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Gmail Labs Lets Users Experiment With 13 New Features

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the tidying-up-the-chat-window-is-nice dept.

Communications 142

D Ninja writes "Yesterday, Google released Gmail Labs, which allows Gmail developers to decide what to include in the next feature releases of Gmail based on user feedback. As ZDNet has pointed out, essentially users are guinea pigs for these new features. Participants will vote on their favorite new features, and the ones that are voted the highest will stick around and the ones that are least popular will disappear." Reader physman_wiu points out an article at the BBC about the experiments on offer, writing: "Some of the features are really nice — like the option to use additional star icons, mouse gestures, and custom keyboard shortcuts. Others ... well, let's just say Old Snakey made it in."

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HTML signatures (4, Interesting)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699605)

All I want for Christmas is rich text (links, images) in my gmail signature... third party extensions do this but they are are a PITA

Re:HTML signatures (5, Insightful)

Slorv (841945) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699769)

>All I want for Christmas is rich text (links,
>images) in my gmail signature...

Fine, as long as they also enable me to filter out images and "rich" formatting.

Re:HTML signatures (5, Interesting)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699783)

You should try asking them. All I wanted for Christmas was group chat and now I seem to be in some sort of group chat beta. While most of my friends can't initiate group chats I've got some extra icons in my user interface that lets me set them up. It's pretty cool, and I'm not sure how I got into it other than I sent some feedback using the form buried in the gmail help and it magically appeared.

So who know, if you ask for it you might just get it.

Re:HTML signatures (2, Informative)

jwpeterson (1299277) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700557)

I thought group chat has been available to everyone for a while now... From an internal chat window I just go to Options -> Group Chat. My friends can all do this to.

Re:HTML signatures (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701197)

Yeah maybe it's become common now. I seemed to have it for a long time while nobody else did. Of course it may not be the feedback, they may just roll things out to groups of randomly chosen beta testers so it's just pot luck.

It's good that other people have it now as it is a really useful feature and once it is standard gtalk will be a lot more useful for people in an office environment.

Re:HTML signatures (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701067)

So...I take it that they are listening to "suggest feature" pages after all? ;P

Because IMHO it would be really great to see video support in Google Talk (yes, standalone one), though you might like more if it would implement groupchat, I guess ;)

It would become perfect IM app...no nonsense, best in VoIP quality (very noticeable on poor connections) and I have hope that Google would implement video properly, with high fps and good synchronisation taking priority over high resolution or even colours. And all that in new Jingle version, so Linux Jabber clients could incorporate everything.

PS. Come to think about it...since you seem to be among their beta testers, could you also give them a hint? ;)

Re:HTML signatures (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701863)

All I wanted for Christmas was Google Analytics by Week and Month totals. I asked and Google delivered.


You have not because you ask not.

I find this is true with many developers. There's few things better in the world than responsive developers, open source or otherwise.

Re:HTML signatures (5, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699993)

Noooo! Just no...

Re:HTML signatures (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700191)

All I want for Christmas is rich text (links, images) in my gmail signature.
Most of the people you communicate with will be grateful as long as gmail does not offer that feature.

Re:HTML signatures (3, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700445)

Are you the guy at work using Outlook's Spring Green background with bright red font color and a 10 line signature? Yeah, just to let you know, I filter your email to plain text.

Re:HTML signatures (5, Informative)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700501)

You remind me of the secretary's at a previous employer. When they discovered Powerpoint in about 2000, we would get emails with a Powerpoint attachment whose content included things like "The staff meeting has been postponed" or "The traffic on I83 is really bad", replete with colors, animations, and 20 different fonts. The problem was that about 1/2 of the staff worked remotely over dial-up, and attempting to open one of these missives would crash Outlook, Windows, and lock up the processor, requiring a reboot. And there was no escape -0 as soon as you opened Outlook it would attempt to download, and lock up before one was able to go offline and delete the bastard.

In summary, KNOCK IT OFF - no one likes those dumbass signatures; your regular correspondents are simply to polite to tell you.

Re:HTML signatures (4, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700951)

The lot of you were equally responsible for never saying anything to the dumbass secretary or her boss.

Re:HTML signatures (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701903)

All I want for christmas is for Google to strip all HTML from mails that pass through its servers. And through all other servers.

