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 www.ics.uci.edu 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watch for nmh changes, update book.
Don't hardcode paths like /bin/find! Set a global PATH.
Don't assume "rm -f" will be quiet if no files named
(because variable expanded to nothing). Redirect output
and error to /dev/null or add a test to see if variable
Make all (?) scripts use two traps -- 0 and interrupt -- instead of a
single trap which can get executed twice on interrupt.
Watch out for [OVERHEAD] config option messing up scripts that use
file descriptors 3 and above.
Update "rmmer" to work around MHCONTEXT problem I found
05/25/97: refile gets current folder based on context
instead of on rmm's command-line argument
Try to finish mrepl script (reply to MIME messages, include decoded content)
and/or include the Perl version.
Fix rfl to use last message date as header date,
instead of current date... otheriwse, sortm can put old
messages in really wrong place. (Add switch to do that?)
Also make it use a numeric timezone?
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:
The r-*.htm reference guide files: index the options
that aren't covered anywhere else (that don't have links
from an r-*.htm file to some other .htm file)
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.
Finish the make-index.pl 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??
Expand browhelp.htm file into an online help-and-tips
file (in a subdirectory?). Then add a [help] link to all
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?
Search all files for XXX, <!--, (and ***?): there are things
Explain how mhn-show-multipart/report (etc) gives
multiple arguments to the command named, so you usually
shouldn't quote the %F or %f.
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.
Make link to each section's table of contents in the complete TOC?
Now have the only links to lists of tables, sidebars, etc.
Document BBoards, at least the basics?
nmh may delete them.
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.
Put back old appendices that I deleted from third
edition? (Some of those scripts are buggy...)
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.
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...
Add more troubleshooting info
Add a shell functions file to the download/split/mh/misc directory;
make it like aliases.csh. Also add pointer to it from
Update replbcomps, when MH fixes its replcomps file, to
conform to new DRUMS replacement for RFC822.
Explain contination lines in replcomps, other undocumented related stuff.
My guess now is:
Any line that ends without a backslash will be output on a new line
Every control escape that makes a line which maybe
shouldn't appear should end with "\n%>\". The backslash
at the end is important because it prevents a blank line
if the control escape doesn't output anything?? (check)
Watch whitespace before backslashes and leading
whitespace on continued lines: it's output just like any
Show how to reorganize a folder by moving msgs to end
with "refile @."
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: