Make editors slightly moist


Happiness comes out of contentment, and contentment always comes out of service.
--Harbhajan Singh Yogi

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
--Nelson Mandela

There are no happy endings in history, only crisis points that pass.
--Isaac Asimov

From me to you

S - n a i l -- v14.6.4, 2014-04-07
Downloads:  .tar.xz /  .tar.gz
 Mailing list ( Gmane)
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*, next, [crawl], [heirloom]}

S-nail is a mail processing system with a command syntax reminiscent of ed(1) with lines replaced by messages. It is intended to provide the functionality of the POSIX mailx(1) command S-nail heraldic animal and offers (mostly optional) extensions for line editing, IDNA, MIME, S/MIME, SMTP and POP3 (and IMAP). It is usable as a mail batch language. ... read the complete manual.

S-nail ships with  archlinux. S-nail packages are available for  Crux and  The Void Linux distribution.  OpenBSD provides a package of an old(er) and buggy(er) version. I want to thank all the package maintainers for their stamina.

The goal is to provide an efficient and standard compliant implementation in 2018, the 40th birthday of the Berkeley Mail codebase. S-nail is a derivative of  Heirloom mailx.

To clone only the [master] branch of S-nail:

 $ mkdir s-nail.git
 $ cd s-nail.git
 $ git init
 $ git remote add origin -t master git://
 $ git fetch -v
 $ git checkout master

In general, S-nail versions before v14.5.2 (old-style codebase, when used with the four published patches (on Sourceforge or the [patches] branch)) and v14.6.4 (new-style codebase, after the NYD rewrite) should not be used. Furthermore, for now (see below) i mostly care about the core POSIX mailx(1) functionality, everything else has to wait until some later time, mostly because the Berkeley codebase and its nail fork have design flaws in respect to mailbox handling and non-local code jumps (due to / and signals). The (MIME capable) NetBSD and OpenBSD forks have instead addressed this problem, more or less complete, in one or the other way.

For S-nail, v15.0 (not before 2016) is dedicated to a Send- and MIME-layer rewrite that will bring the possibility to access each message part individually. It will have to address signal handling and thus the jumps, because only like that we have the possibility to ever reach a clean state from which we can actually think about re-extending this MUA. We need to change string / buffer handling in order to reduce the overall resource usage and also minimize the duplication of functionality that internally exists. It is not unlikely that IMAP support will be dropped temporarily, leaving only the plain mailx(1) plus Maildir, SMTP and POP3 functionality. It has to move under the headline reduce to the max.

After this massive change S-nail will hopefully see new features on top of a straight, object-based, and thus truly extensible interface. I hope for IMAP, would like to see News, a SQLite-based folder backend...

S - W e b 4 2 -- v0.8.4, 2013-03-19
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*, next}

One more option to manage your website. A camel approach to website building.  vim(1) and it actually generated what you are looking at. ... read the complete documentation.

TODO: i should extend it with a markdown-compatible syntax block, and restrict compression to gzip(1), in which case it would be perl(1)-only on the generator side.

S - S y m O b j -- v0.8.0, 2012-12-17
 Download release (from  CPAN)
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*}

Throw an eye on my Symbol table and Object  perl(1) module, it offers a somewhat easy symbol table and object creation/management. ... read the complete PODocumentation.

I'm using  perl(1) since 1997 in many projects and for a lot of purposes. In all that time i haven't found a single bug! Hoooray and thanks,  perl(1) porters!

S - C T e x t -- early alpha (but based upon own UCD) as of 2013-07-06
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*, next}

Unix / POSIX continues to be byte-based, slowly drifting towards the byte-based UTF-8 multibyte character set. But the C and POSIX standards don't offer any option to work on multibyte character data except by first converting it into wide character strings. S-CText logo -- Spring This means that expensive and most often completely redundant round-trip conversions are necessary, even for the most simple tasks.

Furthermore,  Unicode defines multi-codepoint characters -- characters that are composed out of multiple codepoints, so-called graphems (see  Unicode Text Segmentation), many of which don't have a precomposed single-codepoint representation. Neither ISO C nor POSIX define an interface that can deal with these sequences-of-codepoints that form a single character.

S-CText provides a programming interface that addresses these problems. It offers sets of string functions which deal with (possible) multibyte strings in the encoding of the / a LC_CTYPE locale (sct_ prefix function family, optional) as well as with UTF-8 encoded strings (sut_ prefix function family). In addition the internal representation of the Unicode character database can be accessed (sud_ prefix function family). And there is an optional character set conversion interface (scc_ prefix function family).

