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A GMail-based blog With 1000 MB of entries 257

Jean-Luc R. writes "Via mediaTIC blog. Gallina is a GMail blog tool created by Jonathan Hernandez that uses GMail messages as "entries" (so 1000 MB of entries!!), replies to conversations are the "entry comments", uses Libgmailer (gmail-lite project) to connect to GMail. It uses XML/XSLT and by the way it's a GPL software. You can download it there. See the Gallina Demo Blog as for an example."
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A GMail-based blog With 1000 MB of entries

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  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:37PM (#10169404)
    people are making so much use of gmail for different things
    i wonder when ill be able to run off a remote OS installed on a gmail account
  • by Seoulstriker ( 748895 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:37PM (#10169408)
    Google was pissed at third-party tools which check emails. Now I wonder what Google is going to think of a program or script which uses the Gmail email directory as a sort of web-hosting deal. I'm not too optimistic about Google's response. :-(
    • Not so sure (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:41PM (#10169433) Homepage
      Many of Google's other functions, like the search, they openly published interfaces to via web services and such. They explicitly disallow in the GMail TOS using web-fetching "screen scrapers" like this thing uses, but I'd imagine their main objection would be not so much the loss of control as that they don't want to be locked into a specific set of HTML-- if they significantly change their page layouts then any program which fetches and reprocesses GMail web pages will break.

      But this bloggy thing is a very cool feature and Google might well publish a public web-services interface to GMail as well to allow things like this to happen before the end.
      • Re:Not so sure (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dr Tall ( 685787 )
        I would just be concerned about Gmail being used as a HD backup service or huge incidents of bandwidth theft. It would be easy to come up with a lot of accounts, since your first account can invite yourself again and again.
      • Re:Not so sure (Score:4, Informative)

        by FCAdcock ( 531678 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:49PM (#10169487) Homepage Journal
        Google does, it's called blogger [blogger.com]. And it has an email account you can email to update your page.
      • and of course (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vena ( 318873 )
        the fact that they own Blogger probably gives them some interest in not wanting this :)
      • Re:Not so sure (Score:4, Interesting)

        by harvardian ( 140312 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:28PM (#10170125)
        but I'd imagine their main objection would be not so much the loss of control as that they don't want to be locked into a specific set of HTML

        I think you (like many other Slashdotters) give Google too much credit. Don't confuse "don't be evil" with "be good all the time." It's not that they don't want to break 3rd party apps when they change HTML, it's that they don't make advertising revenue when people screen scrape their content. If the COGS (Cost of Goods and Services) of Gmail began exceeding advertising revenue, Google would have no choice but to cripple the service or shut it down unless they found a better way to monetize it.

        Of course, to play devil's advocate to my own argument, Google may be angry at 3rd party tools like this not because they want more money, but because they don't want such a great service to be ruined by people who break its business model.
      • They explicitly disallow in the GMail TOS using web-fetching "screen scrapers" like this thing uses

        They do? Could you point me to the relevant part of the Terms of Use [google.com] or the Program Policies [google.com] (dated June 28 as I type this), because I sure don't see it.

        • Odd. (Score:4, Informative)

          by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday September 06, 2004 @06:05PM (#10171665) Homepage
          I don't see it on those pages. However I signed up for a GMail account a few days ago, and that was definitely one of the clauses of the clickthrough agreement I was presented with at that time. It appears their clickthrough agreement is different from their posted TOS policy? I guess you'd need to find a gmail invite in order to read the clickthrough...
        • Re:Not so sure (Score:2, Informative)

          by Baricom ( 763970 )

          #5:

          ...Accordingly, you agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter, modify, or create derivative works from the Service. You also agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor or copy any content from the Service... (emphasis mine)

          • Wow, that's really buried, not to mention ambiguous. "You will not use any [...] manual process to copy any content from the Service"? Like Ctrl-C? They explictly exclaim owenership of the content and they still try to have that restriction? Odd.
    • by wviperw ( 706068 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:44PM (#10169455) Homepage Journal
      Well what response should we expect from Google? Euphoria? For any company, even Google, it would make absolutely no sense to essentially provide free hard drive space to anybody and everybody on the planet. Of course they are not going to like it.
    • For every user that fills their space there are ten thousand who barely use any. Trust me, they are making money regardless of what a few scripters do.
    • Was there ever an official response from Google to even entertain the notion that they are actually pissed about this? I remember the story about some whiney guy bitching about Google blocking his notifier, but it was all chalked up to being an authentication problem on his end that triggered their graphic verification routine.
    • You know - since they don't have a free registration I somehow do not feel any ethical problems with this abuses. Don't know why. OTOH - had they really have a free community service...
    • More likely that anyone who tries to implement this will be the upset one. Adopting a tool like this will require constantly updating Libgmailer, because it will constantly break as Google works on GMail. Until Google offers an API for services like this to access it (which I doubt they ever will), any system based on GMail will be quite unstable. So, for any serious blog, this wouldn't be an option.

