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 names.

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 work.