Texas A&M University (David Morris)



Jan '06 - Jan '07

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    Gmail Lockdown

    By David Morris
    Oct 3, '06 1:08 PM EST

    Since I started creating the new web site for the office, I've been looking for the ultimate architecture project display engine for the web. I like the works page of Jean Nouvel, example, but it's completely inaccessible being put into flash like that.

    After hours of Google searches and no less than 50 seemingly endless wiki article chains, I stumbled upon the WikiTimeline Project. It's a script written by Erik Zachte. It's basically a script that converts time based data into a static image with hyperlinks. It even supports svg now. Anyways, it's an amazing project, and I thought I had finally found the answer. But something about the timelines is missing. They display all the information, and you can pick whatever colors you want, but a lot of times they end up looking... ugly, or something close to it.

    Which brings me to the next great discovery for me for the week: The MIT Simile Timeline project. It's an AJAX DHTML timeline app that anyone can include in their own webpage. It's really pretty simple to use, but the documentation isn't quite complete, so you may have a hard time finding out what all it can do and how to make it do... it. This can't possibly be a profound discovery for the internet, because it's obious that the project is well-established, and it didn't just come out yesterday, but nevertheless, it's profound for me.

    I also discovered a php file that allows you to connect to Gmail and grab any information you want from it. Simply put, it's awesome. awesome to the max. I've been watching too many Futurama reruns. Anyways, the script is quite simple, but again the documentation is really bad, but after a while, I attempted to do a dump of the start and end date of every "conversation" in my "all mail" folder. There are over 9000 messages, and after testing the script to 100, I went for the gold and put 9001. ... hold.... hoooold.... hooooold....

    The script finished, but I had all the dates in the wrong format (e.g. aug 29 (2 days ago)), which is completely useless to the timeline app. So I had to fix the script, run it again, and lo and behold, my gmail window I had open disconnected and sent me this message:


    I couldn't believe it. 24 hours... I use gmail every... oh, five minutes at work, so this was not good news. Ok, ok, every four... anyways, I filled out a help form and begged them to turn it back on, and asked if the script was illegal, and when i woke up this morning gmail worked, and I had a format response from google stating the terms of use, etc... It didn't really answer my question, so of course I had to try the script again. This time I tried to grab 1000 messages, and write it to a file on the server instead of outputting it to the browser window, and it did it again! I deserved it this time. okay, both times... I filled out the form again, we'll see what happens. Anyways, all I got out into the xml file was the image at the top of the post. How awesome would that look if it went for 9000 messages? awesome to the max.

    You can check out the site here... Maybe it will let me grab more messages if i figure out a way to break up the server requests. If you have any ideas, let me know...

    • 1 Comment

    • aml

      ahhhh so that's why gmail isn't working today...

      thanks for the links, love diagramming of all kinds

      Oct 3, 06 2:28 pm

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