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<!-- $Id: article.sgml,v 1.3 1999-08-29 16:08:32 jhb Exp $ -->
<!-- FreeBSD Documentation Project -->

<!DOCTYPE BOOK PUBLIC "-//Davenport//DTD DocBook V3.0//EN">
<book>

<bookinfo>
<bookbiblio>
<title>An MH Primer</title>

<authorgroup>
<author>
<firstname>Matt</firstname>
<surname>Midboe</surname>
<affiliation>
<address>
<email>matt@garply.com</email>
</address>
</affiliation>
</author></authorgroup>

<pubdate>v1.0, 16 January 1996</pubdate>

<abstract><para>This document contains an introduction to using MH on
FreeBSD</para></abstract>

</bookbiblio>
</bookinfo>

<chapter id="mhintro">
<title>Introduction</title>

<para>MH started back in 1977 at the RAND Corporation, where the
initial philosophies behind MH were developed. MH isn't so much a
monolithic email program but a philosophy about how best to develop
tools for reading email. The MH developers have done a great job
adhering to the <acronym>KISS</> 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 MH to the specialization that one finds
in insects and nature. Each tool in MH does one thing, and does it
very well.</para>

<para>Beyond just the various tools that one uses to handle their
email MH 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 MH 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 MH package on your FreeBSD machine. If you installed
from CDROM you should be able to execute the following to load mh:
<informalexample>
<screen># <userinput>pkg_add /cdrom/packages/mh-6.8.3.tgz</></screen>
</informalexample>
You will notice that it created a <filename>/usr/local/lib/mh</>
directory for you as well as adding several binaries to the
<filename>/usr/local/bin</> directory. If you would prefer to compile
it yourself then you can anonymous ftp it from <ulink
URL="ftp://ftp.ics.uci.edu/">ftp.ics.uci.edu</ulink> or <ulink
URL="ftp://louie.udel.edu/">louie.udel.edu</ulink>.</para>

<para>This primer is not a full comprehensive explanation of how MH
works. This is just intended to get you started on the road to
happier, faster mail reading. You should read the man pages for the
various commands. Also you might want to read the <ulink
URL="news:comp.mail.mh">comp.mail.mh</ulink> newsgroup. Also you can
read the <ulink
URL="http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/mh-faq/part1/faq.html">FAQ
for MH</ulink>. The best resource for MH is the O'Reilly and Associates book
written by Jerry Peek.</para>

</chapter>

<chapter>
<title>Reading Mail</title>

<para>This section covers how to use <command>inc</>,
<command>show</>, <command>scan</>, <command>next</>,
<command>prev</>, <command>rmm</>, <command>rmf</>, and
<command>msgchk</>.  One of the best things about MH is the
consistent interface between programs. A few things to keep in mind
when using these commands is how to specify message lists. In the
case of <command>inc</> this doesn't really make any sense but with
commands like <command>show</> it is useful to know. </para>

<para>A message list can consist of something like <parameter>23 20
16</> which will act on messages 23, 20 and 16. This is fairly simple
but you can do more useful things like <parameter>23-30</> which will
act on all the messages between 23 and 30. You can also specify
something like <parameter>cur:10</> which will act on the current
message and the next 9 messages. The <parameter>cur</>,
<parameter>last</>, and <parameter>first</> messages are special
messages that refer to the current, last or first message in the
folder.</para>


<sect1 id="inc">
<title><command>inc</>, <command>msgchk</>&mdash;read in your new email or check it</title>

<para>If you just type in <userinput>inc</> and hit <keycap>return</>
you will be well on your way to getting started with MH. The first
time you run <command>inc</> it will setup your account to use all
the MH defaults and ask you about creating a Mail directory. If you
have mail waiting to be downloaded you will see something that looks
like:
<informalexample>
<screen>  29  01/15 Doug White         Re: Another Failed to boot problem&lt;&lt;On Mon, 15 J
  30  01/16 "Jordan K. Hubbar  Re: FBSD 2.1&lt;&lt;&gt; Do you want a library instead of
  31  01/16 Bruce Evans        Re: location of bad144 table&lt;&lt;&gt;&gt; &gt;It would appea
  32  01/16 "Jordan K. Hubbar  Re: video is up&lt;&lt;&gt; Anyway, mrouted won't run, ev
  33  01/16 Michael Smith      Re: FBSD 2.1&lt;&lt;Nate Williams stands accused of sa</screen>
</informalexample>
This is the same thing you will see from a <command>scan</> (see
<xref linkend="scan">). If you just run <command>inc</> with no
arguments it will look on your computer for email that is supposed to
be coming to you.</para>

