[Dovecot] Gmail like labels, three years later

Michael M Slusarz slusarz at curecanti.org
Wed Mar 27 22:15:57 EET 2013

Quoting Timo Sirainen <tss at iki.fi>:

> On 27.3.2013, at 5.15, Pablo Vieira <pablo at vieira.es> wrote:
>> On this post http://www.dovecot.org/list/dovecot/2011-June/059605.html I
>> was asking about the possibility of using arbitrary labels on messages,
>> much like Gmail does. On following replies, I was told about  few tricks
>> that might be used, that the IMAP protocol was being considering UTF-8
>> labels and ways to integrate them into the current system, etc., etc., etc.
>> That sounds nice and all.
>> I'm chiming in three years later only to know if things have changed, both
>> at Dovecot and at the IMAP protocol. Are we closer to have proper labels on
>> IMAP? Labels that help sorting messages in virtual folders where a message
>> can belong in several of them?
> My latest idea: Keep using the rather dummy simple IMAP keywords.  
> Use IMAP METADATA to create a mapping between keyword <-> human  
> readable name. Dovecot is getting close to having native METADATA  
> support. Such IMAP standard would still need to be designed though.  
> Anyone up for writing an RFC? :)

Would the idea be that once the extension is announced a client would  
then need to do a metadata lookup everytime you open the mailbox to  
build a keyword->label map?  That could potentially be an expensive  

Maybe you could do something like an ENABLE LABELS so that when you  
open a mailbox, you would see something like this (SELECT/EXAMINE  

* FLAGS (\Answered \Flagged \Deleted \Seen \Draft foo1 foo2 Junk NonJunk)
* LABELS (NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL "Label 1" "Label 2 Text" NIL NIL)

So there is no need to manually deal with lookups.  Storing the labels  
would be done via standard METADATA commands.


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