Why are EMail and GMail separate applications?

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Mungbeans

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Feb 4, 2009, 7:07:06 PM2/4/09
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Hi

Is the reason why EMail and GMail are separate apps on Android/G1 for
technical reasons or user-design reasons?

Even if totally different protocols are involved, and Gmail emails/
folder structure differs from regular email accounts, I don't see why
a unified mail application couldn't have been written which is capable
of dealing with multiple accounts.

David Turner

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Feb 4, 2009, 7:24:54 PM2/4/09
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The EMail application is open-source and talks POP3 and IMAP
The GMail application is Google-proprietary and uses Google-specific protocols to talk to the servers.

They also work very very differently internally, and a single email client would be a really difficult thing to write.

Finally, they were developped by different teams, on different timescales

Mungbeans

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Feb 4, 2009, 7:27:47 PM2/4/09
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Thanks

Is the GMail protocol non-published and the Gmail source code
unavailable?

Jean-Baptiste Queru

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Feb 4, 2009, 7:30:47 PM2/4/09
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That's correct.

JBQ

--
Jean-Baptiste M. "JBQ" Queru
Android Engineer, Google.

Bradley Young

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Feb 4, 2009, 7:38:18 PM2/4/09
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Different timescales, that's a euphemism.

On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 4:24 PM, David Turner <di...@android.com> wrote:
<snip>

Anders Nilsson Plymoth

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Feb 4, 2009, 7:43:28 PM2/4/09
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Are there any gmail APIs available that you could use to write your own gmail implementation? Besides POP/IMAP. I am not thinking about a full gmail client, but only like a mini gmail app or something.

Anders

Tim Labeeuw

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Feb 4, 2009, 10:39:34 PM2/4/09
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From a usability standpoint having two different email applications is
just confusing. Although technically and legally it may not be
possible to merge the two, would it be possible to add a front end to
the email application, giving the user the "fake" idea that they are
one!

On Feb 4, 7:43 pm, Anders Nilsson Plymoth <lanils...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Are there any gmail APIs available that you could use to write your own
> gmail implementation? Besides POP/IMAP. I am not thinking about a full gmail
> client, but only like a mini gmail app or something.
>
> Anders
>

JS

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Feb 5, 2009, 4:39:47 PM2/5/09
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Speaking of the gmail client. Does it fire any intents when messages
are received?
(ie, is there anyway to run code based on these events)?

Eric Wong (hdmp4.com)

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Feb 5, 2009, 5:59:40 PM2/5/09
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Is the Gmail apk publicly available for download to use on other
Android devices?

Thanks
Eric

On Feb 5, 11:30 am, Jean-Baptiste Queru <j...@google.com> wrote:
> That's correct.
>
> JBQ
>

David Turner

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Feb 5, 2009, 8:19:56 PM2/5/09
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No, it is not

johnny

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Feb 8, 2009, 8:37:40 PM2/8/09
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Why? GMail itself is a free service. Why not google make it publicly
available? What's the strategy behind them?

On Feb 6, 9:19 am, David Turner <di...@android.com> wrote:
> No, it is not
>
> On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 11:59 PM, Eric Wong (hdmp4.com) <ericwon...@gmail.com

JS

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Feb 9, 2009, 12:30:11 AM2/9/09
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The push protocol?

Disconnect

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Feb 9, 2009, 7:28:12 PM2/9/09
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Same reason its not available for download to every other mobile platform...

wait. Nevermind. :(

johnny

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Feb 9, 2009, 8:25:02 PM2/9/09
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Google can choose to not open source the code of GMail app to protect
the Push Protocol. But currently the binary apk is not available to
the general public. Saying that I am a mobile phone vendor, I develop
a phone based on Android. Since I doesn't reach some agreement with
Google, GMail application is not available on my phone. This will be a
disadvantage of my phone compared with HTC's G1. Is google going to
use these applications to control the vendor that uses GMail app and
other applications, such as Maps etc?

Luca Belluccini

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Feb 10, 2009, 2:08:36 AM2/10/09
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Time ago I ported javamail to android platform. If interested, contact
me.