Expect a first usable version ... before 2018. (It has to rock!)

S - T o o l b o x
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*}

The README as of 2014-04-07:

A repo of some small tools

uushar (manual: uushar.1):
   Writes a sh(1) shell script to the standard output which will
   recreate the file hierarchy specified by the command line operands.
   Directories will be recreated and must be specified before the files
   they contain.  Compared to the well-known shar(1) program, uushar(1)
   adds optional compression and an uuencode(1)/uudecode(1) binary
   safe layer::

      $ uushar [-(Z|z|J|j)] file ...

   It is easy to insert trojan horses into uushar files.  It is thus
   strongly recommended that all shell archive files be examined before
   running them through sh(1).  Archives produced using this
   implementation of uushar may be easily examined with the command::

      $ grep '^[^X#]' shar.file

   Note that the uudecode(1) program must be capable of decoding to
   /dev/stdout, i.e., it must be POSIX compliant (Issue 6 iirc).

   2014-02-27: rewritten: short options, check and forbid filenames with
   embedded double quotes, added uushar.1 manual.

   Creates a shell archive similar to uushar as above, except that the
   archive (1) consists only of executable file members, and (2) will
   be itself executable.  Run it (the generated shell archive script)
   to invoke any of the programs contained therein.  On the first run,
   the wrapper will create a hidden directory in your $TMPDIR to unpack
   the archive members therein.  Run without arguments to show its
   contents and the creation date.
   It needs no manual, simply execute it and it will guide you through
   the archive creation process.

   Note that the uudecode(1) program must be capable of decoding to
   /dev/stdout, i.e., it must be POSIX compliant (Issue 6 iirc).

   2014-03-05: rewritten: check and forbid filenames with embedded
   double quotes, ensure the given default executable, if any, is part
   of the generated archive, reexecute after archive expansion, truly
   disallow empty archive name.
   A *real* periodic for FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD that
   ensures that the daily/weekly/monthly maintenance stuff is executed,
   even if your laptop is running only one hour a day.  Invoke this once
   per hour in the roots crontab and disable the usual periodic stuff of
   your system instead.  Note it doesn't deal with timezone and DST
   (daylight saving time) switches, but instead only checks the day of
   the year that is reported by date(1).  E.g., on my FreeBSD 10.0 box::

      # do daily/weekly/monthly maintenance
      15  * * * * root /usr/bin/nice -n 15 /usr/libexec/
      #1  3 * * * root periodic daily
      #15 4 * * 6 root periodic weekly
      #30 5 1 * * root periodic monthly
   To ease maintaining of topic branches i use a linear history, so
   that i can use ``$ git rebase -i`` for fixups and squashes, without
   having to worry about recreation of topic branches.  Instead i tag
   commit messages, and use this script to create the topics once i'm
   finished.  Read the --help output for more, and make use of verbosity
   when you use it first.

   2013-09-13: newer git(1) reverse ``rev-parse`` output: adjusted.
   Offers some automatized operations on revision control repositories,
   like updating, (fast-forward) merging, garbage-collecting.

   2014-XX-XX: complete rewrite that completely replaces the old
   ``arena-manager`` and requires only a POSIX environment (no perl(1)).
   The new ``setup`` mode must be used to initialize a managed
   (git(1)-based) repository; this results in a much more powerful
   functionality and automatization.  Please look into the script header
   for more.  The old script has been removed (see ``git(1)`` history).

Even less of widespread usability:
   git(1)'s diff --check does unfortunately not offer a mode which
   detects NBSP (non-breaking space, U+00A0) characters.
   This is a real problem for keyboards (layouts) which produce combined
   sequences, i.e., the german keyboard produces NBSP for ALT+SPC, but
   it also requires ALT to get any of []|{} (ALT+[5-9]).  So NBSPs
   happen.  This script can be used as (a template for a custom)
   pre-commit hook, now that i've looked at it again (2013-05-13).

   It also handles non-space indentations, tabulators and mixed
   (space-before-tabs) indents, dependent on the environment variables
   E.g., this is one of my pre-commit hooks::

      #!/bin/sh -
      export MIXINDENT
      exec "$HOME/usr/bin/" "${@}"
   Check indentation, trailing whitespace and non-breaking spaces (see above) for all files given on the command line.
   Sufficient for a needed quick-n-dirty check of some random file;
   now that i've looked at it again (2013-05-13).

