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<!-- $FreeBSD: doc/en_US.ISO_8859-1/articles/mh/article.sgml,v 1.8 2000/07/26 18:24:49 jim Exp $ -->
<!-- FreeBSD Documentation Project -->

<!DOCTYPE ARTICLE PUBLIC "-//FreeBSD//DTD DocBook V4.1-Based Extension//EN">
<article>
  <articleinfo>
    <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>
  </articleinfo>

  <sect1 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</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 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>&prompt.root; <userinput>pkg_add /cdrom/packages/mh-6.8.3.tgz</>
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      You will notice that it created a <filename>/usr/local/lib/mh</filename>
      directory for you as well as adding several binaries to the
      <filename>/usr/local/bin</filename> 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>
  </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 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</command> this doesn't 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>

    <sect2 id="inc">
      <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 MH. The first time you run <command>inc</command> 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:</para>

      <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>

      <para>This is the same thing you will see from a
	<command>scan</command> (see <xref linkend="scan">). If you just run
	<command>inc</command> 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</command> a few command line arguments.</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>inc -host mail.pop.org -user <replaceable>username</> -norpop</>
	</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. 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> command is used to get information
	on whether or not you have new email. <command>msgchk</command> takes
	the same <option>-host</option> and <option>-user</option>
	options that <command>inc</command> takes.</para>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 id="show">
      <title><command>show</command>, <command>next</command> and
	<command>prev</command>&mdash;displaying and moving through
	email</title>

      <para><command>show</command> is to show a letter in your current
	folder.  Like <command>inc</command>, <command>show</command> is a fairly
	straightforward command. If you just type <userinput>show</userinput>
	and hit <keycap>return</keycap> then it displays the current
	message. You can also give specific message numbers to
	show:</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>show 32 45 56</>
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <para>This would display message numbers 32, 45 and 56 right
	after each other. Unless you change the default behavior
	<command>show</command> basically just does a <command>more</command> on the
	email message.</para>

      <para><command>next</command> is used to move onto the next message and
	<command>prev</command> will go to the previous message. Both
	commands have an implied <command>show</command> command so that when
	you go to the next message it automatically displays
	it.</para>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 id="scan">
      <title><command>scan</command>&mdash;shows you a scan of your
	messages</title>

      <para><command>scan</command> will display a brief listing of the
	messages in your current folder. This is an example of what
	the <command>scan</command> command will give you.</para>

      <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>

      <para>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>+</literal> means that
	message is the current message, so if you do a
	<command>show</command> 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</command> is to
	have it read from a file. If you want to scan your incoming
	mailbox on FreeBSD without having to <command>inc</command> it you
	can do <command>scan -file
	  /var/mail/<replaceable>username</replaceable></command>. This can be used
	with any file that is in the <database>mbox</database> format.</para>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 id="rmm">
      <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 MH commands. You
	will need to through periodically and physically delete the
	<quote>removed</quote> messages.</para>

      <para>The <command>rmf</command> 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>
    </sect2>

    <sect2 id="samplereading">
      <title>A typical session of reading with MH</title>

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

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <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 
&prompt.user;
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <para>This shows you the new email that has been added to your
	mailbox. So the next thing to do is <command>show</command> the email
	and move around.</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <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

&prompt.user; <userinput>rmm</>
&prompt.user; <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>The <command>rmm</command> removed the current message and the
	<command>next</command> 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:</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <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 
&prompt.user;
	</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 MH is pretty easy to
	use and looking through emails and displaying them is fairly
	intuitive and easy.</para>
    </sect2>
  </sect1>

  <sect1>
    <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</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 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</filename> 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</filename> 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</parameter> 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</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 MH's infinite
      flexibility this can be changed but most places have probably
      left it as <command>inbox</command>.</para>

    <sect2>
      <title><command>pick</command>&mdash;search email that matches certain
	criteria</title>

