13 September 2004

What I Don’t Like About Gmail

Posted under: at 03:58

Gmail is great, everybody knows that. It’s interface is original and intuitive. For users who subscribe to a lot of mailing list it is indispensable because its interface offers a very easy way to manage threads of messages. However, there lies the problem. Recently I’ve seen the trend that more Gmail users don’t bother to tidy their messages before they send them to the list. They treat a mailing list like an IRC forum. It is a pain to see more people post oneliner, top posting or both :(. Gmail users also tend not to remove unnecessary quoting, partly because they don’t even see the quoting. However it annoys the hell out of everybody that don’t use Gmail as their email client. And of course it also wastes bandwidth.

I’ve seen the shift of ‘store and forward interface’ (for lack of better terms) to ‘chat interface’ in other areas than email. In ‘store and forward interface’, a user compose a message, sends it, and the interface closes. In ‘chat interface’, when the user sends the message, the interface doesn’t terminate, it stays and shows the last message the user has sent and offers a place where the user can send another message. If the recipient responds, the response will be shown in the same interface. I’ve seen this shift in instant messaging. The first version of ICQ used the store and forward style, however recent versions have shifted to chat style, at least by default. Other instant messaging systems also prefer chat style conversation. In some mobile phones we can also send and receive SMS in chat style instead of in store and forward style. However, please remember that email is different from both technologies. Many users of email are not using Gmail and easily annoyed by the ignorance of some of Gmail users.

Gmail users, please tidy your messages before you sent them to the list. Thank you.

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