   Encode to/decode from Base64 content-transfer-encoding, as specified
   in RFC 2045, section 6.8.  Rather failure-tolerant...

   Simple GNU Libidn based thing that encodes and decodes IDNs.
   Rather identical to the idn utility that comes with that one, but
   i needed to get comfortable with Libidn and so i've wrote it.

   Show keyboard scancodes for FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and Linux.
   This is not yet finished but for Linux.  But it should help to get
   you going.  (Unfortunately the BSDs are not so documented and i
   need to dig into the kernel sources to implement the missing pieces.)
   My private backup script.  Simple (uses tar(1)), but does some stuff
   which i need for my work flow (backups data which is in local repo
   clones but not yet pushed to their "real" counterparts).

   Single setuid root BSD program to invoke /sbin/shutdown(8), either
   to reboot or to halt the system.
   You've been warned.

   FreeBSD 5.3 x86 prog to open/close /dev/cdrom tray.  May work on
   newer ones, but haven't tried it in a while.  It had 416 object
   file bytes when everything was placed in ``.text`` (no .EH frames
   back then).,
   Simple scripts to ease maintaining of OpenBSD plus.html entries.
S - M u s i c b o x
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*}

A complete rewrite of our internal rather shitty jukebox, that managed to encapsulate HTML interface, CGI server side (TCP server using MPG321 remote control for playback), ripping (split on CDROM size boundaries with best fit, and that was the best feature of it) in a single script. It only supported MP3 (lame(1), that is). It ran (and still runs) on Linux and FreeBSD. It's database (using a lout-style trigger followed by a content line) did not store much information about recordings:


 # [PLAYTIME(0000:00.00 string..)] TAB [COMMENT] NL

 # [PLAYTIME(0000:00.00 string)] TAB [GENRE] TAB [COMMENT] NL



Yes, it's really, really odd, but remember it was indeed FILE based and splitted on CDROM size boundaries, so that each CDROM's database had to contain all the information of all files on it. The final database could be gained by cat(1)ing all those together, redundant entries would be removed upon load ...

So it becomes obvious why i actually wanted to have a new musicbox with a more sophisticated database, one that is capable to deal with the odds of classical music. Well, i did and re-ripped all my CDs with the script, which is yet the only ready component of S-Musicbox. It's CDInfo:: class, the one that is responsible for actual CDROM detection and ripping, supports only Mac OS X at the moment, however. It is pretty easy to extend, though. And the is a rather mature program, that i like.

Stale or stalled stuff

S - P o s t m a n -- v0.4.0-beta7, 2013-01-16
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*, next}

This script was in daily use for SSL-secured POP3 download from mid 2011 until the begin of june 2013, but it is incomplete and stale. Please see its README first! ... read the complete documentation.

An unsophisticated end-user mail fetcher, processor and sender; it's easy configurable and offers a pretty good rule matching engine. This application has been written in  Python.

In january 2011 this very project caused me to try Payprout 3000. Since then i stumbled over the discovery of dozens of bugs (in the standard library) and even got involved a little bit on  their bug tracker. Payprout? Yes! (The details perhaps had had a negative influence on the emotional well-being of at least one of the mentioned characters.)

Well, it turns out that i curse the day when i decided that it try Python for this. The basic idea was that a Python installation always ships with the standard library, and that was supposed to already include most things ever needed. But if this projects takes that much longer there will not remain that many stdlib modules being used in the end.

If you want to get more than you ever need, then i would point you to  fdm(1) instead; that is a fully blown, mature program and not a small portable script (though).

S - X S y s t e m
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*, next}

The basic library of my S programming framework. It encapsulates almost all CPU and OS dependencies under its generic interface.

This will in fact be my free clone of my (our) internal non-free C++ library; different to that with full Unicode support, however. It will also be possible to use that as a normal library, whereas the C++ version does not link against any libraries and ships it's own threading module. That however implies that there will be speed impacts, because then the extremely time critical s_thr_self() function will depend on some system thread-library provided thing etc. The situation is somewhat better on platforms with ELF TLS, but still worse than a fast manual driven thread-local storage (though completely automatic, on the other hand). And then of course: signals. As if that wouldn't be hard enough in a monolithic situation, only interacting with the OS. Horror in the pipeline!

