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From Alexander Zhukov <zhu...@ukrpost.net>
Subject Re: [James-NG] Avalon-free James proposal and reference implementation
Date Sun, 30 Jan 2005 22:28:54 GMT
Serge Knystautas wrote:
> I have a textfile on my desktop with the same name.  Comments below.
Really glad about it :)

> Alexander Zhukov wrote:
>> Hi, James hackers!
>> Recently on the mailing list I saw messages of departure from 
>> avalon-based container
>> So i decided to propose my ideas and reference implementation as a 
>> basis of next generation james
>> (i hope avalon-free version) which i propose to call jamesng
>> nice points in jamesng for apache james are:
>>     - components are independent POJOs (CDI IoC) so no funky
>>       interface has to be implemented to extend james-ng
>>       (see COMPONENTS)
> +1
>>     - single file groovy-based configuration
> I prefer spring, but whatever.
>>     - multiple domains support from the ground up
> You'd have to explain how this works, since SMTP is no-brainer, and POP3 
> would not support it.  Basically this is largely a function of account 
> name mappers, but would need to be fleshed out.

POP3 Example 1:
user joe
+ok enter password
pass mypass
+ok joe@default.domain.com authenticated

POP3 Example 2:
user joe@virtual.com
+ok enter password
pass otherpass
+ok joe@virutal.com authenticated

joe@default.domain.com and joe@virtual.com are completely different joes 
(configurable) that may have different storage type (maildir, mbox, 
etc.) and authenticate against different userstores (unix /etc/passwd 
authentication, LDAP, whatever userstore you write)

userid always has a domain part
by default the domain part equals to the hostname of your machine
Yes you have to tell your Outlook users to type joe@virtual.com instead 
of just joe in the Login box. But you can configure the default domain 
to be not your machines hostname but rather "virtual.com" and all 
default-no-domain joes will be mapped to joe@virtual.com

Is this approach wrong?

>>     - adaptable user stores (enterprise does not want to change its
>>           db/ldap directory/whatever) (see ENTERPRISE DB)
>>     - javax.mail.Store/Folder based mail repositories support
>>           hierarhical folders, tested with Maildir and mbox providers
>>           (see STORES)
> I tried this at one point, but hit some problems for some reason.  There 
> are discussions in the mail archive about this.
Well it depends on the store providers you use. Definitely you'll have 
problems if the provider is written from the client perspective.

>>     - extensive support for folder/store/user caching to speed-up
>>           servers (see CACHING)
>>     - imap4 support (not complete but usable)
>>     - pop3 support
>>     - independent components can be easily added and integrated into
>>           build system
>> things laking:
>>     - smtp support - no spooling/remote deliveries, working on it
>>           right now
> smtp has always been what I was most focused on, and so I'd be curious 
> in how this works.  BTW, I would recommend quartz for scheduling.
smtp integration is my priority number one
quartz agreed, no problems

> Also NNTP is gone, but that doesn't matter to me too much.  I'd prefer 
> this reduction in James' scope if we were to redo everything.
I know nothing about NNTP (no experience) so if someone needs it they 
are welcome to add support for it - no constraints are placed.

>> server is large ISP/enterprise targeted which means
>> - support for multiple domains on a single/multiple IP addresses,
>> - highly configurable user stores - database should not be designed 
>> for use with james (as it is with current james)
>> but rather user store adapts to the existing userstores of an 
>> isp/enterprise.
>> Often enterprises already have their user databases often they contain 
>> legacy elements which such companies
>> just very much hesitate to change to something new.
>> Above mentioned is very much true for LDAP directories - you cannot 
>> expect an enterprise to change its
>> LDAP directory to fit james in
> All sounds fine, as long as you have something that also is available 
> and setup out of the box.
Good point. For the out-of-the-box part we can use James v2 db/ldap schema.

>> All components of james-ng are POJOs no component _must_ implement 
>> some funky interface to be included in the server.
>> Components adhere CDI style IoC which besides other advantages allows 
>> configuration to be a single groovy file.
>> The task of groovy configuration is to assemble all components together.
> Huge +1, except the groovy part, since as I say, I prefer Spring.
Spring is a container, for now the configuration and amount of 
components is not too large to use container (arguable). So I decided a 
single groovy script would be fine.

> I also love groovy and use it wherever I had been considering 
> Python/bash scripting and think very highly of it.  I'm just curious how 
> you use it for configuration.
Please refer to
for an example of default dummy configuration in a single groovy script 
assembling, configuring and starting all necessary components.

>> Mail stores (repositories) are plain javax.mail.Store providers.
>> Since javax.mail.Folder interface supports hierarchy james-ng gets 
>> "free" IMAP support - no need to reengineer mail
>> repository to access folders/sub-folders. However to support all of 
>> IMAP features such provider's Folder implementation
>> must as well implement UIDFolder interface to support IMAP UID 
>> operations.
>> For now tested are Maildir and mbox providers, but apparently nothing 
>> prevents to write/use existing jdbc providers
>> that would store mails in database.
>> Simple groovy-based configuration allows administrator to configure 
>> different types of stores for different users.
> Errr... nothing is free.  There would be a bunch of work to get this 
> implemented and working solidly for the jdbc providers.  I'm curious 
> about the licensing of the maildir and mbox providers you're using.
Maildir is javamaildir (javamaildir.sf.net) written by me and licensed 
to apache james to use in a way you like :)
Mbox is weeeell modified GNU mbox provider (I know its GPL but maybe we 
can try to convience Chris Burdess to license it for James)
I would volunteer to start work on JDBC provider since I have some 
experience writing providers.

>> I am currently in charge of rather large (150k+ users) free webmail 
>> with multiple domains
>> and i dont have very new and high-performing hardware to host it so i 
>> designed the server for performance.
>> The main point is to avoid unproductive waste of performance (very 
>> much true for most unix mail servers)
>> stores/folders opened by users as well as user objects are cached 
>> (certainly you can turn the cache off) instead of being
>> open on every user login. Very much helps for polling clients which 
>> disconnect and connect back in 10 minutes.
>> Administrator can adjust the caching policy, for now implemented are 
>> LRUCache and GCCache (reference map based cache).
> So is this a new caching API, or I guess I'm asking, can you swap our 
> caching providers so you could use EHCache or OSCache?
No problem, it is just a statement that cache is there and stores are 
not reopened on every use authentication.
I bet my caching api is easily replaced by more advanced caches out 
there and since i am not an expert in caches i would prefer it replaced.

>> If you are reading this then you are ready to see what does jamesng 
>> look like.
>> Since the codebase is pretty large for an attachment to email I have 
>> setup cvs repostitory as well as source release repository.
>> Source release:
>> http://devel.priocom.com/jamesng/jamesng-20050130-src.tar.gz
>> Binary release
>> http://devel.priocom.com/jamesng/jamesng-20050130.tar.gz
> My third kid just turned 2 weeks old, so I can't say when I'll have time 
> to review the source, but this is very exciting.
You can check the groovy configuration examples available at

>> Any ideas?
>> Flames?
>> What is wrong with my approach?
> Open source projects are made by the people who show up.  I think you're 
> taking a good approach, both technically and politically.  This isn't 
> going to be an easy change, but I think it's the right one and we need 
> someone to can champion this.

Thanks a lot for your reply
It was my more than 2 year long goal to improve james substantialy

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