      As a novelty item, this system is interesting; however, one should note that its novelty value many not just
      • > Until Google offers an API for services like this
        > to access it (which I doubt they ever will), any
        > system based on GMail will be quite unstable.
        Since I started work on libgmail (Python bindings for Gmail [sf.net], used by GmailFS) there has only been one change that negatively impacted operation--one instance of cookie generation being moved from Javascript to server headers.

        The guts of Gmail is *not* HTML, it's a pile of easily parsed Javascript arrays. So these things are lot more stable than the ave
  • by benasselstine ( 764316 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:38PM (#10169416)
    from the just because you can doesn't mean you're allowed dept. http://gmail.google.com/gmail/help/terms_of_use.ht ml
  • New gmail auth? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by J-bob2 ( 219807 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:41PM (#10169431)
    How are they getting past the new gmail authentication?
    • Re:New gmail auth? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by coandco ( 676209 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:28PM (#10170905) Homepage
      There isn't any 'new GMail authentication', at least not in a form that would affect this program.

      If you have GMail, you probably won't have noticed anything different in your login screen. The only time that their extra authentication measures kick in is when someone tries to log in to an account tons of times in a short period with the wrong password. It's not meant to block all external programs, just prevent automatic password-guessing type attacks.
  • Wow! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:41PM (#10169435)
    Can I now mount my blog using gmailfs?

    Seriously, this is getting silly. It's supposed to be an email system and it's going to be financed by google targeting ads specificly to their users (based on their emails, but who cares about privacy anyway?), so I don't think google will let these things survive.

    Now I could understand if someone developed a technique that allowed for bigger attachments (pr0n anyone? ;-D)but a blog????
  • Gmail lite project (Score:2, Informative)

    by erick99 ( 743982 )
    I don't really care much about blogs, especially the notion of a a gigabyte of it...anyway, the Gmail lite project page is a good read. The author is amiable and does a good job explaining why he was interested in and did the project.

    Cheers,

    Erick

  • Use it for email (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cmallinson ( 538852 ) * <cNO@SPAMmallinson.ca> on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:51PM (#10169502) Homepage
    If google built a blog tool that oculd hold 1000MB of data, someone would figure out how to get it to store email.

    I'm a bit concerned that everyone seems to want to find a way to fill up their Gigabyte on Gmail. If storage becomes the main feature of Gmail, people will eventually open up 500 accounts and built a Gmail array for their file storage. This will force Google to lock down their application, and those of us using it for EMAIL will suffer.

    • Ohh.. thats a awesome idea .. *smattering away*.
      Or maybe some kind of P2P where everyone has to donate their own account to the "net" so it can be used to store files..

      That'd be kinda cool actually, a p2p network connecting users, but the storage is always on GMail except when you're downloading.. ofcourse, anyone could hack the accounts and wreck havoc..

      • I'm not so sure about the weblog part being disallowed in the TOS, but using the account as a P2P service is definitely disallowed, even for legally redistributed stuff.
    • Re:Use it for email (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:22PM (#10169700)
      If storage becomes the main feature of Gmail, people will eventually open up 500 accounts and built a Gmail array for their file storage.

      The delay and throughput of internet-based file storage is just not worth it, and with the gmail interface in between it would be even slower. People are doing these things for the novelty factor, but as soon as they figure out that there are easier ways to get the same things done, they'll move on, and this won't be a problem anymore.

      Besides, if you're using gmail for personal storage, you can just email yourself the files you want as attachments. And if you're using it to host stuff, you're going to have to run elaborate scripts, which waste tons of bandwidth uselessly copying data, and since bandwidth is more expensive than disk space, it would be more cost-effective to just get more disk space on your webserver account than to use elaborate gmail-interfacing scripts.
      • One the scale of 1000MB, bandwidth is free to people who already have broadband (eg. most geeks). Broadband providers generally won't cut your service off unless you go over sometihng like 30GB per month, so unless you're already very close to this limit, transfering a couple more gig is essentially free, to the end user at least.
    • Wait until some bozo figures out how to install Linux on it.

      It'll happen. You know it.
  • by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:53PM (#10169521)
    I thought Google already provided a free blogging service? [blogger.com]
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:55PM (#10169538) Homepage Journal
    There are several applications that are trying to use gmail as its backend. GmailFS, this blog, and probably exist several more right now. If google open up a bit more their API, other applications and uses around gmail could grow exponentially.

