Gmail GreasemonkeyJust yesterday my Gmail account was upgraded to the new Gmail 2.0, and I can say first hand that there are definitely some speed improvements. Opening up emails only takes a split second, and the new contact manager is uber sweet. The coolest thing, however, is the new ability to bookmark emails, labels, and locations. For example, bookmarking:




http://mail.google.com/mail/#compose

will always take you to the compose screen. Alternatively you can bookmark URL’s that point to certain emails, such as this one:

http://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/1160bde7664262f1

Unfortunately with the nifty new features comes problems for Greasemonkey script users. Google has recoded a lot of their email system, which affects the scripts’ ability to access elements on the page. Google didn’t want to leave the Greasemonkey programmers hangin’ high and dry though, so they decided to lend a helping hand by releasing a Gmail Greasemonkey API.

For those of you who are not programmers an API makes it a ton easier to implement the “hacks” that we’ve become accustomed to. For example, in just a few lines of code you can now add a box in the left sidebar that takes on the same appearance as the Labels.

The really bad news is that users of Lifehacker’s Better Gmail extension will find that almost nothing works since it revolves entirely around the use of Greasemonkey scripts. It will surely take awhile for the dozens of scripts it includes to get updated.

What I think Google should really do is create some sort of JavaScript plugin system for Gmail. Google could then host the scripts much like they do with the gadgets for Google IG, and then users would have their scripts available in any browser on any computer. That may also encourage the script developers to create cross-browser compatible scripts. ;)

If you’re not ready to give up your scripts quite yet you can always switch back to the older version of Gmail by clicking the “Older Version” link located at the top of the page.

Gmail Greasemonkey API [via Google OS]