[TUHS] off-topic list [ really mh ]

Ralph Corderoy ralph at inputplus.co.uk
Tue Jun 26 17:49:52 AEST 2018

Hi Jon,

> I'm a big fan of mh (nmh now) and a sometimes maintainer.

Ditto × 2.  :-)  https://www.nongnu.org/nmh/

> What I love about it is that it's a separate set of commands as
> opposed to an integrated blob.  That means that I can script.

Yes, this is key.  I don't procmail(1) my emails into folders for later
reading by theme, instead I have a shell script that runs through the
inbox looking for emails to process.

pick(1) finds things of interest, e.g.
    pick --list-id '<tuhs\.minnie\.tuhs\.org>'
I then display those emails in a variety of ways:
    one-line summary of each;
    scrape and summarise signal from third-party noise with sed(1),
        etc., having decoded the MIME; 
    read each in full in less(1) having configured `K', `S', ... to
        update nmh's sequences called `keep', `spam', ..., and move onto
        the next email.
And finally have read(1) prompt me for an action with a common default,
delete, refile, etc.
Then the script does it all again for the pick from the inbox.

The result is I'm lead through all the routine processing, mainly
hitting Enter with the odd bit of `DDDKSD'.  A bit similiar to using the
rn(1) Usenet reader's `do the next thing' `Space' key.

In interactive use, old-MH hands don't type `pick -subject ...', but
instead have a personal ~/bin/* that suits their needs.  For me, `s'
shows an email, `sc' gives a scan(1) listing, one per line, of the end
of the current folder;  just enough based on `tput lines'.  I search
with ~/bin/-sub, and so on.

Much more flexible than a silo like mail(1) by benefiting from the
`programming tools' model.

Cheers, Ralph.

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