THE LACK THEREOF

2006.07.06 Mairix Mail Search

After needing to find some old email and getting tired of waiting for grepmail to complete its search, I went out and found a mail indexor. The one I settled on is called Mairix, and so far so good.

Here is my setup. First, I have the configuration file for Mairix. My mail is in ~/mail/YYYY/MM/mboxfile (where mboxfile has a name based on what mailing list or whatnot it contains). So my .mairixrc looks like:

base=/home/awwaiid/mail
mbox=20*...
mfolder=search
database=/home/awwaiid/.mairix_database

... which is to say, index all of my mail, and when I do a search put the results into the '/home/awwaiid/mail/search' folder. Oh, and store your DB in .mairix_database.

Next, I wrote a script called search-mail, which I'll use as a wrapper to be more mutt friendly. Also it will allow me to switch which mail indexor I use if the need arises. Plus I will probably add features and shortcuts here. Here is search-mail so far:

#!/usr/bin/perl

use strict;

print "Enter search terms: ";
my $search = <STDIN>;
chomp $search;

system("/usr/bin/mairix $search > /dev/null &");

And yes, I could have done that with a bash script. But what fun is that?

Finally, there is the line that I've added to my .muttrc which lets me do searches from mutt. It is:

macro index \eM "\
<enter-command>unset wait_key\n\
<shell-escape>/home/awwaiid/bin/search-mail\n\
<change-folder-readonly>=search\n\
<enter-command>set wait_key\n\
" "Super Search for messages"

This command is hooked into <esc>M right now, though I'll surely change that to something much easier. It runs mail-search, which prompts for the search terms and then forks the search. Then I am put into the folder in read-only mode so I don't accidentally delete things (though that might not be necessary or good).

Oh yes, and I dropped the simple command "mairix" into my cron to update the index. The thing runs quite fast and is very fun! I should index all my data for quick searching! (Beagle, why must you foresake me?)

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