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BasL [PersonRank 0]

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
15 years ago

GTray is quite good, provided...
- You don't mind running dotnet on your PC
- You have IE as your standard (sic) browser

I would prefer to have a tray-notifier much (or, exactly) like the one that Bloglines has.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

With all the tools buing build on top of Gmail at the moment, I wonder if it'd be a wise decision for Google to release some kind of Gmail API.

A Gmail API would allow all sorts of programmers to develop all sorts of applications, and not only Windows applications interfacing IExplorer. It would also make those apps work long-term even when Google changes their interface, because as far as I understand all current tools work using risky screen-scraping. A Gmail API would also make this mail service even more popular (if that's possible) and help get developer supporting and advertising it.

Pete [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

completely agree. and i expect it to happen pretty soon. Though I suspect it will be part of the Google API rather than a separate interface.
The obvious application to me would be instant messaging – with a gig of space all your previous conversations could easily be saved as emails – and they already have conversation threading working.
If this happens msn will die a fast and long overdue death :)

Phil [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Would an API for mail have a more negative impact on their revenue plans than the equivalent for search? It's completely feasible that with a IMAP&SMTP proxy you'd never need to use the web interface at all, of course the ads would still be generated but never actually seen.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

The ads are also not seen using the Google Web API. I guess making money would not be a direct effect of a Gmail API...

Phil [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Okay, I wasn't thinking clearly (too busy thinking of Gmail invites... :-)), obviously the adverts won't be generated for the Gmail API.

What I meant to say was that I would imagine the percentage of people who would use the API exclusively would be higher for the mail service than the search service. The presence of the search API is not likely to reduce the number of page views as much as a mail API would if it resulted in IMAP/SMTP proxies.

Even if I use the search API, I'm likely to still mainly use the web site for most searches. If I use the mail API via an IMAP/SMTP proxy I would only ever use the web site if I was away from my usual computing environment.

Phil [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Of course, according to the terms of service all non-API mail things are verboten anyway...
"You also agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor, or copy any content from the Service."

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Absolutely... Google doesn't like screen-scraping. I could write even more stuff at – like Google Images screen-scraper – but I respect Google's terms of service (especially considering they are nice enough handing out an API).

However I sometimes do use 3rd party services which I'm sure rely on screen-scraping. Like the Google News search results on "Google" delivered as RSS feed, which I include in .

Morals aside screen-scraping is a high risk. What if they change their HTML from one day to the other? Then suddenly my tools would stop working. The Google Web API on the other hand works very reliable (even though there are daily limits to its usage).

Johnvey [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

The language from Google is vague enough that anything could be construed as infringement:

"...automated device, or manual process..."

Well, what else is there outside of automated and manual?

I'm sure that this clause is there just to cover any egregious violations, like automated account creators and/or DDoS scripts.

With that said, I just finished writing a Gmail API that may interest developers:

I've included a system tray app that should be what BasL is looking for.

Phillip: this Gmail API is slightly less dependent on HTML screen scraping, as Gmail does things a little differently. Ultimately, it still is vulnerable to changes, but not like the trivial "rearranging of the table cell" type of problem.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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