Disconnect

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Feb 10, 2009, 10:54:44 AM2/10/09
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So far, yes.

In theory, in future, no.

But remember that as a handset maker you can just join the OHA ("just" - afaik its expensive but not hard) and get access that way.

Its still somewhat of a kick in the face for AOSP, but..

potassium

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Feb 10, 2009, 12:34:01 PM2/10/09
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Is this implying its possible to get access to the push protocol/gmail
source if you are a member of OHA?

On Feb 10, 7:54 am, Disconnect <dc.disconn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> So far, yes.
>
> In theory, in future, no.
>
> But remember that as a handset maker you can just join the OHA ("just" -
> afaik its expensive but not hard) and get access that way.
>
> Its still somewhat of a kick in the face for AOSP, but..
>

Andrew Stadler (Google)

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Feb 10, 2009, 8:44:25 PM2/10/09
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Just a reminder: Gmail is not part of the open source platform. This
message board is "android-platform". See my point?

The Email client is definitely part of the open source platform. Lots
to talk about here!

Thanks,
--Andy

Bradley Young

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Feb 11, 2009, 12:31:16 AM2/11/09
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Things like: when is K-9 going to be merged back into the mainline?

:)

Bradley

David Turner

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Feb 11, 2009, 11:00:31 AM2/11/09
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when the K-9 authors will decide to submit patches to r.android.com ?

Bradley Young

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Feb 11, 2009, 12:40:29 PM2/11/09
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I was more hoping for a merge.  Could we submit a large patch to bring the email client up to current?

On Feb 11, 2009 8:00 AM, "David Turner" <di...@android.com> wrote:

when the K-9 authors will decide to submit patches to r.android.com ?

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 6:31 AM, Bradley Young <young....@gmail.com> wrote: > > Things like: w...

David Turner

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Feb 11, 2009, 4:23:56 PM2/11/09
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The larger the patch, the less likely it will be accepted.
A series of small patches is highly preferrable; whenever this makes sense

Bradley Young

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Feb 11, 2009, 6:36:01 PM2/11/09
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I understand the rationale for this under normal circumstances.  I feel that there are mitigating factors in this instance:

1) The current email client has substantial issues with regard to design, robustness, functionality, and quality.
2) The K-9 team has really done a lot of work to make the client meet a minimum standard of functionality and quality.
3) The K-9 team has done work to maintain compatibility with the core codebase (preserving the com.android.email namespace), so actual patching should not be an issue, but K-9 is significantly ahead of the default email client, and the code reflects that.  While it should be possible to submit small patches, it is a huge amount of work to "replay" all the changes, and some of those changes conflict with future changes, etc.

So, understanding that small patches are preferred, is it possible to accept a (set of) larger patch(es) to bring things back together?  I don't believe that it is a good long term strategy (from an android platform perspective and from the K-9 perspective) to have a fork, but some amount of "meet in the middle" would grease the skids, so to speak.

Thoughts?  I'd be glad to arrange a more in-depth discussion between the email client team and the K-9 team to facilitate de-forking and ongoing coordination.

Bradley

David Turner

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Feb 11, 2009, 7:25:17 PM2/11/09
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I'm only talking in general terms here, since I don't maintain the EMail application, and I understand
your point of view.

However, I'm pretty sure that submitting a large patch is going to make for a hell of a code review :-)
This is a general problem for open source projects (and even proprietary ones), and is not specific
to Android.

Besides, the E-Mail app has access to both the network and your contacts list, so I imagine
any large patch will need to be scrutinized for security issues (note that I'm certainly not claiming
at all that there aren't any issues in the original code, and your code may very well have fixed
many of those).

I know that the engineer that is currently in charge of the E-Mail app reads this forum, so I'll let
him answer this much better than I can.

Andrew Stadler (Google)

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Feb 11, 2009, 10:05:02 PM2/11/09
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That's me, and I will do so later tonight. Note, I'm going to reply
in a new thread because I feel we've wandered far from the original
topic (Gmail vs. Email).

Thanks
Andy Stadler

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