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New Version of Gmail Being Tested 227

Posted by Zonk
from the every-solid-companion dept.
Keith writes "Gmail was launched on April 1, 2004, and has revolutionized the way many of us use email. The interface has remained largely untouched since it launched, but get ready, it's soon to undergo a change in what they describe as a 'New Version'. Only a select few people have access to use the new interface — mainly employees and trusted people outside the company called 'Trusted Testers'. From the ZDNet blog entry: 'Google lets every-day users who are fluent in both English and another language translate small snippets of English text into the language of their choice. This is how they can offer services in several languages without spending a dime on professional translators. Unfortunately, exposing sensitive information in this manner makes it hard to keep a secret. One of my readers, who wishes to remain anonymous, stumbled across an interesting snippet of text (which I confirmed exists) spilling the beans on a new version of Gmail that is either currently being tested, or about to be released to testing in short order.'"
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New Version of Gmail Being Tested

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  • by Stephen Williams (23750) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:17PM (#20722025) Journal
    Oooh! Oooh! Let's hope it has Flash ads!

    -Stephen
  • by User 956 (568564) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:17PM (#20722031) Homepage
    The interface has remained largely untouched since it launched, but get ready, it's soon to undergo a change in what they describe as a 'New Version'.

    Does that mean they're going to rename the existing version "O.G. Mail?"
  • Bit speculative (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pop69 (700500) <billy@@@benarty...co...uk> on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:19PM (#20722041) Homepage
    So, on the basis of 2 words in a translation request, there is a whole new version of Gmail coming out ?

    How the hell did this get to be news ?
  • Try the new version of Google's blended search

    Seriously though, this entire article is based on the fact that someone was asked to translate "new version"? That's a terrible excuse for journalism.
  • Cheapskates (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xaxa (988988) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:24PM (#20722085)
    "without spending a dime on professional translators"
    Why do people do stuff for Google for free? What do they get out of it?
    • by cnettel (836611)
      Translation captchas!
    • Re:Cheapskates (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GreyPoopon (411036) <gpoopon@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:40PM (#20722207)

      Why do people do stuff for Google for free? What do they get out of it?

      They get to find out about secret new products and tell the world. ;) But seriously, maybe some people do stuff like that because they want to give back; they want to see Google's ideas succeed. If spending one minute a day translating a sentence helps out, who are we to give them a hard time about it?
      • by adnonsense (826530) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:57PM (#20722313) Homepage Journal

        But seriously, maybe some people do stuff like that because they want to give back; they want to see Google's ideas succeed. If spending one minute a day translating a sentence helps out, who are we to give them a hard time about it?
        Yup? Myself, I spend up to 15 minutes a day proofreading Microsoft documentation for free, and I'm always available for any other multibillion dollar corporations who's ideas I can help succeed at no cost to them.
        • by greppling (601175) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @05:20PM (#20722455)

          Myself, I spend up to 15 minutes a day proofreading Microsoft documentation for free, and I'm always available for any other multibillion dollar corporations who's ideas I can help succeed at no cost to them.

          You kids have low standards these days. When I was your age, I spent hours everyday proof-reading and commenting on AT&T whitepapers.

    • by Joebert (946227) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @05:05PM (#20722365) Homepage

      What do they get out of it?


      First go to the following URL.
      http://www.google.com/ [google.com]

      Next type somthing into the box, anything, type in Hot Monkey Fecal Sex [google.com] if you want.

      Finally, click the "Google Search" button.

      Do you see why people do stuff for Google for "free" yet ?

      Come on, there's 320,000 results for hot monkey fecal sex [google.com] for cryin out loud !
      • by hacker (14635)

        Come on, there's 320,000 results for hot monkey fecal sex for cryin out loud !

        And not a single one contains "Hot Monkey Fecal Sex". Basically you searched for:

        1. Fecal
        2. Hot
        3. Monkey
        4. Sex

        That's 4 separate, and unlinked/unrelated terms. Of course there are 321k results for it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by hobbesx (259250)

          Come on, there's 320,000 results for hot monkey fecal sex for cryin out loud !

          And not a single one contains "Hot Monkey Fecal Sex". Basically you searched for:

          Except for that Ad: Buy 'Hot Monkey Fecal Sex!' at Ebay!
          • Shouldn't Ebay be shut down for promoting both prostitution and bestiality? I wonder if they have the same ad for child pornography searches? If so that could definitely get them shut down couldn't it?
    • In a strange world that some might call Bizarro World, there are those who do things to help their fellow man. I know, its a bizarre concept, I've heard this world also rotates a blue sun and is a cube. So it might not even exist! But if so, I'd say that's the world Google is getting their translators from. If only Earth could be more like that mythical land.
  • Lots of mystery... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Glowing Fish (155236) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:26PM (#20722095) Homepage
    seems to be a lot of mystery and intrigue around what is probably going to be minor cosmetic changes.
    Are we all so enamored of googles many accomplishments that a site redesign becomes major news?
    I don't think anyone was that concerned when yahoo and hotmail redid their sites...of course, they just made them more annoying.
    Having said that, it will probably be that this rumored site redesign is when Google starts rolling out their sinister "Phase II"
  • by moosesocks (264553) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:29PM (#20722133) Homepage
    For what it's worth, Google is stopping to call it GMail.

