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Notmuch 0.5 (2010-11-11)
New, general features
Maildir-flag synchronization
Notmuch now knows how to synchronize flags in maildir filenames with
tags in the notmuch database. The following flag/tag mappings are
Flag <-> Tag
---- -----
'D' draft
'F' flagged
'P' passed
'R' replied
'S' unread (added when 'S' flag is not present)
The synchronization occurs in both directions, (for example, adding
the 'S' flag to a file will cause the "unread" tag to be added, and
adding the "replied" tag to a message will cause the file to be
renamed with an 'R' flag).
This synchronization is enabled by default for users of the
command-line interface, (though only files in directories named
"cur" or "new" will be renamed). It can be disabled by setting the
new maildir.synchronize_flags option in the configuration file. For
notmuch config set maildir.synchronize_flags false
Users upgrading may also want to run "notmuch setup" once (just
accept the existing configuration) to get a new, nicely-commented
[maildir] section added to the configuration file.
For users of the notmuch library, the new synchronization
functionality is available with the following two new functions:
It is anticipated that future improvements to this support will
allow for safe synchronization of the 'T' flag with the "deleted"
tag, as well as support for custom flag/tag mappings.
New library features
Support for querying multiple filenames for a single message
It is common for the mailstore to contain multiple files with the
same message ID. Previously, notmuch would always hide these
duplicate files, (returning a single, arbitrary filename with
With this release, library users can access all filenames for a
message with the new function:
Together with notmuch_filenames_valid, notmuch_filenames_get, and
notmuch_filenames_move_to_next it is now possible to iterate over
all available filenames for a given message.
New command-line features
New "notmuch show --format=raw" for getting at original email contents
This new feature allows for a fully-functional email client to be
built on top of the notmuch command-line without needing any direct
access to the mail store itself.
For example, it's now possible to run "emacs -f notmuch" on a local
machine with only ssh access to the mail store/notmuch database. To
do this, simply set the notmuch-command variable in emacs to the
name of a script containing:
ssh user@host notmuch "$@"
If the ssh client has enabled connection sharing (ControlMaster
option in OpenSSH), the emacs interface can be quite responsive this
General bug fixes
Fix "notmuch search" to print nothing when nothing matches
The 0.4 release had a bug in which:
notmuch search <expression-with-no-matches>
would produce a single blank line of output, (where previous
versions would produce no output. This fix also causes a change in
the --format=json output, (which would previously produce "[]" and
now produces nothing).
Emacs interface improvements
Fix to allow pipe ('|') command to work when using notmuch over ssh
Fix count of lines in hidden signatures.
Omit repeated subject lines in (collapsed) thread display.
Display current thread subject in a header line.
Provide a "c i" binding to copy a thread ID from the search view.
Allow for notmuch-fcc-dirs to have a value of nil.
Also, the more complex form of notmuch-fcc-dirs now has a slightly
different format. It no longer has a special first-element, fallback
string. Instead it's now a list of cons cells where the car of each
cell is a regular expression to be matched against the sender
address, and the cdr is the name of a folder to use for an FCC. So
the old fallback behavior can be achieved by including a fineal cell
of (".*" . "default-fcc-folder").
Vim interface improvements
Felipe Contreras provided a number of updates for the vim interface.
These include optimiations, support for newer versions of vim, fixed
support for sending mail on modern systmms, new commands, and
various cleanups.
New bindings
Added initial ruby bindings in bindings/ruby
Notmuch 0.4 (2010-11-01)
New command-line features
notmuch search --output=(summary|threads|messages|tags|files)
This new option allows for particular items to be returned from
notmuch searches. The "summary" option is the default and behaves
just as "notmuch search" has historically behaved.
The new option values allow for thread IDs, message IDs, lists of
tags, and lists of filenames to be returned from searches. It is
expected that this new option will be very useful in shell
scripts. For example:
for file in $(notmuch search --output=files <search-terms>); do
<operations-on> "$file"
notmuch show --format=mbox <search-specification>
This new option allows for the messages matching a search
specification to be presented as an mbox. Specifically the "mboxrd"
format is used which allows for reversible quoting of lines
beginning with "From ". A reader should remove a single '>' from the
beginning of all lines beginning with one or more '>' characters
followed by the 5 characters "From ".
notmuch config [get|set] <section>.<item> [value ...]
The new top-level "config" command allows for any value in the
notmuch configuration file to be queried or set to a new value. Both
single-valued and multi-valued items are supported, as our any
custom items stored in the configuration file.
Avoid setting Bcc header in "notmuch reply"
We decided that this was a bit heavy-handed as the actual mail
user-agent should be responsible for setting any Bcc option. Also,
see below for the notmuch/emacs user-agent now setting an Fcc by
default rather than Bcc.
