Question: Individual annotations vs One large annotation (conceptual riddle for the interested)

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Tue Oct 11 16:09:53 CEST 2011

On Tuesday 11 October 2011 15.38:18 Gunnar Wrobel wrote:
> But that is an unfair comparison :) 

I don't think so.

Virtually every major provider of email services has some calendaring and 
address book with that, certainly all the ones you mention in your example do. 
So it is still unclear why people would not want to use or expect the features 
that these systems provide.

Comparing "IMAP vs IMAP" only is pointless, IMHO, because if people ONLY want 
IMAP and have no groupware data in their Kolab server, the entire discussion 
becomes moot.

> Of course I could install free/busy, a web interface and mobile phone
> synchronization for Google IMAP as a backend as well - assuming the
> Kolab format would support an annotation-less mode.

I'm not sure how you think you'll gain root privileges on Google's cluster.

So I assume you're thinking to set up a separate machine to provide all that 
functionality. If you have that machine, setting it up as a full regular Kolab 
server would be *much* simpler.

> Administrating a Kolab server yourself is slightly more complicated
> then getting an IMAP account with any of the big providers like
> Google, Yahoo or the German, etc.


But then the scenario of someone wanting groupware in general, but not wanting 
it from Google, while having all their data stored with Google, seems 
extremely odd, to be honest.

> I don't doubt that but it will take a significant amount of time until
> the gap between the number of available IMAP providers and the number
> of Kolab capable IMAP providers will be closed.

Perhaps. But then if someone doesn't use Kolab, the lack of Kolab offering is 
hardly a problem for them. And right now *every* user of Kolab that is not 
within a corporate/governmental IT infrastructure is running their own server, 
so clearly capable of doing so.

When the market of hosted Kolab grows, that will change, so will the number of 
choices among the providers. 

> Maybe this is a misunderstanding. I couldn't possibly teach the
> average computer user how to run a Kolab server in ten minutes.
> Getting an IMAP account with Google would be a different matter.

Yes. And then you'll need to explain why when they click on calendar they see 
nothing, and why there are all these odd objects everywhere, which the user 
promptly deletes because they think they're some useless data.

The level of user you're talking about is extremely unlikely to make use of a 
"Google as IMAP storage for Kolab" scenario, as far as I can tell, in 
particular as Kontact works just fine with Google as a backend, so does 
Mozilla, and better than with Kolab right now.

So why would anyone want this? To run a Horde webserver as their frontend 
against Google IMAP? Why not make it a full Kolab server then?

> Where did I make that assumption? Of course not. It is no problem to
> provide this functionality for any kind of IMAP server - assuming the
> Kolab format would support an annotation-less mode.

See above.

Unless you have root privileges on Google's cluster, you need a separate 
machine that should be a permanently reachable server which is much harder to 
configure and maintain than a regular Kolab server.

I still don't see the use case, I am afraid.

Best regards,

Georg C. F. Greve
Chief Executive Officer

Kolab Systems AG
Zürich, Switzerland

e: greve at
t: +41 78 904 43 33

pgp: 86574ACA Georg C. F. Greve

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