I'm looking into some #emacs history and searching emacs-devel online is tedious, so I bit the bullet and started fetching a searchable copy:

- lists.gnu.org/archive/mbox/ema has mbox files starting from 2000, I've downloaded them with `wget --mirror` and got 1.31G of files.
- mbox is a terrible format, mblaze and friends support maildir instead.
- Therefore I've started a conversion job with `mdeliver -M maildir < mailbox/*` into a maildir created with `mmkdir maildir`, let's see how long that will take and how many email files we're speaking of...

Took 40 minutes for 268244 emails. Currently trying to discover the right email by using one liners like `mlist maildir | magrep 'From:Richard Stallman' | magrep -i '/:elpa' | msort -d | mshow`.

It seems that `magrep` is no good for searching body text, I've finally found what I needed by narrowing to one sender, sorting their emails by date, displaying all, then using the search function in the pager with `mlist . | magrep 'From:Phil Hagelberg' | msort -d | mshow`. Still better than using a web search.


@wasamasa I'm curious on your take of this approach versus using an indexer like notmuch. I didn't know about mblaze and use notmuch for my personal inboxes. Is there a specific benefit/tradeoff I'm missing?

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@mbernabe mblaze doesn't need a central index to do its work and can theoretically be used to replace a MUA, for example with commands to mark specific emails as read.

@wasamasa Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant for an investigation like you later posted on Reddit. I guess if it's a one-off search doing the whole indexing would probably be overkill. If you were looking for more references or to get more discussions about historical Emacs development, would you keep with mblaze or look for alternatives (like an index)? This is quite a tangent from your original post so feel free to ignore me, and thank you.

@mbernabe So far there is no clear advantage to either. I'm not much of a fan of the indexers because I have to hit the manual every time, mblaze is better with its approach of you having to compose a pipeline and work on email headers directly.

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