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Saturday, October 23, 2004
Inside Gmail's Guts: It Ain't Pretty, But It Is Powerful
Jon Udell takes a peek under Gmail's hood, and is eminently impressed by what he sees. He looks at Gmail's address auto complete, the spell checker, and what he describes as "JavaScript/DHTML wizardry". As he explains, Gmail uses a JavaScript loaded "UI engine". Johnvey Hwang, who deconstructed the JavaScript and created a .NET-based Gmail API, noted that Oddpost was the first company to perfect this technique. He noted this on July 5th. On July 9th, Yahoo acquired Oddpost. Heh.
So is Gmail a rich Internet application? Sure. Although that label most often applies to Java, .Net, and Flash clients, Gmail shows that Web clients can join the club too. But crucially, Gmail’s architecture is open to other kinds of rich clients, too. It doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game.

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