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README

NEATMAIL
========

Neatmail is a noninteractive mail client.  It generates a listing of
the messages in a mailbox in mbox format and executes a list of
ex-like commands on it.

Neatmail provides the following commands:

* mk: generate a listing of the mails in an mbox.
* ex: execute the specified commands on an mbox.
* pg: page a message in an mbox.
* ns: check for new messages among several mboxes.

The ex command reads a list of commands from the standard input and
executes them on a given mbox file.  It ignores all input lines except
those beginning with a colon or a capital letter.  Lines beginning
with a capital letter like "R100 ...", change the value of the status
header of the message whose number follows the letter.  It also marks
the current message.  Lines beginning with a colon are named commands.
The list of named commands are as follows:

* rm: remove the current message.
* cp: copy the current message to the given mbox.
* mv: move the current message to the given mbox.
* hd, set: change the value of the given header of the current message.
* ft, filt: filter the message through the given command.
* w: write the mbox.
* g, g!: ex-like global command.
* tj: join threads by modifying "Reply-To" headers.
* ch: chop the message at the specified offset.

These commands act on the current message by default (if applicable),
but different messages may be specified using ex-like addresses.  For
instance, "2,5rm" removes messages 2 through 5.  Addresses may contain
search statements, like "/pattern/rm", in which the pattern is a POSIX
extended regular expression (the same applies to global command
patterns like "%g/pattern/rm").  Search patterns are matched in the
subject field of message headers, except when the pattern is "^field:
value", in which it is matched against the specified header field
instead.

SUGGESTED USAGE
===============

Generate a message listing (see mk options):
$ neatmail mk -st -r inbox >inbox.nm

Open inbox.nm in an editor, change the status field of
messages, and append ex commands.

Page, reply, or forward messages (see pg options):
$ neatmail pg -m -h from:subject:to:cc: inbox 23 >mail

Execute the commands specified in inbox.nm:
$ (cat inbox.nm; echo ":w") | neatmail ex inbox

It is more convenient to place these commands in a script.

LARGE MBOXES
============

An mbox can gradually get very large, particularly because of messages
with large attachments.  This makes Neatmail commands slow.  To reduce
the size of such mboxes, I copy large messages to a separate mbox (:cp
ex command) and chop them (:chop ex command).  When I need one of
these messages, I use the chopped message to obtain its message ID and
use that to page the original message in the other mbox.  This, of
course, I do in a script.

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