Feeds

Gmail: a short, sharp rant

Not evil, just arrogant

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

First person Is arrogance a job requirement when trying to join Google?

This story starts with me being furious. "I was bloody furious when my email provider suddenly, and without warning, started bouncing incoming messages." You would be, wouldn't you?

Call me fussy, but I've been told this is the sort of thing which can give a small, struggling ISP a lasting bad reputation. My email provider?

Google.

Yes, I'm a life-long* Gmail user and have been telling people how much better it is than Toytown free mail systems like Hotmail or Yahoo!. And when I signed up, it certainly was - offering enough storage (a gigabyte, wow - at that time Hotmail and Yahoo! were clogging up if you had 10 megs in your inbox) that they were able to say "never delete an email again".

But the situation here was quite unequivocal. A friend rang up and said: "I sent you that email, and I've just got a message from Google saying:

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its recipients. This is a permanent error.

I have to delete mail before I can receive more. Why wasn't I told? Indeed, why should I have to? I can remember the ballyhoo of Gmail's launch: "Never delete an email again." And indeed, if I log onto my account, I see the blurb there: "Who needs to delete when you have over 2000 MB of storage?"

That's the message showing in my gmail account right now, but I still have to delete stuff.

It's a cockup. The problem is very simple indeed: Gmail was set up as a browser-based mail service. You go to http://gmail.com and log in, and as you log in it shows you how much spare space you have. Excellent! - except that since then, Google added a new feature to mail: POP3 email collection.

This means you can tell your Thunderbird or Outlook program where to collect the mail. That means you can carry on using email, even if you're offline. Wonderful... except that when you look at your Thunderbird inbox, there's no message about how much spare space you have.

It's a really simple thing to fix. All Google has to do is arrange for a warning to be sent to POP3 users when the mailbox fills up. It's a small story, not many dead: so, I will write the (brief, but worth-recording-for-posterity) story for El Reg. It should take all of 10 minutes.

Here's what is supposed to happen:-

  1. I ring up the Google press office, and tell them what I've found
  2. They say "Oh, wow! I'm sure the tech people will get onto that. Would you like a chat with someone on the team?"
  3. I write a positive-spin piece saying: "Small problem quickly fixed: Google mail gets better and better!" - going on to say that there was a small problem for POP3 users, and they're on the case, and quoting a reassuringly expert developer saying how easy it will be to fix and how it will be done in days...

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.