<para>A lot of people like to use POP for grabbing their email. MH can do
POP to grab your email. You will need to give <command>inc</> a few command
line arguments. 
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>inc -host mail.pop.org -user <replaceable>username</> -norpop</></screen>
</informalexample>
That tells <command>inc</> to go to <parameter>mail.pop.org</> to
download your email, and that your username on their system is
<replaceable>username</>. The <option>-norpop</option> option tells
<command>inc</> to use plain POP3 for downloading your email. MH 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 inc such as audit files and scan format files
this will get you going.</para>

<para>The <command>msgchk</> command is used to get information on
whether or not you have new email. <command>msgchk</> takes the same
<option>-host</option> and <option>-user</option> options that
<command>inc</> takes.</para>

</sect1>

<sect1 id="show">
<title><command>show</>, <command>next</> and <command>prev</>&mdash;displaying and moving through email</title>

<para><command>show</> is to show a letter in your current folder.
Like <command>inc</>, <command>show</> is a fairly straightforward
command. If you just type <userinput>show</> and hit <keycap>return</>
then it displays the current message. You can also give specific
message numbers to show:
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>show 32 45 56</></screen>
</informalexample>
This would display message numbers 32, 45 and 56 right after each
other. Unless you change the default behavior <command>show</>
basically just does a <command>more</> on the email message.</para>

<para><command>next</> is used to move onto the next message and
<command>prev</> will go to the previous message. Both commands have
an implied <command>show</> command so that when you go to the next
message it automatically displays it.</para>

</sect1>

<sect1 id="scan">
<title><command>scan</>&mdash;shows you a scan of your messages</title>

<para><command>scan</> will display a brief listing of the messages
in your current folder. This is an example of what the
<command>scan</> command will give you.
<informalexample>
<screen>  30+ 01/16 "Jordan K. Hubbar  Re: FBSD 2.1&lt;&lt;&gt; Do you want a library instead of
  31  01/16 Bruce Evans        Re: location of bad144 table&lt;&lt;&gt;&gt; &gt;It would appea
  32  01/16 "Jordan K. Hubbar  Re: video is up&lt;&lt;&gt; Anyway, mrouted won't run, ev
  33  01/16 Michael Smith      Re: FBSD 2.1&lt;&lt;Nate Williams stands accused of sa</screen>
</informalexample>
Like just about everything in MH this display is very configurable.
This is the typical default display. It gives you the message number,
the date on the email, the sender, the subject line, and a sentence
fragment from the very beginning of the email if it can fit it. The
<literal>+</> means that message is the current message, so if you do
a <command>show</> it will display that message.</para>

<para>One useful option for scan is the <option>-reverse</option>
option. This will list your messages with the highest message number
first and lowest message number last. Another useful option with
<command>scan</> is to have it read from a file. If you want to scan
your incoming mailbox on FreeBSD without having to <command>inc</> it
you can do <command>scan -file
/var/mail/<replaceable>username</></command>. This can be used with
any file that is in the <database>mbox</> format.</para>

</sect1>

<sect1 id="rmm">
<title><command>rmm</> and <command>rmf</>&mdash;remove the current message or folder</title>

<para><command>rmm</> 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 MH commands. You will need to
through periodically and physically delete the <quote>removed</>
messages.</para>

<para>The <command>rmf</> command is used to remove folders. This
doesn't just rename the files but actually removes the from the hard
drive so you should be careful when you use this command.</para>

</sect1>

<sect1 id="samplereading">
<title>A typical session of reading with MH</title>

<para>The first thing that you will want to do is <command>inc</>
your new mail. So at a shell prompt just type in <command>inc</> and
hit <keycap>return</>.
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>inc</>
Incorporating new mail into inbox...

