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But at that point, you still have a blocking call to put it on the queue at Google's servers. Which can just as well be, well, a mail server (which maintains a queue of itself). So adding another layer of abstraction on top of it kind of defeats the purpose.

Interesting point, but what happens if you click "send!" and then close your laptop. Is your message sent or not?

While your point about the server-end being a queue is true, there's an expectation once your message is offloaded onto Google's queue, they will reliably process the message in a reasonable amount of time.

How is that call to put it on the queue "blocking"? "Blocking" is being used here to describe the UI preventing the user from further interaction (such as reading a different email) until the server acknowledges receipt. You can still wait for queue acknowledgement without preventing the users from browsing to other parts of the app.

Ah, but the queue doesn't exist on Google's servers. It's purely on your computer.

So the idea is that instead of time-consuming, blocking operations, you have fast blocking operations that put things in queues, and the queues then handle the slow operations.

GMail Labs has a "send in background" feature which does exactly this.

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