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authorSimon L. B. Nielsen <simon@FreeBSD.org>2003-10-18 18:22:23 +0000
committerSimon L. B. Nielsen <simon@FreeBSD.org>2003-10-18 18:22:23 +0000
commit9a9ef91ab4bb9d03f36a05fcda4f27b46a62e3dc (patch)
treec95822bcbe9bc0bd7d3eb3e73ab02e3af7f73377
parentf8e2c388ef6d03c3004026a34b5905e7c0ece04c (diff)
downloaddoc-9a9ef91ab4bb9d03f36a05fcda4f27b46a62e3dc.tar.gz
doc-9a9ef91ab4bb9d03f36a05fcda4f27b46a62e3dc.zip
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@@ -36,41 +36,46 @@
</legalnotice>
<abstract>
- <para>This document contains an introduction to using <application>MH</application> on
- FreeBSD</para>
+ <para>This document contains an introduction to using
+ <application>MH</application> on FreeBSD</para>
</abstract>
</articleinfo>
<sect1 id="mhintro">
<title>Introduction</title>
- <para><application>MH</application> started back in 1977 at the RAND Corporation, where the
- initial philosophies behind <application>MH</application> were developed. <application>MH</application> is not so much
- a monolithic email program but a philosophy about how best to
- develop tools for reading email. The <application>MH</application> developers have done a
- great job adhering to the <acronym>KISS</acronym> principle: Keep It
+ <para><application>MH</application> started back in 1977 at the
+ RAND Corporation, where the initial philosophies behind
+ <application>MH</application> were
+ developed. <application>MH</application> is not so much a
+ monolithic email program but a philosophy about how best to
+ develop tools for reading email. The
+ <application>MH</application> developers have done a great job
+ adhering to the <acronym>KISS</acronym> principle: Keep It
Simple Stupid. Rather than have one large program for reading,
sending and handling email they have written specialized
- programs for each part of your email life. One might liken <application>MH</application> to
- the specialization that one finds in insects and nature. Each
- tool in <application>MH</application> does one thing, and does it very well.</para>
+ programs for each part of your email life. One might liken
+ <application>MH</application> to the specialization that one
+ finds in insects and nature. Each tool in
+ <application>MH</application> does one thing, and does it very
+ well.</para>
<para>Beyond just the various tools that one uses to handle their
- email <application>MH</application> has done an excellent job keeping the configuration of
- each of these tools consistent and uniform. In fact, if you are
- not quite sure how something is supposed to work or what the
- arguments for some command are supposed to be, then you can
- generally guess and be right. Each <application>MH</application> command is consistent
- about how it handles reading the configuration files and how it
- takes arguments on the command line. One useful thing to
- remember is that you can always add a <option>-help</option> to
- the command to have it display the options for that
- command.</para>
+ email <application>MH</application> has done an excellent job
+ keeping the configuration of each of these tools consistent and
+ uniform. In fact, if you are not quite sure how something is
+ supposed to work or what the arguments for some command are
+ supposed to be, then you can generally guess and be right. Each
+ <application>MH</application> command is consistent about how it
+ handles reading the configuration files and how it takes
+ arguments on the command line. One useful thing to remember is
+ that you can always add a <option>-help</option> to the command
+ to have it display the options for that command.</para>
<para>The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you
- have installed the <application>MH</application> package on your FreeBSD machine. If you
- installed from CDROM you should be able to execute the following
- to load <application>MH</application>:
+ have installed the <application>MH</application> package on your
+ FreeBSD machine. If you installed from CDROM you should be able
+ to execute the following to load <application>MH</application>:
<informalexample>
<screen>&prompt.root; <userinput>pkg_add /cdrom/packages/mh-6.8.3.tgz</userinput></screen>
@@ -84,50 +89,60 @@
URL="ftp://louie.udel.edu/">louie.udel.edu</ulink>.</para>
<para>This primer is not a full comprehensive explanation of how
- <application>MH</application> works. This is just intended to get you started on the road
- to happier, faster mail reading. You should read the manual pages
- for the various commands. You might also want to read the <ulink
- URL="news:comp.mail.mh">comp.mail.mh</ulink> newsgroup. Also
- you can read the <ulink
- URL="http://www.faqs.org/faqs/mail/mh-faq/">FAQ for <application>MH</application></ulink>.