  36+ 01/19 "Stephen L. Lange  Request...&lt;&lt;Please remove me as contact for pind
  37  01/19 Matt Thomas        Re: kern/950: Two PCI bridge chips fail (multipl
  38  01/19 "Amancio Hasty Jr  Re: FreeBSD and VAT&lt;&lt;&gt;&gt;&gt; Bill Fenner said: &gt; In 
tempest%</screen>
</informalexample>
This shows you the new email that has been added to your mailbox. So
the next thing to do is <command>show</> the email and move around.
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>show</>
Received: by sashimi.wwa.com (Smail3.1.29.1 #2)
        id m0tdMZ2-001W2UC; Fri, 19 Jan 96 13:33 CST
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 13:33:31 -0600 (CST)
From: "Stephen L. Lange" &lt;stvlange@wwa.com&gt;
To: matt@garply.com
Subject: Request...
Message-Id: &lt;Pine.BSD.3.91.960119133211.824A-100000@sashimi.wwa.com&gt;
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII


Please remove me as contact for pindat.com

tempest% <userinput>rmm</>
tempest% <userinput>next</>
Received: from localhost (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by whydos.lkg.dec.com (8.6.11/8
.6.9) with SMTP id RAA24416; Fri, 19 Jan 1996 17:56:48 GMT
Message-Id: &lt;199601191756.RAA24416@whydos.lkg.dec.com&gt;
X-Authentication-Warning: whydos.lkg.dec.com: Host localhost didn't use HELO pro
tocol
To: hsu@clinet.fi
Cc: hackers@FreeBSD.org
Subject: Re: kern/950: Two PCI bridge chips fail (multiple multiport ethernet 
 boards) 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Fri, 19 Jan 1996 00:18:36 +0100."
             &lt;199601182318.AA11772@Sysiphos&gt; 
X-Mailer: exmh version 1.5omega 10/6/94
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 17:56:40 +0000
From: Matt Thomas &lt;matt@lkg.dec.com&gt;
Sender: owner-hackers@FreeBSD.org
Precedence: bulk


This is due to a typo in pcireg.h (to
which I am probably the guilty party).</screen>
</informalexample></para>

<para>The <command>rmm</> removed the current message and the
<command>next</> command moved me on to the next message.
Now if I wanted to look at ten most recent messages so I could read
one of them here is what I would do:
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>scan last:10</>
  26  01/16 maddy              Re: Testing some stuff&lt;&lt;yeah, well, Trinity has 
  27  01/17 Automatic digest   NET-HAPPENINGS Digest - 16 Jan 1996 to 17 Jan 19
  28  01/17 Evans A Criswell   Re: Hey dude&lt;&lt;&gt;From matt@tempest.garply.com Tue 
  29  01/16 Karl Heuer         need configure/make volunteers&lt;&lt;The FSF is looki
  30  01/18 Paul Stephanouk    Re: [alt.religion.scientology] Raw Meat (humor)&lt;
  31  01/18 Bill Lenherr       Re: Linux NIS Solaris&lt;&lt;--- On Thu, 18 Jan 1996 1
  34  01/19 John Fieber        Re: Stuff for the email section?&lt;&lt;On Fri, 19 Jan
  35  01/19 support@foo.garpl  [garply.com #1138] parlor&lt;&lt;Hello. This is the Ne
  37+ 01/19 Matt Thomas        Re: kern/950: Two PCI bridge chips fail (multipl
  38  01/19 "Amancio Hasty Jr  Re: FreeBSD and VAT&lt;&lt;&gt;&gt;&gt; Bill Fenner said: &gt; In 
tempest%</screen>
</informalexample>
Then if I wanted to read message number 27 I would do a
<userinput>show 27</> and it would be displayed. As you can probably
tell from this sample session MH is pretty easy to use and looking
through emails and displaying them is fairly intuitive and easy.
</para>

</sect1>
</chapter>

<chapter>
<title>Folders and Mail Searching</title>

<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. MH can do this better than just about
anything. One thing that we haven't really talked about is the
concept of folders. You have undoubtedly come across the folders
concept using other email programs. MH has folders too. MH can even
do sub-folders of a folder. One thing you should keep in mind with MH
is that when you ran <command>inc</> for the first time and it asked
you if it could create a <filename>Mail</> directory it began storing
everything in that directory. If you look at that directory you will
find a directory named <filename>inbox</>. The <filename>inbox</>
directory houses all of your incoming mail that hasn't been thrown
anywhere else.</para>

