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Marin Usalj <m@supermar.in>
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Hi there,

it looks like https://lists.sr.ht/~rjarry/aerc-devel/patches/26394
brought support for threading in notmuch & IMAP, but if the option is
turned on with maildir, it breaks everything.

How realistic is to add proper threading support to maildir?

--Marin
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Marin Usalj, Jan 24, 2022 at 00:50:
> Hi there,
>
> it looks like https://lists.sr.ht/~rjarry/aerc-devel/patches/26394
> brought support for threading in notmuch & IMAP, but if the option is
> turned on with maildir, it breaks everything.
>
> How realistic is to add proper threading support to maildir?

I'm not sure. Threading support is still experimental. Note that IMAP
threading is subject to server-side THREAD extension support (it does
not work with gmail).

I know that {,neo}mutt manages around this by building a local view of
the threads. Maybe aerc could do the same but it would require
a considerable amount of work.

Patches are welcome though :)
Marin Usalj <m@supermar.in>
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On Mon Jan 24, 2022 at 4:37 AM AST, Robin Jarry wrote:
> I know that {,neo}mutt manages around this by building a local view of
> the threads. Maybe aerc could do the same but it would require
> a considerable amount of work.

Thanks for the clarification Robin.

After sitting on it for a bit and thinking about the problem a little
further, here are some thoughts. This is what notmuch does great:
  - thread stitching 
  - email and contact search. i'm not sure how to achieve something
    similar with aerc in maildir mode
  - unified inbox

Thread view is on the lower priority side.
The downfall of using aerc in notmuch mode is email actions like
:archive, :delete, etc. aerc does a no-op here since notmuch is
tag-based and doesn't care much about folders.
I'm not a notmuch user and I don't tag emails.

The ideal scenario would perhaps look like this:
  1. Use aerc in notmuch mode, query-map = 
    Inbox = folder:/.*/Inbox/
    Archive = folder:/.*/Archive/
    ...
    This would eliminate the need for tagging emails, and it would
    enable unified inbox, threads and search. The challenge is handling
    responses and email actions correctly per account.

  2. Configure a hook for email actions like archiving, deleting, etc.
    The hook would ideally be able to receive input of at least the
    filepath, so that the action (e.g. :archive) can be executed
    correctly.

The first requirement is already partially implemented. The second one
is a discussion I'd like to open, in case this use-case makes sense for
anyone else than me.


--Marin
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Marin Usalj, Jan 29, 2022 at 02:10:
> After sitting on it for a bit and thinking about the problem a little
> further, here are some thoughts. This is what notmuch does great:
>   - thread stitching 
>   - email and contact search. i'm not sure how to achieve something
>     similar with aerc in maildir mode
>   - unified inbox
>
> Thread view is on the lower priority side.

I think that thread view is very nice. Slightly more than low priority
in my opinion.

About the on-going discussion on IMAP/Maildir indexing:

https://lists.sr.ht/~rjarry/aerc-devel/%3C20220130075313.29743-1-vladimir%40mgyar.me%3E

I wonder if notmuch could be used as an index engine instead of using
leveldb. Would would have the threading features of notmuch without much
efforts.

Vladimír, do you have any thoughts on the matter?

> The downfall of using aerc in notmuch mode is email actions like
> :archive, :delete, etc. aerc does a no-op here since notmuch is
> tag-based and doesn't care much about folders.
> I'm not a notmuch user and I don't tag emails.
>
> The ideal scenario would perhaps look like this:
>   1. Use aerc in notmuch mode, query-map = 
>     Inbox = folder:/.*/Inbox/
>     Archive = folder:/.*/Archive/
>     ...
>     This would eliminate the need for tagging emails, and it would
>     enable unified inbox, threads and search. The challenge is handling
>     responses and email actions correctly per account.
>
>   2. Configure a hook for email actions like archiving, deleting, etc.
>     The hook would ideally be able to receive input of at least the
>     filepath, so that the action (e.g. :archive) can be executed
>     correctly.
>
> The first requirement is already partially implemented. The second one
> is a discussion I'd like to open, in case this use-case makes sense for
> anyone else than me.

The notmuch worker definitely needs some lovin'. I do not use it myself
but I know it could be improved. For instance, the tags are not
displayed in the message list.
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I think, that the imap header cacheing can't be made by notmuch. Or am I
wrong?
For threading it could be used, but not everybody wants to install and
run notmuch just for threading support.
Or we could build another index, just for threading, that stores just
uids refering to a thread.
Marin Usalj <m@supermar.in>
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On Mon Jan 31, 2022 at 6:56 AM AST, Vladimír Magyar wrote:
> For threading it could be used, but not everybody wants to install and
> run notmuch just for threading support.

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but is there a way to search email
with just aerc/maildir like with notmuch? No tags, just a plain text
search over 20gb of email.


--Marin
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On Mon Jan 31, 2022 at 10:21 PM +08, Marin Usalj wrote:
> Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but is there a way to search email
> with just aerc/maildir like with notmuch? No tags, just a plain text
> search over 20gb of email.

Use ":search" or ":filter"?
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The question was if we can use notmuch for threading support in aerc.

The answer was we can, but we must rely on notmuch to be installed and
called regularly. Not everybody wants to install and configure notmuch.
I don't use it, but I don't have a 20gb maildir :)

More efective would be to build a light index for creating threads.
Marin Usalj <m@supermar.in>
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On Mon Jan 31, 2022 at 10:36 AM AST, Vladimír Magyar wrote:
> The question was if we can use notmuch for threading support in aerc.
>
> The answer was we can, but we must rely on notmuch to be installed and
> called regularly. Not everybody wants to install and configure notmuch.
> I don't use it, but I don't have a 20gb maildir :)
>
> More efective would be to build a light index for creating threads.

Gotcha. I wasn't suggesting that notmuch becomes a default
implementation for :search or :filter, even though it works arguably
better. I was suggesting overridable :archive, :delete, etc actions, so
that people who *are* using the builtin notmuch functionality* can
make it work well with other email clients.

If this doesn't sound interesting to anyone else that's ok - will look
into a different solution.

* notmuch mode is alraedy implemented in aerc


--Marin
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