Re: MHonArc in CGI-based MUA?

2003-09-23 20:42:35
On September 23, 2003 at 17:48, Peter Davis wrote:

1) Does anyone already have some tools for this?  I didn't see anything
   in my admittedly brief scan of the documentation.

I've seen nothing for MH/nmh.  But I think some would be interested
in a web-based interface to MH mail folders.

I've toyed with idea of creating one (I'm a MH/nmh user), utilizing
the underlying MH/nmh commands for most operations (like scan).
I think if you are serious in your efforts, we can move discussion
to mhonarc-dev list and possible collaborate in development.

2) When I convert single messages with:

   mhonarc -single `mhpath cur` > $TEMP/mailmsg.html

   the non-text MIME parts get put in my current working directly, but
   the HTML references them in the $TEMP directory (I'm on Windows XP,
   so it's C:\TEMP).  This means non of the images, etc. show up in
   the messages.  Is this a known issue?

The output is assumed to be directed to a file in the current
working directory.  Your command above should be changed to:

  (cd $TEMP; mhonarc -single `mhpath cur` > mailmsg.html)

BTW, the -outdir option can be used to place attachments in
a separate directory, but it should be a relative pathname from
the current working directory for attachment links to be set properly.

Also, you can use the -stdout option to specify the output filename
vs relying on shell I/O redirection:

  (cd $TEMP; mhonarc -single `mhpath cur` -stdout mailmsg.html)

I'm open to suggestions on improving -single mode.

3) The process_input function of the API seems not to be geared for
   processing single messages.  I was not able to get the output to go
   anywhere except stdout, even when calling from a Perl script.  I
   finally had to resort to:

   $html = `mhonarc -single $curmsg`;

   and then write the output to a file myself.  Perhaps I'm
   overlooking something, but I didn't see anything in the
   documentation about how to direct the output to a file from within
   a script.

Use -stdout.  Now, if you want the output to goto a predefined
filehandle instead of a file, you could dup STDOUT to the desired

My initial thoughts on implementing a web-based interface to MH/nmh is
to have a converted message cache to avoid the overhead of conversion
each time a message is viewed, especially if there are attachments.
Cached data can be removed if older than a specified time.

I would also implement the CGI in Perl so you can call mhonarc without
making shell calls.  I would also write the program so it is re-entrant
so it could be used with Apache::Registry for usage with mod_perl.

The handling of attachments would require some thought since you
want to keep overhead to a minimum.  I would see if mhstore and mhlist
could be pre-dominately used for attachment handling.

If you want discuss ideas and technical matters, feel free to subscribe
to the mhoanrc-dev(_at_)mhonarc(_dot_)org mailing list.  Depending on how things
go, what is developed could be added to the extras directory of
the MHonArc distribution.  I already include mha-mhedit,
<>, for
formatting MIME messages for repl.


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