From: David Bremner <>

Some places I deleted a bit of the continuity text introducing a
command because I didn't see how to make it work with the slightly
more structured layout.

The idea here is to be able to generate the online help and the man page from 
one source.

To generate a man page:

   pod2man notmuch.pod > notmuch.1

To generate help for a specific notmuch subcommand

   podselect -section 'Commands/subcommand.*' notmuch.pod | pod2text -c

In principle the output from podselect could be compiled into notmuch.
I'm not sure if the terminal escape codes are a good idea or not for
that application, but they make pretty output.

podselect and pod2man are included with perl 5.10.0; I'm not sure
before that.

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diff --git a/notmuch.pod b/notmuch.pod
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+=head1 Name
+notmuch - thread-based email index, search, and tagging
+=head1 Synopsis
+=item B<notmuch> I<command> [I<args> ...]
+=head1 Description
+Notmuch is a command-line based
+program for indexing, searching, reading, and tagging large collections
+of email messages. 
+ The quickest way to get started with Notmuch is to simply
+invoke the B<notmuch> command with no arguments, which will interactively
+guide you through the process of indexing your mail.
+=head1 Note
+While the command-line
+program B<notmuch> provides powerful functionality, it does not provide the
+most convenient interface for that functionality. More sophisticated interfaces
+are expected to be built on top of either the command-line interface, or
+more likely, on top of the notmuch library interface. See
+for more about alternate interfaces to notmuch.
+=head1 Commands
+=head2 setup
+Interactively sets up notmuch for first use.  The setup command will
+prompt for your full name, your primary email address, any alternate
+email addresses you use, and the directory containing your email
+archives. Your answers will be written to a configuration file in
+${NOTMUCH_CONFIG} (if set) or ${HOME}/.notmuch-config . This
+configuration file will be created with descriptive comments, making
+it easy to edit by hand later to change the configuration. Or you can
+run B<notmuch setup> again to change the configuration.
+The mail directory you specify can contain any number of
+sub-directories and should primarily contain only files with
+individual email messages (eg. maildir or mh archives are perfect). If
+there are other, non-email files (such as indexes maintained by other
+email programs) then notmuch will do its best to detect those and
+ignore them.
+Mail storage that uses mbox format, (where one mbox file contains many
+messages), will not work with notmuch. If that's how your mail is
+currently stored, it is recommended you first convert it to maildir
+format with a utility such as mb2md before running B<notmuch setup>
+Invoking B<notmuch> with no command argument will run B<setup> if the
+setup command has not previously been completed.
+=head2 new
+Find and import any new messages to the database.  The B<new> command
+scans all sub-directories of the database, performing full-text
+indexing on new messages that are found. Each new message will
+automatically be tagged with both the B<inbox> and B<unread> tags.
+You should run B<notmuch new> once after first running B<notmuch setup> to 
create the initial database. The first run may take a long
+time if you have a significant amount of mail (several hundred
+thousand messages or more). Subsequently, you should run B<notmuch
+new> whenever new mail is delivered and you wish to incorporate it
+into the database.  These subsequent runs will be much quicker than
+the initial run.
+B<notmuch new> runs (other than the first run) will skip any read-only 
+so you can use that to mark directories that will not receive any new mail
+(and make B<notmuch new> even faster). 
+Invoking B<notmuch> with no command argument
+will run B<new> if B<notmuch setup> has previously been completed, but 
+new> has not previously been run. 
+Several of the notmuch commands accept
+search terms with a common syntax. See the B<SEARCH SYNTAX> section below for
+more details on the supported syntax. 
+The B<search> and B<show> commands are
+used to query the email database. 
+=head2 search [options...] <search-term>... 
+Search for
+messages matching the given search terms, and display as results the threads
+containing the matched messages. 
+The output consists of one line per thread,
