Help me write or find a Send To handler for Gmail
February 5, 2007 5:27 PM   Subscribe

Is there a URL for Gmail compose windows that can pre-populate it with the filenames of attachments?

I'm setting up a new Windows XP laptop for a friend whose primary mail service is Gmail. She has two Gmail accounts: one for personal mails and one for business-related mails. She likes the Gmail web interface very much and would prefer to use that than a local email client; but she's also accustomed to being able to email files as attachments by right-clicking them in Windows Explorer and selecting Send To->Mail Recipient.

Of course I could easily wire her Gmail accounts into Outlook Express or Thunderbird and have them send these mails; but that would add an ongoing requirement to keep her local address book updated from her Gmail address book, which is rapidly becoming her main one.

So I'd like to find a way to use Gmail as the standard Windows email handler. Incredibly, the official Gmail Notifier doesn't appear to have an option to do this. For the time being, I've installed the Gmail Manager and DragDropUpload extensions into her Firefox, but I'd like to make things smoother.

I've aware of the URL for opening a new Gmail compose window, and of the "&to=", "&cc=", "&su=" and "&body=" parameters that allow pre-population of the To, Cc, Subject and Body fields; what I'm after is the ability to pre-populate the file attachment fields as well, with the pathnames of the files I want to attach.

Can anybody save me from needing to poke around inside DragDropUpload to see how it works?
posted by flabdablet to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
You may be able to write a Firefox extension that fills in the attachment information after the page, but you can't set a default attribute on the file form element as a security precaution.
posted by icebourg at 5:59 PM on February 5, 2007

Those file attachment dialogs are pretty tricky, and for good reason. Browsers seem to lock them down pretty tight in order to protect from malicious scripters. There may be a way, but when I looked into it a few months ago I found zilch.
posted by anomie at 6:42 PM on February 5, 2007

I am so not tech proficient but I have two possible leads. One, is the GMail Power Users Group. The folks there have been real helpful about answering my questions about greasemonkey scripts for gmail. Also, I cannot find the link right now, but I have a script/program that when I right click on a file, it gives me a choiice to back it up to email (Gmail.) I am sure with some know-how it can be tweaked to do what you want. I am looking for where I got it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:52 PM on February 5, 2007

This is the file to which I referred above.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:04 PM on February 5, 2007

Is This of any use? It does use the gmail notifier you said is not what you are looking for, but maybe it will help.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:14 PM on February 5, 2007

Response by poster: Johnny: I've had much better luck getting good answers from AskMe than from anywhere else, but I've copied this request to the Power Users group you linked to - thanks for that.

The backup thing you linked to appears to be using SMTP to send its files, which is not what I want, since it doesn't give the user access to the actual Gmail composer window which is where the address book is at; you might as well just use TB or OE.

There's also a big difference between something that handles mailto: links in web pages, as Gmail Notifier and assorted other notifiers including the extensions I've already installed will do, and being the default Windows mail client which is what I want. I'm specifically after a way to make the Windows right-click Send To->Mail Recipient function open a Gmail composer window that has the clicked-on file(s) already listed as attachments.

I'm thinking some combination of batch files, VBS scripts and Greasemonkey is going to end up being the way this gets done.
posted by flabdablet at 7:29 PM on February 5, 2007

I'm thinking that VB scripts, greasemonkey, and batch files are probably not going to get you any satisfying resolution. Whatever you figure out will probably change with the next version of Gmail and/or Firefox, and then it'll be even more work. If she can adapt to a new computer, I'd guess that she can change her email habits a bit.
posted by tmcw at 9:28 PM on February 5, 2007

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