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From "robert burrell donkin" <robertburrelldon...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: using jackrabbit to store email with meta-data
Date Wed, 23 Aug 2006 22:01:46 GMT
On 8/9/06, Lars Heuer <heuer@semagia.com> wrote:
> Hi Robert,
> [...]
> > one of the main reasons why i want to use webDAV is that it's RESTful.
> > IMAP and POP3 both suck for the problems i'm interested in because
> > they are not.
> Yes. But I just want to create a RESTful 'view' at IMAP / POP3.
> Nothing to edit / change, only view. :)

reading has some wrinkles that webDAV may have some solutions to.

returning complete mail messages as an xml document is fine when the
whole message wants to be rendered for display. it's common with email
just to want to access some limited headers or properties or that
email. for example, an email client will typically display subject,
date, sender and so on as a summary and then only the whole message

returning the whole message as xml is likely to be a particular issue
when handling MIME emails with large attachments.

so, i'd say it's pretty important that the meta-data is available
without having to download and parse a complete document.

> I think that is possible with the 'legacy' protocols. :)

probably so given reasonable wrappers are available for these
protocols (javamail and alternatives).

> > IMHO email is basically authoring and so is a good match for webDAV.
> > i'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the way you planned to map
> > common email operations to RESTful operations.
> Well, the RESTful email system is a long term project and I don't have
> investigated much time to think about RESTful operations. Maybe Jérôme
> (the deveoloper of Restlet) has investigated more thought on it.
> The complete RESTful e-mail system is just an idea. I want my RESTful
> views first. :)

the great thing about using webDAV is that the writing comes for free :-)

> [...]
> >> XML For Digital Preservation: XML Implementation Options for E-Mails
> >> <http://www.digitaleduurzaamheid.nl/bibliotheek/docs/email-xml-imp.pdf>
> > what are the advantages of using xml?
> I think it might be easier to transform XML into another format than
> the plain e-mail text.


on of the interesting questions is the right level of granuarity...

> What do you want to achive with your project?

i don't really have just one project or one goal :-)

i want to be able to add meta-data (tag in web2.0 palence) emails
(better solution to the problem most email clients now solve by
filtering). i'd also like to be able to share these tags over

> Leave IMAP/POP3 completely out?

IMAP is a difficult protocol to work with and build on. it's not
RESTful. POP3 is mostly used as temporary storage. one interest is
more flexible and sophisticated email servers which are not built on

that's not to say that adapter for those protocols wouldn't be useful
just that it's not my itch right now.

- robert

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