+giving a thread ID, the date of the newest (or oldest, depending on the
+sort option) matched message in the thread, the number of matched messages
+and total messages in the thread, the names of all participants in the
+thread, and the subject of the newest (or oldest) message. 
+Supported options
+for B<search> include 
+=item B<--sort=>(B<newest-first>|B<oldest-first>) 
+This option can be used
+to present results in either chronological order (B<oldest-first>) or reverse
+chronological order (B<newest-first>). 
+Note: The thread order will be distinct
+between these two options (beyond being simply reversed). When sorting by
+B<oldest-first> the threads will be sorted by the oldest message in each 
+but when sorting by B<newest-first> the threads will be sorted by the newest
+message in each thread. 
+By default, results will be displayed in reverse
+chronological order, (that is, the newest results will be displayed first).
+See the B<SEARCH SYNTAX> section below for details of the supported syntax
+for B<search-terms>. 
+=head2 show [options...] <search-term>... 
+Shows all messages matching
+the search terms. 
+The messages will be grouped and sorted based on the
+threading (all replies to a particular message will appear immediately
+after that message in date order). The output is not indented by default,
+but depth tags are printed so that proper indentation can be performed
+by a post-processor (such as the emacs interface to notmuch). 
+options for B<show> include 
+=item B<--entire-thread> 
+By default only those messages that
+match the search terms will be displayed. With this option, all messages
+in the same thread as any matched message will be displayed. 
+The  output
+format  is plain-text,  with all  text-content  MIME parts decoded. Various
+components in the output, (B<message>, B<header>, B<body>, B<attachment>, and 
+B<part>), will be delimited by easily-parsed markers. Each marker consists of
+a Control-L character (ASCII decimal 12), the name of the marker, and then
+either an opening or closing brace, ('{' or '}'), to either open or close the
+A common use of B<notmuch show> is to display a single thread of
+email messages. For this, use a search term of "thread:<thread-id>" as can
+be seen in the first column of output from the B<notmuch search> command. 
+See the B<SEARCH SYNTAX> section below for details of the supported syntax
+for <search-terms>. 
+The B<reply> command is useful for preparing a template for
+an email reply. 
+=head2 reply [options...] <search-term>... 
+Constructs a reply template
+for a set of messages. 
+To make replying to email easier, B<notmuch reply>
+takes an existing set of messages and constructs a suitable mail template.
+The Reply-to header (if any, otherwise From:) is used for the To: address.
+Vales from the To: and Cc: headers are copied, but not including any of
+the current user's email addresses (as configured in primary_mail or 
+in the .notmuch-config file) in the recipient list 
+It also builds a suitable
+new subject, including Re: at the front (if not already present), and adding
+the message IDs of the messages being replied to to the References list
+and setting the In-Reply-To: field correctly. 
+Finally, the original contents
+of the emails are quoted by prefixing each line with '> ' and included in
+the body. 
+The resulting message template is output to stdout. 
+options for B<reply> include 
+=item B<--format=>(B<default>|B<headers-only>) 
+=item B<default> 
+subject and quoted message body. 
+=item B<headers-only> 
+Only produces In-Reply-To, References,
+To, Cc, and Bcc headers. 
+See the B<SEARCH SYNTAX> section below for details
+of the supported syntax for <search-terms>. 
+Note: It is most common to use
+B<notmuch reply> with a search string matching a single message, (such as
+id:<message-id>), but it can be useful to reply to several messages at once.
+For example, when a series of patches are sent in a single thread, replying
+to the entire thread allows for the reply to comment on issue found in
+multiple patches. 
+=head2 tag +<tag>|-<tag> [...] [--] <search-term>... 
+Add/remove tags for all
+messages matching the search terms. 
+Tags prefixed by '+' are added while
+those prefixed by '-' are removed. For each message, tag removal is performed
+before tag addition. 
+The beginning of I<search-terms> is recognized by the
+first argument that begins with neither '+' nor '-'. Support for an initial 
+term beginning with '+' or '-' is provided by allowing the user to specify a
+"--" argument to separate the tags from the search terms. 
