Re: proposing "notmuch purge"

Subject: Re: proposing "notmuch purge"

Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2020 17:48:34 -0500

To: Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Notmuch Mail

Cc: Antoine Beaupré

From: Ryan Tate

Daniel Kahn Gillmor <> writes:
> So i'm proposing "notmuch purge", which could be something as simple as
> the equivalent of:
>    notmuch search --output=files --format=text0 tag:deleted | \
>       xargs --null --no-run-if-empty rm && \
>          notmuch new --no-hooks
> (credit for the pipeline above goes to anarcat, in Cc; i added the
> "notmuch new --no-hooks" part, because i would want the items gone from
> the db as well)

Is there any other notmuch command that results in a change to the state
of actual mail files, as opposed to the database?

Personally, I would be surprised to learn that the command "notmuch
purge" deleted actual emails on my filesystem. I would expect any
notmuch command would only operate on the database. As far as I can tell
-- and I could be forgetting something! -- the current suite of commands
simply mutate the database, never the actual files.

What I would expect to happen is that "notmuch purge" removes mails
tagged "deleted" from the notmuch index. (And perhaps with a flag, like
say "--rmfiles", would take the step of actually deleting files.)

Of course, I like to think I'd read the manpage of a command involving
the word "purge" before executing said command :-) But I think I'd be
surprised when I did, in this case.

Just my $.02.

(Thank you to anyone on thread who has helped build notmuch, it has
helped me enormously.)

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