Hatin’ on Gmail

Gmail is still in beta, so as a weblogger it’s my duty to declare it dead. That’s right, it’s on the tired list, which as it happens is also on the tired list. Wired/tired is tired, teh sex/teh suck is teh sex. But I digress from declaring Gmail dead.
OK, it’s not really dead at all and is thriving. I actually haven’t used it, having turned down a couple invitation offers and avoided quite a few contests for them. Like Orkut, it’s a secret club where you have to be invited in. Google learned a good way to build hype is to exclude people, which is why a site like gmail swap even exists.
Beyond the hype, what does it offer? I have (what I think) is a much easier to remember email address, george at hotelling.net (although it seems like gmail.com is the more coveted domain for some strange reason). I should contact Roger about getting forwarding from .com; the only message that I know of that was sent there was spam that looked like a subscription to a gay porn site, which made for an awkward “Uh, I got this and didn’t know if you were waiting for this email to arrive” email. I wasn’t, BTW.
So why am I not interested in Gmail? Well what do I get in exchange for having to change my email address? 1 gig of email? I’ve got an 80 gig hard disk in my server. Webmail? Check. Searching my email? Check. The kick-ass UI? Hmmm….
The problem is that for me, a kick-ass UI for webmail would be done in XUL. I would go to my webmail site in Firefox (version 0.9 is out today, go download it) and it would open up a window that looked like a native mail client for the OS I was using and behave accordingly. That’s what XUL does, it lets you create native-like apps that run over the web. No more DHTML hacks to make a webpage kind of work like a native app.
I would, however, be surprised if Google beat the open source community to the XUL webmail punch. Stranger things have happend, especially at Google.
[Update: My mom just called me up to offer me a Gmail invite. My mom.]

7 thoughts on “Hatin’ on Gmail

  1. First, don’t hate the player hate the game.
    Second, besides hotmail, I need another way to store the emails I have requested about Viakra, Loan Consolidation, and General Enlargements or Reductions. Gmail would offer me 1GB of storage for that material. Furthermore, as I understand it, the GMAIL thingy will scout all that personal mail to deliver me ads based on their content. I think it will be handy when I’m looking for ads about loan consolidation in my mail about loan consolidation.
    By the way, George Hotelling – Loan Consolidation Available for you. Click here.

  2. What are Gmail’s strong points? The most obvious is the search function. The e-mails that I find myself searching for most often are mailing list archives. Ergo, Gmail would be good for storing mailing list mail, which usually ends up in the trash anyhow. Any other mail, I agree, benefits little from residing in a Gmail inbox. The cost of switching e-mail addresses simply does not outweigh the benefits.
    I’m 100% with you on the XUL Gmail client.

  3. An XUL client would make a neat open source project. However commercially for Google to make it has little justification. I’m also waiting for XUL to start getting exploited like activex has. For the time being mozilla users have only really experienced security through obscurity in that respect.

  4. There’s already been one attempt to exploit XPI the same way ActiveX is routinely exploited.
    The upshot is that unlike Internet Explorer, Mozilla products are being actively developed and will get fixes for any real exploits (not just install prompts) that come along fairly quickly.

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