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Mark Overmeer > Mail-Box > Mail::Box::Search



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Module Version: 3.005   Source  


Mail::Box::Search - select messages within a mail box


   is a Mail::Reporter

 Mail::Box::Search is extended by


 use Mail::Box::Manager;
 my $mgr    = Mail::Box::Manager->new;
 my $folder = $mgr->open('Inbox');

 my $filter = Mail::Box::Search::[something]->new;
 my @msgs   = $filter->search($folder, ...);
 if($filter->search($message)) {...}


This Mail::Box::Search class is the base class for various message scan algorithms. The selected messages can be labeled. Boolean operations on messages are supported.

Currently implemented searches:


Match header or body against a regular expression in a UNIX grep like fashion.


Try to detect spam, using Mail::SpamAssassin.


Search an IMAP folder for special interface IMAP folders provide for it. UNDER CONSTRUCTION till Mail::Transport::IMAP4 is complete.

Extends "DESCRIPTION" in Mail::Reporter.


Extends "METHODS" in Mail::Reporter.


Extends "Constructors" in Mail::Reporter.


Create a filter.

 -Option    --Defined in     --Default
  binaries                     <false>
  decode                       <true>
  delayed                      <true>
  deleted                      <false>
  deliver                      undef
  in                           'BODY'
  label                        undef
  limit                        0
  log         Mail::Reporter   'WARNINGS'
  logical                      'REPLACE'
  multiparts                   <true>
  trace       Mail::Reporter   'WARNINGS'
binaries => BOOLEAN

Whether to include binary bodies in the search.

decode => BOOLEAN

Decode the messages before the search takes place. Even plain text messages can be encoded, for instance as quoted-printable, which may disturb the results. However, decoding will slow-down the search.

delayed => BOOLEAN

Include the delayed messages (which will be parsed) in the search. If you set this to false, you may find fewer hits.

deleted => BOOLEAN

In most cases, you will not be interested in results which are found in messages flagged to be deleted. However, with this option you can specify you want them to be searched too.

deliver => undef|CODE|'DELETE'

The exact functionality of this parameter differs per search method, so read the applicable man-page. In any case undef means that details are not collected for this search, which is the fastest search.

DELETE will flag the message to be flagged for deletion. You may also specify your own CODE reference. With an reference to an array, the information about the matches is collected as a list of hashes, one hash per match.


Where to look for the match.

label => STRING

Mark all selected messages with the specified STRING. If this field is not specified, the message will not get a label; search() also returns a list of selected messages.

limit => NUMBER

Limit the search to the specified NUMBER of messages. When the NUMBER is positive, the search starts at the first message in the folder or thread. A negative NUMBER starts at the end of the folder. If the limit is set to zero, there is no limit.

log => LEVEL
logical => 'REPLACE'|'AND'|'OR'|'NOT'|'AND NOT'|'OR NOT'

Only applicable in combination with a label. How to handle the existing labels. In case of REPLACE, messages which already are carrying the label are stripped from their selection (unless they match again). With AND, the message must be selected by this search and already carry the label, otherwise the label will not be set. Specify OR to have newly selected messages added to the set of already selected messages.

NOT is true for messages which do not fulfil the search. The details output will still contain the places where the match was found, however those messages will complementary set of messages will be labeled and returned.

multiparts => BOOLEAN

Are multiparts to be included in the search results? Some MUA have problems handling details received from the search. When this flag is turned off, the body of multiparts will be ignored. The parts search will include the preamble and epilogue.

trace => LEVEL


$obj->inBody($part, $body)

Tests whether body contains the requesting information. See the specific search module for its parameters.

$obj->inHead($part, $head)

Tests whether header contains the requesting information. See the specific search module for its parameters.


Check which messages from the $folder (Mail::Box) match the search parameters. The matched messages are returned as list. You can also specify a $thread (a Mail::Box::Thread::Node), one single $message (a Mail::Message), or an ARRAY of messages.

Sometimes we know how only one match is needed. In this case, this searching will stop at the first match. For instance, when limit is -1 or 1, or when the search in done in scalar context.


 my $grep = Mail::Box::Search::Grep->new
  ( match   => 'My Name Is Nobody'
  , deliver => 'PRINT'


 my $message = $folder->message(3);

 my $thread  = $message->threadStart;

Search this message $part for matches.

The Results

$obj->printMatch( [$fh], HASH )

Print the information about the match (see new(deliver)) in some understandable way. If no file handle is specified, the output will go to the selected filehandle (see perldoc -f select).

Error handling

Extends "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter.


Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter

$obj->defaultTrace( [$level]|[$loglevel, $tracelevel]|[$level, $callback] )
Mail::Box::Search->defaultTrace( [$level]|[$loglevel, $tracelevel]|[$level, $callback] )

Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter

$obj->log( [$level, [$strings]] )
Mail::Box::Search->log( [$level, [$strings]] )

Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter

$obj->report( [$level] )

Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter

$obj->reportAll( [$level] )

Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter

$obj->trace( [$level] )

Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


Inherited, see "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


Extends "Cleanup" in Mail::Reporter.


Inherited, see "Cleanup" in Mail::Reporter


Error: Cannot search in body.

Th search object does not implement inBody(), and can therefore not search a message body.

Error: Cannot search in header.

Th search object does not implement inHead(), and can therefore not search a message header.

Error: Don't know how to deliver via results in $way.

The search results cannot be delivered in the specific way, because that is not a defined alternative.

Error: Package $package does not implement $method.

Fatal error: the specific package (or one of its superclasses) does not implement this method where it should. This message means that some other related classes do implement this method however the class at hand does not. Probably you should investigate this and probably inform the author of the package.

Error: Search in BODY, HEAD or MESSAGE not $in.

The in option defines only three names.


This module is part of Mail-Box distribution version 3.005, built on March 04, 2018. Website:


Copyrights 2001-2018 by [Mark Overmeer]. For other contributors see ChangeLog.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. See

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