- The best resource for <application>MH</application> is <ulink
- URL="http://www.ics.uci.edu/~mh/book/">Jerry Peek's <application>MH</application> &amp;
- nmh: Email for Users &amp; Programmers</ulink>.</para>
+ <application>MH</application> works. This is just intended to
+ get you started on the road to happier, faster mail reading. You
+ should read the manual pages for the various commands. You might
+ also want to read the <ulink
+ URL="news:comp.mail.mh">comp.mail.mh</ulink> newsgroup. Also you
+ can read the <ulink
+ URL="http://www.faqs.org/faqs/mail/mh-faq/">FAQ for
+ <application>MH</application></ulink>. The best resource for
+ <application>MH</application> is <ulink
+ URL="http://www.ics.uci.edu/~mh/book/">Jerry Peek's
+ <application>MH</application> &amp; nmh: Email for Users &amp;
+ Programmers</ulink>.</para>
</sect1>
<sect1>
<title>Reading Mail</title>
<para>This section covers how to use <command>inc</command>,
- <command>show</command>, <command>scan</command>, <command>next</command>,
- <command>prev</command>, <command>rmm</command>, <command>rmf</command>, and
- <command>msgchk</command>. One of the best things about <application>MH</application> is the
- consistent interface between programs. One thing to keep in
- mind when using these commands is how to specify message lists.
- In the case of <command>inc</command> this does not really make any
- sense but with commands like <command>show</command> it is useful to
+ <command>show</command>, <command>scan</command>,
+ <command>next</command>, <command>prev</command>,
+ <command>rmm</command>, <command>rmf</command>, and
+ <command>msgchk</command>. One of the best things about
+ <application>MH</application> is the consistent interface
+ between programs. One thing to keep in mind when using these
+ commands is how to specify message lists. In the case of
+ <command>inc</command> this does not really make any sense but
+ with commands like <command>show</command> it is useful to
know. </para>
<para>A message list can consist of something like <parameter>23
- 20 16</parameter> which will act on messages 23, 20 and 16. This is
- fairly simple but you can do more useful things like
- <parameter>23-30</parameter> which will act on all the messages between
- 23 and 30. You can also specify something like
- <parameter>cur:10</parameter> which will act on the current message and
- the next 9 messages. The <parameter>cur</parameter>, <parameter>last</parameter>,
- and <parameter>first</parameter> messages are special messages that refer
- to the current, last or first message in the folder.</para>
+ 20 16</parameter> which will act on messages 23, 20 and
+ 16. This is fairly simple but you can do more useful things
+ like <parameter>23-30</parameter> which will act on all the
+ messages between 23 and 30. You can also specify something
+ like <parameter>cur:10</parameter> which will act on the
+ current message and the next 9 messages. The
+ <parameter>cur</parameter>, <parameter>last</parameter>, and
+ <parameter>first</parameter> messages are special messages
+ that refer to the current, last or first message in the
+ folder.</para>
<sect2 id="inc">
- <title><command>inc</command>, <command>msgchk</command>&mdash;read in your
- new email or check it</title>
+ <title><command>inc</command>,
+ <command>msgchk</command>&mdash;read in your new email or
+ check it</title>
<para>If you just type in <userinput>inc</userinput> and hit
- <keycap>return</keycap> you will be well on your way to getting
- started with <application>MH</application>. The first time you run <command>inc</command> it
- will setup your account to use all the <application>MH</application> defaults and ask you
- about creating a <filename>Mail</filename> directory under your HOME directory. If you have mail waiting to
- be downloaded you will see something that looks like:</para>
+ <keycap>return</keycap> you will be well on your way to
+ getting started with <application>MH</application>. The first
+ time you run <command>inc</command> it will setup your account
+ to use all the <application>MH</application> defaults and ask
+ you about creating a <filename>Mail</filename> directory under
+ your HOME directory. If you have mail waiting to be downloaded
+ you will see something that looks like:</para>
<informalexample>
<screen> 29 01/15 Doug White Re: Another Failed to boot problem&lt;&lt;On Mon, 15 J
@@ -144,22 +159,25 @@
you.</para>
<para>A lot of people like to use POP for grabbing their email.
