Clicky

PhilM
On macOS Catalina, HoudahSpot will thus no longer be able to find your Apple Mail messages.
What exactly does this mean for HS? Is this going to be permanent? Can we have some more detail please?
0 0
houdah
On macOS Catalina, third party applications no longer have access to the search index for Apple Mail messages. Even after you grant "Full Disk Access", HoudahSpot will not be able to find Mail.app messages.

It currently appears this is an intentional change by Apple. One that, as far as I can tell, makes little sense. There is no security / privacy benefit. Users can still grant third-party applications access to the files holding mail messages. While searching these is much slower than searching the Spotlight index, malicious apps could go about there business of extracting personal information. 

What does make the change seem unintentional is the fact that it does not seem to be in line with Apple's current efforts at privacy. These all defer to user consent. Private data is fenced off until the user explicitly grants access. I.e. when you want an application to work with your photos, you can grant that application access and get the task done. In the case of Mail, it appears that Apple has made the decision to block access without leaving the customer an option to override and allow third-party searches, automation, or integration with other tools.

We have reported this as a bug to Apple via https://feedbackassistant.apple.com
You can do the same or contact apple via https://www.apple.com/feedback/
Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
0 0
PhilM
 That's helpful. So by the sounds of it, with enough pressure and/or time, Apple may well reverse this and allow the user to override. Am I right?
0 0
gilby
I have started to experiment (on my Catalina Mac) with a one-way synchronisation from ~/Library/Mail to a folder somewhere else - right now ~/Temp/Mail.  I am using ChronoSync to do this daily.  The emails then get indexed by Spotlight as files.  So HoudahSpot can see them.  I have changed my HS templates which include email.  This works, though it is not ideal.

I do wonder how long it will be before emails are stored in a database (likes Notes are) and not as files.  I hope never.
0 0
houdah
One problem with this solution is wasted disk space. Mail has the files and the index. Duplicating the messages may waste disk space. APFS might be able to avoid that. Duplicating the index will waste space.

It is not a good solution for application developers to pick up. Imagine several applications doing this. Your Mac would be kept busy duplicating and indexing mail messages.

Yet, I imagine power users and developers will take this route if Apple leaves no other choice. Then Apple would have achieved the exact opposite of what they aim for. Mail messages with potentially sensitive personal information would no longer be protected by "Full Disk Access" setting. Instead, the files would be spread all over the place for every malicious application to pick up.

I hope Apple changes course before the public release of Catalina.

Mail messages moving to a database would not be all that bad, provided that Apple allows third parties to search the "Core Spotlight" index. This is where Notes and now Mail messages are indexed.

Currently "Core Spotlight" is off-limits to HoudahSpot for 2 reasons:

- Apple simply does not allow third-party applications to search "Core Spotlight"
- Items in the "Core Spotlight" index do not necessarily map to actual files. E.g. Apple Notes are entries in a database. HoudahSpot, however, is designed to work with files (show a path, copy, move, rename, tag, …). This is not a problem with Mail messages on Catalina: those still exist as files.
Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
0 0
chazzo
I've filed a feedback request with Apple and urge all HoudahSpot users to do the same, as long as you think it would be relatively easy to change this behaviour in Catalina. I find Mail's search functionality confusing and hard to use, and rely on HoudahSpot for anything remotely complicated.
0 0
robgendreau
Ugh. One of the major reasons I bought HS was to search Mail. It's own searching is lame, and indeed has often been broken on my machine.

For other reasons I have already done some email copying, although I switched to Email Archiver Pro a while ago. Basically it batch prints to PDF, and cleverly embeds the email metadata as tiny text (for various legal reasons I need something closer to hard copy email). I can still use HS to search that, but then replying, etc is a pain.

And I've used other applications that will be affected as well, like Leap, also by Ironic Software. It's great because it can be used like HS to say find both PDFs, Word docs, and emails with say the same person's name in them for quick work on a project you're discussing. Why Apple would abandon this utility makes no sense.

But a question: can HS still search the applications that can import and store mail messages? like EagleFiler or Devonthink? Devonthink indexes some files optionally (leaves them in places and hence sees changes), but I don't think it can index in the Mail folder without maybe a permission change (on my laptop I get that red dot with a minus indicating no access; is there a way to change that?).
0 0