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GMail Client?

What do you all think of a client for GMail: an app that runs on your desktop but uses GMail as the back-end, parsing the HTML?

Do you think this is practical?
Do you think Google would discourage this by obfuscating their HTML (or taking legal action)?
Have I missed something in their FAQ saying they'll support this and receive 50 RTFM replies?

C Rose
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

If this is your business plan, I wouldn't do it. One project like this:

And yours goes out the window.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The FAQ does say this:

Does Gmail support automatic forwarding and POP3 access?

Not at the moment, but Google believes in helping people access information whenever and however they want to do so. In the future you will be able to access Gmail messages from non-Gmail accounts for free or at a nominal fee.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

"The JavaScript that drives all of these features is heavily obfuscated, presumably to deter automated interaction with the interface."

Matthew Lock
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I would assume it would be violating their licence agreement because you wouldn't be seeing any ads anymore and would therefore be killing their revenue stream.

I think that if google made an official POP3/IMAP access to it they would then start putting the ads directly into your messages just like hotmail and yahoo do. I would rather have to access it via the browser with no ads in my email rather than having "Do you gmail?" at the end of all my messages.

Chris Ormerod
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Yes, but the whole GMail business model _depends_ on the users' ability to view those text ads!

Seun Osewa (
Wednesday, April 14, 2004


We have not seen enough of the UI to know whether it will suck or not.

"Just because I can", in my books is not enough to justify time and effort to a project.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


I wasn't planning on doing it, but the reason would be so that the UI could be better than what HTML could deliver.

For example, it's better to edit text in a 'rich' environment, rather than in a web form. Although you can provide 'rich' environments via the web (using an Applet or Flash or something), you can't match the user's native desktop L&F, -- because you don't know that it is.

C Rose
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

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