When invoked, msh reads the named file, and enters a command loop. The user may type most of the normal nmh commands. The syntax and semantics of these commands typed to msh are identical to their nmh counterparts. In cases where the nature of msh would be inconsistent (e.g., specifying a `+folder' with some commands), msh will duly inform the user. The commands that msh currently supports (in some slightly modified or restricted forms) are:
In addition, msh has a ``help'' command which gives a brief overview. To terminate msh, type CTRL-D, or use the ``quit'' command. If msh is being invoked from bbc, then typing CTRL-D will also tell bbc to exit as well, while using the ``quit'' command will return control to bbc, and bbc will continue examining the list of BBoards that it is scanning.
If the file is writable and has been modified, then using ``quit'' will query the user if the file should be updated.
The `-prompt string' switch sets the prompting string for msh.
You may wish to use an alternate nmh profile for the commands that msh executes; see mh-profile (5) for details about the $MH environment variable.
When invoked from bbc, two special features are enabled: First, the `-scan' switch directs msh to do a `scan unseen' on start-up if new items are present in the BBoard. This feature is best used from bbc, which correctly sets the stage. Second, the mark command in msh acts specially when you are reading a BBoard, since msh will consult the sequence ``unseen'' in determining what messages you have actually read. When msh exits, it reports this information to bbc. In addition, if you give the mark command with no arguments, msh will interpret it as `mark -sequence unseen -delete -nozero all' Hence, to discard all of the messages in the current BBoard you're reading, just use the mark command with no arguments.
Normally, the ``exit'' command is identical to the ``quit'' command in msh. When run under bbc however, ``exit'' directs msh to mark all messages as seen and then ``quit''. For speedy type-in, this command is often abbreviated as just ``e''.
When invoked from vmh, another special feature is enabled: The `topcur' switch directs msh to have the current message ``track'' the top line of the vmh scan window. Normally, msh has the current message ``track'' the center of the window (under `-notopcur', which is the default).
msh supports an output redirection facility. Commands may be followed by one of
^> file~^write output to file ^>> file~^append output to file ^| command~^pipe output to UNIX command
If file starts with a `~' (tilde), then a csh-like expansion takes place. Note that command is interpreted by sh (1). Also note that msh does NOT support history substitutions, variable substitutions, or alias substitutions.
When parsing commands to the left of any redirection symbol, msh will honor `\' (back-slash) as the quote next-character symbol, and `"' (double-quote) as quote-word delimiters. All other input tokens are separated by whitespace (spaces and tabs). ^$HOME/.mh_profile~^The user profile ^/etc/nmh/mts.conf~^nmh mts configuration file ^Path:~^To determine the user's nmh directory ^Msg-Protect:~^To set mode when creating a new `file' ^fileproc:~^Program to file messages ^showproc:~^Program to show messages bbc(1) `file' defaults to ``./msgbox'' `-prompt (msh) ' `-noscan' `-notopcur' None The argument to the `-prompt' switch must be interpreted as a single token by the shell that invokes msh. Therefore, one must usually place the argument to this switch inside double-quotes.
There is a strict limit of messages per file in packf'd format which msh can handle. Usually, this limit is 1000 messages.
Please remember that msh is not the CShell, and that a lot of the nice facilities provided by the latter are not present in the former.
In particular, msh does not understand back-quoting, so the only effective way to use pick inside msh is to always use the `-seq select' switch. Clever users of nmh will put the line
pick: -seq select -list
in their .mh_profile file so that pick works equally well from both the shell and msh.
sortm always uses ``-noverbose'' and if ``-textfield field`` is used, ``-limit 0''.
The msh program inherits most (if not all) of the bugs from the nmh commands it implements.