gmail chat

So tonight, i used the gmail chat interface for the first time. my first impression is that, AJAX is going to change the way that people use thier desktops.

first off, since I had emailed my enemy friend tommy recently, he showed up in my gmail 'Quick Contacts' menu with a little orange dot next to it. Not knowing what the orange dot meant, but it being different than the typical grey dots next to all the other @gmail accounts in my Quick Contact list, I decided to mash the mouse button onto it.

9:29 PM me: are you looking for love?

And so on and so forth, until we talked for 20 minutes about the badness that is the <iframe> that the chat originally shows up in, to the fact that you can "pop" the iframe out into its own browser window (if you have your pop-up blocker disabled!), and continue to have a chat with the person to the fact that video games are the new golf. What was so nice about it (me being the minimalist that I am): the only thing in the new chat browser window is the chat and an input box.

The reason that I stopped using ICQ (7 digits bitchez) and later AIM (associated with an email *cry*), is the fact that they try to make money off thier IM clients by putting animated gifs** on the top of thier clients. Well, this chat didnt have any of that annoyance.

In fact, it didn't even have any of the emoticons that used to dominate the Yahoo Messenger(cm) days. I remember days of IM'ing my friend Turtle (who never comments on blogs) wasting it away just doing all day long, instead of actually talking to one another. Well, although emoticons are still present in gmail chat, they seem to be WAAAY LESS ANNOYING (and colorful); hopefully keeping the actual communication to a maximum.

Anyway, the chats are definetly stored, the same way that email conversations are stored. You can star them, search them, and definetly archive them. Unless, of course, either party selects 'Off the record', one of two options at the bottom of the browser window. Pretty freakin handy, especially since sometimes you don't want the FTC knowing that you gave Gordon Gecko that insider stock tip about Google's stock going up.

9:57 PM me: afk, im going to blog about it

** OT: Did you know that when viewing an animated gif in Firefox 1.5 in a separate tag, it creates a thumbnail for that gif as the icon for that tab? Can you say sweet?!


tommy said…
i only wish it had some more obvious way to notify you when someone sends you a message and you're not looking directly at the gmail window.

currently all it does is change the title bar to alternate between "SoandSo says..." and "GMail - Inbox"
andrew said… was first, and in the AJAX world it is more advanced with a smoother ui, imo; but, I still plan to use a nice little desktop app for os x called adium. Especially since I won't have to deal with the advertising that I think is sure to come with gmail chat or meebo in the future.
tmarthal said…
i dont think the AJAX needs to be neccesarily advanced; how clean the integration is between the gmail and gchat interface is what is amazing. And what i liked about it was that you dont explicitly have to run an IM Jabber client (like adium) seperately, the only connection is the http sent over the gmail refresh command.

with your greasemonkey script and adblock, why would you have to look at advertising on a gchat webpage?
andrew said…
the best feature imo, is to implement gchat with open standards allowing you to use a browser window and me a desktop client.

I am just not impressed by the AJAX UI portion of gchat within gmail. The only integration is that gmail and gchat share a common username/password. Nothing special there I don't think.

Unfortunately 80-90% of the internet population use a non Mozilla/Firefox browser, so greasemonkey/adblock won't work for them.
C said…
for the not so computer saavy folk out there aka not computer science geek nerd geniuses, there's no real big deal about it to me, except i do like talking while NIFOC and/or while looking at porn while pretending to do work

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