The author of the software gives a few good reasons for taking a second swipe at a GMail Notifier, below.
From the Scotsman’s point of view, it was easy to duplicate the app and change the icon colors to create uniquely identifiable pop-up notifiers for multiple GMail accounts. The app.icns and the mail.tiff files in the Resources directory (inside the package contents) are all that need to be re-colorized. This is especially simple if you have the Mac OS X icon composer available.
To have the notification messages come up with the appropriate colors, you need to change the default Growl registration name in the GNGrowlController.rb file in the same directory. Just change the “Gmail Notifr” string in that file to something descriptive. (Note: If you want multiple notifiers to start at login and automatically connect to the correct accounts, you still have to modify the Info.plist in the top level package contents to point to separate preferences files, just like you do for the Google Notifier)
I downloaded the source and it looks like the code uses an SSL connection to Google by default, so it should be secure out of the box, although the documentation doesn’t trumpet that fact (and my Ruby skills are far exceeded by almost every other skill I posses, so you might want to check that out yourself and post a comment to let me know if I’m wrong). Also on the security front, it seemed that this notifier did not log nearly as much message content in the Console log as the Google version did. Possibly because it uses Growl for its pop-up alert, and possibly because the drop down menu of this notifier does not summarize the most recent messages, as does the Google version.
Be aware that this version does not do calendars, just mail. But since it is now possible to sync Apple’s iCal with your Google calendar, the calendar side of notifier is not as useful a feature as it once was.
The Growl messages carry the subject lines of all new messages in the inbox, rather than a message digest in a pop-up for each new message since the last check. This means you need to keep your inbox empty or you’ll get a new pop-up every polling interval. This is a markedly different strategy than used for Growl notifications in the Google version with Google+Growl, or in Thunderbird with the Growl plugin. Its very annoying if your inbox is not empty.
For info on getting the Google version of Notifier running with multiple GMail accounts, look at our older post here.
Project: Gmail Notifr | ashchan.com
Why Another Gmail Notifier?
There’s an official Google Notifier for Mac out there. For two reasons I don’t like Google Notifier very much
- You cannot configure it to check mail every N minutes. Whenever a new message is received, it will notify you. That disturbs.
- It installs and runs several daemon processes (Google Updater for
example) without asking you. What’s even worse, these processes remain
after uninstalling Google Notifier.
When I started learning RubyCocoa recently, an idea came out: why not write a Gmail Notifier in RubyCocoa?
So here comes Gmail Notifr.