Oh, BBC, you make it so easy. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699621)

Others ... well, let's just say Old Snakey made it in.
That's what she said.

Re:Oh, BBC, you make it so easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699719)

Others ... well, let's just say Old Snakey made it in.
Except in bed.

Whats wrong with Old Snakey? (2, Insightful)

Miladinoski (1280850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699659)

Its a great way to waste time while you're "working"

old snakey (1)

Toridas (742267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699663)

Well, let's just say that I have no idea what "old snakey" is supposed to imply so why don't you just use plain english to tell me!

Re:old snakey (3, Informative)

SpcCowboy (1303133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699697)

It is in plain English in the full article. Its the old school snake game.

Re:old snakey (2, Funny)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699767)

So now you expect /.ers to RTFA? When did this start? Next, you'll want us to spell out our acronyms FTW.

I, for one, do not welcome our new mandatory "RTFA before posting" overlords. :b

Re:old snakey (0, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700955)

Timothy's talking about his penis.

Non-English? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699665)

1) Doesn't work unless you use GMail in English.
2) Doesn't work unless you use Firefox 2 or IE 7.

Sorry, folks... work on it a bit more!

Re:Non-English? (5, Informative)

Miladinoski (1280850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699687)

For the first one, yes, you're right but for the second one there's a workaround: try acessing GMail with http://mail.google.com/?nocheckbrowser [google.com] . It works great on Opera 9.5 (atleast for me).

Re:Non-English? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699847)

Ah, very cool, thank you! :D

(I'm the GP AC)

Re:Non-English? (4, Informative)

Le Jimmeh (1086671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699737)

Also works in Firefox 3 (at least the RC2 that I'm using).

Re:Non-English? (3, Informative)

drcagn (715012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699753)

Also works fine in Safari...

Re:Non-English? (2, Informative)

Tadu (141809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699771)

3) Doesn't work unless you use the newest UI (ui=1, as needed for Konqi 3, simply doesn't show the option, luckily KDE 4.1 is round the corner)
There seem to have been some more features unavailable unless you happen to be located in the US (just changing the language didn't cut it), so Google isn't playing nice here...

blah (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701387)

Google isn't playing nice here


Really? How dare they roll out their free additional features for their free product on their schedule. Don't the know everyone in the world is entitled to everything they do immediately?

It's gotta be simple to do, right? After all, you could do it in five minutes with your eyes closed and both hands jammed up your own ass to hold your head there.

Re:Non-English? (1, Funny)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699779)

seems to work fine in ie3

Re:Non-English? (1)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699781)

umm.. i mean ff3

Re:Non-English? (2, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699893)

I don't suppose the "it's a beta" (The labs tools, not gmail itself....although that is a little ironic) line would explain why it has certain restrictions?

Re:Non-English? (1)

eggstone (957547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700993)

For 2), it does work in Safari.

Re:Non-English? (1)

de_smudger (971193) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702003)

and it has to be US English - my company recently switched to Google Apps for our mail; we spent best part of two days chasing weird issues until we realised switching to en(US) takes you up to a newer version of Gmail.


Having US spellchecking (as opposed to UK, in our case) is a minor annoyance compared to the multitude of other issues you get in older Gmail :( (can't accept calendar invites, strange behaviour with inline images sent from Outlook, other stuff I can't remember now..)

Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (4, Interesting)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699675)

I have Google Apps for your domain, which I liked so much I wanted to pay for it. However, now that I have it seems I am "protected" from the bleeding edge settings.

I want to test these features, and see the bleeding edge technology.

I have selected the "Turn on new features" and "Automatically add new Google services", however it seems as though Google Apps is treated a bit like a secondary service.

Is the ad revenue generated more than me paying for the service? Are the services too different that they must use completely different infrastructure and so changes in one takes time to bring across to the other? Or, are the Google Apps aimed at people who really don't want new features and services?

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (5, Insightful)

broothal (186066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699747)


> it seems as though Google Apps is treated a
> bit like a secondary service.

  On the contrary - it is a primary service which people are paying for, and as such not a place to release playground software. If you provide people a service they pay for, your prime objective is to deliver a stable service. Goofing around may cause some fun, but imagine the outcry if something in Gmail Labs broke the service that people are paying for.

