[TUHS] Systematic approach to command-line interfaces

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Sun Aug 1 02:27:00 AEST 2021

Besides C-Kermit on Unix systems, the TOPS-20 command interface is
used inside the mm mail client, which I've been using for decades on
TOPS-20, VMS, and several flavors of Unix:


mm doesn't handle attachments, or do fancy display of HTML, and thus,
cannot do anything nasty in response to incoming mail messages.

I rarely need to extract an attachment, and I then save the message in
a temporary file and run munpack on it.

Here are some small snippets of its inline help:

    MM] read (messages) ? message number
      or range of message numbers, n:m
      or range of message numbers, n-m
      or range of message numbers, n+m (m messages beginning with n)
      or "." to specify the current message
      or "*" to specify the last message
      or message sequence, one of the following:
     after               all                 answered            before
     current             deleted             flagged             from
     inverse             keyword             last                longer
     new                 on                  previous-sequence   recent
     seen                shorter             since               subject
     text                to                  unanswered          undeleted
     unflagged           unkeyword           unseen              
      or "," and another message sequence

    R] read (messages) flagged since yesterday
    [message(s) appear here]

    MM] headers (messages) since monday longer (than) 100000
    [list of long messages here]

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: beebe at math.utah.edu  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org  beebe at computer.org -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe/ -

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