Gmail! AAARGH!

Sam Hart

2007-11-29 22:50:47

For reasons that escape me, I standardized on Gmail for my work-related email. The only reason I can think of is the clever way that they thread messages (how, when a new message for a thread arrives, it elevates the entire thread on my queue... I find this really makes following threads much easier than the traditional ways in which threads are handled, although many of my friends disagree). Anyway, it doesn't matter, when I started my job at the Linux Foundation I standardized my work email on Gmail.

Well, I was actually pretty happy with Gmail for a long time. At least, until the new version came out around a month ago. Now, using Gmail is like masturbating with a porcupine-quill glove... except without the fun.

What's wrong with Gmail, you may ask? Well, for starters, this new version runs astoundingly slow on even the most beefy hardware.

My desktop isn't the most powerful beasty on the block, but it's not too shabby either. Dual 64-bit Pentium D's running at 3.20GHz each and with 2GB of RAM on my system, it should be more than capable of running a friggin' web browser and a web-based email application.

However, running this new version of Gmail is unbearably slow. Scrolling any page in Gmail moves at a snail's pace. And typing email? Forget about it- unless you like typing all of your email with a 5-10 second delay between keystroke and letter appearing on the screen.

And I'm not the only one with this problem, it's happening everywhere. Do a Google search for it (oh, the irony) and you'll see that there's millions of posts with people having this exact same problem. The general solution is to somehow force it to use the old version.

The problem? Clicking on "Old Version" in the upper right hand corner tends to break it at random times. Sometimes it works fine, other times it does this:

Furthermore, whatever crazy new shit Gmail is doing is chomping down the memory on my system like it was candy at a bariatric clinic. In some (admittedly very basic) tests I've done on my system I've noticed that my browser (Firefox, in case anyone out there cares) tends to use around 200-300MB more when the new Gmail is just sitting there (I'm not doing anything with it) than when the old Gmail link has been clicked. That's nearly half a CD of RAM this fucking website is using. How is this even possible?

At any rate, unless Google gets their shit together, I'm just going to start pulling my mail from Gmail down over pop and deal with it locally. This crap is outrageous and, since this is effectively my work email, I can't deal with it being this slow.