Re: What to do about message/rfc822 attachments?

Subject: Re: What to do about message/rfc822 attachments?

Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2023 15:37:59 -0300

To: Andy Smith,


From: David Bremner

Andy Smith <> writes:

> What this means is that I see a message that looks like this:
>     From: Joe Bloggs via somelist <>
>     Message-ID: <>
>     Subject: Joe's original subject
>     References: (from Joe's post)
>     In-Reply-To: (from Joe's post)
> That then contains a message/rfc822 attachment that contains the
> full original copy of Joe's post, with all its headers intact.
> I am a relatively new notmuch user. Am I correct in thinking that
> notmuch will look inside message/rfc822 containers and find the
> text/plain (and/or text/html) parts within and index them for full
> text search just as it would the message body in a conventional
> message?

Hopefully. I have been meaning to verify that. If not, it's a bug we
should try to fix.

> So really I think the only wrinkle is that I need to remember that
> searching by a person's email address is not going to find all
> messages by them, because ones they send to such a list will not
> actually appear to notmuch to be from them, but instead from the
> lists's address.
> That is already an issue with mailing lists that rewrite the From:
> address (again for DKIM/DMARC reasons), but I was wondering if there
> were anything that people do with notmuch to improve matters given
> that all the info does actually exist in these wrapped messages. Is
> it somehow possible, or would be a worthwhile idea to, look for
> From: addresses and other useful headers also inside message/rfc822
> containers?

How would we tell the difference between some list software forwarding a
message/rfc822 part, and a human just forwarding a message? I'd prefer
not to introduce (more) heuristics into the indexing process, but if
there is some written RFC/standard these lists are following then we
could try to follow it too.

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