Blog posts tagged "gmail"

Email: Tag and Release, Part 1

August 2nd, 2006

So a few months ago I started checking email again over POP3. (Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute to recover from your shock and dismay)

I’ve been using Apple and found that I’m totally drowning under a flood of email that is barely a trickle of what I cope with through GMail. And I’m paid to deal with this stuff. Ugh. A better solution is clearly needed.


Is is too much to ask in 2006 that I might hope for a desktop application with the speed, flexibility, and responsiveness of a webapp? What I’d give for a GMail like client, with hackability, security, and offlineableness. (That was a hint!)

Working Notes on Thunderbird

I’ve only been using Thunderbird for a few hours now, but I’ve made some tweaks which make me think this might work.

Following these instructions, I’ve got the Buttons extension, which includes an “Archive” button. From there I assign a default Archive folder, and use keyconfig to bind archiving to ‘A’. While I’m in there bind delete to ‘D’. Nirvana!

Non-working Notes on Thunderbird

I describe my email coping strategy as “tag and release”. (it doesn’t work terrible well as my correspondents can tell you, but it keeps me sane). Respond (or not), tag a message, and get it the hell out of my inbox.

So now I’ve got release working, what about tag? Well I had high hopes for Tag the Bird. Unfortunately its mangling my emails beyond recognizability, and the UI needs a bit of work. I’ve got an email out to the developer so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Expect updates, and watch the stream for XUL tutorials.

On Migrating

Mark’s right, emlx sucks, emlxconvert doesn’t work. JWZ’s fared better for me. Haven’t spotted obvious problems yet, but I only ran it against a 2 month old account as well. Still this sucks.

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Gmail: Web Clippings

December 9th, 2005

Gmail’s new web clipping feature is nice. Decent if sparse selection of feeds (doesn’t feel like a straight pay for placement deal), good interface for adding, selecting.

Minor detail: adding new feeds to the system seems to be broken. (Google is really cutting themselves slack these days about rolling out half finished features aren’t they?)

Best possible feature? No text to unbold! My days are already spent unbolding text, or feeling guilty about the ridiculously large bold (now turning red, now blinking) number which signifies my news folders’ backlog.

Much nicer. Obviously not a replacement, but as an addition to my existing aggregator, its great.

On a related note, what are people subscribed to for their news these days?

update: Well that was short lived. Should have seen it coming, but would it be too much to ad just one feature not targetted to selling more ads? I’m pretty sure “Catch More Bass”, wasn’t listed in any of my feeds. Siiiigh.

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Oops… GMail Broken

September 23rd, 2005

We all laud Flickr for its human and quirk on screen voice. However there is a caveat when being cute, “You still have to work, damn it.” I am so sick of seeing Gmail’s message

Oops…the system was unable to perform your operation

If you’re broken, you’re broken, don’t try to soften the blow with cutesy “Oops”. Funny the first time, tolerable maybe the 5th time, but now that I’ve seen that damn message thousands of times I personally want to shoot the person who wrote it. Somewhere, somehow I’m going to find some time to do an evaluation of RoundCube (I hear speed works great for working all night?), and figure out what would be required to add “conversation” support. Because this is just unacceptable.

I think I’d summarize this as a design maxim:

Before software can be good at being human, it must first be good at being software

And frankly Gmail is failing that.

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Gmail-like Open Source IMAP Client?

September 7th, 2005

I haven’t seen it, but someone has got to be working on it, so where is the open source webmail app, that can front-end my IMAP server, and works like Gmail? So calling out to the LazyWeb I haven’t seen it, but someone has got to be working on it, so where is the open source webmail app, that can front-end my IMAP server, and works like Gmail? So calling out to the LazyWeb

Its funny, Gmail just added the one feature that I was missing so much that I was ready to leave, the ability to customize the From: field, and yet I’m more ready to leave then ever. Why?

Spam false positives.

Bad Spam Filtering

False positives, are unforgivable in a spam filter, especially lots and lots of them. False positives mean you have to manually look through every spam message you get and manually check that each one isn’t spam. I don’t know what algorithm Google is using, but it sucks. I’ll admit my address has been out on the web for years, and so I’d understand if spam was getting through (and it does), but what I can’t understand is why:

  • mail from the moderated mailing lists I’m on get flaggeds as spam
  • mail from people already in my inbox gets flagged as spam
  • mail from people who I’ve emailed gets flagged as spam
  • mail from Google HR personnel

In particular Gmail seems to hate the microformats list, of which a significant percentage of the traffic gets flagged as spam. Editorial commentary I wonder?

Which is really a shame, as Gmail (or any of the centralized mail houses) should be in possession of plenty of information to do an excellent job on the filtering.

The Potential

And once we had our own Gmail-like client we could adding features without having to rely on Greasemonkey scripts!

My short list:

  • mailing list aware
  • roles ala Pine
  • GPG integration
  • archive this thread (aka conversation) and all future messages to it

That plus client independence with the IMAP backend. There have been a few good comments added to my original Gmail IMAP post if anyone is looking for inspiration.

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Denying Gmail Talk Invites

August 29th, 2005

If I’m denying your Gmail Talk invites (and I’ve gotten an alarming number), its because I did a search of my inbox, and didn’t find you. If I’m being dumb, drop me an email reminding me of the name to email relationship. Thanks

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Gmail and Related Links

January 7th, 2005

Just noticed that sometimes Gmail doesn’t run ads in their ad space, but “Related Pages”, which until I figured out what was going on gave me the disorienting experience of seeing text ads for Magpie. Weird, not sure how I feel about them mixing content and ads in the same space.

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November 10th, 2004

Talk about getting it wrong. POP access to your GMail account is lame (who uses POP?), what I want is GMail to be an IMAP client to my own IMAP service, now that would be useful.

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3 years

April 23rd, 2004

Contrary to reports I’ve seem (maybe they’ve changed it) you can delete emails from Gmail. They just discourage it. Stacy did some quick figuring and judged at her current rate of email, she won’t have to delete a message until 2050 or so. According to procmail, I get about 7M of mail a week, so if I were to switch over to Gmail as my primary address I’m looking at sometime in 2007. In other news 1 gigabytes is a lot of text!

(of course I know people who shall remain nameless who regularily send around 5-10M attachements in their emails, so for them cleaning day will arrive much sooner. )

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