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

From: Paul Fox
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh 1.6 -- proper comment char in .mh_profile?
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:46:57 -0400

ken wrote:
 > >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:
 > foo: XXXX XXXX
 > 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.

m_getfld() takes a "FILE *".  perhaps rather than handing it the config
file directly, we could do:

    sprintf(cfgcmd, "sed -e 's/^[[:space:]]#/d' -e '/^$/d' %s", configfile);
    f = popen(cfgcmd, "r");

(only half kidding)

 > 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.
 > --Ken
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 > Nmh-workers mailing list
 > address@hidden
 > https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/nmh-workers

 paul fox, address@hidden (arlington, ma, where it's 73.6 degrees)

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