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Re: [Nmh-workers] Future directions for nmh

From: Paul Fox
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Future directions for nmh
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2016 08:15:06 -0500

paul vixie wrote:
 > Ken Hornstein wrote:
 > >> Well, it depends on the message.  Sometimes I get a message with 20 photos
 > >> attached.  I just want to be able to easily go from one to the next 
 > >> without
 > >> having to type their part number.
 > >
 > > But ... what's wrong with doing something like:
 > >
 > > mhstore -type image
 > >
 > > Then you can deal with each of those photos as a seperate file.
 > ui wise, i don't want files. i want to act on the attachments (view 
 > them, in this case) and then leave them stored as attachments (without 
 > having to delete any temporary files.)
 > i don't know exactly how to match mime to the simplicity of show(1), and 
 > i've been violently repulsed any time i tried to use mhshow(1), but i 
 > think what i want would look a bit like whatnow(1) is to send(1).
 > (for many years i used "send -wa" because my sendmail.cf was a hack, 
 > then i used "push" when i stopped being fascinated by SMTP traces.)
 > the command set i'd suggest for whatnowmime(1) would include things like:
 > ls | dir
 >      shows the full message structure (like in ftp)
 > cd x.y.z
 >      go to part x subpart y subsubpart z
 > next
 >      go to next attachment at same level (like in gdb)
 > step
 >      go to next attachment at or below the current one (like gdb)
 > prev
 >      opposite of next
 > back
 >      opposite of step
 > up
 >      go up one level
 > view
 >      launch an external viewer suitable for this mimetype
 > show
 >      do the best you can in inline ascii for this mimetype
 > save [-r] [x.y.z]
 >      save the current part (default) or part x subpart y subsubpart z, maybe 
 > recursively (-r)
 > quit
 >      exit from mhshow(1)

i wrote a script for myself (and my wife) that does much of this (but
by no means all).  the script i use to actually read a mail message
invokes mhshow for the main parts, and then invokes my "mhdisp" script.

mhdisp does the work of wandering through the parts of the message in
order (as well as letting the user select a specific part), and either
does the obvious thing (i.e., displays a text part) or asks the user
what to do (as in the case of a pdf -- i use different readers at
different times), or lets me save a part as a file, and prompts me
with a default filename.  it's made life with MH and MIME much more
pleasant in our household.

there's a bit of a chewing-gum-and-string aspect to it all -- for
instance, to force some actions from mhshow i create custom profiles
on the fly for it to use for that invocation.  it was easier to do
that than create a single profile that always did the right thing in
all cases.

other than being customized mainly for the mail i get (i never receive
audio files, so there's no custom handler for those, for instance),
the biggest missing piece currently is a fully recursive handler for
message/rfc822 parts.  i end up having to save those to a file, and
then run mhdisp on them separately.

i don't see anything terribly difficult about converting what i've
done as a looping "what do you want to do next?" shell into separate
commandline commands, except for the preservation of state between
each such command, and the necessary reparsing of the original message
for each one.  all of the currently hard-coded actions would need to
be sensibly configurable, too, probably with something different than
the current mhn.defaults.  so in principle what paul is asking for is
SMOP (simple matter of programming), but it's definitely a project.

(i just reread paul's message, above, and realize he wasn't describing
separate commandline commands, but the sub-commands in a whatnowmime
shell.  that's more similar to what i've done than i realized.)

i've attached mhdisp in case someone wants to see it.  it's never been
out in the wild before, so it might depend horribly on my environment --
no promises.


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

 paul fox, address@hidden (arlington, ma, where it's 38.8 degrees)

Attachment: mhdisp
Description: mhdisp

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