[dovecot] Re: shared folders?

Andreas Aardal Hanssen andreas at hanssen.name
Sat Apr 26 17:23:14 EEST 2003

On Sat, 26 Apr 2003, Moe Wibble wrote:
>On Sat, Apr 26, 2003 at 12:09:33PM +0200, Andreas Aardal Hanssen wrote:
>> On Sat, 26 Apr 2003, Moe Wibble wrote:
>> Now, I personally have a mailbox called "news" which is a superior to
>> "CNN.com", "Freshmeat.net" and so on. So I can't subscribe to the shared
>> folder "news" unless it's in a different namespace. The namespace name
>> usually starts with a character that is disallowed in regular mailboxes.  
>> So perhaps the company's namespace is "#thecompany". Now you can subscribe
>> to two mailboxes whose names are both "news", one is just "news" or within
>> some personal namespace "#personal/news", and one is "#thecompany/news".
>So namespaces help to enforce corporate policies on folder names? ;)
>No seriously, if you'd work with symlinks it'd be up to the user how to
>name his folder and where to put it.

Now you're talking about a specific implementation. The shared folders
concept needs to fit into the IMAP protocol, and it therefore needs to be
completely platform independent. Sure, one solution is to use symlinks and
that one feature allows a user to have a "local" name that can be
different from the remote name. But in most cases, it makes little sense
to mount a shared folder under another name.

>Aren't namespaces represented as folders in most clients anyways?
>So what's the point about enforcing a folders name (or even worse
>part of the structure of the folder tree) on the client side?

The client is not an issue here. The client can assign that folder any
name that it wants. The question is what the server should do, and the
server represents shared folders' names exactly the way the source
presents them.  The client needs to access the folder using the server's
folder name. To avoid name clashes, you need namespaces. That's what the
entire purpose of a namespace is for.

>As said, it might be more convinient for the imapd because it only has
>to prepend "#news" to the folder name instead of internally maintaining
>a "virtual" folder that can be renamed and everything.

If there is a source that presents a structure of shared mailboxes, and
several of the names clash with your own mailboxes names, you can not
easily mount / subscribe / access those mailboxes without namespaces.

I can see no reason whatsoever to _not_ use a seperate namespace for
shared folders.


Andreas Aardal Hanssen

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