    All of the icons were changed over the past few days to say "Google Mail" instead of GMail with little fanfare. Not sure if this is any indication of things to come, or simply a branding effort coming from the top-down. Guess we'll have to wait and see...
  • And they can't afford professional translators? If it was just random bits and pieces of no consequence then I might say fair enough - but this is content for their primary services. We aren't talking millions of dollars to translate a few hundred words here or anything - seems very odd.
    • by greenguy (162630)
      And they can't afford professional translators?

      IAAPT, and they couldn't afford me.

      At least I assume that's why they haven't contacted me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by shiftless (410350)
      Of course they can afford professional translators; but why would they hire 5 professional translators when they can have 20,000 translators for free?

      We're talking about the same Google that MADE those billions by using thousands of cheap/free Linux computers.
  • Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaleGlass (1068434) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:35PM (#20722171) Homepage
    So this will be a beta of the new version of a service that's still in beta?

    I wonder how many years more it'll take for gmail to lose the "beta" designation.
    • Till they're willing to take the legal burden of it blowing up and taking someone's entire mailbox with it (which HAS happened).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by yomahz (35486)

      I wonder how many years more it'll take for gmail to lose the "beta" designation.


      Not until web 3.0rc1
  • This is ridiculous (Score:3, Informative)

    by bgfay (5362) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @04:52PM (#20722283) Homepage
    Even if there is a new version coming, this is the least reliable source of information about it. I mean, for Pete's sake, pig latin? We're going to trust that Google really needs this translated into pig latin in order to make it accessible to users?

    By the way there's a giant that's been unearthed in Cardiff, NY. It looks to be proof that giants once roamed the Earth and maybe still do. Check it out. It's true for sure.
    • by Petrushka (815171)

      I mean, for Pete's sake, pig latin? We're going to trust that Google really needs this translated into pig latin in order to make it accessible to users?

      Not needs, no. But intends, absolutely yes. Try taking a look at the Google preferences page [google.co.nz]. In the panel at the top marked "Erfaceintay Anguagelay", open the drop-down menu and scroll down to I (or if you're looking at a preferences page in English, scroll down to P). See what's there?

  • Quote: "... exposing sensitive information in this manner makes it hard to keep a secret."

    Uh.... just where did you get the idea that any of your other plain text is a "secret"??? Did you even READ the terms of use notice???

    Talk about a non-issue...
  • What did I ever do to deserve that. I know- it was downloading all that pr0n off of USENET in 1995. Personally I don't like the new interface.
    I just checked and evidently I'm no longer trusted. Thank God. Who knows what vulnerabilities might be lurking in that new version.
  • That means.. it's going from beta to RC ? :-P

    Very speculative article....
  • What I despise is this constant belief that newer interfaces are better and that change is always good. The best interface is the one you're most efficient in using, and that's usually the one you know best. Sad to see Google taking off after Microsoft in this race. Hope they'll let keep the "classic" interface for as long as we want it.
  • I have to say that during the time a year or so back when I used Gmail a lot I always found the interface kind of irritating.

    Every time I wanted to add a new Label and corresponding Filter it seemed like I had to trial and error because the process was less than obvious. And I don't care for the way that threads are collapsed, making it difficult to find one message out of the ten or twelve in a conversation.

    I guess it just felt like everything took two or three or four more clicks than it should
  • by duckpoopy (585203) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @06:16PM (#20722841) Journal
    Hopefully they fix broken signatures when responding to email. Now it places my signature to the very bottom of the email - below the quoted text I am responding to. I am tired of cutting and pasting my sig every time I respond to an email.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Braino420 (896819)

      Now it places my signature to the very bottom of the email - below the quoted text I am responding to.
      Then stop top posting...
  • What the hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by glwtta (532858) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @06:44PM (#20723007) Homepage
    "revolutionized the way many of us use email"

    It's just a nice webmail system - webmail has been around for years before gmail. I use gmail, I like gmail, but what exactly did it revolutionize?
    • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Sunday September 23, 2007 @07:19PM (#20723209) Homepage
      It's just a nice webmail system - webmail has been around for years before gmail. I use gmail, I like gmail, but what exactly did it revolutionize?

      It didn't suck.

      In the context of webmail, that was pretty darn revolutionary!
      • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by catbutt (469582) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @08:21PM (#20723581)

        It didn't suck.
        That's very true. I hated web mail before gmail, and love it now.