New library features
Add notmuch_query_get_query_string and notmuch_query_get_sort
These are simply functions for querying properties of a
notmuch_query_t object.
New emacs features
Enable Fcc of all sent messages by default (to "sent" directory)
All messages sent from the emacs interface will now be saved to the
notmuch mail store where they will be incorporated to the database
by the next "notmuch new". By default, messages are saved to the
"sent" directory at the top-level of the mail store. This directory
can be customized by means of the "Notmuch Fcc Dirs" option in the
notmuch customize interface.
Ability to all open messages in a thread to a pipe
Historically, the '|' keybinding allows for piping a single message
to an external command. Now, by prefixing this key with a prefix
argument, (for example, by pressing "Control-U |"), all open
messages in the current thread will be sent to the external command.
Optional support for detecting inline patches
This hook is disabled by default but can be enabled with a checkbox
under "Notmuch Show Insert Text/Plain Hook" in the notmuch customize
interface. It allows for inline patches to be detected and treated
as if they were attachments, (with context-sensitive highlighting).
Automatically tag messages as "replied" when sending a reply
Messages replied to within the emacs interface will now be tagged as
"replied". This feature can easily be customized to add or remove
other tags as well. For example, a user might use a tag of
"needs-reply" and can configure this feature to automatically remove
that tag when replying. See "Notmuch Message Mark Replied" in the
notmuch customize interface.
Allow search-result color specifications to overlay each other
For example, one tag can specify the background color of matching
lines, while another can specify the foreground. With this change,
both settings will now be visible simultaneously, (which was not the
case in previous releases). See "Notmuch Search Line Faces" in the
notmuch customize interface.
Make hidden author names still available for incremental search.
When there is insufficient space to display all authors of a thread
in search results, the names of hidden authors are now still made
available to emacs' incremental search commands. As the user
searches, matching lines will temporarily expand to show the hidden
New binding of Control-TAB (works like TAB in reverse)
Many notmuch nodes already use TAB to navigate forward through
various items allowing actions, (message headers, email attachments,
etc.). The new Control-TAB binding operates similarly but in the
opposite direction.
New build-system features
Various portability fixes have been applied
These include fixes for build failures on at least Solaris, FreeBSD,
and Fedora systems. We're hopeful that the notmuch code base is now
more portable than ever before.
Arrange for libnotmuch to be found automatically after make install
The notmuch build system is now careful to help the user avoid
errors of the form " could not be found" immediately
after installing. This support takes two forms:
1. If the library is installed to a system directory,
(configured in /etc/, then "make install" will
automatically run ldconfig.
2. If the library is installed to a non-system directory, the
build system adds a DR_RUNPATH entry to the final binary
pointing to the directory to which the library is installed.
When this support works, the user should be able to run notmuch
immediately after "make install", without any errors trying to find
the notmuch library, and without having to manually set environment
variables such as LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
Check compiler/linker options before using them
The configure script now carefully checks that any desired
compilation options, (whether for enabling compiler warnings, or for
embedding rpath, etc.), are supported. Only supported options are
used in the resulting Makefile.
New test-suite features
New modularization of test suite.
Thanks to a gracious relicensing of the test-suite infrastructure
from the git project, notmuch now has a modular test suite. This
provides the ability to run individual sections of the test suite
rather than the whole things. It also provides better summary of
test results, with support for tests that are expected to fail
(BROKEN and FIXED) in addition to PASS and FAIL. Finally, it makes
it easy to run the test suite within valgrind (pass --valgrind to
notmuch-test or to any sub-script) which has been very useful.
New testing of emacs interface.
The test suite has been augmented to allow automated testing of the
emacs interfaces. So far, this includes basic searches, display of
threads, and tag manipulation. This also includes a test that a new
message can successfully be sent out through a (dummy) SMTP server
and that said message is successfully integrated into the notmuch
database via the FCC setting.
General bug fixes
Fix potential corruption of database when "notmuch new " is interrupted.
Previously, an interruption of "notmuch new" would (rarely) result
in a corrupt database. The corruption would manifest itself by a
persistent error of the form:
document ID of 1234 has no thread ID
The message-adding code has been carefully audited and reworked to
avoid this sort of corruption regardless of when it is interrupted.
Fix failure with extremely long message ID headers.
Previously, a message with an extremely long message ID, (say, more
than 300 characters), would fail to be added to notmuch, (triggering
Xapian exceptions). This has now been fixed.
