mh-e. Node: From Brian Reid

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B.1: From Brian Reid

One day in 1983 I got the flu and had to stay home from work for three days with nothing to do. I used that time to write MHE. The fundamental idea behind MHE was that it was a ``puppeteer'' driving the MH programs underneath it. MH had a model that the editor was supposed to run as a subprocess of the mailer, which seemed to me at the time to be the tail wagging the dog. So I turned it around and made the editor drive the MH programs. I made sure that the UCI people (who were maintaining MH at the time) took in my changes and made them stick.

Today, I still use my own version of MHE because I don't at all like the way that GNU mh-e works and I've never gotten to be good enough at hacking Emacs Lisp to make GNU mh-e do what I want. The Gosling-emacs version of MHE and the GNU Emacs version of mh-e have almost nothing in common except similar names. They work differently, have different conceptual models, and have different key bindings. [1]

Brian Reid, June 1994

[1] After reading this article, I questioned Brian about his version of MHE, and received some great ideas for improving mh-e such as a dired-like method of selecting folders; and removing the prompting when sending mail, filling in the blanks in the draft buffer instead. I passed them on to Stephen Gildea, the current maintainer, and he was excited about the ideas as well. Perhaps one day, mh-e will again resemble MHE, although none of these ideas are manifest in Version 5.0.

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