Are You Feeling Lucky?

It’s been said that the definition of beta-testing is as follows:

Beta Testing — The act of placing your mission critical data into the safekeeping of completely untested and unproven software systems. In olden days, virgins were used to beta test volcanoes.

If you feel like taking such a risk, I have a GMail contact retrieval script that I hacked together this afternoon. It’s not especially pretty but it works for me. I’m actually playing with this with a legitimate purpose in mind down the road.

Before you ask, my legitimate purpose doesn’t involve harvesting GMail passwords, spamming, stalking your roommate, or anything else nefarious. Would I do something like that? The passwords are encrypted before they’re sent to Google, but they travel to my web server in cleartext, so you might not want to try this out on a wireless connection. Enjoy!

No comments yet to Are You Feeling Lucky?

  • Actionstance

    Can you explain this in lame-man terms?

  • Casimir

    Say you used Gmail. One of the nice features of GMail is a contact list built right in. Say someone else wanted to start a viral marketing campaign of the, “invite someone to $foo” or “tell your friends about $bar” variety. An easy way for you to send a message to a bunch of your friends quickly would be to fetch that contact list and select the recipients from there. In order to do that, you’d need a script that talked to GMail and got contact information. That’s what this does.

  • and what is the legitimate purpose? do tell!

  • CS Weenie

    Shortly after gmail went public, some clever guy created “GmailFS”, so you could make better use of that 1GB of storage. Probably quite slow though.

  • Casimir

    Yeah, I remember that, you could chain together several accounts with it as I recall, to get more than 1 GB. Between being in userspace and having to transfer XML and JavaScript fragments over the network, it would probably be pretty sluggish. Interestingly, it uses the same library as I do in this example.

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