Fix for messages with "charset=unknown-8bit"
Previously, messages with this charset would cause notmuch to emit a
GMime warning, (which would then trip up emacs or other interfaces
parsing the notmuch results).
Fix notmuch_query_search_threads function to return NULL on any exception
Fix "notmuch search" to return non-zero if notmuch_query_search_threads fails
Previously, this command could confusingly report a Xapian
exception, yet still return an error code of 0. It now correctly
returns a failing error code of 1 in this case.
Emacs bug fixes
Fix to handle a message with a subject containing, for example "[1234]"
Previously, a message subject containing a sequence of digits within
square brackets would cause the emacs interface to mis-parse the
output of "notmuch search". This would result in the message being
mis-displayed and prevent the user from manipulating the message in
the emacs interface.
Fix to correctly handle message IDs containing ".."
The emacs interface now properly quotes message IDs to avoid a
Xapian bug in which the ".." within a message ID would be
misinterpreted as a numeric range specification.
Python-binding fixes
The python bindings for notmuch have been updated to work with python3.
Debian-specific fixes
Fix emacs initialization so "M-x notmuch" works for users by default.
Now, a new Debian user can immediately run "emacs -f notmuch" after
"apt-get install notmuch". Previously, the user would have had to
edit the ~/.emacs file to add "(require 'notmuch)" before this would
Notmuch 0.3.1 (2010-04-27)
General bug fixes
Fix an infinite loop in "notmuch reply"
This bug could be triggered by replying to a message where the
user's primary email address did not appear in the To: header and
the user had not configured any secondary email addresses. The bug
was a simple re-use of the same iterator variable in nested loops.
Fix a potential SEGV in "notmuch search"
This bug could be triggered by an author name ending in a ','.
Admittedly - that's almost certainly a spam email, but we never
want notmuch to crash.
Emacs bug fixes
Fix calculations for line wrapping in the primary "notmuch" view.
Fix Fcc support to prompt to create a directory if the specified Fcc
directory does not exist.
Build fix
Fix build on OpenSolaris (at least) due to missing 'extern "C"' block.
Without this, the C++ sources could not find strcasestr and the
final linking of notmuch would fail.
Notmuch 0.3 (2010-04-27)
New command-line features
User-configurable tags for new messages
A new "new.tags" option is available in the configuration file to
determine which tags are applied to new messages. Run "notmuch
setup" to generate new documentation within ~/.notmuch-config on how
to specify this value.
Threads search results named based on subjects that match search
This means that when new mails arrived to a thread you've previously
read, and the new mails have a new subject, you will see that
subject in the search results rather than the old subject.
Faster operation of "notmuch tag" (avoid unneeded sorting)
Since the user just wants to tag all matching messages, we can make
things perform a bit faster by avoiding the sort.
Even Better guessing of From: header for "notmuch reply"
Notmuch now looks at a number of headers when trying to figure out
the best From: header to use in a reply. This is helpful if you have
several configured email addresses, and you also subscribe to various
mailing lists with different addresses, (so that mails you are
replying to won't always include your subscribed address in the To:
Indication of author names that match a search
When notmuch displays threads as the result of a search, it now
lists the authors that match the search before listing the other
authors in the thread. It inserts a pipe '|' symbol between the last
matching and first non-matching author. This is especially useful in
a search that includes tag:unread. Now the authors of the unread
messages in the thread are listed first.
New: Python bindings
Sebastian Spaeth has contributed his python bindings for the notmuch
library to the central repository. These bindings were previously
known as "cnotmuch" within python but have now been renamed to be
accessible with a simple, and more official-looking "import notmuch".
The bindings have already proven very useful as people proficient in
python have been able to easily develop programs to do notmuch-based
searches for email-address completion, maildir-flag synchronization,
and other tasks.
These bindings are available within the bindings/python directory, but
are not yet integrated into the top-level Makefiles, nor the top-level
package-building scripts. Improvements are welcome.
Emacs interface improvements
An entirely new initial view for notmuch, (friendly yet powerful)
Some of us call the new view "notmuch hello" but you can get at it
by simply calling "emacs -f notmuch". The new view provides a search
bar where new searches can be performed. It also displays a list of
recent searches, along with a button to save any of these, giving it
a new name as a "saved search". Many people find these "saved
searches" one of the most convenient ways of organizing their mail,
(providing all of the features of "folders" in other mail clients,
but without any of the disadvantages).
