gmail-lite for PHP


gmail-lite is an html-only interface of GMail. Although I develope it with PDA browser (mostly Netfront) in mind, it should be workable with any browser on Earth (e.g. lynx, ie3, netscape4, opera5... by the way, you may be interested in Peter-Paul Koch's excellent article: A History of Browsers). The only tags being used are A, B, FORM, H1, I, INPUT, P, SELECT, TEXTAREA, TABLE, TR, and TD (and META and STYLE in HEAD).

You can also see it as a kind of "example" application that uses the GMailer library.


What's Not (yet)

Modify filter/contacts; draft with attachment... what else is essential?


Click here for screenshots of gmail-lite in Netfront (a PDA browser), Opera in Symbian phone, Lynx (a text-only browser on Unix), and some really old browsers.


Demo site 1

Okay, if you got a GMail account, and you really trust me, you may want to try it here. But please note that:

Okay you may really try it here (SSL), :-D. Please send me comments (sorry the address is malformed to avoid spam).

Demo site 2

Sam Krupa is kind enough to host another gmail-lite demo site in his GMail blog for the general public! Thank you, Sam!


gmail-lite buttonJay Allen has sent me this nice gmail-lite little button he has created. You may add that to your site if it hosts gmail-lite too. Thank you, Jay!



The source code of gmail-lite can be accessed via sourceforge. Installation is simple: just copy them all into a directory. Please also see GMailer below for its requirements.


GMail is cool, and its extreme use of javascript makes it the coolest webmail on Earth (but again, the credit should be given to Oddpost, which is known as the very first of these heavy-client-side webmail systems). This is why it runs so fast, since most work is done at the client-side. But this prevents people from using different kinds of browsers to access it. Currently only (the most recent versions of) IE, mozilla/firefox, Safari, and probably Opera, are supported.

I would love to check gmail with my PDA while I was, say, waiting for a bus. With GPRS I can go online (almost) anywhere, but I couldn't access GMail. As GMail being my primary email, I felt the need to write an universally accessible version of it. That's how I got the idea of gmail-lite.

I was hacking thimal's RSS feed codes to write my gmail-lite when suddenly, I thought, well, let's wrap those important functions properly into a library. Some time later, I found it very useful and so spent much more time on it than the webmail system. And then I call it GMailer.

Okay, I know Google will probably release POP/IMAP service (update: POP access is available now) or html-only webmail very soon. Since they are definitely doing it better than I have, this project is doomed... but hell, I can't wait. I want to check gmail with any browser, even lynx, now. Besides it is quite an amusement to do such coding... code for what you need, lol.


GMail is a still in beta, and GMailer (along with gmail-lite above) is, I would say, an "alpha hack" of a beta software. So don't expect it to work all the time, and do not build critical mission applications upon it (e.g. hmm... whatever you think is important). Just have some fun, build something interesting from it, and hopefully make your life a bit easier sometimes. ;-)

Google is, IMHO, a good company. But she is NOT a charity. So let them make some pennies by accessing GMail through its official website, see some text ads, and click on them when you find them really useful or related (but don't click blindly: you will be misleading the "market"). That's how to make a good company stronger.

Finally, please just bear in mind that these kinds of hacking are actually violating their terms of service... so... hey, you were warned.


Please email me or visit the forum at sourceforge.

Sourceforge Logo

Both GMailer and gmail-lite are submitted as part of the sourceforge project gmail-lite. They are both GPL licensed, i.e. you can use them as long as you are willing to share your code and improvement... (am I right?)

libgmailer for PHP


libgmailer (GMailer) is a PHP library/class that helps you accessing/checking/using GMail through PHP scripts.

Basically, GMailer connects to GMail website and does the information retrival on behalf of you. It uses the curl extension of PHP to handle HTTP/HTTPS traffic.



The latest version can be downloaded from sourceforge. Please send me comments (sorry the address is malformed to avoid spam).


GMailer should works well with PHP >= 4. Although I spent most of my time developing it in PHP 5 environment, I took special care not to use classes/functions that are PHP 5 only. Also it requires the curl extension. You may find information about curl in the PHP homepage and the curl homepage.

Because GMailer ALWAYS connects to GMail via SSL, you may need OpenSSL for curl to talk SSL. Details can also be found in curl homepage.

Potential Application

html-only gmail (see gmail-lite below), RSS feed, file server, p2p sharing (-_-! well...), you name it.


Please email me or visit the forum at sourceforge.


GMailer is definitely not built completely from scratch. These are the most important projects that have helped me a lot during development:

About me

Arr... thank you for being so kind to read through the entire page (I assume most of you would simply Ctrl-F & "download" & head for downloading... lol). Here are some interesting pointers about me: