Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to IMAP Aolserver module
I believe we've got some nomenclature issues in this discussion. Dave W and I were talking about implementing different _front_ ends to be able to browse oACS data... not about changing the storage structure on the back end or bypassing the CR mapping.
Imagine double clicking a folder icon from within Ximian's Evolution and browsing file-storage data, or mounting a WebDAV folder in Windows Explorer that links to the same data.
I misunderstood Vlad's original post and thought that this was possible, but in hindsight my question didn't make sense. Using an IMAP server to proxy file-storage data is probably not worth it and clearly not what Vlad intended.
In general, I find getting to oACS data w/non-browser clients via RSS/WebDAV/NNTP/IMAP/Jabber/etc pretty intriguing, and that motivated my wishful thinking.