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Re: [Nmh-workers] .mh_profile question

From: Bob Carragher
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] .mh_profile question
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2015 01:11:00 -0800

On Mon, 02 Feb 2015 22:08:54 -0500 Ken Hornstein <address@hidden> sez:

> >Maybe someone can see what I'm doing stupidly here as I'm
> >going blind.  I have some folders that have ?9999 messages
> >that I don't want to break up, so I want to go to a 5 digit
> >message number in scan
> Others have already answered you, but to expand some more ...
> Arguments in the profile (as Robert already said) are processed
> by brkstring(), which just does simple space splitting.  Should
> it do more with quoting and escapes?  Probably.  But I always
> get hung up on what quoting we should support, and then
> actually WRITING that code ... bleh.  Also, this would be an
> incompatible change to the profile format, and I know how much
> you love those, Jon :-)
> So the short answer is: yeah, it doesn't work, we should fix
> that, but we haven't yet.  Suggestions to what exactly should
> be implemented would be welcome.

I'm sure others have suggested this before, though I don't recall
seeing it, so just in case not ...

If we had infinite volunteer resources, what about creating a
completely new (and unified across all of MH) language?  It would
be accessed through a new file other than .mh_profile -- say,
.mh_new_profile, but better named.  B-)

This would allow us to make a clean break with the old language(s)
without immediately breaking our existing users and their scripts.
We could add a warning message to top-level MH commands, like
scan, indicating that the old language will not be maintained or
updated anymore (and is on life-support and that the plug will be
pulled at some unspecified point in the future) and that they
should move to the new language (with pointers to a new man page
showing lots of porting examples).  The warning message would be
output by default, although they can add an entry to .mh_profile
to turn it off (at their peril).

For the vast majority of users, who probably use the defaults
with little or no change, this would involve little or no effort,
and might even be a no-op.  For our "power" users, it could be a
pain, but the goal would be to make being a "power" user easier.

Like I said, "If we had infinite volunteer resources ...."  B-)


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