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EarthWeb: The Gmail email client

Jan 28, 2001, 12:14 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert Bernstein)

"An MUA (Mail User Agent) featuring an innovative approach to email message storage is now under development, and it bodes well for those email users who number their messages in the thousands. Gmail (http://gmail.linuxpower.org/), the brainchild of Wayne Schuller, a young Australian programmer, uses the MySQL database server, and retrieves, sorts and displays messages via SQL, the well known "Structured Query Language." It became possible to develop Gmail as an Open Source project when, earlier this year, MySQL changed its licensing to the GNU GPL. Schuller is a advocate: "I'm a big supporter of the GNU project and the importance of GPL licensing; that pushed me in the [direction of] Gnome two years ago." (He also reminded this reviewer that Gmail is not the only MUA using a SQL database; Pronto (http://www.muhri.net/pronto/), written in Perl, is very much a going concern.)"

"It isn't hard to accumulate thousands of email messages. If one makes some careful choices among the myriad mailing lists that abound across the Internet, messages by the hundreds will pour in daily, and add up to thousands as the days go by. Given that hard drive space has become quite inexpensive, anyone can now create their own archives of lists that are of interest to them. If you've ever struggled with those online "searchable" archives of email lists, accessed with a web browser, then you can appreciate how such personal archives can have a use, sometimes a life-saving use, if the solution to a quandry can be quickly found because those archives were created and maintained."

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