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:
- https://lists.gnu.org/archive/mbox/emacs-devel/ 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...
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?
@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.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko