MH-DRAFT(5) [nmh-1.5] MH-DRAFT(5)
mh-draft - draft folder facility for nmh message system
any nmh command
There are a number of interesting advanced facilities for the composition of outgoing mail.
The Draft Folder
The comp, dist, forw, repl, and whom commands have two additional switches, -draftfolder +folder and -draftmessage msg which allow you to
manipulate the various draft messages you are composing.
If -draftfolder +folder is used, these commands are directed to construct a draft message in the indicated folder. (The "Draft-Folder"
profile entry may be used to declare a default draft folder for use with comp, dist, forw, repl, and whom ).
If the swith -draftmessage msg is given, the specified draft is used to compose the message. If -draftmessage msg is not used, then the
draft defaults to `new' (create a new draft) unless the user invokes comp with -use, in which case the default is `cur'.
Hence, the user may have several message compositions in progress simultaneously. Now, all of the nmh tools are available on each of the
user's message drafts (e.g. show, scan, pick, and so on). If the folder does not exist, the user is asked if it should be created (just
like with refile). Also, the last draft message the user was composing is known as `cur' in the draft folder.
Furthermore, the send command has these switches as well. Hence, from the shell, the user can send off whatever drafts desired using the
standard nmh `msgs' convention with -draftmessage msgs. If no `msgs' are given, it defaults to `cur'.
In addition, all five programs have a -nodraftfolder switch, which undoes the last occurrence of -draftfolder folder (useful if the latter
occurs in the user's nmh profile).
If the user does not give the -draftfolder +folder switch, then all these commands act "normally". Note that the -draft switch to send and
show still refers to the file called `draft' in the user's nmh directory. In the interests of economy of expression, when using comp or
send, the user needn't prefix the draft `msg' or `msgs' with -draftmessage. Both of these commands accept a `file' or `files' argument,
and they will, if given -draftfolder +folder treat these arguments as `msg' or `msgs'. (This may appear to be inconsistent, at first, but
it saves a lot of typing) Hence,
send -draftfolder +drafts first
is the same as
send -draftfolder +drafts -draftmessage first
To make all this a bit more clear, here are some examples. Let's assume that the following entries are in the nmh profile:
sendf: -draftfolder +drafts
Furthermore, let's assume that the program sendf is a (symbolic) link in the user's $HOME/bin/ directory to send. Then, any of the com-
constructs the message draft in the `draft' folder using the `new' message number. Furthermore, they each define `cur' in this folder to
be that message draft. If the user were to use the quit option at `What now?' level, then later on, if no other draft composition was
done, the draft could be sent with simply
Or, if more editing was required, the draft could be edited with
Instead, if other drafts had been composed in the meantime, so that this message draft was no longer known as `cur' in the `draft' folder,
then the user could scan the folder to see which message draft in the folder should be used for editing or sending. Clever users could
even employ a back-quoted pick to do the work:
comp -use `pick +drafts -to nmh-workers`
sendf `pick +drafts -to nmh-workers`
Note that in the comp example, the output from pick must resolve to a single message draft (it makes no sense to talk about composing two
or more drafts with one invocation of comp). In contrast, in the send example, as many message drafts as desired can appear, since send
doesn't mind sending more than one draft at a time.
Note that the argument -draftfolder +folder is not included in the profile entry for send, since when comp, et. al., invoke send directly,
they supply send with the UNIX pathname of the message draft, and not a -draftmessage msg argument. As far as send is concerned, a draft
folder is not being used.
It is important to realize that nmh treats the draft folder like a standard nmh folder in nearly all respects. There are two exceptions:
First, under no circumstancs will the -draftfolder folder switch cause the named folder to become the current folder.
Obviously, if the folder appeared in the context of a standard +folder argument to an nmh program, as in
it might become the current folder, depending on the context changes of the nmh program in question.
Second, although conceptually send deletes the `msgs' named in the draft folder, it does not call delete-prog to perform the deletion.
What Happens if the Draft Exists
When the comp, dist, forw, and repl commands are invoked and the draft you indicated already exists, these programs will prompt the user
for a reponse directing the program's action. The prompt is
Draft ``/home/foobar/nmhbox/draft'' exists (xx bytes).
The appropriate responses and their meanings are:
replace - deletes the draft and starts afresh
list - lists the draft
refile - files the draft into a folder and starts afresh
quit - leaves the draft intact and exits
In addition, if you specified -draftfolder folder to the command, then one other response will be accepted:
new - finds a new draft
just as if -draftmessage new had been given. Finally, the comp command will accept one more response:
use - re-uses the draft
just as if -use had been given.
MH.6.8 11 June 2012 MH-DRAFT(5)