> Is the ad revenue generated more than me
> paying for the service?

  Probably, but that's not the reason for labs not being available to you.

> Are the services too different that they
> must use completely different infrastructure

No.

> Or, are the Google Apps aimed at people who
> really don't want new features and services?

  No - and eventually, when a feature has proven stable and functional, it will propagate.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699805)

Are you saying Gmail isn't stable? Because I pay am I completely restricted from new things?

I imagine the outcry from regular Gmail users would be on par.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (3, Informative)

wtfispcloadletter (1303253) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699883)

It's stable, but sometimes the changes take awhile to propagate. I've noticed changes appear first on my @gmail.com address then later (days or weeks) will become available on my Google Apps for Domain accounts.

If you want to play with bleeding edge new features on Gmail, get a free @gmail.com address.

If you want to complain, /. isn't the place unless you like talking to an empty void that can't do anything about it. Google is who you need to send your complaints to.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (2, Informative)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699899)

I've noticed Google fills my "talking to an empty void" needs quite nicely. Every time I have sent a help desk email, or tried to get help, I usually get nowhere.

(The exceptions have been problems setting up Postini and trouble with the Calendar losing whole calendars)

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (1)

wtfispcloadletter (1303253) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699961)

Yes it does appear that way. But I know a few people who work there and all the feedback you send them does get looked at and evaluated. So if you send feedback about something you don't like, you'll probably never get a response, but at least someone at Google will find out about it.

I know from experience, after submitting dozens of spam sites in their index. I've never gotten a response, would see those sites disappear from the index, days or weeks later.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (4, Informative)

jbailey999 (146222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700549)

As a paying customer, you have a phone number. If they don't answer an email, phone up and ask for a supervisor and bitch. It's no different than you'd treat any other company.

(obDisclosure: I'm a Google employee, but not in the gmail department)

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (1)

fatcow (121528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699751)

I want to test these features, and see the bleeding edge technology.
Do you really want cutting-edge buggy features on your paid-for Google Apps?

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699807)

Yeah, I like to see new changes. I want new bells and whistles and features. I want to be able to select the ones I like and disable the ones I like, therefore voting for what would be good.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699881)

Well, you could sign up for a free GMail account and then transfer your other email to that account.

I would guess you are only one of the few people who would want to see that sort of thing with Apps. Remember, Apps is for businesses, where most people aren't going to want to play around with new features until they are stable.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700181)

Which is why these new features are OPTIONAL... so basically we gapps-users simply want the option to have these new optional features... which today are not an option even to those of us having used the "we want all new options"-option in our gapps-admin settings.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700603)

Well, you could sign up for a free GMail account and then transfer your other email to that account.


I would guess you are only one of the few people who would want to see that sort of thing with Apps. Remember, Apps is for businesses, where most people aren't going to want to play around with new features until they are stable.

Yes but playing around?
I have Google Apps and I want to have my signature above the quoted text. Or some of the features are applicable to me.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (4, Informative)

drcagn (715012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699759)

From the article: Labs is now out to all English users (US and UK), and administrators using Google Apps can choose to enable Labs by checking the "Turn on new features" box in Domain Settings.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699795)

Yeah that is done. I also have had that option turned on since it has been around, which is quite some time.

I double checked it just before, just in case though.

I also refreshed and cleared my cache and tryed to force it on using ?labs=1 (for the answers guide), but that didn't work.

Perhaps they are still rolling it out, and by tomorrow I'll get it or something.

Re:Google Apps likes shiney new things too! (1)

scooter.higher (874622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702925)

GMail provides a simple way for you to forward your paid e-mail to a free GMail account, and be able to respond to those e-mails using "Send mail as:" (look at the Accounts tab in your GMail settings).

This allows you to have your special account/address, and be able to test the new features.

YMMV, just my $0.02, etc...

1st the worst... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699701)

So, who is going to be the first to equate "Old Snakey" with Viagra adverts...?

Oh wait.

Fix bugs first, please. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699727)

The new features are all very nice, but I would like to see Google to fix all the bugs* in their IMAP-Implementation first.