        Also, prior to gmail, users of free web mail had to constantly delete all their old messages so they wouldn't go over their quota. Also if you didn't log in for a month you got your account cancelled. Also you couldn't use free web mail for professional purposes because it stuck an ad on your outgoing mail. Web mail also didn't allow free forwarding, pop access, or allow you to use an address at your own domain....which basically locked you in. Gmail changed all that.

        And it was the first mainstream Ajax application I know of.

        I agree...it was pretty damn revolutionary. At least for those who pay attention to such things.
        • And to give it some credit on the AJAX end, it doesn't use AJAX for the sake of using it. When AJAX is used you barely notice (like auto-saving drafts), but you are thankful that it does when your browser crashes/close the window by mistake or whatever happens to make you lose the mail you were writing. It's really a major contrast to sites that just throw AJAX everywhere even when it has no good purpose doing what they make it do.
        • Outlook Web Access (Score:3, Insightful)

          by snowwrestler (896305)

          And it was the first mainstream Ajax application I know of.
          As far as I know, Outlook Web Access was the first mainstream "Ajax" application. It was used by millions long before Gmail hit the Web and before Jesse James coined the term. In a very real way it defined that type of Web UI, because XmlHttpRequest was placed in IE specifically to support it.
    • by jjohnson (62583)
      You can argue about whether or not 'conversation based' organization was revolutionary or merely innovative, but it is a pretty significant departure from how everyone organizes email in every other program. I think gmail is the best simply for that feature alone.

      The only feature I'd like to see next is the ability to combine arbitrary emails into one conversation, but since their way of doing it is some slightly clever regexing on the subject line, I don't think it's possible.
      • by glwtta (532858)
        I always thought "conversations" were just threads - they've been around since Usenet, and I'm pretty sure even early versions of Outlook Express did that for email.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jjohnson (62583)
          A conversation is just a thread, yes, but what was innovative was google's non-tree method of grouping them, and making that the basis of the email interface. Usenet accomplished this with headers, and displayed it in a tree mode that wasn't particularly good, imho, at sorting things tidily into piles based on most recent update. I'm not aware of any email program that operates like gmail does (rather than simply offering an option to sort an flat mailbox by subject). I could be wrong, though.
          • Actually I dislike the non-tree sorting. if there was an e-mail client that reliably sorted by trees (Thunderbolt gets close some of the time, but stuffs up a lot of the time) I'd switch to that in a heartbeat over gmail.
  • beta (Score:3, Interesting)

    by in_ur_face (177250) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @06:46PM (#20723025)
    Maybe they can finally get rid of the 'beta' in the logo :)? Overall, I think Google has a hit with their latest offerings. Google desktop for instance is a perfect addition to indexing and searching 65k+ Outlook emails (work still uses Outlook). Similar to Lookout, but doesnt crash Outlook. Google Documents has greatly improved and is perfect for sharing documents across PCs. Installing Microsoft office or OpenOffice is really optional now. While Gmail's interface isn't perfect, they have been making small updates throughout the months. I still think it beats Hotmail, Yahoo, etc...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bgfay (5362)
      This is one of the first people I've seen to say that Google Docs is as useful as I'm finding it to be. I teach high school and am having my students use it for many reasons including that it's much more difficult for their dogs to eat their homework and because we can collaborate on documents. It really is a powerful thing. Yes, there are things that OpenOffice can do much better (and Word too though I've never used it), but there are things that Google Docs does much better than any of the offline word pr
  • by alexo (9335)

    New Version of Gmail Being Tested

    Wake me up when Gmail supports IMAP.
  • One request (Score:4, Informative)

    by sootman (158191) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @09:00PM (#20723759) Homepage Journal
    Let me click one button and sort by sender, subject, size, etc. That's the #1 reason I don't use Gmail.
    • Re:One request (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mattwarden (699984) on Sunday September 23, 2007 @10:20PM (#20724329) Homepage
      you can search by any of those items (and more) and you would rather sort??? What the hell good does sorting do? Surely you are looking for emails from 1 person, not a group of people with names starting with 'A', right???
      • by trip11 (160832) *
        Disclaimer, I use gmail and love it most of the time.... BUT

        Search would be great if it was fully function, however it is not yet fully functional in gmail. Here are some cases:

        Looking for an email from a college with an Czech name... I have no idea how to spell it, but it starts with a BZ
        Solution: Let me search for the string "from:BZ*"
        My quota is full (hey it happens, even on gmail) and I need to clear some space
        Solution: Let me search for emails larger than 100Kb "size>100KB" On this sa

        • On this same topic, gmail should let you delete one message in a thread without deleting the whole thread.
          Open the thread with n messages and go to the one you want to get rid of. You can see "Reply to this" and a triangle button on the right. Click the triangle and select "Delete this message".
  • Does anyone expect Google to not release a new version?

    Or to not test or translate it before it does?

    Even assuming this Pig Latin based intelligence gathering has merit, the information gained is only barely more sensational than that the sun will rise tomorrow.

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