Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hacking Gmail

What’s Gmail?
March 31, 2004. A watershed in human history. 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 serverbased
power of the world’s leading search engine.
Hacking Gmail?
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!