Pre-KEP Request for Input: Storage of categories & colors

Shawn Walker swalker at
Tue May 31 21:36:25 CEST 2011


There are two parts to how Outlook handle Categories and Colors.  Outlook has 21 defined colors that
the user can assign to each category.  One of the color can be "None" to assign no colors to a
category.  The user cannot modify the colors.

Outlook uses a multi-string value to store categories names to support multiple categories for a
single object.

Currently, I'm not able to know where Outlook is storing the colors and how the mapping of the
category to the color.

The KEP should defined that the category to allow a multi-value string with a HTML Hex color for
each category, if there isn't a color for a category, then that category will have "no color"
assigned to the category.  Since Outlook allow multiple category names, I suggest that we allow
multiple xml metadata.

<category color="#c0c0c0">Meeting</category>
<category color="#804000">Vacation</category>
<category>This category has no color assigned</category>

The only issue that I can see would be an issue if a user assigned a different color to a category
on different Outlook or a user shared a folder, the user's categories/colors could conflict.


On 5/31/2011 12:34 PM, Georg C. F. Greve wrote:
> Hi all,
> The same customer who prompted the priority question also asked to coordinate 
> the colors of categories for different clients, in particular between Kontact 
> and the web client.
> We currently do not have storage for categories outside the objects, which 
> means there is no obvious place for color storage. 
> But the request still makes sense.
> Questions I have in this regard:
> 	* How does Outlook behave?
> 		Are there pre-defined colors/categories? Can they be influenced by
> 		the connectors, or are they hard-coded?
> 	* How does ActiveSync behave?
> 		Is there a way to communicate category colors to the devices?
> 	* How does Evolution behave? What about Mozilla?
> 	* Where to store this information?
> 		This seems to boil down to a question of
> 			extended annotation VS special IMAP object type?
> 	* What else should we take into account?
> I haven't yet found time to look more closely into these issues, so if you 
> happen to know the answers to (some) of these questions, or have input, that 
> would be very much appreciated.
> Best regards,
> Georg
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> Kolab-format at

Shawn Walker
Senior Software Developer
swalker at
Bynari, Inc.
222 W Las Colinas Blvd, Suite 1540E
Irving, TX  75039
(800) 241-1086
(214) 350-5772 X29
(214) 352-3530 fax

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