Storing complex data as folder annotations

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at
Wed Jun 9 10:12:27 CEST 2010

Hi Alain, Hi Gunnar,

thanks for starting the discussion (again) and making proposals.
Somehow I consider this a hard problem, which makes it a pain point for me.
I wonder how we could go forward here. I guess it would require a meeting over 
one or two days to get this really sorted out and some hard thinking.

Am Montag, 12. April 2010 18:13:20 schrieb Gunnar Wrobel:
> Quoting Alain Abbas <alain.abbas at>:
> > well but for the folders where the user doesn t have write rights (this
> > is my case with zpush ) ?
> indeed I did not consider the ACL problem. This completely invalidates  
> my suggestion. The fact that it is necessary to allow users to store  
> configuration data on folders that they have no other right than  
> "lookup" does however mean that there is really no other choice than  
> using the annotation system. Any other IMAP based solution that comes  
> to my mind and that would allow this seems even more broken than using  

The main arguments against only using annotations still hold:
* some servers do not have them, why shouldwe exclude those servers?
* space limitations on annotations

I am also concerned with the different types of configuration values
a) shared by several users
b) shared by several clients of one user
c) local for one client instance of a user.
Note that a client can have several accounts configured and users would want a 
good way to backup that configuration data.

> So that would leave complex data in the annotations. However I would  
> not like to use PHP serialization there. I think JSON would be more  
> appropriate as it is not bound to a specific language.

Given that we also need XML because of the storage format, why not use XML?
It might be a bit more verbose, but it would save one format parser in the 

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