*)
http://weblog.timaltman.com/archive/2008/02/24/gmails-buggy-imap-implementation

Re:Fix bugs first, please. (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700021)

So they haven't fixed the IMAP bug with Windows Mobile yet?

I was more or less set to give up my dated FreeBSD home email server in favor of a Google Apps hosted email setup, but the IMAP incompatibilities killed it for me and I went through the time-consuming exercise of rebuilding a new FreeBSD system, this time using postfix, SASL and IMAPS.

I was fairly staggered by the Windows Mobile incompatibility, it was like WTF, why aren't they fixing this and why didn't they test it?

Why the vote? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699741)

Why do they want to base which features to keep on voting? Isn't the usage a much better measure to go by?

Offtopic:
The same applies to social networking sites, where the frontpages seems to be always based only on votes, while I think it should be based on votes, clicktrough-rate and number of comments; i.e. there are some great frontpage-worthy articles on reddit's controversial-tab with 0 points (500 upvotes, 500 downvotes) and 200+ comments.

One feature I really miss... (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699763)

The ability to display a few days of my calendar at the bottom of the message text box (while typing) is what I really miss. This feature is available with Yahoo mail by default. If there are important events coming up, you see these as they scroll...sweet! I hope they will implement it.

Signature tweaks! (1)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699789)

A small but practical improvement: automatically placing the signature before the included message in a reply.

Re:Signature tweaks! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23699841)

Does this imply that you top-post.

Bad boy, bad boy :-P

Re:Signature tweaks! (1)

Kirkoff (143587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700885)

Top posting is bad form in forums and e-mail lists however when sending person-to-person e-mails, I think most people prefer it since they sent the last message...

Re:Signature tweaks! (3, Informative)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701329)

A. Because it breaks the logical order of conversation. Q. Why is top posting bad?

Seriously, reply *after* the relevant bits of what you are replying to, and remove the rest. Your emails will be far shorter, they will make sense when you read through them much later, and you will no longer be fighting the email program.

"Most people" prefer top posting because that's what Outlook does, not because it's practical, readable, or efficient.

Re:Signature tweaks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23701479)

You have absolutely no idea why people prefer what the do, and you have no logical basis on which to impose your preferences.

I thought by now people would have just gotten over it, since it's so goddam inconsequential.

Useless stuff... (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699879)

They could have done some real improvements such: - allow filters to disable antispam check for some messages and generally more filters options/actions - message sorting and they did Old Snakey instead?!?

Re:Useless stuff... (1)

jdunn14 (455930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699939)

How about an option to just turn the damn spam filter off? I have some business emails routed through gmail for reasons that aren't worth going into, and I'd much rather my POP3 client download and then filter ALL messages than have to go through the web interface once in a while to find the misclassified ones. And when I say "Not Spam" about a logwatch email from a server, how about you remember that and not classify the daily logwatch emails FROM THE SAME ADDRESS as spam in the future?

Re:Useless stuff... (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701125)

Can you set up a filter to auto label these, and does that keep them out of the spam bin? (Under "More Actions", see "Filter Messages Like These".)

Re:Useless stuff... (3, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699977)

Yes, because as Google explain in their Labs Blog but the BBC failed to explain in the linked article, these labs features are not intended to be mainstream mail features, they are little tweaks written by Google staff in their '20% time', the time that Google gives their developers to work on pet projects.

My #1 feature (1)

teslatug (543527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699953)

I wish they'd add a direct way of importing into Gmail from some of the most used desktop clients (Eudora, Outlook, mbox). There are some utilities that claim to do this, but I don't trust them enough to give them access to my account and data. Gmail has most everything I need at this point, if they don't remove any features or don't screw up the current service, I don't see myself moving away from them.

But not conversation disabling... (5, Interesting)

ladybugfi (110420) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699965)

I'm disappointed that there is no option to disable conversations either globally or per conversation. This really sucks and shows that the Google people assume way too much on how people handle their e-mail.

For example, I regularly get a bunch of e-mails from an automated bot over which I have no control. For some reason the e-mail bot gives all sent mail the same subject line although the message contents varies. So GMail automatically decides to group these e-mails into few conversations (not one conversation but one per day or something like that). This in turn prevents me from handling these messages by tags, because tag scope is the whole conversation, not a single message.

