GMDesk – run Gmail as a stand-alone application

Just as the need I saw to for running Facebook stand-alone with facedesk, the turn has come to Gmail. Let me present GMDesk – run Gmail as a stand-alone application.

Why Gmail?

For myself, I’m constantly in touch with people through Gmail; be it for business, private relations or keeping track of blog comments or subversion commits for the blogs (Robert’s talk, DOMAssistant blog, Fucked.se) and open-source projects I’m working on.

For a number of reasons, I don’t want Gmail to occupy a tab in my web browser:

  • I don’t want to show of my inbox to anyone coming by my computer, wanting me to look at/show something in a web browser.
  • When doing web development, web browsers might crash, and it’s a bit annoying to have your mail application going down as well then.

Implementing GMDesk

A blurred-out picture of Gmail

Implementing Gmail as an application with Adobe AIR was a bit trickier than Facebook, due to two main reasons:

  • Google relies on web browser sniffing (which is, in general, a bad practice, but sometimes necessary), and the WebKit web browser in Adobe AIR doesn’t claim to be Safari (which is correct), which Google is specifically looking for.
  • Gmail doesn’t accept being framed in any way, so it has to run on itself in a separate window.

When I had those two problems sorted out, it went pretty quickly to put it together.

I’d say that this application feels a bit experimental, and I’m keen to see if it works satisfactory for everyone. Please try it out and gimme me any feedback you might have!

Posted in Adobe AIR,Developing,Google,Technology |

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