Gnome Gmail made simple

If you’re running the GNOME desktop environment and you want to make Google’s Gmail your default mail handler, you’re going to need to specify a script to do the handoff. Gnome Gmail integrates Gmail into mail links and commands on your GNOME desktop. Once it’s in place, when you select a mailto URL, or select Send Link… from Firefox, Gnome Gmail opens a Gmail browser screen with a composed message, ready to send. Gnome Gmail also supports file attachments and the Nautilus file “Send To…” command.

Setting up Gnome Gmail is simple. First install the software (the project provides packages for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and Red Hat), then go to System -> Preferences -> Preferred Applications and select Gmail as the Mail Reader.

Creator Dave Steele says Gnome Gmail started as a small script designed to parse mailto URLs correctly. “I’ve been fiddling with it for about four months, adding features as I ran across failure cases. It has grown quite a bit from its start – file attachment support tripled the size of the script.”

Steele wrote Gnome Gmail in Python, using vi. “Python is my first-choice go-to language for personal projects. Its ‘batteries included’ library support and robust syntax make it a satisfying environment for me.”

Since Steele has been registered with SourceForge since 2000, hosting the project here was a natural choice. “The site has done a good job lately providing support for third-party tools. I’ve got git – I’m happy.”

He announces new releases, like the most recent one last week, on Project News, and on “It’s surprising how effective Project News works; there must be an army of stringers trolling those feeds.”

Steele plans a cleanup release in a month or so, with internationalization support and a shiny icon. “Other than that, I plan to keep up with bug reports, and pay attention to feature requests.” He welcomes ideas and help – “especially patches. I’d love for someone to work out Gmail support for the indicator applet Ubuntu installs on the tool bar. The best way to contact me is through the bug and request trackers, or via my email address.