The only solution for this is to handle these e-mails in Thunderbird via IMAP, where conversations don't exist and I can just take the messages and tag them one by one.

Data on usage habits (3, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700225)

I'm disappointed that there is no option to disable conversations either globally or per conversation. This really sucks and shows that the Google people assume way too much on how people handle their e-mail.
I agree personally on the feature request but it's interesting you say Google "assumes". Since it is a web mail service they probably have extensive data on exactly how everyone uses the Gmail. Plus they get feedback from their own use as well as from users. Perhaps it is just not a feature in high demand? Or perhaps it is a designed in "feature" kind of like Apple's one button mouse that they are disinclined to change? Who knows for sure...

That said, I would like tagging to not ALWAYS work on a per conversation basis. I don't mind if that is the defaults but I'd like to be able to make other choices when it makes sense. I agree there are times when it's not the most appropriate basis for sorting mail and I would like to be able to choose.

Re:Data on usage habits (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701381)

I would like tagging to not ALWAYS work on a per conversation basis.

Well, Gmail has a "per message" tag built in that looks like an image of a star. I highly doubt that the star-icon would help you much, since you seem to want to apply different tags to specific messages in the same conversation. However, it highlights the fact that "per message" functionality is already currently available and a well-worded e-mail to Gmail Customer Service might trigger them to add a requirement that blurs the line between stars and tags.

In fact, I think it would be cool if I could "tag" with icons. I *typically* configure different colors schemes for my tags (red = important, blue = friends, grey = bill-pay mail, etc...) so that I can VISUALLY identify my conversations without actually reading the tags. Adding little "icons" would (I think) greatly increase my ability to visually parse a page of many different types of tagged messages.

Re:But not conversation disabling... (3, Informative)

physman_wiu (933339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700235)

Go to this page and suggest turning off conversations as a new feature. A lot of people have been saying the same thing. Right now there is no way to disable it, but if enough people suggest that they add the option to disable it, it might make it in the next upgrade. https://services.google.com/inquiry/gmail_suggest/ [google.com]

Re:But not conversation disabling... (1)

Archimonde (668883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700259)

Maybe I'm mistaken, but you can create a filter to automatically delete every mail you get (or still have) by its subject.

As you get spam by the same subject that should be no problem at all.

Re:But not conversation disabling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700471)

Um... block their address / have it go to your spam filter maybe ya?

Re:But not conversation disabling... (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700583)

You misunderstood - the messages are not spam, they're legitimate messages from an automated system. GMail groups them together because they have identical subject lines; the user wants to manage them individually.

Re:But not conversation disabling... (1)

jwpeterson (1299277) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700607)

You can "mute" a conversation by selecting it and hitting 'm'. It shouldn't show up any more in your Inbox.

Re:But not conversation disabling... (1)

jbailey999 (146222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700643)

As a guess, most people don't use automated emails. I solved the problem by doing an email->rss for things that weren't urgent.

Urgent things get dealt with right away, so they don't wind up bunching up in a conversation (I delete them rather than archiving them).

obDisclosure: I'm a Google employee, but not in the gmail group.

Re:But not conversation disabling... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700757)

Well don't fucking use it then you moaning cunt.

No-one is forcing you.

Re:But not conversation disabling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23701115)

You need to mute the thread :

http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=47787

I doubt Google is just doing what it wants (2, Informative)

ilikepi314 (1217898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702377)

If memory serves me back to a few years ago when I signed up for Gmail (back when it was invite only! haha. the good ol' days), the sign-up page had in big font something like "We do email differently!". So I'm not sure its fair to say they assume things too much and do what they want; from the beginning, they advertised the conversational email as a major feature that they were experimenting with (along with tagging and archiving instead of simply creating folders). Thus, you could fairly safely say that anyone that signed up for it was interested in the new interface. If you buy lots of cherry cola from a soft drink company, they're going to believe people like cherry cola and probably produce more. Same idea, at least to me, and I don't see how that's a wrong assumption to make.

That being said, it's popular enough now that there should probably be more customization options; but, maybe its a situation not often encountered? For instance, my Gmail is pretty good about sticking conversations together, so unless you tell them specifics on your problem, they may not even be aware it's a problem.

How about fixing whats broken ?? (1)

phoxix (161744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700059)

Like here [slashdot.org] ...

