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Re: [Nmh-workers] forw

From: norm
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] forw
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 05:24:51 -0700

Ken Hornstein <address@hidden> writes:
>>I don't recall when attachments first came into nmh, if I ever knew. But I
>>don't understand why the feature I talked about was not added to forw at that
>>time. Maybe it was because, for some reason I don't understand it is
>Weeellll ... it depends what you mean by "attachments".
>The more modern 'attach' support is actually relatively recent.  A form
>of it has been around in nmh for a while, but it really got standardized
>for 1.5 and improved for 1.6.  In terms of display, we started to SLOWLY
>know about "attachments" and handling them better in terms of display
>only for 1.6.
>In MH proper, historically it could handle headers ('components' in
>MH-speak) very well.  But the body of a message was treated as a single
>text blob.  ONE command existed called mhn which could handle MIME
>messages; it displayed, listed, and composed them.  Everything else
>was MIME-ignorant.  This is when forw -mime was created; it created a
>mhn directive that it could use to compose the forwarded message.
>Along came nmh; mhn was split off into other utilities like mhshow,
>mhlist, mhbuild, and mhstore (this initial work was done by Richard
>Coleman).  This was a slight improvement.  But still, these are mostly
>the only utilities that can really parse a MIME message properly.  If
>you're not using one of those utilities then your nmh command doesn't
>really know about MIME (there are a few exceptions for things like RFC
>2047 encoding).
>So, forw doesn't do what you expect it to do, because it never really
>knew about MIME.  That's the fault of whomever wrote mhn; was that
>John Levine?  I mean, I can't really fault him (or whomever it was)
>TOO much; as we're discovering, it's a huge job.  Everything is going
>to need to be rototilled completely, new APIs are going to need to
>be designed ... ugh.  We're going to have to grapple with a lot of
>changes.  My eventual hope is that the internal interface to a message
>automatically will do MIME parsing and then all commands will do
>MIME parsing natively (see my "new MIME architecture" email for
>details).  This would, for example, let 'pick' search through
>encoded text message bodies.  Here are my thoughts on that regard:
>I hope this clears things up a bit.  The short answer is: Unless you're
>using mhlist, mhstore, mhshow or mhbuild, your nmh command doesn't know
>about MIME.

Yes, it clears things up quite lot. Thank you very much. I now understand.

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