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Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh 1.6 -- proper comment char in .mh_profile?

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh 1.6 -- proper comment char in .mh_profile?
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:17:48 -0400

>Forgive the comment from the peanut gallery, but if the code is
>already handling ^# specially, why not go all the way and make it
>a comment character? Is there a use for supporting #foo as a command?

Sigh.  First off, it's not handling #^ specially, it's handling #:
specially.  #foo, for example (really #foo:) receives no special handling.

Secondly ... you may or may not have noticed that the profile has a
format which looks suspiciously like an RFC-822 message, in that all of
the fields have the form:


and you may not be aware that you're not permitted blank lines in a profile
file either.  Neither of these things are a coincidence.

The same parser that reads email messages (m_getfld()) also reads the
profile (also, it does sequence files).  So to truely handle comments
would require changes to m_getfld(), which nobody is itching to do.
In theory we could simply ignore fields which begin with a '#' and not
put them in the profile structure; that might be worth doing.  But that
would still not permit '#' as a generic comment character; you'd still
need to have a colon in there.  It's one of those old MH things that
isn't wonderful, but none of the fixes are easy.


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