Better your Gmail

The new Gmail interface has forced Firefox plug-ins for Gmail to go back to the shop. Better Gmail 2 is one of the first out of the gate, but it still needs a lot of work.

Google's long-awaited upgrade to Gmail has broken nearly all of the plug-ins designed to enhance the Web-based e-mail client's functionality. Better Gmail was one of the most thorough Gmail extensions for Firefox, and the publisher has rushed out a new version to meet the new Gmail.

The handful of additional features it provides are good, no doubt. There's the forced https connection, useful for us paranoids but probably ineffective against the combined might of the U.S. Government and AT&T. There's a forced mailto, as well, so that all mailto's in other HTML pages open up a blank e-mail window in Gmail. The Inbox Count First feature shows the unread message count from the in-box in the tab title.

Other features include support for keyboard shortcut macros to expand the set that Gmail comes with, a place to set your domain for Google Apps, message details that appear only for the most recent message in a conversation, and attachment icons that replace the boring paperclip with the more useful program appropriate icon, so that a ZIP attachment will show a ZIP icon in the e-mail list.

Better Gmail 2 is off to a good start, but unless you're looking for one of the specific features that it provides, it's probably better to hold off downloading it and use the old Gmail interface with the old Better Gmail plug-in until a more muscular version gets released.

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