What is exmh?

An Introduction by the author, Brent Welch , welch@acm.org

Exmh is an X user interface for MH mail. MH provides a set of UNIX commands that manage folders and mail messages. MH has a zillion features as a result of several years of availability. Exmh provides a graphical interface to many of these features, but not everything. You can do all the ordinary things like viewing the messages in a folder, and reading, deleting, and refiling messages. In addition, the interface handles arbitrary nesting of your folder hierarchy.

What exmh supports well is sorting arriving mail into different folders before you even read them. You can sort with the MH .maildelivery filtering mechanism, procmail, or any system that adds new messages to the unseen sequence of a folder. exmh provides an easy way to find newly arrived messages after they have been squirreled away. It highlights what folders have new mail, and within a folder it indicates which messages have not yet been read.

MIME format messages are parsed and displayed. MIME is a multi-media mail standard that allows transmission of images, audio, enriched text, FTP pointers, etc. via email. While there is some support for composing MIME messages in the current version, the composition facilities need a little more work.

You can use your favorite editor to compose mail messages, or you can use a simple built-in editor that provides some Emacs-like keybindings. With the built-in editor you can compose text/enriched (bold, italic, underline, etc.), and you can create multipart messages by inserting files of various MIME types.

Exmh is written in TCL/TK . The implementation is open and flexible. There are several levels of customization:


To Sun Microsystems Laboratories and my manager, John Ousterhout, for supporting my current exmh work, and to the Computer Science Lab at Xerox PARC, which supported the initial development of exmh.

Many thanks to Scott Hutton who took my feeble attempt at an exmh home page, plus my on-line manuals, and produced a nice set of web pages.

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