- <application>MH</application> can do POP to grab your email. You will need to give
- <command>inc</command> a few command line arguments.</para>
+ <application>MH</application> can do POP to grab your
+ email. You will need to give <command>inc</command> a few
+ command line arguments.</para>
<informalexample>
<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>inc -host mail.pop.org -user <replaceable>username</replaceable> -norpop</userinput></screen>
</informalexample>
<para>That tells <command>inc</command> to go to
- <parameter>mail.pop.org</parameter> to download your email, and that
- your username on their system is <replaceable>username</replaceable>. The
- <option>-norpop</option> option tells <command>inc</command> to use
- plain POP3 for downloading your email. <application>MH</application> has support for a
- few different dialects of POP. More than likely you will never
+ <parameter>mail.pop.org</parameter> to download your email,
+ and that your username on their system is
+ <replaceable>username</replaceable>. The
+ <option>-norpop</option> option tells <command>inc</command>
+ to use plain POP3 for downloading your
+ email. <application>MH</application> has support for a few
+ different dialects of POP. More than likely you will never
ever need to use them though. While you can do more complex
- things with <command>inc</command> such as audit files and scan format files this
- will get you going.</para>
+ things with <command>inc</command> such as audit files and
+ scan format files this will get you going.</para>
<para>The <command>msgchk</command> command is used to get information
on whether or not you have new email. <command>msgchk</command> takes
@@ -233,10 +251,11 @@
<title><command>rmm</command> and <command>rmf</command>&mdash;remove the
current message or folder</title>
- <para><command>rmm</command> is used to remove a mail message. The
- default is typically to not actually remove the message but to
- rename the file to one that is ignored by the <application>MH</application> commands. You
- will periodically need to go through and physically delete the
+ <para><command>rmm</command> is used to remove a mail
+ message. The default is typically to not actually remove the
+ message but to rename the file to one that is ignored by the
+ <application>MH</application> commands. You will periodically
+ need to go through and physically delete the
<quote>removed</quote> messages.</para>
<para>The <command>rmf</command> command is used to remove folders.
@@ -326,10 +345,11 @@ which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
</informalexample>
<para>Then if I wanted to read message number 27 I would do a
- <userinput>show 27</userinput> and it would be displayed. As you can
- probably tell from this sample session <application>MH</application> is pretty easy to
- use and looking through emails and displaying them is fairly
- intuitive and easy.</para>
+ <userinput>show 27</userinput> and it would be displayed. As
+ you can probably tell from this sample session
+ <application>MH</application> is pretty easy to use and
+ looking through emails and displaying them is fairly intuitive
+ and easy.</para>
</sect2>
</sect1>
@@ -338,43 +358,52 @@ which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
<para>Anybody who gets lots of email definitely wants to be able
to prioritize, stamp, brief, de-brief, and number their emails
- in a variety of different ways. <application>MH</application> can do this better than just
- about anything. One thing that we have not really talked about is
- the concept of folders. You have undoubtedly come across the
- folders concept using other email programs. <application>MH</application> has folders too.
- <application>MH</application> can even do sub-folders of a folder. One thing you should
- keep in mind with <application>MH</application> is that when you ran <command>inc</command> for
- the first time and it asked you if it could create a
- <filename>Mail</filename> directory it began storing everything in that
- directory. If you look at that directory you will find a
- directory named <filename>inbox</filename>. The <filename>inbox</filename>
+ in a variety of different ways. <application>MH</application>
+ can do this better than just about anything. One thing that we
+ have not really talked about is the concept of folders. You have
+ undoubtedly come across the folders concept using other email
+ programs. <application>MH</application> has folders too.
