A number of organizations I am part of use Google Apps for their Email, Calendaring, Storage, etc, which means that I recently became one of the millions of users who recently had too much load time, excessive white-space, and awkwardly huge buttons foisted upon them by the new Gmail re-design. On my 13” large screen, the new design leaves far too little space for email, which seems like perhaps somebody missed the point.

The unpleasantness added to my email experience finally forced me to reconsider viewing my Gmail in the same manner as my other email: through offlineimap and Mutt.

Since I last considered offlineimap for Gmail, it has sprouted some new features to handle some of the anachronisms of Gmail more comfortably. The two most notable changes are the synclabels = yes flag which will apparently sync labels back and forth, when set on messages. And the account type = Gmail which seems to set some sane defaults for suitably handling Gmail.

For example:

[Repository REDACTEDRemote]
type = Gmail
ssl = yes
maxconnections = 3
synclabels = yes

Once I finished syncing my accounts and the folders I cared about, excluding All Mail, I closed the many persistent Gmail tabs open in my web browser. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the memory usage on my machine and the baseline had dropped over a whole gigabyte!

I am aware of how lightweight terminal-based applications I use can be in comparison to fully-featured in-browser web applications, but I was shocked to such a change.

With that extra 1024MB of memory, I can run another whole JVM!