Browse Prior Art Database

A method to use delta files to construct email in long threads to save storage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000171701D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Jun-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Jun-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This article discloses a method of using delta files to construct email in long threads to save storage

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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A method to use delta files to construct email in long threads to save storage

This article discloses a method of using delta files to construct email in long threads to save storage in email systems.

The topic of reducing the amount of storage associated with email (and the IT cost associated with it) is a popular one on the internet. Searching the internet for the phrase "reducing email storage" finds many hits.

There are articles and regulations about organizations that set limits on the amount of storage allowed for your email. There are also articles about archiving strategies. Other solutions for reducing email storage are to separate files from email in various ways. There is also a process known as "stubbing", where there is only a subset of an email on a user's disk, but by clicking on it the user gets access to the archived full email. Some systems may even automatically delete fully included emails.

This disclosure proposes an additional approach to reducing the storage related to email.

A number of emails that are received are the forwarding or replying to other emails. Many people have many emails saved that are simply different points in time of the same "conversation". Some email systems refer to these chains of emails as "threads".

The basic idea proposed here is that email systems can save on the amount of storage required to represent these emails by only saving the deltas from the prior email when saving subsequent emails. Then the subsequent email can be reconstructed by starting with the base and adding the differences documented in the deltas.

This concept has been used in library systems related to software development, but an internet search found no example of it being used to address the problem of ever-increasing storage used in email systems.

It is clear from the fact that email systems already identify discussion "threads" that the technology to recognize related emails exists. Therefore, upon recognizing the fact that a new (incoming or outgoing) email is part of an existing thread, the email system does not need to...