GNU-devel ELPA - gnorb


Glue code between Gnus, Org, and BBDB
gnorb- (.sig), 2024-Mar-31, 250 KiB
Eric Abrahamsen <>
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To install this package from Emacs, use package-install or list-packages.

Full description

1. Gnorb

Glue code between the Gnus, Org, and BBDB packages for Emacs.

This package connects Emacs-based email, project management, and contact management a little more closely together. The goal is to reduce friction when manipulating TODOs, contacts, messages, and files.

Probably the most interesting thing Gnorb does is tracking correspondences between Gnus email messages and Org headings. Rather than "turning your inbox into a TODO list", as some software puts it, Gnorb (kind of) does the opposite: turning your TODO headings into mini mailboxes. See the Info manual for details.

Note for previous users: If you were using Gnorb from Github before it shifted to the Elpa repository, the email tracking mechanism has changed, please see the manual for details.

1.1. Known bugs/issues

1.1.1. Gnus Registry

Prior to late December, 2014, the Gnus registry had some issues with preserving "precious" entries while pruning.

When the registry approaches its maximum size it will delete excess entries, a process referred to as "pruning". "Precious" entries are those that contain important information: they should not be pruned.

Gnorb uses the registry to track associations between messages and Org headings, and marks those entries as precious. The entire process of tracking, in fact, relies on these entries being preserved, and Gnorb goes to some lengths to protect this information. Older versions of the registry could nevertheless delete those entries.

These issues are fixed circa the end of December, 2014, around "Ma Gnus v0.12", whatever that means. If you think there's a possibility your registry is full, and associations are being deleted, you might consider upgrading to a recent Gnus.

1.1.2. Multiple Associations

Gnorb theoretically supports email messages being associated with multiple Org headings. In practice, however, this situation hasn't been thought through completely, and you may experience weirdness. If you do, and you have some ideas about how it should be handled, please contact the author and suggest them.

1.2. Installation

Gnorb is developed inside the Elpa repository – install with M-x package-install RET gnorb RET. There is a Github repository, but the code there is stale as of March 2017. Any issues opened there will be addressed, though obviously pull requests won't work. Prefer submitting bugs via `emacs-report-bug'.

1.3. Roadmap

1.3.1. More fully utilize nngnorb

Instead of just being place to put nnir searches, the nngnorb server should have groups in its own right. Users will still be able to make ephemeral search groups if they like, but they'll also have the option of creating regular Gnus groups that track certain Org subtrees. These groups will be persistent, and they will auto-update, so it's possible to handle more TODO stuff from the Gnus group buffer. Copying a message into the group will set up tracking for the message; deleting it from the group will remove tracking.

1.3.2. Comprehensive views of related information

For instance, A `gnorb-view' command that takes a tags-todo search phrase (or a single Org heading ID), finds all relevant messages, Org headings, and BBDB records, and sets up a four-pane view: Org Agenda, BBDB buffer, Gnus Summary buffer, and Gnus Article buffer.

Or something like that – more pondering is necessary.

1.3.3. Consider consolidating posting styles, personas, etc

There are many solutions out there for setting up "personas" in Gnus or elsewhere: wrappers for mail composition and reply that create certain identities by setting variables and mail headers.

Do we need another one? Gnorb seems so well placed for this sort of thing: we've already got bbdb-posting-styles, and allowing further configuration based on, say, the Org tags of the subtree we're composing messages from… Or maybe it's just a case of NIH.

1.4. To do list

1.4.1. TODO Agenda date-span message search

Provide an Org Agenda command that does an email search for messages received in the visible date span, or day under point, etc. Make it work in the calendar, as well?

1.4.2. TODO Collect BBDB messages by thread

At present, when you collect message links on a BBDB contact, each message is a separate link. If you have lengthy conversations with this contact, you'll get a whole bunch of links with the same summary: not very useful. Provide an option to collect one thread per link: each link represents the top-level message in the thread, and following the link opens a Summary buffer where the whole thread is visible.

1.4.3. TODO Automatic org-tagging for BBDB contacts

When messages from a contact are associated with an Org heading, make it possible for the contact to inherit that heading's tags automatically.

1.4.4. TODO gnorb-bbdb-view

Provide a `gnorb-bbdb-view' command that opens a Summary buffer containing all the tracked messages from the contact(s) under point.

1.4.5. DONE Gnus message tagging

Allow tagging of Gnus messages, by giving the message's registry entry an 'org-tags key.

1.4.6. DONE Email subtree export to doc and rtf

When using `gnorb-email-subtree', provide built-in options for exporting to doc and rtf attachments; these are such commonly-needed formats. Do the odt conversion automatically.

1.4.7. DONE Capture to child/subtree trigger actions

Add trigger actions that create new sibling or child headings on the original Org heading.

Old versions

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GNU Emacs Gnorb NEWS -- history of user-visible changes.  -*- org -*-

* Version 1.2 [2017-03-21 Tue]
** Add `gnorb-install-defaults'
New command for installing sane default bindings.
* Version 1.1.3 [2017-03-12 Sun]
** Provide a better interface for trigger action selection
New function `gnorb-select-from-list' providing a nicer interface for
choosing items from a list.
** Change to format of gnorb-org-trigger-actions
Due to previous item, this custom option has changed format, see
docstring for details.
** Compatibility with newest BBDB
Updates to match newest version of BBDB in package repos (mostly with
regard to displaying multi-line field values, BBDB is now
lexically bound).
** Many compiler fixes, and lexical binding
Move to lexical binding.
* Version 1.1.0 [2015-04-23 Thu]
** New trigger actions
Two new trigger actions allow you to capture a new sibling or child
heading relative to the heading you're triggering.
** Persistent Gnorb groups
Give a prefix argument to `gnorb-org-view' to create a named,
persistent group containing tracked headings.
** Gnorb registry usage reports
Call `gnorb-report-tracking-usage' to see how much of the Gnus
registry Gnorb is occupying, and run cleaning routines.
* Version 1.0.1 [2014-10-22 Wed]
** Deleting associations
It's now possible to delete associations between messages and
headings; the user is also prompted to do this at a few points.
** Link following
Following links to messages is a little more clever, and will re-use
existing windows/frames when possible.
** Cleanups/Bugfixes
Proper autoloads, addressing compiler warnings, better chain of
requires, bugfixes.
* Version 1 [2014-10-07 Tue]
** First Elpa Version
** Email Tracking
The mechanism for email tracking has changed since Gnorb was made
available on Elpa. See the manual for set-up instructions.
** Directory Structure
The directory structure has changed since Gnorb was made available on
Elpa. There is no longer a lisp/ directory -- all *.el files are now
at the top level.