    But even google with all its servers have limitations. Would love to see gmail grow in kind of uses it could have, but simplicity and speed are some of its strengths that it could lose if it is abused.

  • by baywulf ( 214371 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:04PM (#10169590)
    1000MB may sound like a lot but at current hard drive pricing that is only about a half dollar if you buy a 100GB drive. Why do people go to so much trouble to redirect GMail for other uses? If people do things that make their advertising less valuable then they will strike hard on everybody and that only hurts us normal users if they make it harder to login or use as an email service.

    • The thing about gmail (or any other situation where you're using Google's filesystems to store your stuff) isn't that you've got the same 1000Mb you've got on your desktop.

      Using Google's filesystem means you get:
      1. Redundant, FAST network accessibility from pretty much anywhere, because it's Google;
      2. Redundant, fault-tolerant, self-healing systems on which your information, because it's Google (we've all actually read the PDF talking about GFS, right?).

      Now, I heard somewhere that because of Google's mass
      • of course to redirect total strangers to your g-mail account without first using your own bandwith.... requires somewhere embedding your g-mail password in the applet/etc that 'fetches' your 1gb of stored blog from g-mail.
        talk about a lack of concern for security... i bet the spammers that read slashdot have a g-mail take over scripr set up to target anyone foolish enough to run a blog off a g-mail account withing an hour... yau for free access to a free 1 gm e-mail account some fool was crazy enough to gi
  • Harrumph (Score:5, Funny)

    by Trailwalker ( 648636 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:11PM (#10169631)
    Anyone who needs a gig of space to write down what is on his mind has a bigger problem than finding space online.
  • Online MP3 Storage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kraegar ( 565221 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:12PM (#10169638)
    Having gotten an extra account invite from google, and not knowing anyone who was interested, I decided to start a new account myself, and email mp3's to it. In the emails I include the artist, album, and lyrics. I group styles using the "label" feature.

    So now I have 1gb of online, searchable mp3's.

  • by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:12PM (#10169640)
    Email. Blogs. Mountable drives. And all built on GMail. I'd be quite concerned about becoming too dependent on the good graces of a third party for maintaining my data. I recall the number of people who got caught flat-footed when free email services and photo hosting went belly-up with little or no notice. Not to mention putting potentially sensitive material in a convenient place for hackers to target, or law enforcement or aggrieved spouses to subpoena.
  • Uh oh! (Score:2, Insightful)

    So when do the cease and desists start coming in?
    The post-IPO google isn't the type of google that would be happy with this kind of thing. (And if you say there are no post IPO pages, just take a look at the recent furor over parodies, and just a couple of days ago, I noticed an image ad for Picasa (TM) on google image search.)
  • by pvera ( 250260 ) <pedro.vera@gmail.com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:18PM (#10169673) Homepage Journal
    Is that they force us to look at Gmail in many different ways beyond the "Jesus Christ, look at all that space" factor.

    When I started using Gmail I really liked the threaded messages feature and the search engine. Having to use labels instead of folders was (and still is) annoying, but I still place more value in the threading of the messages so all is well.

    Some of my friends put more value in the fact that they can pretty much forget about their mailboxes getting too big and their PC choking on it. The mailbox here can be almost a gig and all your PC sees is just a web page.

    Some friends also discovered that it is a great way to store memos, since is is very easy to pull them back between the labels and the search engine. I liked the idea so much that I sent myself every shareware license and CD key I have as separate emails so I can easily pull them.

    The blog thing will probably break by the time it hits production, but it tells us (and Google too) that Gmail is so versatile that you can do all these crazy things with it.

    Now Google can look at it and go uhm, maybe this is faster than whatever it is we are doing to store Blogger entries, and it also takes care of the post comments! And since you are already giving people a Gig of space, you can in theory claim that your *hosted* Blogger option is now free and allows you to share your 1GB of Gmail space. Then later plug the whole thing into an Orkut that doesn't suck and also into Google Groups.
  • Good God (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:19PM (#10169686)
    If you want a blog that's associated with Google, you could always just mosey on over to blogger.com. Last I checked, there's no limit with them as to how much storage you get and it's probably a bit easier than getting this running. Yes, this is kinda cool and innovative, but couldn't this creative/technological skill go toward something that everyone would benefit from, like, say, easy sound/3d in Linux?
  • For fucks sake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jb.hl.com ( 782137 ) <joe&joe-baldwin,net> on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:25PM (#10169727) Homepage Journal
    Stop doing shit like this. Yeah, it's "fun", yeah it's "cool", but it's gonna piss Google off so much that they'll just put more and more limits on the service which piss off the majority to stop the minority.

