4.2. Email Database

The python bindings to libnotmuch define notmuch.Thread and notmuch.Message, which unfortunately are very fragile. Alot defines the wrapper classes alot.db.Thread and alot.db.Message that use an manager.DBManager instance to transparently provide persistent objects.

alot.db.Message moreover contains convenience methods to extract information about the message like reformated header values, a summary, decoded and interpreted body text and a list of Attachments.

The central UI instance carries around a DBManager object that is used for any lookups or modifications of the email base. DBManager can directly look up Thread and Message objects and is able to postpone/cache/retry writing operations in case the Xapian index is locked by another process.

4.2.1. Database Manager

class alot.db.manager.DBManager(path=None, ro=False)

Keeps track of your index parameters, maintains a write-queue and lets you look up threads and messages directly to the persistent wrapper classes.

Parameters:
  • path (str) – absolute path to the notmuch index
  • ro (bool) – open the index in read-only mode
add_message(path, tags=None, afterwards=None)

Adds a file to the notmuch index.

Parameters:
  • path (str) – path to the file
  • tags (list of str) – tagstrings to add
  • afterwards (callable or None) – callback to trigger after adding
async_(cbl, fun)

return a pair (pipe, process) so that the process writes fun(a) to the pipe for each element a in the iterable returned by the callable cbl.

Parameters:
  • cbl (callable) – a function returning something iterable
  • fun (callable) – an unary translation function
Return type:

(multiprocessing.Pipe, multiprocessing.Process)

count_messages(querystring)

returns number of messages that match querystring

count_threads(querystring)

returns number of threads that match querystring

flush()

write out all queued write-commands in order, each one in a separate atomic transaction.

If this fails the current action is rolled back, stays in the write queue and an exception is raised. You are responsible to retry flushing at a later time if you want to ensure that the cached changes are applied to the database.

Exception:DatabaseROError if db is opened read-only
Exception:DatabaseLockedError if db is locked
get_all_tags()

returns all tagsstrings used in the database :rtype: list of str

get_message(mid)

returns Message with given message id (str)

get_named_queries()

returns the named queries stored in the database. :rtype: dict (str -> str) mapping alias to full query string

get_thread(tid)

returns Thread with given thread id (str)

get_threads(querystring, sort='newest_first', exclude_tags=None)

asynchronously look up thread ids matching querystring.

Parameters:
  • querystring (str.) – The query string to use for the lookup
  • sort – Sort order. one of [‘oldest_first’, ‘newest_first’, ‘message_id’, ‘unsorted’]
  • exclude_tags (list of str) – Tags to exclude by default unless included in the search
Returns:

a pipe together with the process that asynchronously writes to it.

Return type:

(multiprocessing.Pipe, multiprocessing.Process)

kill_search_processes()

terminate all search processes that originate from this managers get_threads().

query(querystring)

creates notmuch.Query objects on demand

Parameters:querystring – The query string to use for the lookup
Returns:notmuch.Query – the query object.
remove_message(message, afterwards=None)

Remove a message from the notmuch index

Parameters:
  • message (Message) – message to remove
  • afterwards (callable or None) – callback to trigger after removing
remove_named_query(alias, afterwards=None)

remove a named query from the notmuch database.

Parameters:
  • alias (str) – name of shortcut
  • afterwards (callable or None) – callback to trigger after adding the alias
save_named_query(alias, querystring, afterwards=None)

add an alias for a query string.

These are stored in the notmuch database and can be used as part of more complex queries using the syntax “query:alias”. See notmuch-search-terms(7) for more info.

Parameters:
  • alias (str) – name of shortcut
  • querystring (str) – value, i.e., the full query string
  • afterwards (callable or None) – callback to trigger after adding the alias
tag(querystring, tags, afterwards=None, remove_rest=False)

add tags to messages matching querystring. This appends a tag operation to the write queue and raises DatabaseROError if in read only mode.

