The preface originally included the following text which I use to begin my story:
But it's important to note a brief history of MH-E.
Version 3 was prevalent through the Emacs 18 and early Emacs 19 years. Then Version 4 came out (Emacs 19.23), which introduced several new and changed commands. Next, Version 5.0 was released, which fixed some bugs and incompatibilities, and was incorporated into Emacs 19.29.
After a long break, Stephen handed the reins over to me in 2000. I moved the project to a new site called SourceForge and organized a great team of developers. Our first release in late 2001 was version 6. It appeared around the time of Emacs 21.2 and had menus and tool bar buttons.
Then, indexed searches, improved MIME handling, a speedbar, multiple identities, alias completion, an index view of unseen messages, spam software support, Face and X-Image-URL header field support, Fcc completion, arbitrary range handling, and draft form editing were introduced in the version 7 series around the time of Emacs 21.4 (2004). Still, Emacs itself contained version 5 of MH-E released back in 1994.
Version 8 development was mostly driven by the rewrite of the manual. It also brought GNU mailutils MH support, S/MIME support, picon support, and an improved interface for hiding header fields. The CVS repository was migrated from SourceForge to Savannah (only for those files that were already part of Emacs) and the software was completely reorganized to push back two decades of entropy. Version 8 appeared in Emacs 22.1 in 2006.
Development was then quiet for a couple of years. Emacs 23.1, which is due out in 2009, will contain version 8.1. This version includes a few new features and several bug fixes.
Bill Wohler, August 2008