It's pretty large so that i need at least until 2020 to port it:

 $ du -s cvsroot/cpp-sys
 5460 cvsroot/cpp-sys
S - X C o n s o l e
 git(1) browse / git:// {*master*, next}

S library for (basic) console screen management. This is my free clone of my (our) internal non-free C++ library, which is conversely called Terminal. Different to that with full Unicode support.

It is already finished in theory, but since it requires the S-XSystem library it will take some years until it is really usable. At that time it will be clear wether it runs in practice, too. :-). (P.S.: this simple minded port would not really work with real Unicode characters but only with single Unicode codepoints. The README file talks a bit about that.)

It'll be extended once a normal development cycle is possible: there will be (non-overlapping) windows, a single-line-only mode will perhaps be implemented. The drawing mechanism can be improved in respect to performance. And a termcap interface would be a win, too. (I.e., dynamically extending the static builtin database of supported terminals.)

T R 9 n support
 OpenBSD/[de] /  OpenSSH/[de]

In november 2011 i became the maintainer of the german translations of the  OpenBSD website, and after a lot of work i got synchronized with the tree on 2012-01-22. Because of character deficiencies of Mr. de Raadt the OpenBSD/[de] maintainership was discontinued on 2014-01-24. Thus the following paragraphs are partially outdated.

I hope i can realize and afford it to provide a uniform style through all pages until the release of OpenBSD 5.7. See DEification for a wordlist of changes that have been applied to [de], or will be applied to it in the future.

Unfortunately i had to drop my anti-german-language-reform attitude after one and a half decade for this maintainership (and only for it), so this reveals that the first paragraph of my homepage is actually a lie. But hey, do you know what: this standard committee currently is and furthermore always was deeply broken! You possibly don't want to see  a photo of the current chairman. But anyway, it's official german, now. (Sob.)

I also did my part to maintain the  daily changelog from the beginning of november 2011 until the end of june 2012; being part of a team that was formed out of the australian-based male Alpha Centaurian Brett Mahar (brett@), the swedish sweetheart Janne Johannson (jj@) and the flying german unionist Ingo Schwarze (schwarze@; all [openbsd DOT org]).

So i finally contribute(d) a little bit to the  OpenBSD and  OpenSSH projects, just as i'd promised in 2001 (that could also have been 2002).

From you to me

I love C,  perl(1) and dig plain old sh(1) more and more. I'd love C++ if it would be a plain C with classes; maybe not even automatic ctors and dtors. (If i really would go for learning a new language i think i would most likely have a go with  nimrod.) I've discovered  mksh(1) and use it exclusively on all my boxes for quite a while now. Since about year 2000 i'm a fanatic fan (though not a sophisticated user) of  vim(1). It gave up in an endless loop once. I ended up using solely  GNU Troff for document preparation.

I'm thankful for being able to use  git(1) for version control today, after a lot of distress with other VCSs. And i'm also thankful for being able to use virtual machines via  QEMU and  VirtualBox; it is so handy to have a bunch of operating systems at hand for immediate testing, just as necessary!

When on X(1) i'm running the fantastic  ahwm(1) window manager, and i do so almost as long as i use  vim(1). For years my terminal emulator was  aterm(1), but now i've switched to  rxvt-unicode -- that not only supports  Unicode, but also offers a "server" that manages all the windows, which saves a lot of memory. However, mostly i'm with  tmux(1), so all that doesn't matter that much (and yes, i'm desperately missing builtin charset conversion). For browsing there is  links(1) and  lynx(1), if text based browsing is possible, and  Opera otherwise. I'm using  Dropbear SSH for most SSH work, because it is very small and is sufficient for most uses; it replaced all my remaining rlogin(1) / rsh(1) use cases, and i am still saving space in comparison.

I've used  FreeBSD for about ten years. I love  NetBSD, which offers a lot of nice stuff for people that are willing to dig -- just take netpgp(1). I'm also using  Crux- Linux and  archlinux regulary. Of course i have VMs with some other systems, like  DragonFly.  Apple has good hardware, still. While looking around for  Unicode aware software i have been pointed to the  Plan9 from Bell Labs operating system and its  9atom and  9front extenders, which appear to follow a "real UNIX -- everything is a file" design! I'm fascinated!

Copyright (c) 1997 - 2014, Steffen (Daode) Nurpmeso <>
@(#)code.html-w42 1.138 2014/04/07T12:07:56+0000