+ <application>MH</application> can even do sub-folders of a
+ folder. One thing you should keep in mind with
+ <application>MH</application> is that when you ran
+ <command>inc</command> for the first time and it asked you if it
+ could create a <filename>Mail</filename> directory it began
+ storing everything in that directory. If you look at that
+ directory you will find a directory named
+ <filename>inbox</filename>. The <filename>inbox</filename>
directory houses all of your incoming mail that has not been
thrown anywhere else.</para>
<para>Whenever you create a new folder a new directory is going to
- be created underneath your <application>MH</application> <filename>Mail</filename> directory, and
- messages in that folder are going to be stored in that
- directory. When a new email message comes, it is thrown
- into your <filename>inbox</filename> directory with a file name that is
- equivalent to the message number. So even if you did not have
- any of the <application>MH</application> tools to read your email you could still use
- standard &unix; commands to munge around in those directories and
- just more your files. It is this simplicity that really gives you
- a lot of power with what you can do with your email.</para>
+ be created underneath your <application>MH</application>
+ <filename>Mail</filename> directory, and messages in that folder
+ are going to be stored in that directory. When a new email
+ message comes, it is thrown into your <filename>inbox</filename>
+ directory with a file name that is equivalent to the message
+ number. So even if you did not have any of the
+ <application>MH</application> tools to read your email you could
+ still use standard &unix; commands to munge around in those
+ directories and just more your files. It is this simplicity that
+ really gives you a lot of power with what you can do with your
+ email.</para>
<para>Just as you can use message lists like <parameter>23 16
- 42</parameter> with most <application>MH</application> commands there is a folder option you can
- specify with just about every <application>MH</application> command. If you do a
- <command>scan +freebsd</command> it will scan your <filename>freebsd</filename>
- folder, and your current folder will be changed to
- <filename>freebsd</filename>. If you do a <command>show +freebsd 23 16
- 42</command>, <command>show</command> is going to switch to your
- <filename>freebsd</filename> folder and display messages 23, 16 and 42.
- So remember that <option>+<replaceable>folder</replaceable></option> syntax. You
- will need to make sure you use it to make commands process
- different folders. Remember you default folder for mail is
- <filename>inbox</filename> so doing a <command>folder +inbox</command> should
- always get you back to your mail. Of course, in <application>MH</application>'s infinite
+ 42</parameter> with most <application>MH</application>
+ commands there is a folder option you can specify with just
+ about every <application>MH</application> command. If you do a
+ <command>scan +freebsd</command> it will scan your
+ <filename>freebsd</filename> folder, and your current folder
+ will be changed to <filename>freebsd</filename>. If you do a
+ <command>show +freebsd 23 16 42</command>,
+ <command>show</command> is going to switch to your
+ <filename>freebsd</filename> folder and display messages 23,
+ 16 and 42. So remember that
+ <option>+<replaceable>folder</replaceable></option>
+ syntax. You will need to make sure you use it to make commands
+ process different folders. Remember you default folder for
+ mail is <filename>inbox</filename> so doing a <command>folder
+ +inbox</command> should always get you back to your mail. Of
+ course, in <application>MH</application>'s infinite
flexibility this can be changed but most places have probably
left it as <command>inbox</command>.</para>
@@ -414,12 +443,13 @@ which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
<para>This will show you the same messages you just did not have
to work as hard to do it. The <option>-seq</option> option is
really an abbreviation of <option>-sequence</option> and
- <command>pick</command> is just a sequence which contains the message
- numbers that matched. You can use sequences with just about
- any <application>MH</application> command. So you could have done an <command>rmm pick</command>
- and all those messages would be removed instead. You sequence
- can be named anything. If you run pick again it will overwrite
- the old sequence if you use the same name.</para>
+ <command>pick</command> is just a sequence which contains the
+ message numbers that matched. You can use sequences with just
+ about any <application>MH</application> command. So you could
+ have done an <command>rmm pick</command> and all those
+ messages would be removed instead. You sequence can be named
+ anything. If you run pick again it will overwrite the old
+ sequence if you use the same name.</para>
<para>Doing a <command>pick -search</command> can be a bit more
time consuming than just searching for message from someone,
@@ -513,10 +543,11 @@ which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>pick -to freebsd-hackers -or -cc freebsd-hackers</userinput></screen>
</informalexample>
- <para>That will grab all the email in your <filename role="directory">inbox</filename> that was sent
- to freebsd-hackers or cc'd to that list. The brace options
- allow you to group search criteria together. This is sometimes
- very necessary as in the following example</para>
+ <para>That will grab all the email in your <filename
+ role="directory">inbox</filename> that was sent to
+ freebsd-hackers or cc'd to that list. The brace options allow
+ you to group search criteria together. This is sometimes very
+ necessary as in the following example</para>
<informalexample>
<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>pick -lbrace -to freebsd-hackers -and
@@ -531,10 +562,11 @@ which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
the subject line. Ordinarily you might have to worry about
something called operator precedence. Remember in math how you
evaluate from left to right and you do multiplication and
- division first and addition and subtraction second? <application>MH</application> has the
- same type of rules for <command>pick</command>. It is fairly complex
- so you might want to study the manual page. This document is just
- to help you get acquainted with <application>MH</application>.</para>
+ division first and addition and subtraction second?