<para>Whenever you create a new folder a new directory is going to be
created underneath your MH <filename>Mail</> directory, and messages
in that folder are going to be stored in that directory. When new
email comes in that new email is thrown into your <filename>inbox</>
directory with a file name that is equivalent to the message number.
So even if you didn't have any of the MH tools to read your email you
could still use standard UNIX commands to munge around in those
directories and just more your files. It's 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</>
with most MH commands there is a folder option you can specify with
just about every MH command. If you do a <command>scan +freebsd</> it
will scan your <filename>freebsd</> folder, and your current folder
will be changed to <filename>freebsd</>. If you do a <command>show
+freebsd 23 16 42</>, <command>show</> is going to switch to your
<filename>freebsd</> folder and display messages 23, 16 and 42. So
remember that <option>+<replaceable>folder</></> 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</>
so doing a <command>folder +inbox</> should always get you back to
your mail. Of course, in MH's infinite flexibility this can be
changed but most places have probably left it as
<command>inbox</>.</para>


<sect1>
<title><command>pick</>&mdash;search email that matches certain criteria</title>

<para><command>pick</> is one of the more complex commands in the MH
system. So you might want to read the
<citerefentry><refentrytitle>pick</><manvolnum>1</></> man page for a
more thorough understanding. At its simplest level you can do
something like
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>pick -search pci</>
15
42
55
56
57</screen>
</informalexample>

This will tell <command>pick</> to look through every single line in
every message in your current folder and tell you which message
numbers it found the word <literal>pci</> in. You can then
<command>show</> those messages and read them if you wish or
<command>rmm</> them. You would have to specify something like
<command>show 15 42 55-57</> to display them though. A slightly more
useful thing to do is this:
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>pick -search pci -seq pick</>
5 hits
tempest% <userinput>show pick</></screen>
</informalexample>
This will show you the same messages you just didn't have to work as
hard to do it. The <option>-seq</option> option is really an
abbreviation of <option>-sequence</option> and <command>pick</> is
just a sequence which contains the message numbers that matched. You
can use sequences with just about any MH command. So you could have
done an <command>rmm pick</> 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, or to
someone. So <command>pick</> allows you to use the following
predefined search criteria:

<variablelist>

<varlistentry>
<term><option>-to</option></term>
<listitem>
<para>search based upon who the message is to</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>

<varlistentry>
<term><option>-cc</option></term>
<listitem>
<para>search based on who is in the cc list</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>

<varlistentry>
<term><option>-from</option></term>
<listitem>
<para>search for who sent the message</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>

<varlistentry>
<term><option>-subject</option></term>
<listitem>
<para>search for emails with this subject</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>

<varlistentry>
<term><option>-date</option></term>
<listitem>
<para>find emails with a matching dat</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>

<varlistentry>
<term><option>--<replaceable>component</replaceable></option></term>
<listitem>
<para>search for any other component in the header. (i.e.
<option>--reply-to</> to find all emails with a certain reply-to in
the header)</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>

</variablelist></para>
  
<para>This allows you to do things like
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>pick -to freebsd-hackers@FreeBSD.org -seq hackers</></screen>
</informalexample>
to get a list of all the email send to the FreeBSD hackers mailing
list. <command>pick</> also allows you to group these criteria in
different ways using the following options:
<itemizedlist>

<listitem>
<para>&hellip; <option>-and</option> &hellip;</para>
</listitem>

<listitem>
<para>&hellip; <option>-or</option> &hellip</para>
</listitem>

<listitem>
<para><option>-not</option> &hellip;</para>
</listitem>

<listitem>
<para><option>-lbrace</option> &hellip; <option>-rbrace</option></para>
</listitem>

</itemizedlist>
These commands allow you to do things like
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>pick -to freebsd-hackers -and -cc freebsd-hackers</></screen>
</informalexample>
That will grab all the email in your inbox 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
<informalexample>
<screen>tempest% <userinput>pick -lbrace -to freebsd-hackers -and 
  -not -cc freebsd-questions -rbrace -and -subject pci</></screen>
</informalexample></para>

<para>Basically this says <quote>pick (to freebsd-hackers and not cc'd on
freebsd-questions) and the subject is pci</quote>. It should look through your
folder and find all messages sent to the freebsd-hackers list that
aren't cc'd to the freebsd-questions list that contain something on
pci in 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? MH has the same type of
rules for <command>pick</>. It's fairly complex so you might want to study
the man page. This document is just to help you get acquainted with
MH.</para>
  