Parameters:
  • querystring (str) – notmuch search string
  • tags (list of str) – a list of tags to be added
  • afterwards (callable) – callback that gets called after successful application of this tagging operation
  • remove_rest (bool) – remove tags from matching messages before tagging
Exception:

DatabaseROError

Note

This only adds the requested operation to the write queue. You need to call DBManager.flush() to actually write out.

untag(querystring, tags, afterwards=None)

removes tags from messages that match querystring. This appends an untag operation to the write queue and raises DatabaseROError if in read only mode.

Parameters:
  • querystring (str) – notmuch search string
  • tags (list of str) – a list of tags to be added
  • afterwards (callable) – callback that gets called after successful application of this tagging operation
Exception:

DatabaseROError

Note

This only adds the requested operation to the write queue. You need to call DBManager.flush() to actually write out.

4.2.2. Errors

class alot.db.errors.DatabaseError
class alot.db.errors.DatabaseROError

cannot write to read-only database

class alot.db.errors.DatabaseLockedError

cannot write to locked index

class alot.db.errors.NonexistantObjectError

requested thread or message does not exist in the index

4.2.3. Wrapper

class alot.db.Thread(dbman, thread)

A wrapper around a notmuch mailthread (notmuch.database.Thread) that ensures persistence of the thread: It can be safely read multiple times, its manipulation is done via a alot.db.DBManager and it can directly provide contained messages as Message.

Parameters:
  • dbman (DBManager) – db manager that is used for further lookups
  • thread (notmuch.database.Thread) – the wrapped thread
add_tags(tags, afterwards=None, remove_rest=False)

add tags to all messages in this thread

Note

This only adds the requested operation to this objects DBManager's write queue. You need to call DBManager.flush to actually write out.

Parameters:
  • tags (list of str) – a list of tags to be added
  • afterwards (callable) – callback that gets called after successful application of this tagging operation
  • remove_rest (bool) – remove all other tags
get_authors()

returns a list of authors (name, addr) of the messages. The authors are ordered by msg date and unique (by name/addr).

Return type:list of (str, str)
get_authors_string(own_accts=None, replace_own=None)

returns a string of comma-separated authors Depending on settings, it will substitute “me” for author name if address is user’s own.

Parameters:
  • own_accts (list of Account) – list of own accounts to replace
  • replace_own (bool) – whether or not to actually do replacement
Return type:

str

get_messages()

returns all messages in this thread as dict mapping all contained messages to their direct responses.

Return type:dict mapping Message to a list of Message.
get_newest_date()

returns date header of newest message in this thread as datetime

get_oldest_date()

returns date header of oldest message in this thread as datetime

get_replies_to(msg)

returns all replies to the given message contained in this thread.

Parameters:msg (Message) – parent message to look up
Returns:list of Message or None
get_subject()

returns subject string

get_tags(intersection=False)

returns tagsstrings attached to this thread

Parameters:intersection (bool) – return tags present in all contained messages instead of in at least one (union)
Return type:set of str
get_thread_id()

returns id of this thread

get_toplevel_messages()

returns all toplevel messages contained in this thread. This are all the messages without a parent message (identified by ‘in-reply-to’ or ‘references’ header.

Return type:list of Message
get_total_messages()

returns number of contained messages

matches(query)

Check if this thread matches the given notmuch query.

Parameters:query (string) – The query to check against
Returns:True if this thread matches the given query, False otherwise
Return type:bool
refresh(thread=None)

refresh thread metadata from the index

remove_tags(tags, afterwards=None)

remove tags (list of str) from all messages in this thread

Note

This only adds the requested operation to this objects DBManager's write queue. You need to call DBManager.flush to actually write out.

Parameters:
  • tags (list of str) – a list of tags to be added
  • afterwards (callable) – callback that gets called after successful application of this tagging operation
class alot.db.Message(dbman, msg, thread=None)

a persistent notmuch message object. It it uses a DBManager for cached manipulation and lazy lookups.

Parameters:
  • dbman (alot.db.DBManager) – db manager that is used for further lookups
  • msg (notmuch.database.Message) – the wrapped message
  • thread (Thread or None) – this messages thread (will be looked up later if None)
accumulate_body()

returns bodystring extracted from this mail

add_tags(tags, afterwards=None, remove_rest=False)

adds tags to message

Note

This only adds the requested operation to this objects DBManager's write queue. You need to call flush() to write out.