    I don't know about you, but I want to READ MY FUCKING EMAIL with GMail, not use it as some file storage solution, file system, blog client and kitchen sink. Leave it be. Google is generous, they've released APIs and other fun shit to do with their service, and they've been nice enough to let people try their beta service. If I lose that service because morons like fucking with it to store their porn, I will be MAJORLY pissed off.

    Don't be so fucking selfish and stick to the friggin' ToS already.
    • Re:For fucks sake (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Niello ( 572850 )
      ...not use it as some file storage solution, file system, blog client and kitchen sink

      I see your point, but if they're offering 1GB of space they HAVE to assume that peeps will use it to store stuff. I mean... c'mon... if I never, ever deleted a single (non-work) email in my whole life I doubt it would come close to 1GB... INCLUDING spam.

      • Well my work email folder is currently 750MB and holds about 4 years worth of mail (including spam) and my other email folders on the same server take another 750MB (and does not include the mail-lists I get). So it is quite easy to accumulate 1GB of mail. And my boss is even worse. He gets often 100-300MB attachments, but fortunately saves the files on our fileserver instead of the IMAP server.
    • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:06PM (#10169969)
      Google will realize what Yahoo realized years ago - your users are not necessarily friendlies. Many will exploit and manipulate services for their own purposes. A few years ago a company was linking Yahoo IDs to provide a backup system for his entire company's data via Yahoo Briefcase.

      Google will need to start doing this - just stating an abuse policy is not good enough, they will need to start detecting abuse and counteracting, otherwise they will go broke trying to buy enough drives to make the exploiters happy.

  • by Temporal ( 96070 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:38PM (#10169807) Journal
    Oh, sure, let's use a blogging script which uses a webmail service as its database. It can fetch data from this service by internally connecting to the web site, parsing the HTML, and pulling out the relevant data.

    Uh.

    Seriously, people, install a fucking SQL server. Not only is this going to be extremely extremely inefficient for you, but you are basically taking a nice service provided to you free by a nice company and exploiting the hell out of it. I am quite certain that if this thing gets a lot of use, Google will implement measures to break it. And I'm guessing Slashdot will whine when that happens, and I will be disgusted.

    Really... When your girlfriend offers you a blow job do you forcefully ram your dick down her throat until she vomits? Why on Earth would you do this to Google?
  • RAIGA (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:44PM (#10169842)
    Redundant Array of Inexpensive Google Accounts.

    google RAID.

    any takers for this newly-starting project?

  • jesus christ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by XO ( 250276 ) <blade...eric@@@gmail...com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:48PM (#10169862) Homepage Journal
    JESUS people, it's a goddamn EMAIL SERVICE.

    What are you all DOING?! You're out of your Minds!

    *ala William Shatner*
    HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER EVEN KISSED A GIRL?!
  • by BondGamer ( 724662 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:19PM (#10170055) Journal
    Although this may be a little off-topic: I think google should keep Gmail invitation only, as it is doing with orkut. I don't see any downsides, that is unless you refuse to communicate with any other person on the internet. But then why would you be using email?
  • Death of Gmail? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plasticmillion ( 649623 ) <matthew@allpeers.com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:22PM (#10170073) Homepage
    I'm surprised that nobody's pointed out that this could seriously call into question that survival of Gmail. A few people mentioned that Google might clamp down on the service if it is abused for purposes other than email. But how are they supposed to do this when monitoring people's mails would be a serious invasion of their privacy (although it is intriguing to note that their privacy policy [google.com] doesn't state explicitly - AFAICS - that no one will do this)?

    I think this could turn out to be a serious miscalculation on Google's part. It would be quite trivial to write a web app that front ends Gmail with a virtual file system to which you can upload and download hierarchically structured folders and files. The system could even seamlessly encapsulate more than one account so you could have multiple Gbs of storage available totally free, with huge bandwidth and no maintenance.

    I imagine that Google's estimates of required storage assumed some relatively moderate average consumption for each user. This would make it really easy to eat up more space than they expected. This, combined with the fact that they won't get any advertising revenue from accounts using this trick, might make it difficult for them to continue the service.

    • A few people mentioned that Google might clamp down on the service if it is abused for purposes other than email. But how are they supposed to do this when monitoring people's mails would be a serious invasion of their privacy...

      Actually, it's not too difficult. They don't have to look at the contents of a person's storage space at all. They just have to look at the server logs and say, "Oi! Someone's been making thousands of connections from scores of unique IP addresses to this one acount. They're m

  • "Gallina" means hen (in Spanish), and it's also used in the sense that one use, in English, "chicken".
  • Google offers a free blogging system, blogger.

    Wouldn't suprise me if they linked the two systems at some point.

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