[notmuch] Catching up unread messages

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Sun Nov 22 20:47:57 PST 2009

On Sun, 22 Nov 2009 22:48:52 +0100, Tassilo Horn <tassilo at member.fsf.org> wrote:
> I got notmuch running, and it's absolutely incredible.  It's so damn
> fast and the results are very good.  So thanks a lot for creating this
> nice piece of software. :-)

Fantastic, Tassilo. I'm glad you got things working and are happy with
the results. And you're quite welcome. I'm just glad I'm able to share
something that has been really useful for me.

> Ok, so new the question: I indexed all my 63.000 mails, and because it
> was a first-time indexing, all my mail now has the tags inbox and
> unread.  Of course, I don't want to SPC through all threads (using the
> great emacs interface) to remove the unread status.  So is there some
> catchup command, which marks all messages in the buffer as read?

If you were to look at the notmuch/TODO file right now, you would see as
the first lines:

	Fix the things that are causing the most pain to new users
	1. A new import is tagging all messages as "inbox" -- total pain

So yes, I understand that this is not useful behavior!

Also, the pain is amplified because the command to *remove* these tags
is currently very slow. So there's some work we need to do before the
initial experience with notmuch is really pleasant for a lot of people.

> BTW, what's the intention of the inbox tag?  When I've read a thread,
> both inbox as well as unread disappear, so I don't get the difference
> between them.

If you get half-way through reading a thread, and then exit, then when
you come back to that thread, notmuch will start you out at the first
unread message in the thread, (and all the read messages will be

Also I often end up archiving entire threads without reading them,
(often for mailing lists that I don't read closely, but just skim the
subject lines once a day or so). For cases like this, I think it's
useful to be able to say things like:

	I almost never read this list in its entirety, but I want to
	find that message I actually did read recently:

		notmuch search tag:lkml and tag:read

Another thing that I think is a little bit useful is if someone points
me to a specific message, it's nice to be able to see "unread" and say
"Oh, yeah, I don't think I ever read that at all."

So that's the idea anyway, (and thanks to sup for showing us the way


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