Parameters:
  • tags (list of str) – a list of tags to be added
  • afterwards (callable) – callback that gets called after successful application of this tagging operation
  • remove_rest (bool) – remove all other tags
get_attachments()

returns messages attachments

Derived from the leaves of the email mime tree that and are not part of RFC 2015 syntax for encrypted/signed mails and either have Content-Disposition attachment or have Content-Disposition inline but specify a filename (as parameter to Content-Disposition).

Return type:list of Attachment
get_author()

returns realname and address of this messages author

Return type:(str,str)
get_date()

returns Date header value as datetime

get_datestring()

returns reformated datestring for this message.

It uses SettingsManager.represent_datetime() to represent this messages Date header

Return type:str
get_email()

returns email.Message for this message

get_filename()

returns absolute path of message files location

get_message_id()

returns messages id (str)

get_message_parts()

yield all body parts of this message

get_replies()

returns replies to this message as list of Message

get_tags()

returns tags attached to this message as list of strings

get_thread()

returns the Thread this msg belongs to

get_thread_id()

returns id (str) of the thread this message belongs to

has_replies()

returns true if this message has at least one reply

matches(querystring)

tests if this messages is in the resultset for querystring

remove_tags(tags, afterwards=None)

remove tags from message

Note

This only adds the requested operation to this objects DBManager's write queue. You need to call flush() to actually out.

Parameters:
  • tags (list of str) – a list of tags to be added
  • afterwards (callable) – callback that gets called after successful application of this tagging operation

4.2.4. Other Structures

class alot.db.attachment.Attachment(emailpart)

represents a mail attachment

Parameters:emailpart (email.message.Message) – a non-multipart email that is the attachment
get_content_type()

mime type of the attachment part

get_data()

return data blob from wrapped file

get_filename()

return name of attached file. If the content-disposition header contains no file name, this returns None

get_mime_representation()

returns mime part that constitutes this attachment

get_size()

returns attachments size in bytes

save(path)

save the attachment to disk. Uses get_filename() in case path is a directory

write(fhandle)

writes content to a given filehandle

class alot.db.envelope.Envelope(template=None, bodytext=None, headers=None, attachments=None, sign=False, sign_key=None, encrypt=False, tags=None, replied=None, passed=None, account=None)

a message that is not yet sent and still editable. It holds references to unencoded! body text and mail headers among other things. Envelope implements the python container API for easy access of header values. So e[‘To’], e[‘To’] = ‘foo@bar.baz’ and ‘e.get_all(‘To’)’ would work for an envelope e..

Parameters:
  • template (str) – if not None, the envelope will be initialised by parsing this string before setting any other values given to this constructor.
  • bodytext (str) – text used as body part
  • headers (dict (str -> [unicode])) – unencoded header values
  • attachments (list of Attachment) – file attachments to include
  • tags (list of str) – tags to add after successful sendout and saving this msg
  • replied (Message) – message being replied to
  • passed – message being passed on
  • account (Account) – account to send from
add(key, value)

add header value

attach(attachment, filename=None, ctype=None)

attach a file

Parameters:
  • attachment (Attachment or str) – File to attach, given as Attachment object or path to a file.
  • filename – filename to use in content-disposition. Will be ignored if path matches multiple files
  • ctype (str) – force content-type to be used for this attachment
construct_mail()

compiles the information contained in this envelope into a email.Message.

get(key, fallback=None)

secure getter for header values that allows specifying a fallback return string (defaults to None). This returns the first matching value and doesn’t raise KeyErrors

get_all(key, fallback=None)

returns all header values for given key

parse_template(tmp, reset=False, only_body=False)

parses a template or user edited string to fills this envelope.

Parameters:
  • tmp (str) – the string to parse.
  • reset (bool) – remove previous envelope content
account = None

account to send from

attachments = None

list of Attachments

body = None

mail body as unicode string

headers = None

dict containing the mail headers (a list of strings for each header key)

tags = []

tags to add after successful sendout

tmpfile = None

template text for initial content

4.2.5. Utilities

alot.db.utils.add_signature_headers(mail, sigs, error_msg)

Add pseudo headers to the mail indicating whether the signature verification was successful.