+See the B<SEARCH SYNTAX> section below for details of the supported syntax for 
+The B<dump> and B<restore> commands can be used to create a textual dump of
+email tags for backup purposes, and to restore from that dump 
+=head2 dump [<filename>]
+Creates a plain-text dump of the tags of each message. 
+The output is to
+the given filename, if any, or to stdout. 
+These tags are the only data
+in the notmuch database that can't be recreated from the messages themselves.
+The output of notmuch dump is therefore the only critical thing to backup
+(and much more friendly to incremental backup than the native database
+=head2 restore <filename> 
+Restores the tags from the given file (see B<notmuch dump>. 
+Note: The dump file format is specifically chosen to be compatible
+with the format of files produced by sup-dump. So if you've previously been
+using sup for mail, then the B<notmuch restore> command provides you a way
+to import all of your tags (or labels as sup calls them).
+=head1 Search Syntax
+notmuch commands accept a common syntax for search terms. 
+The search terms
+can consist of free-form text (and quoted phrases) which will match all
+messages that contain all of the given terms/phrases in the body, the subject,
+or any of the sender or recipient headers. 
+In addition to free text, the
+following prefixes can be used to force terms to match against specific
+portions of an email, (where <brackets> indicate user-supplied values): 
+=begin text
+       from:<name-or-address> 
+       to:<name-or-address> 
+       subject:<word-or-quoted-phrase> 
+       attachment:<word> 
+       tag:<tag> 
+       id:<message-id> 
+       thread:<thread-id> 
+=end text
+The B<from:> prefix is used to match the name or address of the sender
+of an email message.  The B<to:> prefix is used to match the names or
+addresses of any recipient of an email message, (whether To, Cc, or
+Bcc).  Any term prefixed with B<subject:> will match only text from
+the subject of an email.
+Searching for a phrase in the subject is supported by including quotation
+marks around the phrase, immediately following B<subject:>. 
+The B<attachment:>
+prefix can be used to search for specific filenames (or extensions) of
+attachments to email messages. 
+For B<tag:>, valid tag values include B<inbox>
+and B<unread> by default for new messages added by B<notmuch new> as well as
+any other tag values added manually with B<notmuch tag>. 
+For B<id:>, message
+ID values are the literal contents of the Message-ID: header of email messages,
+but without the '<', '>' delimiters. 
+The B<thread:> prefix can be used with the
+thread ID values that are generated internally by notmuch (and do not appear
+in email messages). These thread ID values can be seen in the first column
+of output from B<notmuch search> 
+In addition to individual terms, multiple
+terms can be combined with Boolean operators ( B<and>, B<or>, B<not> , etc.). 
+term in the query will be implicitly connected by a logical AND if no explicit
+operator is provided, (except that terms with a common prefix will be 
+combined with OR until we get Xapian defect #402 fixed). 
+Parentheses can
+also be used to control the combination of the Boolean operators, but will
+have to be protected from interpretation by the shell, (such as by putting
+quotation marks around any parenthesized expression). 
+Finally, results
+can be restricted to only messages within a particular time range, (based
+on the Date: header) with a syntax of: 
+Each timestamp is a number representing the number of seconds since
+1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC. This is not the most convenient means of
+expressing date ranges, but until notmuch is fixed to accept a more
+convenient form, one can use the date program to construct
+timestamps. For example, with the bash shell the folowing syntax would
+specify a date range to return messages from 2009-10-01 until the
+current time:
+text $(date +%s -d 2009-10-01)..$(date +%s) 
+=head1 See Also 
+The emacs-based interface to notmuch (available
+as B<notmuch.el> in the Notmuch distribution). 
+The notmuch website: L<>
+=head1 Contact 
+Feel free to send questions, comments, or kudos to the notmuch mailing
+list <notmuch at> . Subscription is not required before
+posting, but is available from the website. 
+Real-time interaction with the Notmuch community is available via IRC
+(server:, channel: #notmuch).
\ No newline at end of file

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