</sect1>

<sect1>
<title><command>folder</>, <command>folders</>, <command>refile</>&mdash;three useful programs for folder maintenance</title>

<para>There are three programs which are primarily just for
manipulating your folders. The <command>folder</> program is used to
switch between folders, pack them, and list them. At its simplest
level you can do a <command>folder +<replaceable>newfolder</></> and
you will be switched into <replaceable>newfolder</>. From there on
out all your MH commands like <command>comp</>, <command>repl</>,
<command>scan</>, and <command>show</> will act on that
<command>newfolder</> folder.</para>

<para>Sometimes when you are reading and deleting messages you will
develop <quote>holes</> in your folders. If you do a <command>scan</>
you might just see messages 34, 35, 36, 43, 55, 56, 57, 80. If you do
a <command>folder -pack</command> this will renumber all your
messages so that there are no holes. It doesn't actually delete any
messages though. So you may need to periodically go through and
physically delete <command>rmm</>'d messages.</para>

<para>If you need statistics on your folders you can do a
<command>folders</> or <command>folder -all</command> to list all
your folders, how many messages they have, what the current message
is in each one and so on. This line of stats it displays for all your
folders is the same one you get when you change to a folder with
<command>folder +foldername</>. A <command>folders</> command looks
like this:
<informalexample>
<screen>                Folder      # of messages (  range  ); cur  msg  (other files)
              announce  has    1 message  (   1-   1).
                drafts  has   no messages.
             f-hackers  has   43 messages (   1-  43).
           f-questions  has   16 messages (   1-  16).
                 inbox+ has   35 messages (   1-  38); cur=  37.
                 lists  has    8 messages (   1-   8).
             netfuture  has    1 message  (   1-   1).
                   out  has   31 messages (   1-  31).
              personal  has    6 messages (   1-   6).
                  todo  has   58 messages (   1-  58); cur=   1.

                     TOTAL=  199 messages in 13 folders.
</screen>
</informalexample></para>
  
<para>The <command>refile</> command is what you use to move messages
between folders. When you do something like <command>refile 23
+netfuture</> message number 23 is moved into the
<filename>netfuture</> folder. You could also do something like
<command>refile 23 +netfuture/latest</> which would put message
number 23 in a subfolder called <filename>latest</> under the
<filename>netfuture</> folder. If you want to keep a message in the
current folder and link it you can do a <command>refile -link 23
+netfuture</command> which would keep 23 in your current
<filename>inbox</> but also list in your <filename>netfuture</>
folder. You are probably beginning to realize some of the really
powerful things you can do with MH.</para>

</sect1>
</chapter>

<chapter>
<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 MH handles sending mail can be a
bit difficult to follow at first, but it allows for incredible
flexibility. The first thing MH does is to copy a components file
into your outgoing email. A components file is basically a skeleton
email letter with stuff like the To: and Subject: 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. Then to the <command>whatnow</> program. When
you are at the <prompt>What now?</prompt> prompt you can tell it to
<command>send</>, <command>list</>, <command>edit</>,
<command>edit</>, <command>push</>, and <command>quit</>. 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</> program what to do with your
email.</para>


<sect1>
<title><command>comp</>, <command>forw</>, <command>reply</>&mdash;compose, forward or reply to a message to someone</title>

<para>The <command>comp</> program has a few useful command line
options. The most important one to know right now is the
<option>-editor</option> option. When MH is installed the default
editor is usually a program called <command>prompter</> which comes
with MH. It's not a very exciting editor and basically just gets the
job done. So when you go to compose a message to someone you might
want to use <command>comp -editor /usr/bin/vi/</> or <command>comp
-editor /usr/local/bin/pico/</> instead. Once you have run
<emphasis>comp</emphasis> you are in your editor and you see
something that looks like this:
<informalexample>
<screen>To:
cc:
Subject:
--------
</screen>
</informalexample></para>

<para>You need to put the person you are sending the mail to after the
<literal>To:</> line. It works the same way for the other headers
also, so you would need to put your subject after the
<literal>Subject:</> line. Then you would just put the body of your
message after the dashed lines. It may seem a bit simplistic since a
lot of email programs have special requesters that ask you for this
information but there really isn't any point to that. Plus this
really gives you excellent flexibility.
<informalexample>
<screen>To:<userinput>freebsd-rave@FreeBSD.org</>
cc:
Subject:<userinput>And on the 8th day God created the FreeBSD core team</>
--------
<userinput>Wow this is an amazing operating system. Thanks!</></screen>
</informalexample>
You can now save this message and exit your editor. You will see the
<prompt>What now?</> prompt and you can type in
<userinput>send</> or <userinput>s</> and hit
<keycap>return</>. Then the FreeBSD core team will receive their just
rewards. As I mentioned earlier you can also use other commands, for
example <command>quit</> if you don't want to send the
message.</para>

