Wednesday , 22 January 2020
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Hacking Gmail

By Ben Hammersley

Wiley Publishing, Inc| English | 310 pages | PDF | 5.416 KB | Download | Password: gmail

Google’s web-based e-mail service, still now at the time of this writing in Beta, and available only to people invited by other existing users, was launched. Offering a gigabyte of storage, an incredibly advanced JavaScript interface, and a series of user interface innovations, Gmail was an instant hit among those who could get access to the system. Today, more than a year later, Gmail is proving to be one of the flagship applications on the web—a truly rich application within the browser, combined with the server based power of the world’s leading search engine.

Of course, all that power just begs to be abused. Power corrupts, as they say, and hackers are nothing but a corrupt bunch: Almost as soon as Gmail was launched, hackers were looking at ways to use those capabilities for other purposes. They investigated the incredibly rich interface, and saw how much of the processing is done on the user’s own machine; they burrowed into the communication between the browser and the server; and they developed a series of interfaces for scripting languages to allow you to control Gmail from your own programs.

This book shows what they did, how to do it yourself and what to do after you’ve mastered the techniques. Meanwhile, you’ll also learn all about Ajax, the terribly fashionable JavaScript technique that Gmail brought into the mainstream. Two topics for the price of one!

First things first, then. Before you get into the deeper workings of Gmail, you need to get yourself up to scratch with the more public side of the application. Being able to hack Gmail is one thing, but it’s very helpful to have a full understanding of how the system is meant to work before taking it apart and doing silly things with it.

Gmail’s great features have inspired many early adopters to move their entire e-mail regime over to the service. But unlike other e-mail clients, Gmail requires you to have your web browser open to see if you have any new mail. Even with tabbed browsing, this is annoying. The alternative is to use a new-mail notifier application. This section details some of the best notifiers, grouped by platform. This is not a definitive list even at the time of this writing. By the time you read this, there will be even more options. But this is a good start.

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