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Re: [Nmh-workers] forw

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] forw
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 01:14:36 -0400

>what those of us who loved and used burst(1) in the RFC 934 era, and i 
>may be speaking for Norm here but i don't know, is that "f" "o" "r" "w" 
>"\n" at the shell prompt just does the right thing. telling me that i 
>have to pay attention to how the message i received was encoded toward 
>me so that i can use the appropriate command line option to ensure that 
>it is forwarded in its entirety as it would have been in the RFC 934 era 
>sounds like crazy talk.

Okay, I get your point.  It's not that I even disagree with you; I'm
more explaining the reality of the situation.  We're dealing with the
Original Sin of MH MIME support, in that it wasn't tackled in really
sensible way.  I get the impression that back then people thought MIME
messages were going to be rare; obviously that's not what happened.

>here's what i think you're forgetting. MH's user base is aging. we are 
>not attracting new 20-somethings. i am 53 now. old enough to learn new 
>tricks? maybe. i'm learning GoLang, for example. but am i going to 
>remember that "forw" works for RFC 934 format but that i have to invoke 
>it differently and also answer whatnow(1) differently if MIME is 
>involved? no. sorry, but no. brain cells die every day, and i have to 
>conserve the ones i have left for things which matter more to me than this.

I haven't forgotten; I was just saying that hey, TECHNICALLY, no new code
needs to be written.

>i think what i'm suggesting is that forw needs a -auto option, which 
>ought to be made the default, which will detect that MIME was used 
>instead of RFC 934 on the message i'm forwarding, and DTRT ("do the 
>right thing") or perhaps even DWIM ("do what i mean").

I have to ask ... when was the last time you received a RFC 934 digest?
I'm not saying we should get rid of that support, but I am thinking that
maybe we shouldn't even be generating them unless the user specifically
asks for them.  To implement an "auto" switch we'd have to decide
what you mean by a "MIME message"; if it's something that includes a
MIME-Version header, AFAICT that's pretty much all messages nowadays.

Here's what would be simple, given the reality of the code today.
Generate a "Forward:" header on the draft that contained which messages
to build into the outgoing message.  Mhbuild would process those, like
it does for Attach: today.  That would pretty much always work out of
the box. -mime would be come the default.  If you wanted the older style
specify -rfc934.  Or maybe -nomime.  That amount of code would be small.


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