Take a Walk on the Lighter Side

Gmail with grace from any web browser, whether JavaScript-disabled, not yet supported, text-only, or on a PDA or mobile phone.

Being a child of Google, Gmail hides all of its complexity behind a rich, deep, feature-packed yet user-friendly web mail interface, assuming you have the right browser—one of recent vintage—for the job. But what to do if your IT department hasn’t upgraded your version of the Internet Explorer browser since Windows 95, you’re quite happy with the text-only Lynx browser, you’re running the latest nightly build of browser XYZ, which Gmail simply doesn’t like, or you’re trying to reach your mail from a PDA or smartphone?

Gmail-lite (home page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/gmail-lite, SourceForge project page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/gmail-lite; GNU Public License), as the name suggests, puts a plain HTML face on Gmail. It is a PHP application that proxies your interactions with Gmail, allowing you to surf using whatever browser you have at hand or just plain prefer just plain prefer, while keeping Gmail happy with its end of the conversation.

The authors of gmail-lite have done a fantastic job, affording you a plain HTML interface to just about every bit of functionality Gmail provides through its more interactive JavaScript-based frontend.

Installing the Hack

You have to marvel at the wonders of PHP-based applications and their simple installation. Assuming you have the prerequisites taken care of, it’s just a matter ...

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