Re:How about fixing whats broken ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700609)

Sorry, the rest of the world gave up POP3 once we moved passed dial-up, e.g. last century.

IMAP import (4, Interesting)

Rui Lopes (599077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700085)

What I want is the support for external IMAP-based accounts. Currently one can only do that for POP-based. Only then I'll be able to ditch completely desktop mail apps (which suck a lot, btw).

6 gigs how do you get it out? (1)

Tee7 (970867) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700495)

I pay a few bucks a year for FastMail (fastmail.fm). No ads. Export/archive messages as a zip file. Good IMAP/SSL. Not AJAX-y but so what?

Geeks using browsers for email? (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700537)

Am I the only one surprised at how many /.ers are using the web interface for email? After all, that's what MUAs and IMAP are for! I wouldn't dream of using my browser for that beyond the initial setup. I've put a lot of people on Gmail IMAP with mutt, TBird, Evolution, and Kmail. Aside from the winCE victims, why wouldn't everyone do it like this? Thumb drives are cheaper than ever, why risk your email account like that? Laziness?

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

altek (119814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700657)

Yes, you are the only one surprised at this.

In any given day I probably touch about 5-10 different PCs that I end up checking my email at (and multiple email addresses at that). I suspect that my scenario is very common among slashdotters. It is not even close to realistic to use a thick client. And don't bring up the "app on a thumb drive" because that's a whole other layer of maintenance and complexity that I don't have time for.

Most web mail products have become very "thin client" nowadays and work quite well with almost all of the features of a thick client.

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700985)

In any given day I probably touch about 5-10 different PCs that I end up checking my email at (and multiple email addresses at that). I suspect that my scenario is very common among slashdotters.


Right, so add multiple servers and it's just like me. Multiple boxen, multiple accounts, multiple IMAPs.

And don't bring up the "app on a thumb drive" because that's a whole other layer of maintenance and complexity that I don't have time for.


I already did bring that up. I guess maybe we have different thresholds of "complexity" then? From where I sit, having an account compromised because I was lazy would make things very complex indeed...

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701585)

No, no, no. It's not just like you. Those of us using web clients don't need to do any set-up at all. We just need the browser and we're done. Much simpler, much more convenient.

Course I don't even get why people use email anymore. It's pretty stupid, really. IM, telephones, and SMS are more than enough for me. I tend to not even answer emails at this point, to discourage people from thinking it's a worthwhile communication medium.

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702069)

Course I don't even get why people use email anymore. It's pretty stupid, really. IM, telephones, and SMS are more than enough for me. I tend to not even answer emails at this point, to discourage people from thinking it's a worthwhile communication medium.


Well, for one thing, for those of us who do the bulk of our banking and shopping online (a great timesaver for which I am truly grateful) most receipts, invoices, alerts, etc come via email. I sure as hell wouldn't want them coming IM.

While I see IM can be be occasionally convenient, mostly it reminds me of giggling kids passing notes in class. Just not very grown-up or professional. I certainly wouldn't contact an important client using the gibberish I see people doing in IM. In the last 30 days I have received 4 IMs and for just one I responded via phone, the rest I ignored. Two of those people lost out on some work they could've got had they troubled to use email or the phone and complete sentences. I can't tell from an IM if I'm even talking to someone literate. That ought to be more than enough reason right there. :)

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701023)

I won't really get into "why", but...I really started to use e-mail as a viable communication tool after getting Gmail account, so Google certainly done something right.

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702059)

why risk your email account like that? Laziness?

Why risk our email accounts like what?

You mean having google administer them? It's a risk I'm prepared to take for the convenience of not having to administer my own server.

I guess you could call it laziness but I prefer to call it 'making better use of my time'.

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702117)

Why risk our email accounts like what? You mean having google administer them?


It is trivial for a third party to see your password when you login from your browser, more so if you're a dunce who stores them in the browser.

Please turn in your geek card on your way out.

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702163)

It is trivial for a third party to see your password when you login from your browser, more so if you're a dunce who stores them in the browser.

Er... gmail logins are always done via SSL. You can't just sniff the login.

Please turn in your geek card on your way out.

After you.

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702313)

Er... gmail logins are always done via SSL. You can't just sniff the login.


