Programs in This Book's Archive

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The Section Obtaining Example Files From This Book explains how to get an archive file with example files and programs from this book. Most of those files and programs are mentioned in other parts of the book; some are explained in detail. This section explains unusual features of programs and lists important customization steps. This section does not explain a script's operation in detail. Before using a script, you or someone who understands shell programming should check it for things that need customizing (like correct directory and file pathnames) and for features you don't expect.

The Chapter Introduction to UNIX Programming with MH will help you understand how the scripts work. The Reference List has some good reference books on UNIX programming. The scripts in the archive have more detailed comments in them.

Even if you don't want to use the programs from this section in your day-to-day work, each one demonstrates something new about shell programming with MH -- so they're worth studying. Programs like these let you go further with MH customization, to do things that MH versions won't let you do.

These scripts don't use features of modern Bourne shells that have more built-in commands and options than earlier Bourne shells. Some programs (like distprompter) are longer because of that. The benefit is that the scripts should work on all Bourne shells.

Before you run any of the scripts in this archive, do what you'd do with any unknown software: read through it and test to be sure that it'll work well in your setup. Although I use the scripts myself and have tried to write them portably, I can't be responsible for problems you have. Finally, if you find a bug or have a suggestion, please tell us about it. Our address is in the Preface. We'll update the online archives periodically. If you got your copy of a script awhile ago, you might look for an updated version online.

The archive file is organized by book chapter. The files documented in a chapter are stored in a directory named for the chapter. For example, the chapter11 directory holds MH format files for the Chapter MH Formatting. Once you've extracted the files you want from the archive, use the UNIX mv or cp commands to install the files where you want to keep them. For example, to move the rcvdistcomps file from the chapter11 directory to your MH directory, you'd type a command like:

% mv chapter11/rcvdistcomps `mhpath +`
(The command `mhpath +` gives the pathname of your MH directory.)

You'll probably want to store the shell scripts in a bin directory on your account. The Section Making a bin Directory, Setting Search Path explains how.

The next pages document many of the files in the archive.

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Last change $Date: 1996/06/06 15:12:16 $

This file is from the third edition of the book MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers, ISBN 1-56592-093-7, by Jerry Peek. Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. This file is freely-available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. For more information, see the file copying.htm.

Suggestions are welcome: Jerry Peek <>