+ <application>MH</application> has the same type of rules for
+ <command>pick</command>. It is fairly complex so you might
+ want to study the manual page. This document is just to help
+ you get acquainted with <application>MH</application>.</para>
</sect2>
<sect2>
@@ -543,14 +575,15 @@ which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
maintenance</title>
<para>There are three programs which are primarily just for
- manipulating your folders. The <command>folder</command> program is
- used to switch between folders, pack them, and list them. At
- its simplest level you can do a <command>folder
- +<replaceable>newfolder</replaceable></command> and you will be switched into
- <replaceable>newfolder</replaceable>. From there on out all your <application>MH</application>
- commands like <command>comp</command>, <command>repl</command>,
- <command>scan</command>, and <command>show</command> will act on that
- <command>newfolder</command> folder.</para>
+ manipulating your folders. The <command>folder</command>
+ program is used to switch between folders, pack them, and list
+ them. At its simplest level you can do a <command>folder
+ +<replaceable>newfolder</replaceable></command> and you will
+ be switched into <replaceable>newfolder</replaceable>. From
+ there on out all your <application>MH</application> commands
+ like <command>comp</command>, <command>repl</command>,
+ <command>scan</command>, and <command>show</command> will act
+ on that <command>newfolder</command> folder.</para>
<para>Sometimes when you are reading and deleting messages you
will develop <quote>holes</quote> in your folders. If you do a
@@ -605,22 +638,25 @@ which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
<title>Sending Mail</title>
<para>Email is a two way street for most people so you want to be
- able to send something back. The way <application>MH</application> handles sending mail can
- be a bit difficult to follow at first, but it allows for
- incredible flexibility. The first thing <application>MH</application> does is to copy a
- components file into your outgoing email. A components file is
- basically a skeleton email letter with stuff like the <literal>To:</literal> and
- <literal>Subject:</literal> headers already in it. You are then sent into your
- editor where you fill in the header information and then type
- the body of your message below the dashed lines in the message.
- When you leave the editor, the <command>whatnow</command> program is run. When you are at the
- <prompt>What now?</prompt> prompt you can tell it to
- <command>send</command>, <command>list</command>, <command>edit</command>,
- <command>push</command>, and <command>quit</command>. Most
- of these commands are self-explanatory. So the message sending
- process involves copying a component file, editing your email,
- and then telling the <command>whatnow</command> program what to do with
- your email.</para>
+ able to send something back. The way
+ <application>MH</application> handles sending mail can be a bit
+ difficult to follow at first, but it allows for incredible
+ flexibility. The first thing <application>MH</application> does
+ is to copy a components file into your outgoing email. A
+ components file is basically a skeleton email letter with stuff
+ like the <literal>To:</literal> and <literal>Subject:</literal>
+ headers already in it. You are then sent into your editor where
+ you fill in the header information and then type the body of
+ your message below the dashed lines in the message. When you
+ leave the editor, the <command>whatnow</command> program is run.
+ When you are at the <prompt>What now?</prompt> prompt you can
+ tell it to <command>send</command>, <command>list</command>,
+ <command>edit</command>, <command>push</command>, and
+ <command>quit</command>. Most of these commands are
+ self-explanatory. So the message sending process involves
+ copying a component file, editing your email, and then telling
+ the <command>whatnow</command> program what to do with your
+ email.</para>
<sect2>
<title><command>comp</command>, <command>forw</command>,
@@ -686,19 +722,22 @@ Subject:<userinput>And on the 8th day God created the FreeBSD core team</userinp
<para>The <command>repl</command> command will reply to the
current message, unless you give it a different message to
- reply to. <command>repl</command> will do its best to go ahead and
- fill in some of the email headers already. So you will notice
- that the <literal>To:</literal> header already has the address of the
- recipient in there. Also the <literal>Subject:</literal> line will
- already be filled in. You then go about the normal message
- composition process and you are done. One useful command line
- option to know here is the <option>-cc</option> option. You
- can use <parameter>all</parameter>, <parameter>to</parameter>, <parameter>cc</parameter>,
- <parameter>me</parameter> after the <option>-cc</option> option to have
- <command>repl</command> automatically add the various addresses to
- the <literal>Cc:</literal> list in the message. You have probably noticed that the
- original message is not included. This is because most <application>MH</application>
- setups are configured to do this from the start.</para>
+ reply to. <command>repl</command> will do its best to go ahead
+ and fill in some of the email headers already. So you will
+ notice that the <literal>To:</literal> header already has the
+ address of the recipient in there. Also the
+ <literal>Subject:</literal> line will already be filled in.