      <para><command>pick</command> is one of the more complex commands in
	the MH system. So you might want to read the
	<citerefentry><refentrytitle>pick</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry> man
	page for a more thorough understanding. At its simplest level
	you can do something like</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>pick -search pci</>
15
42
55
56
57
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <para>This will tell <command>pick</command> 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</literal>
	in. You can then <command>show</command> those messages and read them
	if you wish or <command>rmm</command> them. You would have to specify
	something like <command>show 15 42 55-57</command> to display them
	though. A slightly more useful thing to do is this:</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>pick -search pci -seq pick</>
5 hits
&prompt.user; <userinput>show pick</>
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <para>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</command> 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</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,
	or to someone. So <command>pick</command> allows you to use the
	following predefined search criteria:</para>

      <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</option> to find all emails with a certain
	      reply-to in the header)</para>
	  </listitem>
	</varlistentry>
      </variablelist>
  
      <para>This allows you to do things like

	<informalexample>
	  <screen>&prompt.user; <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</command> also allows you to group these
	criteria in different ways using the following options:</para>

      <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>

      <para>These commands allow you to do things like</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>pick -to freebsd-hackers -and -cc freebsd-hackers</>
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <para>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</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>&prompt.user; <userinput>pick -lbrace -to freebsd-hackers -and 
  -not -cc freebsd-questions -rbrace -and -subject pci</>
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <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</command>. 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>
    </sect2>

    <sect2>
      <title><command>folder</command>, <command>folders</command>,
	<command>refile</command>&mdash;three useful programs for folder
	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 MH
	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
	<command>scan</command> 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</command>'d messages.</para>

      <para>If you need statistics on your folders you can do a
	<command>folders</command> 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</command>. A
	<command>folders</command> command looks like this:</para>

      <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>The <command>refile</command> command is what you use to move
	messages between folders. When you do something like
	<command>refile 23 +netfuture</command> message number 23 is moved
	into the <filename>netfuture</filename> folder. You could also do
	something like <command>refile 23 +netfuture/latest</command> which
	would put message number 23 in a subfolder called
	<filename>latest</filename> under the <filename>netfuture</filename> 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</filename> but
	also list in your <filename>netfuture</filename> folder. You are
	probably beginning to realize some of the really powerful
	things you can do with MH.</para>
    </sect2>
  </sect1>

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

      <para>The <command>comp</command> 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</command> 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/</command> or <command>comp -editor
	/usr/local/bin/pico/</command> instead. Once you have run
	<emphasis>comp</emphasis> you are in your editor and you see
	something that looks like this:</para>

      <informalexample>
	<screen>To:
cc:
Subject:
--------
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <para>You need to put the person you are sending the mail to
	after the <literal>To:</literal> line. It works the same way for the
	other headers also, so you would need to put your subject
	after the <literal>Subject:</literal> 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.</para>

      <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>

      <para>You can now save this message and exit your editor. You
	will see the <prompt>What now?</prompt> prompt and you can type in
	<userinput>send</userinput> or <userinput>s</userinput> and hit
	<keycap>return</keycap>. Then the FreeBSD core team will receive
	their just rewards. As I mentioned earlier you can also use
	other commands, for example <command>quit</command> if you don't want
	to send the message.</para>

      <para>The <command>forw</command> 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</command> it will forward your current message. You can
	always tell it to forward something else by doing something
	like <command>forw 23</command> and then message number 23 will be
	put in your outgoing message instead of the current message.
	Beyond those small differences <command>forw</command> functions
	exactly the same as <command>comp</command>. You go through the exact
	same message sending process.</para>

      <para>The <command>repl</command> command will reply to whatever your
	current message is, 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 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>
    </sect2>

    <sect2>
      <title><filename>components</filename>, and
	<filename>replcomps</filename>&mdash;components files for
	<command>comp</command> and <command>repl</command></title>

      <para>The <filename>components</filename> 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</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:
Fcc: out
Subject:
X-Mailer: MH 6.8.3
X-Home-Page: http://www.FreeBSD.org/
-------
	</screen>
      </informalexample>

      <para>MH 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>

      <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>It's in the same basic format as the
	<filename>components</filename> file but it contains quite a few extra
	formatting codes. The <literal>%(lit)</literal> command makes room
	for the address. The <literal>%(formataddr</literal> is a function
	that returns a proper email address. The next part is
	<literal>%&lt;</literal> which means if and the
	<literal>{reply-to}</literal> means the reply-to field in the
	original message. So that might be translated this way:</para>

      <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>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</filename> 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>
    </sect2>
  </sect1>
</article>