Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

Home Page
Manual: (OSF1-V5.1-alpha)
Apropos / Subsearch:
optional field

mh(1)									mh(1)


  mh, MH - Introduction	to the MH system for handling mail


  MH is	the name of a powerful message handling	system.	Rather than being a
  single comprehensive program,	MH consists of a collection of fairly simple
  single-purpose programs to send, receive, save, and retrieve messages.

  Unlike mail, MH is not a closed system that must be explicitly run, and
  then exited when you wish to return to the shell. Instead, you may freely
  intersperse MH commands with other shell commands. This allows you to	read
  and answer your mail while you have (for example) a compilation running, or
  are searching	for a file or running programs to find an answer to someone's
  question before replying to them.

  To get started using MH, add the directory /usr/bin/mh to your $PATH.	This
  is best done in one of the files .profile, .login, or	.cshrc in your home
  directory. Check the reference page for the shell you	use if you do not
  know how to do this. Run the inc command. If you have	never used MH before,
  the inc command creates the necessary	default	files and directories after
  asking you if	you want it to do so. The inc command moves mail from your
  system maildrop into your MH +inbox folder.  Each message is converted to
  MH format, and stored	as separate files in your +inbox folder	until you
  have read it.	When you have read a message, you can refile it	in another
  folder that you have created.

  Folders are directories in which messages are	stored:	the folders them-
  selves are stored in your Mail directory. See	refile(1) and folder(1)	for
  more details.

  For each message it processes, inc prints a one-line display.	The one-line
  display contains the From: field, the	Subject: field,	and as much of the
  first	line of	the message as it can accommodate. The first message that inc
  processes becomes your current message. All MH commands operate on the
  current message unless you have specified the	msg argument.

  You need to run inc each time	you wish to incorporate	new mail into your
  +inbox folder.

  The scan command prints a list of the	messages in your current folder.

  The commands show, next, and prev are	used to	read specific messages from
  the current folder.  Of these, show displays the current message. You	can
  also display a specific message by specifying	its number. In the following
  example, the mail system displays the	contents of message number 10 in the
  current folder:

       % show 10

  The commands next and	prev display the message numerically following and
  numerically preceding	the current message, respectively. In all cases, the
  message displayed becomes the	current	message.  If there is no current mes-
  sage,	show may be called with	an argument, or	next may be used to advance
  to the first message.	The command rmm	(remove	message) deletes the current

  You can delete messages other	than the current message by specifying the
  message number or numbers. When you specify more than	one message, you
  separate each	message	number by a space. In the following example, messages
  2, 4 and 6 in	the current folder are deleted:

       % rmm 2 4 6

  The command repl is used to reply to a message. This command places you in
  the editor with a prototype response form. While you are in the editor, you
  may view the item you	are responding to by reading the file @.

  The comp command allows you to compose a message by putting you in the edi-
  tor on a blank message header	form, and then lets you	send it.

  All the MH commands can be run with only the -help option, which causes
  them to print	a list of the parameters and options with which	they can be

  Commands that	take a message number as an argument (scan, show, and repl,
  for example) also take one of	the following keywords:

      Specifies	the first message in the current folder.

      Specifies	the last message in the	current	folder.

  cur Specifies	the current message in the current folder.

      Specifies	the previous message in	the current folder.

      Specifies	the next message in the	current	folder.

  Commands that	take a range of	message	numbers, such as rmm, scan, or show,
  also take any	of the following abbreviations:

      Indicates	all messages in	the range num1 to num2,	inclusive. The speci-
      fied range must contain at least one message.


      Indicate up to n messages	beginning with (or ending with)	message	num.
      The value	of num may be any of the MH message keywords: first, prev,
      cur, next, or last.




      Specify the first, previous, next, or last n messages, if	they exist.

  MH software offers many other	options, such as creating multiple folders
  for different	topics,	and automatically refiling messages according to
  subject, source, destination,	or content. The	following MH reference pages
  provide information on the specified topics:

