Skip to main content

Zope interface to the email indexer and retriever `notmuch[mail]`

Project description

This package contains a Zope [2] interface to the notmuch package ( notmuch is used for email indexing and fast retrieval. This package exposes its retrieval capabilities through Zope.


The package defines two email search views email_search_simple and email_search_combined.

email_search_simple presents a simple search form with a single field Search terms. In this field, you specify what should be retrieved according to the following extract from the notmuch documentation:

The  search  terms  can  consist of free-form text (and quoted phrases)
which  will  match  all  messages  that  contain  all  of   the   given
terms/phrases in the body, the subject, or any of the sender or recipient headers.

As a special case, a search  string  consisting  of  exactly  a  single
asterisk ("*") will match all messages.

In  addition  to free text, the following prefixes can be used to force
terms to match against specific portions of an email, (where <brackets>
indicate user-supplied values):





     tag:<tag> (or is:<tag>)




The  from: prefix is used to match the name or address of the sender of
an email message.

The to: prefix is used to match the names or addresses of any recipient
of an email message, (whether To, Cc, or Bcc).

Any  term  prefixed with subject: will match only text from the subject
of an email. Searching for a phrase in  the  subject  is  supported  by
including quotation marks around the phrase, immediately following subject:.

The attachment: prefix can be used to search for specific filenames (or
extensions) of attachments to email messages.

For  tag:  and is: valid tag values include inbox and unread by default
for new messages added by notmuch new as well as any other  tag  values
added manually with notmuch tag.

For  id:, message ID values are the literal contents of the Message-ID:
header of email messages, but without the '<', '>' delimiters.

The thread: prefix can be used with the thread ID values that are  generated  internally  by  notmuch  (and do not appear in email messages).
These thread ID values can be seen in the first column of  output  from
notmuch search

The  folder:  prefix can be used to search for email message files that
are contained within particular directories within the mail store. Only
the  directory  components  below  the top-level mail database path are
available to be searched.

In addition to individual terms, multiple terms can  be  combined  with
Boolean  operators  ( and, or, not , etc.). Each term in the query will
be implicitly connected by a logical AND if  no  explicit  operator  is
provided,  (except  that  terms with a common prefix will be implicitly
combined with OR until we get Xapian defect #402 fixed).

Parentheses can also be used to control the combination of the  Boolean

Finally, results can be restricted to only messages within a particular
time range, (based on the Date: header) with a syntax of:


Each timestamp is a number representing the  number  of  seconds  since
1970-01-01  00:00:00  UTC.  This  is  not  the most convenient means of
expressing date ranges, but until notmuch is fixed  to  accept  a  more
convenient  form, one can use the date program to construct timestamps.
For example, with the bash shell the following syntax would  specify  a
date range to return messages from 2009-10-01 until the current time:

     $(date +%s -d 2009-10-01)..$(date +%s)

When you submit the form, an overview of those threads will be presented containing at least one matching message. You can then examine a selected thread: this shows you selected header information for the contained messages. Finally, you can examine a selected message. Currently, the package does not yet show message attachments and is tested only for plain text messages (as I do not use HTML messages, for security and privacy reasons).

email_search_combined combines the search form and the thread overview in a single page. It is this view, you would usually use.

User interfaces

The package currently supports 2 user interfaces: one based on JavaScript (more precisely jquery ( and a pure HTML interface.

In the JavaScript based interface, thread and message details are shown directly on the threads overview page (using AJAX calls and dynamic HTML); in the pure HTML interface, those details are shown in separate windows (or tabs).

The interfaces are not switched automatically based on JavaScript availability in the browser. However, the JavaScript based interface should work similar to the pure HTML interface if JavaScript is disabled (though it looks a bit funny in this setup).

You decide during configuration which of the two interfaces is used.


This package requires Zope 2.12 or higher.

This package should be installable by any of the typical means used in a Zope 2 environment (“buildout”, “easy_install”, “pip”).

However, it depends on the notmuch Python package ( In order to facilitate the use of a corresponding operating system package (called python-notmuch in Debian systems), this dependency is not declared and you must make this package manually available in your Zope environment.

In addition, this packages is only useful, when you have set up a notmuch database which indexes the email messages you are interested in. Consult the notmuch documentation for details.


The configuration consists of 3 mandatory parts:

  1. register the package’s views.

    This currently is done by including the ZCML of dm.zope2.notmuchmail.browser.standalone in your overall ZCML configuration.

    I plan to support a Plone integration in the future. This integration would use Plone’s formlib integration and Plone’s main_template as base rather than provide a standalone base. Looking at the source of standalone, it should not be difficult to implement a Plone integration (in case, you need one before I support it).

  2. provide access to the notmuch database which indexes the interesting mails.

    This is done by registering a dm.zope.notmuchmail.interfaces.INotMuchDatabase utility. To implement such a utility, you can use dm.zope.notmuchmail.notmuchmail.NotMuchDatabase. Its constructor gets the path to the maildir indexed by notmuch. If you do not provide the path, then standard notmuch configuration decides where to find the database - usually one configured for the user running the Zope process. dm.zope.notmuchmail:user.zcml registers the utility in such a way.

  3. define at what objects (in the Zope hierarchy) which user interface should be available.

    The JavaScript based interface is available at an object, if this objects provides dm.zope.notmuchmail.browser.interfaces.IJqUi; the pure HTML based interface is available, if it does not provide dm.zope.notmuchmail.browser.interfaces.IJqUi but provides dm.zope.notmuchmail.browser.interfaces.IUi.

    You can use the Interfaces tab of the “Zope Management Interface” (aka “ZMI”) of an object, to add interfaces to its set of provided interfaces. Alternatively, you could use a ZCML class directive to let all objects of the respective class provide a specified interface.

Beside these mandatory configuration steps (whithout them, you cannot use the functionality), there is an optional configuration: you can define additional message header fields. To do this, you register an adapter providing dm.zope.notmuchmail.interfaces.IAdditionalHeaderItems for dm.zope.notmuchmail.notmuchmail._Delegator objects (those are wrappers around notmuch messages). It must return a sequence of name/value items. Each element in the sequence is interpreted as an additional message header field (with its corresponding value).

Project details

Release history Release notifications

This version
History Node


Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Filename, size & hash SHA256 hash help File type Python version Upload date
dm.zope.notmuchmail-0.1b1.tar.gz (51.8 kB) Copy SHA256 hash SHA256 Source None Sep 4, 2014

Supported by

Elastic Elastic Search Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google BigQuery Sentry Sentry Error logging CloudAMQP CloudAMQP RabbitMQ AWS AWS Cloud computing Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page