Searching on arbitrary message headers

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eric casteleijn eric casteleijn
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Searching on arbitrary message headers

Hi list,

after a tip from a colleague I've installed notmuch over the weekend,
and I'm impressed with its speed and flexibility to the point that I'd
really like to switch to using it exclusively.

To be able to do that there is one thing I need that I haven't figured
out how to do yet, or indeed if it's possible at all currently: Is there
a way to search in arbitrary headers? From initial experimentation, it
seems not: I can search in headers that are explicitly indexed, such as
subject:, to: and from:, or in the body text, but it does not seem that
the raw message is indexed, and I've not found a way to add additional
indexes.

My specific use case is that I get a lot of automated mail from
launchpad, which uses headers like 'X-Launchpad-Message-Rationale' to
indicate why a particular message is being delivered to me. Thunderbird
allows me to filter on arbitrary headers, which means I can divert
messages that are unlikely to need my attention so that they don't hit
my inbox.

I realize that indexing the raw message is probably not a good idea,
since for instance the routing of a particular message is unlikely to be
of interest, but I was wondering if there is a way to specify additional
headers to be indexed by notmuch, or if not, if others would find this a
worthwhile addition?

--
eric casteleijn
https://code.launchpad.net/~thisfred
http://thisfred.posterous.com/
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Michal Sojka Michal Sojka
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Re: Searching on arbitrary message headers

On Tue, 27 Jul 2010, eric casteleijn wrote:
> I realize that indexing the raw message is probably not a good idea,
> since for instance the routing of a particular message is unlikely to be
> of interest, but I was wondering if there is a way to specify additional
> headers to be indexed by notmuch, or if not, if others would find this a
> worthwhile addition?

Hi Eric,

from notmuch/TODO:

  Add support for the user to specify custom headers to be indexed (and
  re-index these for existing messages at the next database upgrade).

I think that Carl has plans to implement this feature for v0.4 together
with other changes which require changing the database schema. But given
the burstiness of notmuch development I can really say when that will
happen. Of course, patches are welcomed :-)

-Michal
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eric casteleijn eric casteleijn
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Re: Searching on arbitrary message headers

> Hi Eric,
>
> from notmuch/TODO:
>
>    Add support for the user to specify custom headers to be indexed (and
>    re-index these for existing messages at the next database upgrade).
>
> I think that Carl has plans to implement this feature for v0.4 together
> with other changes which require changing the database schema. But given
> the burstiness of notmuch development I can really say when that will
> happen. Of course, patches are welcomed :-)

Awesome, thanks, I hadn't checked out the TODO. I'll be available for
user testing when the time comes. I might try my hand at a patch but
don't anybody hold their breath.

--
eric casteleijn
https://code.launchpad.net/~thisfred
http://thisfred.posterous.com/
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