Gmail bulks up for future upgrades

Gmail bulks up for future upgrades

Google reinforces service to run faster, support new features

Google has started rolling out an upgrade to its Gmail service to better support its planned upgrades.

A company spokesperson said that the company is in the process of updating Gmail's Javascript coding to make the service "faster and more flexible".

The spokesperson said that the changes will first be applied to the US English version of the service, with updated international versions expected several weeks later.

In article for a company blog, Gmail engineer Dan Pupius explained that the update would allow the service to handle things that had not yet been anticipated when Gmail launched in 2004.

"In the past three and a half years we have launched a number of cool features," wrote Pupius.

"During this time we've learned a lot about building large web applications and what happens when you push web browsers to their limits."

Pupius said that the update has included elements from other services, such as the rich-text editor used by Google's Page Creator and Groups services. Google engineers also added keyboard shortcuts and the ability to bookmark messages or e-mail searches.

Much of the work on Gmail was aimed at improving the speed of the service. Pupuis pointed out that a loading delay of only a few seconds for each message can add up to hours of wasted time when users wade through their e-mail.

"We've spent a lot of time profiling all parts of the application, shaving milliseconds off wherever we can, and figuring out workarounds for some pretty deep-rooted issues with the current browser implementations," he said.

The update will also bring with it some unwanted side-effects for users that run third-party extensions, such as file managers or notification tools. Pupuis said that Google will be working with developers to update the add-ons, but admitted that the after the update many would be "likely to stop working."