Finally, this view can also optionally display all of the tags that
exist in the database, along with a count for each tag, and a custom
search of messages with that tag that's simply a click (or keypress)
Note: For users that liked the original mode of "emacs -f notmuch"
immediately displaying a particular search result, we
recommend instead running something like:
emacs --eval '(notmuch search "tag:inbox" t)'
The "t" means to sort the messages in an "oldest first" order,
(as notmuch would do previously by default). You can also
leave that off to have your search results in "newest first"
Full-featured "customize" support for configuring notmuch
Notmuch now plugs in well to the emacs "customize" mode to make it
much simpler to find things about the notmuch interface that can be
tweaked by the user.
You can get to this mode by starting at the main "Customize" menu in
emacs, then browsing through "Applications", "Mail", and
"Notmuch". Or you can go straight to "M-x customize-group"
Once you're at the customize screen, you'll see a list of documented
options that can be manipulated along with checkboxes, drop-down
selectors, and text-entry boxes for configuring the various
Support for doing tab-completion of email addresses
This support currently relies on an external program,
(notmuch-addresses), that is not yet shipped with notmuch
itself. But multiple, suitable implementations of this program have
already been written that generate address completions by doing
notmuch searches of your email collection. For example, providing
first those addresses that you have composed messages to in the
past, etc.
One such program (implemented in python with the python bindings to
notmuch) is available via:
git clone
Install that program as notmuch-addresses on your PATH, and then
hitting TAB on a partial email address or name within the To: or Cc:
line of an email message will provide matching completions.
Support for file-based (Fcc) delivery of sent messages to mail store
This isn't yet enabled by default. To enable this, one will have to
set the "Notmuch Fcc Dirs" setting within the notmuch customize
screen, (see its documentation there for details). We anticipate
making this automatic in a future release.
New 'G' key binding to trigger mail refresh (G == "Get new mail")
The 'G' key works wherever '=' works. Before refreshing the screen
it calls an external program that can be used to poll email servers,
run notmuch new and setup specific tags for the new emails. The
script to be called should be configured with the "Notmuch Poll
Script" setting in the customize interface. This script will
typically invoke "notmuch new" and then perhaps several "notmuch
tag" commands.
Implement emacs message display with the JSON output from notmuch.
This is much more robust than the previous implementation, (where
some HTML mails and mail quoting the notmuch code with the delimiter
characters in it would cause the parser to fall over).
Better handling of HTML messages and MIME attachments (inline images!)
Allow for any MIME parts that emacs can display to be displayed
inline. This includes inline viewing of image attachments, (provided
the window is large enough to fit the image at its natural size).
Much more robust handling of HTML messages. Currently both text/plain
and text/html alternates will be rendered next to each other. In a
future release, users will be able to decide to see only one or the
other representation.
Each attachment now has its own button so that attachments can be
saved individually (the 'w' key is still available to save all
Customizable support for tidying of text/plain message content
Many new functions are available for tidying up message
content. These include options such as wrapping long lines,
compressing duplicate blank lines, etc.
Most of these are disabled by default, but can easily be enabled by
clicking the available check boxes under the "Notmuch Show Insert
Text/Plain Hook" within the notmuch customize screen.
New support for searchable citations (even when hidden)
When portions of overly-long citations are hidden, the contents of
these citations will still be available for emacs' standard
"incremental search" functions. When the search matches any portion
of a hidden citation, the citation will become visible temporarily
to display the search result.
More flexible handling of header visibility
As an answer to complaints from many users, the To, Cc, and Date
headers of messages are no longer hidden by default. For those users
that liked that these were hidden, a new "Notmuch Messages Headers
Visible" option in the customize interface can be set to nil. The
visibility of headers can still be toggled on a per-message basis
with the 'h' keybinding.
For users that don't want to see some subset of those headers, the
new "Notmuch Message Headers" variable can be customized to list
only those headers that should be present in the display of a message.
The Return key now toggles message visibility anywhere
Previously this worked only on the first summary-line of a message.
Customizable formatting of search results
The user can easily customize the order, width, and formatting of
the various fields in a "notmuch search" buffer. See the "Notmuch
Search Result Format" section of the customize interface.
Generate nicer names for search buffers when using a saved search.
Add a notmuch User-Agent header when sending mail from notmuch/emacs.
New keybinding (M-Ret) to open all collapsed messages in a thread.
New library feature
Provide a new NOTMUCH_SORT_UNSORTED value for queries
This can be somewhat faster when sorting simply isn't desired. For
example when collecting a set of messages that will all be
manipulated identically, (adding a tag, removing a tag, deleting the
messages), then there's no advantage to sorting the messages by
Build fixes
Fix to compile against GMime 2.6
Previously notmuch insisted on being able to find GMime 2.4, (even
though GMime 2.6 would have worked all along).
Fix configure script to accept (and ignore) various standard options.
For example, those that the gentoo build scripts expect configure to
accept are now all accepted.
