The Alfresco documentation defines the internal ROLE_OWNER role as follows:
ROLE_OWNER is assigned to the owner of a node. If there is no explicit owner, this role is assigned to the creator. This role has all the rights on the owned node.
So, in the example above, John Doe is the owner of the folder, and thus, granted all permissions through both the explicit user-based assignment and internal ROLE_OWNER assignment.
When you delete an Alfresco user, the user’s home folder is not deleted. However, because the user object (i.e., cm:person) is deleted, the explicit user-based assignment is removed from the permissions on the deleted user’s home folder, leaving only the ROLE_OWNER set of permissions:
Examination of this folder in the Alfresco Share Node Browser shows that the deleted user is still the owner of the folder.
If you later recreate the deleted user, don’t be surprised to see a new home folder (e.g., johndoe-1) assigned to the resurrected user—even though the original home folder (e.g., johndoe) still exists and is accessible to the recreated user. As a result, any content stored in the original home folder is no longer accessible via the user’s My Files link in the Alfresco Share toolbar.
You can correct this by moving the contents of the original home folder to the new home folder. If the user has access to the Repository link in the Share toolbar, he’ll be able to move the folder contents without administrator assistance because he has ROLE_OWNER access to both the original and new home folders.
The question remains, however—why doesn’t Alfresco reuse the preserved home folder when a previously deleted user is recreated?