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From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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Oddpost is a pay-for webmail service that pioneered the use of JavaScript to mimic a desktop mail application. This design concept minimizes the amount of data that is sent during an email session by creating a JavaScript UI engine on the client side and sending "Datapacks" instead of reloading the whole interface on every click like a traditional webmail service (Hotmail, Yahoo!). This makes the service much faster than its counterparts.

Oddpost also has the design philosophy of making the interface invisible. All inessential non-data is eliminated from the interface. Unread message headers are Bolded, so there is no need for an unread message icon next to each message, Sub folders are indented under the parent, so there is no need for a little ant trail connecting each folder.

Excerpt from a 2003 interview with Ethan Diamond, the President and co-founder of Oddpost about this minimalist approach.

"This data-centric approach may sound painfully obvious, but consider that at 1024×768 (the most common resolution on the web), only about 30% of Yahoo! Mail’s inbox screen is devoted to your mail. The remaining 70% is not, as you might expect, all devoted to advertising. In fact, ads only account for about 10% of the screen real estate, and the remaining 60% is consumed by navigation, dead space and administrative debris."

Google made use of these ideas extensively in Gmail.

Oddpost is also known for its humorous blog entries about feature additions, bug fixes, and all random musings about Oddpost.

Oddpost was purchased by Yahoo! on July 9, 2004 to add its Yahoo! Mail service the ability to mimic a desktop mail application which is faster than HTML based model. On September 14, 2005 Yahoo! Mail started letting some users register to beta test the new Yahoo! Mail web client.

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