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: header).

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) away.

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" order.

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" "notmuch".

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 settings.

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 set up 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 attachments).

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 date.

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.