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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 11:05:20 -0500

ken wrote:
 > Alright, I see where you're going with this.  Fair enough; that's not
 > how I personally work with MIME messages, but enough people have said
 > that they want this (and Paul even wrote something that does it!) that
 > clearly this UI fills a need.
 > But ... let's take a step back.  I've heard that "whatnow" is a Horrible
 > Corruption of the MH way, in that everything should be a distinct
 > command rather than create a shell that does a bunch of commands.  I
 > find that argument compelling; any shell we create will lack the full
 > power of a command shell, and I'm assuming we don't want to cram all of
 > /bin/sh into nmh.  So do you (and others) really want a "MIME shell",
 > or do you just want a bunch of commands to operate on MIME parts?  I

in practice, for me, the shell approach hasn't been an issue.  for the
parts of a message that are plain text, or close enough, i can see
them just fine with mhshow, and commandline tools mostly work.  for
the non-text parts, the commandline tools don't really work well
anyway -- i'd argue that xv, xpdf or libreoffice, although they all
take a filename as argument, aren't really commandline tools.  so
whatever new command we came up with would just invoke one of those
anyway.  i just need something, while looking at a message, that will
invoke the right viewer/saver/whatever on a part, without corrupting

i suppose if i wanted to someday go through all of the mail in a
folder and, say, extract all of the pdf attachments from a specific
sender, i'd appreciate a scriptable interface to mime parts, but my
needs so far are met by a per-message interactive process.


 > do recognize that there is the issue of command collision, so that's
 > one concern.  Technically, I see no obvious challenge in doing it as
 > individual commands; there would be some file in $(mhdir) that would
 > hold current part you're working on, like context today.
 > If the message parser is done right, mhl would just be a special case of
 > your "view" command.  Or view would be mhl; details are still a bit
 > hazy.
 > --Ken
 > _______________________________________________
 > Nmh-workers mailing list
 > address@hidden
 > https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/nmh-workers

 paul fox, address@hidden (arlington, ma, where it's 47.5 degrees)

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