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MMSG(7) Miscellaneous Information Manual MMSG(7)

mblaze message argument syntax

This document outlines the message syntax used by many of the utilities in the mblaze(7) message system.

In general, you can always specify a filename as a message, if it contains a ‘/’ character. (Use ‘./’ to prefix messages in the current directory.) You can also specify a maildir folder, which will be expanded to all messages in the cur/ directory.

Ranges have the format ‘start:stop’, where start and stop are one-based indexes into the sequence. Negative numbers count from the end. If start is the empty string, 1 will be used instead. If stop is the empty string, -1 will be used instead. Thus, ‘:’ represents the whole sequence. If the range does not contain a ‘:’, it is considered to be a single message, equivalent to the range ‘start:start’ of size one. The special notation ‘start:+n’, selects start and the next n messages.

If the sequence is threaded, the following syntax may be used: ‘msg=’ refers to the whole thread that contains msg. ‘msg^’ refers to the parent of the message msg and may be repeated to refer to grandparents. ‘msg_’ refers to the subthread headed by msg (i.e. all messages below msg, with more indentation).

The following special shortcuts may be used:

refers to the message read directly from the standard input.
refers to the current message. Additionally, the syntax ‘.+N’ and ‘.-N’ can be used to refer to messages relative to the current message.
refers to the next message (like ‘.+1’)
refers to the previous message (like ‘.-1’)
refers to the last message (like ‘-1’)
refers to the current parent message (like ‘.^’)
refers to the current thread (like ‘.=’)
refers to the current subthread (like ‘._’)


Leah Neukirchen <>
July 3, 2020 x86_64