Passwords stored in the browser do not require an attacker to break SSL, and SSL can certainly be broken, especially if you're on wifi.

After you.


Nope, not this time. :D

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23702127)

Gmail's web interface has a lot of useful features that I just haven't found nearly as easy to use in other clients. Tagging, conversation threads, etc. While I do lose a -little- sleep over not having a local backup of all my email, the interface is just so nice that it's worth it. I've tried using a bunch (evolution, thunderbird, and I think KMail once upon a time), but now the only other way I access my email is via pop on my PDA.

On a related note, are there any desktop clients that do have support for these features?

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702217)

On a related note, are there any desktop clients that do have support for these features?


Well, as I have actually seen my gmail accounts' web interface maybe twice each in the two years I've used them (just to administer settings), I'm not certain about exactly what you mean. All MUAs with which I am familiar will let you oragnize emails very easily in at least two ways (labels and folders), and they all thread by subject easily enough as well. Email search is present and works perfectly in TBird and Evolution, and I think Kmail too, IIRC. Is there something extra I've missed?

Re:Geeks using browsers for email? (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702849)

I was pretty surprised by how much I liked the GMail web interface, but it only took a couple days to discover that I preferred it. The combination of the "all on one server" thing (which, yes, by itself you could do with IMAP) in addition to not having to muss with IMAP setup on my phone, my girlfriend's Mac, the PC in the cafe near Mt. Whitney or the Mac in the back of the store east of Glacier National Park, plus a decent search engine? (Dude, I love regexps as much as the next guy, but Google search is actually a better tool for digging things out of my mail than egrep is.)

Upload progress bar (4, Insightful)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700571)

How about a friggin' upload progress bar?
I've seen it done on other sites so I know it shouldn't be too hard for them to implement.
Why can't Google have upload progress bars on it sites, Gmail and Googlepages especially?

shiNt!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700575)

Daaren Reed, which rival distribution, We strongly urge

Addressing Multiple Contacts (3, Insightful)

altek (119814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700597)

I still can't believe their contacts list doesn't let you choose multiple contacts and compose an email to that list. I'm also shocked that you still can't go to Compose Email and then bring up your contact list from the To: field and start selecting contacts.

If anyone knows this is possible and I'm just totally missing the boat here, please clue me in!

Re:Addressing Multiple Contacts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700639)

I think the only way to do this may be to create a group in the contacts list first. Then you can email that group directly. If you don't want to create a group, it seems that tab-completing the names of recipients in the To: field of an email is pretty quick already...faster than selecting names from the Contacts.

Re:Addressing Multiple Contacts (1)

Revolver4ever (860659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700661)

I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for but if you actually go to Contacts in Gmail, you can create a group of multiple people. Then when composing a message, start typing the name of the group and it will show up as a group. For your second question, I don't think it's possible but I've gotten quite good at Gmail's autofill thing, so I just type the name of the person, hit enter, type the name of the next person, enter again and so on.

Re:Addressing Multiple Contacts (1)

altek (119814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700687)

Thanks for the suggestions guys, but those features don't accomplish what I'm trying to do. I do love the autocomplete and use it every time I use gmail, but sometimes I want to send an email where I need to browse through my contact list and pick users off it, instead of trying to think of which individuals I need to send it to, I always end up missing some people.

As for the groups, I do use groups to some extent, but there's a lot of times I send an email to a lot of people but it's a very specific group of people based on that particular email, so I can't really have a group for every single permutation of contacts ;)

Re:Addressing Multiple Contacts (1)

Airwall (39346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702555)

Just a heads up that you can now do exactly what you're talking about. Go into contacts, click "all contacts" (it defaults to the slightly useless "most contacted") and start ticking the ones you want to email.

When you've ticked the ones you want, on the right hand pane it will say "12 contacts selected" or whatever, and under that a link to send an email to all of them.

How about supporting standards? (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23701589)

Like when you get an email with a VCARD attachment? How about allowing me to save it in my contacts instead of just deleting it? Or a VCalendar attachment? A small button saying "Copy to calender"? Pretty pretty please please please?

Right Click (1)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23702193)

I vote for opening up right clicking. I personally expect that I should be able to right click on just about anything within an online email client and be able to do some sort of action.
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