mailing list
>> >address@hidden
>> >https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/nmh-workers
>> =
>>     Norman Shapiro
>> =
>> _______________________________________________
>> Nmh-workers mailing list
>> address@hidden
>> https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/nmh-workers
>paul fox, address@hidden (arlington, ma, where it's 73.0 degree=

    Norman Shapiro

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