As many hardcore Gmail users know, Mihai Parparita, one of the Google Reader developers, wrote a script nearly two years ago named, aptly, Gmail Macros. Since then, the members of the GMail Power Users group on Google Groups have made countless modifications, and released several different versions. Some of the modifications were integrated into Mihai’s script by Mihai himself.
Fast-forward to this month, when Mihai re-wrote the “official” version to be compatible with the new Gmail code. Since then, Brent Nef has updated his version, and a new GreaseMonkey (forgive the pun) going by the name of GreenPlastik has also been making his own version.
Lifehacker has begun separate development on a new version of the Better Gmail Firefox extension, cunningly named Better Gmail 2. There have been flurries of comments going on at both Mihai’s blog and Lifehacker around various updates. Mihai’s new Macros actually prompted the release of Better Gmail 2, according to the extension’s author, Gina Trapani.
Interestingly enough, there is a sort of unofficial API that can be loaded by Greasemonkey scripts. It gives API methods to aid in accessing Gmail functions. It is somewhat fragile, and could change at Google’s whim, but for now it should make writing Greasemonkey scripts for Gmail a little bit easier.
Better Gmail 2 is currently at release 0.1, but will probably get some updates as script authors re-write their existing scripts to work with Gmail’s new code. I anticipate multiple versions of Gmail Macros, as with earlier releases of the first Better Gmail. The flakes are still falling here, so stay tuned for more updates.