Test suite
A large number of new tests for the many new features.
Better display of output from failed tests.
Now shows failures with diff rather than forcing the user to gaze at
complete actual and expected output looking for deviation.
Notmuch 0.2 (2010-04-16)
This is the second release of the notmuch mail system, with actual
detailed release notes this time!
This release consists of a number of minor new features that make
notmuch more pleasant to use, and a few fairly major bug fixes.
We didn't quite hit our release target of "about a week" from the 0.1
release, (0.2 is happening 11 days after 0.1), but we hope to do
better for next week. Look forward to some major features coming to
notmuch in subsequent releases.
General features
Better guessing of From: header.
Notmuch now tries harder to guess which configured address should be
used as the From: line in a "notmuch reply". It will examine the
Received: headers if it fails to find any configured address in To:
or Cc:. This allows it to often choose the correct address even when
replying to a message sent to a mailing list, and not directly to a
configured address.
Make "notmuch count" with no arguments count all messages
Previously, it was hard to construct a search term that was
guaranteed to match all messages.
Provide a new special-case search term of "*" to match all messages.
This can be used in any command accepting a search term, such as
"notmuch search '*'". Note that you'll want to take care that the
shell doesn't expand * against the current files. And note that the
support for "*" is a special case. It's only meaningful as a single
search term and loses its special meaning when combined with any
other search terms.
Automatically detect thread connections even when a parent message is
Previously, if two or more message were received with a common
parent, but that parent was not received, then these messages would
not be recognized as belonging to the same thread. This is now fixed
so that such messages are properly connected in a thread.
General bug fixes
Fix potential data loss in "notmuch new" with SIGINT
One code path in "notmuch new" was not properly handling
SIGINT. Previously, this could lead to messages being removed from
the database (and their tags being lost) if the user pressed
Control-C while "notmuch new" was working.
Fix segfault when a message includes a MIME part that is empty.
Fix handling of non-ASCII characters with --format=json
Previously, characters outside the range of 7-bit ASCII were
silently dropped from the JSON output. This led to corrupted display
of utf-8 content in the upcoming notmuch web-based frontends.
Fix headers to be properly decoded in "notmuch reply"
Previously, the user might see:
Subject: Re: =?iso-8859-2?q?Rozlu=E8ka?=
rather than:
Subject: Re: Rozlučka
The former text is properly encoded to be RFC-compliant SMTP, will
be sent correctly, and will be properly decoded by the
recipient. But the user trying to edit the reply would likely be
unable to read or edit that field in its encoded form.
Emacs client features
Show the last few lines of citations as well as the first few lines.
It's often the case that the last sentence of a citation is what is
being replied to directly, so the last few lines are often much more
important. The number of lines shown at the beginning and end of any
citation can be configured, (notmuch-show-citation-lines-prefix and
The '+' and '-' commands in the search view can now add and remove
tags by region.
Selective bulk tagging is now possible by selecting a region of
threads and then using either the '+' or '-' keybindings. Bulk
tagging is still available for all threads matching the current
search with th '*' binding.
More meaningful buffer names for thread-view buffers.
Notmuch now uses the Subject of the thread as the buffer
name. Previously it was using the thread ID, which is a meaningless
number to the user.
Provide for customized colors of threads in search view based on tags.
See the documentation of notmuch-search-line-faces, (or us "M-x
customize" and browse to the "notmuch" group within "Applications"
and "Mail"), for details on how to configure this colorization.
Build-system features
Add support to properly build libnotmuch on Darwin systems (OS X).
Add support to configure for many standard options.
We include actual support for:
--includedir --mandir --sysconfdir
And accept and silently ignore several more:
--build --infodir --libexecdir --localstatedir
--disable-maintainer-mode --disable-dependency-tracking
Install emacs client in "make install" rather than requiring a
separate "make install-emacs".
Automatically compute versions numbers between releases.
This support uses the git-describe notation, so a version such as
0.1-144-g43cbbfc indicates a version that is 144 commits since the
0.1 release and is available as git commit "43cbbfc".
Add a new "make test" target to run the test suite and actually verify
its results.
Notmuch 0.1 (2010-04-05)
This is the first release of the notmuch mail system.
It includes the libnotmuch library, the notmuch command-line
interface, and an emacs-based interface to notmuch.
Note: Notmuch will work best with Xapian 1.0.18 (or later) or Xapian
1.1.4 (or later). Previous versions of Xapian (whether 1.0 or 1.1) had
a performance bug that made notmuch very slow when modifying
tags. This would cause distracting pauses when reading mail while
notmuch would wait for Xapian when removing the "inbox" and "unread"
tags from messages in a thread.