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BURST(1mh) BURST(1mh)


burst - explode digests into nmh messages


burst [-help] [-version] [+folder] [msgs] [-inplace | -noinplace] [-mime | -nomime] [-automime] [-quiet | -noquiet] [-verbose | -noverbose]


burst considers the specified messages in the named folder to be Internet digests, and explodes them in that folder.

If -inplace is given, each digest is replaced by its “table of contents” and the digest is removed. burst then renumbers the messages which follow the digest, in the folder, making room for each of the exploded messages, which are placed immediately after the “table of contents”.

If -noinplace is given, each digest is preserved, no table of contents is produced, and the exploded messages are placed at the end of the folder. Other messages in the folder are not affected.

If -automime is given, burst will try to determine if the message is formatted with MIME and contains MIME parts of type “message/rfc822”. If it does, it will burst the message using MIME formatting rules. The -mime switch can be used to enforce the use of MIME formatting. The -nomime switch will force burst to use RFC 934 rules.

The -quiet switch directs burst to be silent about reporting messages that are not in digest format.

The -verbose switch directs burst to tell the user the general actions that it is taking to explode the digest.

It turns out that burst works equally well on forwarded messages and blind-carbon-copies as on Internet digests, provided that the former were generated by forw or send.


The user's profile.


To determine the user's nmh directory.
To find the default current folder.
To set mode when creating a new message.


inc(1), pack(1)

Proposed Standard for Message Encapsulation (RFC 934)


The current folder.
The current message.


If a folder is given, it will become the current folder. If -inplace is given, then the first message burst becomes the current message. This leaves the context ready for a show of the table of contents of the digest, and a next to see the first message of the digest. If -noinplace is given, then the first message extracted from the first digest burst becomes the current message. This leaves the context in a similar, but not identical, state to the context achieved when using -inplace.


The burst program enforces a limit of approximately 1,000 on the number of messages which may be burst from a single message. There is usually no limit on the number of messages which may reside in the folder after the bursting.

Although burst uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine where one encapsulated message ends and another begins, not all digest creators use an encapsulation algorithm. In degenerate cases, this usually results in burst finding an encapsulation boundary prematurely and splitting a single encapsulated message into two or more messages. These erroneous digest creators should be fixed.

Furthermore, any text which appears after the last encapsulated message is not placed in a separate message by burst. This text is usually an “End of digest” string. As a result of this possibly unfriendly behavior on the part of burst, note that when the -inplace option is used, this trailing information is lost. In practice, this is not a problem since correspondents usually place remarks in text prior to the first encapsulated message, and this information is not lost.

2013-02-08 nmh-1.8-RC2