Parameters:
  • mailemail.message.Message the message to entitle
  • sigs – list of gpg.results.Signature
  • error_msg (str or None) – An error message if there is one, or None
alot.db.utils.decode_header(header, normalize=False)

decode a header value to a unicode string

values are usually a mixture of different substrings encoded in quoted printable using different encodings. This turns it into a single unicode string

Parameters:
  • header (str) – the header value
  • normalize (bool) – replace trailing spaces after newlines
Return type:

str

alot.db.utils.decrypted_message_from_bytes(bytestring, session_keys=None)

Create a Message from bytes.

Parameters:
  • bytestring (bytes) – an email message as raw bytes
  • session_keys – a list OpenPGP session keys
alot.db.utils.decrypted_message_from_file(handle, session_keys=None)

Reads a mail from the given file-like object and returns an email object, very much like email.message_from_file. In addition to that OpenPGP encrypted data is detected and decrypted. If this succeeds, any mime messages found in the recovered plaintext message are added to the returned message object.

Parameters:
  • handle – a file-like object
  • session_keys – a list OpenPGP session keys
Returns:

email.message.Message possibly augmented with decrypted data

alot.db.utils.decrypted_message_from_message(m, session_keys=None)

Detect and decrypt OpenPGP encrypted data in an email object. If this succeeds, any mime messages found in the recovered plaintext message are added to the returned message object.

Parameters:
  • m – an email object
  • session_keys – a list OpenPGP session keys
Returns:

email.message.Message possibly augmented with decrypted data

alot.db.utils.decrypted_message_from_string(s, session_keys=None)

Reads a mail from the given string. This is the equivalent of email.message_from_string() which does nothing but to wrap the given string in a StringIO object and to call email.message_from_file().

Please refer to the documentation of message_from_file() for details.

alot.db.utils.extract_body(mail, types=None, field_key='copiousoutput')

Returns a string view of a Message.

If the types argument is set then any encoding types there will be used as the prefered encoding to extract. If types is None then prefer_plaintext will be consulted; if it is True then text/plain parts will be returned, if it is false then text/html will be returned if present or text/plain if there are no text/html parts.

Parameters:
  • mail (email.Message) – the mail to use
  • types (list[str]) – mime content types to use for body string
Returns:

The combined text of any parts to be used

Return type:

str

alot.db.utils.extract_headers(mail, headers=None)

returns subset of this messages headers as human-readable format: all header values are decoded, the resulting string has one line “KEY: VALUE” for each requested header present in the mail.

Parameters:
  • mail (email.Message) – the mail to use
  • headers (list of str) – headers to extract
alot.db.utils.get_params(mail, failobj=None, header='content-type', unquote=True)

Get Content-Type parameters as dict.

RFC 2045 specifies that parameter names are case-insensitive, so we normalize them here.

Parameters:
  • mailemail.message.Message
  • failobj – object to return if no such header is found
  • header – the header to search for parameters, default
  • unquote – unquote the values
Returns:

a dict containing the parameters

alot.db.utils.remove_cte(part, as_string=False)

Interpret MIME-part according to it’s Content-Transfer-Encodings.

This returns the payload of part as string or bytestring for display, or to be passed to an external program. In the raw file the payload may be encoded, e.g. in base64, quoted-printable, 7bit, or 8bit. This method will look for one of the above Content-Transfer-Encoding header and interpret the payload accordingly.

Incorrect header values (common in spam messages) will be interpreted as lenient as possible and will result in INFO-level debug messages.

..Note:: All this may be depricated in favour of
email.contentmanager.raw_data_manager (v3.6+)
Parameters:
  • part (email.Message) – The part to decode
  • as_string (bool) – If true return a str, otherwise return bytes
Returns:

The mail with any Content-Transfer-Encoding removed

Return type:

Union[str, bytes]

alot.db.utils.render_part(part, field_key='copiousoutput')

renders a non-multipart email part into displayable plaintext by piping its payload through an external script. The handler itself is determined by the mailcap entry for this part’s ctype.