MH & nmh: Jerry's To-Do List: Ideas for Revising This Book

This book doesn't cover all of MH & nmh, and what it does cover can always be improved. The book gets a fair amount of use -- for instance, this week in September 1997, the main server at got 2000 hits. Would you like to add to or update some part of the book? It's a volunteer job; there's no pay except the satisfaction of helping other MH & nmh users.

I (Jerry Peek) maintain the sections on MH and nmh, xmh, and the overall section. If you want to update or add pages to one of those three sections, please email Jerry to discuss it before you get started. The authors of the sections on mh-e (Bill Wohler) and exmh (Brent Welch) may want volunteer help, too, but please check with them first before you spend lots of time planning. (To email Brent or Bill, click the link at the bottom of any of their pages in this book.)

Feel free to suggest pages to add or update. If you need a place to start, browse the table of contents or the index for any of my sections linked above. Or, take a look at the list below; it has some of the things I've been trying to do. Thanks!

The list below is mostly my shorthand notes. If something doesn't make sense, please ask. The numbers in the list do NOT indicate priority. They just make items easier to identify.

  1. NOTE: Add "up" links to all pages that go up to table of contents for that chapter. Add "up" link to tables of contents that go to top-level TOC.
  2. Document nmh installation. Make a starting-place document; get people to add to it via this to-do list and/or posting to mailing list.
  3. Watch for nmh changes, update book.
  4. Fix scripts:
  5. Read through index in book, notice places that obviously need fixing, make fix in online files. I did Preface thru Chapter 4, also lightly over chapters 5-9. Add more index entries, especially to the sections that were new in the third edition. Maybe use "grep -c" (or uniq) to count number of entries for each file in the indexes; use "join" to merge with number of lines in each file... long files should have lots of index entries. Here are files I've noticed that need more entries:
  6. Add more indexing by concept. Example: pick does searching, so there should be entries like "search (see pick)". Maybe be more detailed and use subentries "search, by sender (see pick -from)". Be sure these "see"s point to useful entries.
  7. Finish the script that builds the index files from the index-raw files: it still doesn't work completely. See comments in script. It would be nice if the script made "See" and "See also" entries into links, somehow... especially in CGI script, where it would make them into queries? Too fancy??
  8. Expand browhelp.htm file into an online help-and-tips file (in a subdirectory?). Then add a [help] link to all pages?
  9. Be sure frm-toc.htm and toc.htm are in sync with each other and tocs/* tocs, too: can I make a script to do it every time I update book?
  10. Search all files for XXX, <!--, (and ***?): there are things to fix.
  11. Explain how mhn-show-multipart/report (etc) gives multiple arguments to the command named, so you usually shouldn't quote the %F or %f.
  12. Explain problem with mhn handling of unknown multipart content types, show workaround like my multipart/report fix of letting "less" show each part (with a shell script to handle the parts?). This has been fixed in nmh.
  13. Make link to each section's table of contents in the complete TOC? Now have the only links to lists of tables, sidebars, etc.
  14. Document BBoards, at least the basics? nmh may delete them.
  15. The book doesn't seem to explain stuff like picked:first or next:10, except a brief mention in Chapter 5.7. (shomes.htm has examples, and so does my next section on pick2me.) Figure out where to put it, and add xrefs from above sections to it.
  16. Put back old appendices that I deleted from third edition? (Some of those scripts are buggy...)
  17. Move figures close to the text that describes them (in book, they were placed to print well). Watch for links that say "the Figure above/below"; be sure they're right.
  18. Make a PostScript version in Times and Courier fonts? Does ORA have any macros to do that? Or save browser pages as PostScript (can I automate netscape to do that? Check release notes). Eventually re-code the whole book in SGML...
  19. Add more troubleshooting info
  20. Add a shell functions file to the download/split/mh/misc directory; make it like aliases.csh. Also add pointer to it from mhanthsh.htm.
  21. Update replbcomps, when MH fixes its replcomps file, to conform to new DRUMS replacement for RFC822.
  22. Explain contination lines in replcomps, other undocumented related stuff. My guess now is:
  23. Show how to reorganize a folder by moving msgs to end with "refile @."
  24. Document the *procs (showproc, etc.); see nmh mh-profile manpage for details

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Last change $Date: 1999/10/10 05:14:05 $

This file first appeared in the updated online edition of the book MH & nmh: Email for Users & Programmers, by Jerry Peek. Copyright © 1997 by Jerry Peek. This file is freely available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. For more information, see the file copying.htm.

Suggestions are welcome: Jerry Peek <>