[Imap-protocol] namespace ?

Mark Crispin MRC at CAC.Washington.EDU
Wed Jun 13 15:41:14 PDT 2007

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007, DINH Viêt Hoà wrote:

> I would like to understand what is the point of namespace.

> Since, for separator for the first level, it can be returned with

> requesting LIST "" "%".

Not correct.

Namespaces are independent hierarchies, and may even have a completely
different hierarchy delimiter. They are NOT top-level items in the
default hierarchy.

For example, in UW imapd, the default namespace has a delimiter of "/" in
the default ("") hierarchy, but can also access newsgroups in the "#news."
hierarchy with the "." delimiter.

> I don't understand how it should be shown in a user agent.

> Why LIST would not be sufficient for that ?

LIST only lists within a single namespace.

> What I was planning to do for a user agent was to request NAMESPACE

> and do a LIST on each namespace so that the user can choose which

> mailbox of any NAMESPACE to subscribe.

Please don't. You should only list a namespace if the user specifically
asks to do so. Some namespaces may be huge.

Just add the namespace to a menu, opened when the user requests it.

> Since NAMESPACE won't give a description of what the namespace is, I

> don't know how the user would choose a specific NAMESPACE to show for

> the subscription.

That's like writing a file browser that says "since the directory won't
give a description of what the directory is for, I should list all the

-- Mark --

Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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