      Extracting addresses from	message	headers

      Listing mail aliases

      Annotating messages

      Exploding	digests	into messages

      Composing	a message

      Redistributing a message to additional addresses

      Setting/listing the current folder/message

      Listing all folders

      Forwarding messages

      Incorporating new	mail

      Marking messages

      Producing	formatted listings of MH messages

      Sending or reading mail

      Printing full pathnames of MH messages and folders

      Checking for messages

      Running the MH shell

      Showing the next message

      Compressing a folder into	a single file

      Selecting	messages by content

      Showing the previous message

      Prompting	editor front end

      Incorporating new	mail asynchronously

      Filing messages in other folders

      Replying to a message

      Removing a folder

      Removing messages

      Producing	a one line per message scan listing

      Sending a	message

      Receiving	mail hooks

      Showing (listing)	messages

      Sorting messages

      Using the	prompting front-end for	send

      Reporting	who will receive a message when	it is sent

      Using the	alias file for the MH message system

      Using the	format file for	the MH message system

      Using the	message	format file for	the MH message system

      Using the	user customization for the MH message system

      Using the	systemwide customization for the MH message system

      Running the program that parses addresses	in RFC 822-style

      Searching	for alias/password conflicts

      Running the program that parses dates in RFC 822-style

      Initializing the MH environment for a system

      Running the backend processor for	the send command

  Internationalization (I18N) Features

  The default mail interchange code in the United States is based on using
  only 7 bits of each byte to represent	each character.	To provide full
  support for European languages other than English, MH	software must reserve
  the full 8 bits of each byte for character representation. Support for 8-
  bit code in mail is enabled by the system manager as part of the configura-
  tion process for worldwide support software.

  In Asian countries, there are	a variety of coded character sets (codesets)
  that are used	for interchange	of mail	between	systems	and for	processing by
  local	applications.  Most of these codesets require more than	one byte to
  represent each character. For	Asian languages, the MH	software therefore
  supports codeset conversion of mail messages between the mail	interchange
  codeset and the user's application codeset. For example, if the mail inter-
  change codeset at sites in Japan is ISO-2022-JP and the user's application
  codeset is eucJP, the	next command needs to convert the next message to
  eucJP	before displaying the message. Otherwise, Japanese characters do not
  display correctly.

  Codeset conversion is	controlled through entries in various files, command
  options, and variable	settings that are associated with MH software. The
  conversion is	actually done by converters that reside	in the
  /usr/lib/nls/loc/iconv directory. Each converter supports a single
  from_code and	to_code	conversion that	is identified in the converter name.
  For example, the converter that supports conversion from the ISO-2022-JP
  mail interchange codeset to the eucJP	user application codeset is named
  ISO-2022-JP_eucJP. Codeset conversion	works only if converters are avail-
  able for the mail interchange	and user application codesets that apply to
  the message and if those converters are installed. (Converters are
  installed from optional language-specific subsets). Refer to the
  iconv_intro(5) reference page	for more information about codeset conver-

  By default, to eliminate risk	of data	loss, the inc command stores incoming
  mail messages	in mail	folders	without	codeset	conversion.  In	this case,
  the codeset conversion is performed later when you display or	extract	mes-
  sages	from mail folders. If you want codeset conversion to be	performed at
  the time messages are	stored in folders, you can specify the -conv option
  on the inc command line. To ensure correct codeset conversion	in some	Asian
  countries, you may need to use the inc -conv inshdr command when incoming
  messages do not include a Content-Type entry in the header. Refer to the
  inc(1) reference page	for more information on	the -conv option.

  To include mail interchange codeset information in outgoing mail messages,
  the MH software adds new header lines. For example, if ISO-2022-JP is	the
  mail interchange code, the following header lines are	added to outgoing

       Mime-Version: 1.0
       Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=ISO-2022-JP

  For non-ISO codesets,	the software adds the prefix "X-" to the codeset name
  for identification purposes. For example, if the codeset is eucJP, the fol-
  lowing header	lines are added	to the message:

       Mime-Version: 1.0
       Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=X-eucJP

  For incoming mail, MH	software uses the following settings (in the order
  listed) to determine the mail	interchange codeset:

   1.  The value specified for charset in the Content-Type: header line, if
       present in the incoming message

   2.  The default systemwide mail interchange codeset as specified in the
       /usr/lib/mail-codesets file

       This file must be created by the	system administrator and contains one
       line that is the	name of	the systemwide mail interchange	codeset. For


       When parsing the	mail-codesets file, the	MH software ignores comment
       lines (lines beginning with #), blank lines, and	leading	or trailing
       white space around the codeset name.  The first line that is not	a
       comment or blank	line is	assumed	to specify the systemwide mail inter-
       change codeset.

  The MH software does not perform codeset conversion on incoming mail if
  neither of these settings specifies a	codeset.

  For outgoing mail, MH	software uses the following settings (in the order
  listed) to determine the mail	interchange codeset:

   1.  The EXCODE environment variable

   2.  The profile component excode defined in $HOME/.mh_profile

   3.  The content of /usr/lib/mail-codesets

  MH software determines the user application codeset from the codeset part
  of locale name settings for the following variables and file entries
  (listed in order of high to low precedence):

   1.  The LC_ALL environment variable

   2.  The LANG	environment variable

   3.  The profile component lang defined in $HOME/.mh_profile


  You cannot create folder names that are made up of only digits.


      Directory	containing commands

      MH library