+ You then go about the normal message composition process and
+ you are done. One useful command line option to know here is
+ the <option>-cc</option> option. You can use
+ <parameter>all</parameter>, <parameter>to</parameter>,
+ <parameter>cc</parameter>, <parameter>me</parameter> after the
+ <option>-cc</option> option to have <command>repl</command>
+ automatically add the various addresses to the
+ <literal>Cc:</literal> list in the message. You have probably
+ noticed that the original message is not included. This is
+ because most <application>MH</application> setups are
+ configured to do this from the start.</para>
</sect2>
<sect2>
@@ -708,14 +747,14 @@ Subject:<userinput>And on the 8th day God created the FreeBSD core team</userinp
<para>The <filename>components</filename> file is usually in
<filename>/usr/local/lib/mh</filename>. You can copy that file
- into your <application>MH</application> Mail directory and edit to contain what you want
- it to contain. It is a fairly basic file. You have various
- email headers at the top, a dashed line and then nothing. The
- <command>comp</command> command just copies this
- <filename>components</filename> file and then edits it. You can add
- any kind of valid RFC822 header you want. For instance you
- could have something like this in your <filename>components</filename>
- file:</para>
+ into your <application>MH</application> Mail directory and
+ edit to contain what you want it to contain. It is a fairly
+ basic file. You have various email headers at the top, a
+ dashed line and then nothing. The <command>comp</command>
+ command just copies this <filename>components</filename> file
+ and then edits it. You can add any kind of valid RFC822 header
+ you want. For instance you could have something like this in
+ your <filename>components</filename> file:</para>
<informalexample>
<screen>To:
@@ -726,11 +765,12 @@ X-Home-Page: http://www.FreeBSD.org/
-------</screen>
</informalexample>
- <para><application>MH</application> would then copy this components file and throw you into
- your editor. The <filename>components</filename> file is fairly
- simple. If you wanted to have a signature on those messages
- you would just put your signature in that
- <filename>components</filename> file.</para>
+ <para><application>MH</application> would then copy this
+ components file and throw you into your editor. The
+ <filename>components</filename> file is fairly simple. If you
+ wanted to have a signature on those messages you would just
+ put your signature in that <filename>components</filename>
+ file.</para>
<para>The <filename>replcomps</filename> file is a bit more complex. The
default <filename>replcomps</filename> looks like this:</para>
@@ -765,14 +805,15 @@ from address</emphasis>, %? <emphasis remap=bf>else</emphasis> {sender} <emphasi
message</emphasis>, %&gt; <emphasis remap=bf>endif</emphasis>.</screen>
</informalexample>
- <para>As you can tell <application>MH</application> formatting can get rather involved. You
- can probably decipher what most of the other functions and
- variables mean. All of the information on writing these format
- strings is in the MH-Format manual page. The really nice thing is
- that once you have built your customized
- <filename>replcomps</filename> file you will not need to touch it again.
- No other email program really gives you the power and
- flexibility that <application>MH</application> gives you.</para>
+ <para>As you can tell <application>MH</application> formatting
+ can get rather involved. You can probably decipher what most
+ of the other functions and variables mean. All of the
+ information on writing these format strings is in the
+ MH-Format manual page. The really nice thing is that once you
+ have built your customized <filename>replcomps</filename> file
+ you will not need to touch it again. No other email program
+ really gives you the power and flexibility that
+ <application>MH</application> gives you.</para>
</sect2>
</sect1>
</article>