Tuesday, May 26, 2009

IceWm and GMail

I have been using the IceWM window manager and have been exploring how to add functionality and usability to it since it presents as basic window manager. The homepage provides useful documentation and FAQs.

By default, IceWm expects you to have traditional UNIX tools at hand and doesn't automatically provide for newer technologies like GMail. It would be nice for the mail icon to work with a GMail account.

Joel Dare has built upon the work of others and crafted a URL that automatically opens your GMail account in a browser. Importantly, Joel's version of the URL closes any open logins to GMail before attempting to log in; earlier versions of the URL would not complete correctly if you have multiple GMail accounts as I do.

Since the URL contains my password in plain text, I chose to create a script at ~/bin/gmail-login with permissions of 700:

# the following is all on one line
firefox https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLoginAuth?continue=http://mail.google.com/gmail&service=mail&Email=USER&asswd=PASS&null=Sign+in

Replace USER and PASS as appropriate.

To use the new script in IceWm, you need to edit the ~/.icewm/preferences file to change the command to point o the script you created in ~/bin. Now, when you click on the Mail icon, your browser will open your GMail account.

BTW: GMail offers a link at the bottom of your main page named "Details". Clicking on that provides you with IP and date/time information about recent access to your mailbox.

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