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Re: comp man page

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: comp man page
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 11:02:49 -0400

>As a user who _barely_ uses more than the basic features of NMH,
>I was completely unaware of all this.  (That is my fault, of
>course.  B-)  The SYNOPSIS section does not show that "-use"
>optionally takes an argument.

Well, so, here's the thing ... -use doesn't actually take an optional

If you look at the SYNOPSIS, the beginning is:

       comp [-help] [-version] [+folder] [msg] ...

So when you say "comp -use 1", you're setting the -use flag, and "1"
is the optional "msg" argument.

>Maybe add a (possibly
>parenthetical) sentence to the end of the current -use
>explanation paragraph -- e.g.
>       The switch -use directs comp to continue editing an
>       already started message.  That is, if a comp (or dist,
>       repl, or forw) is terminated without sending the draft,
>       the draft can be edited again via “comp -use”.  Note:
>       consult also the mh-draft(5) man page if using the draft
>       folder facility.

Ooof, Bob ... can we talk?  Your message was sent out using the
character set iso8859-1, but the bytes you sent in the above paragraph
were UTF-8.  Which makes me think that your local character set is UTF-8
but for some reason you have configured nmh to only use ISO8859-1,
which is just a recipie for problems in the long run.  It looks like
those were supposed to be left & right double quotation marks
(U+201C & U+201D).

>> And sigh, the handling around the draft file vs a draft folder
>> is a confusing mess.  In a perfect world I'd just switch
>> everything to draft folders and toss draft file handling in the
>> trash can.
>I can see how that might make things more uniform.  B-)  I'd need
>to change my muscle memory, but I wouldn't mind.
>On that note, and for folks and Norms curious about -use, lack of
>Draft-folder, etc., I provide the following anec-data.

So, I was kind of in the same boat, except ... as a long-time exmh users,
I was forced to use a Draft-folder entry a few decades ago so I am used
to the draft-folder behavior.

>As far as I can tell, comp(1) is just verifying that the message
>exists.  It doesn't use it to construct a new reply (and thus
>overwrite what's already in ~/Mail/draft), or change the current
>message.  In particular, if the number or list doesn't exist,
>comp will complain about it:

_Huh_.  Boy, talk about a confusing mess.  I wouldn't have expected
that from reading the code.  So ... I guess this is happening in
m_draft().  Maybe?  Ugh.

This is SO confusing.  Again, the weird handling of the special "draft"
file is such a mess; if it was just a regular nmh folder/message it would
be much simpler.


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