<para>The <command>forw</> command is stunningly similar. The big
difference being that the message you are forwarding is automatically
included in the outgoing message. When you run <command>forw</> it
will forward your current message. You can always tell it to forward
something else by doing something like <command>forw 23</> and then
message number 23 will be put in your outgoing message instead of the
current message. Beyond those small differences <command>forw</>
functions exactly the same as <command>comp</>. You go through the
exact same message sending process.</para>

<para>The <command>repl</> command will reply to whatever your
current message is, unless you give it a different message to reply
to. <command>repl</> will do its best to go ahead and fill in some of
the email headers already. So you will notice that the
<literal>To:</> header already has the address of the recipient in
there. Also the <literal>Subject:</> 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>to</>, <parameter>cc</>, <parameter>me</> after the
<option>-cc</option> option to have <command>repl</> automatically
add the various addresses to the cc list in the message. You have
probably noticed that the original message isn't included. This is
because most MH setups are configured to do this from the
start.</para>

</sect1>

<sect1>
<title><filename>components</>, and <filename>replcomps</>&mdash;components files for <command>comp</> and <command>repl</></title>

<para>The <filename>components</> file is usually in
<filename>/usr/local/lib/mh</filename>. You can copy that file into
your MH 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</> 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</> file:
<informalexample>
<screen>To:
Fcc: out
Subject:
X-Mailer: MH 6.8.3
X-Home-Page: http://www.FreeBSD.org/
-------</screen>
</informalexample>

MH would then copy this components file and throw you into your
editor. The <filename>components</> file is fairly simple. If you
wanted to have a signature on those messages you would just put your
signature in that <filename>components</> file.</para>

<para>The <filename>replcomps</> file is a bit more complex. The default
<filename>replcomps</> looks like this:
<informalexample>
<screen>%(lit)%(formataddr %&lt;{reply-to}%?{from}%?{sender}%?{return-path}%&gt;)\
%&lt;(nonnull)%(void(width))%(putaddr To: )\n%&gt;\
%(lit)%(formataddr{to})%(formataddr{cc})%(formataddr(me))\
%&lt;(nonnull)%(void(width))%(putaddr cc: )\n%&gt;\
%&lt;{fcc}Fcc: %{fcc}\n%&gt;\
%&lt;{subject}Subject: Re: %{subject}\n%&gt;\
%&lt;{date}In-reply-to: Your message of "\
%&lt;(nodate{date})%{date}%|%(pretty{date})%&gt;."%&lt;{message-id}
             %{message-id}%&gt;\n%&gt;\
--------
</screen>
</informalexample></para>

<para>It's in the same basic format as the <filename>components</> file but
it contains quite a few extra formatting codes. The
<literal>%(lit)</> command makes room for the address. The
<literal>%(formataddr</> is a function that returns a proper email
address. The next part is <literal>%&lt;</literal> which means if and
the <literal>{reply-to}</> means the reply-to field in the original
message. So that might be translated this way:
<informalexample>
<screen>%&lt;<emphasis remap=bf>if</emphasis> {reply-to} <emphasis remap=bf>the original message has a reply-to</emphasis> 
then give that to formataddr, %? <emphasis remap=bf>else</emphasis> {from} <emphasis remap=bf>take the
from address</emphasis>, %? <emphasis remap=bf>else</emphasis> {sender} <emphasis remap=bf>take the sender address</emphasis>, %?
<emphasis remap=bf>else</emphasis> {return-path} <emphasis remap=bf>take the return-path from the original
message</emphasis>, %&gt; <emphasis remap=bf>endif</emphasis>.</screen>
</informalexample></para>
  
<para>As you can tell MH 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 man page. The really nice thing is that once you have built
your customized <filename>replcomps</> file you won't need to touch it
again. No other email program really gives you the power and
flexibility that MH gives you.</para>
  
</sect1>
</chapter>
</book>