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November 3, 2009

Why sending large attachments sucks, but we’ll keep doing it anyway

The Google Operating System blog (independent of Google) has a useful post explaining why it’s a bad idea to send large attachments, even though Google now lets you attach files up to 25MB in size.

The reasons the post gives have to do with how inefficient attachments are for the system: They get expanded and require multiple uncached downloads. But, those reasons won’t carry a lot of water for people who just want to send their 25MB Powerpoint presentation to 35 people who simply have to see it. (Mea culpa. Except these days it’d be Keynote for me … which seems to make much larger files than Powerpoint.) Until we come up with an easier way to send around files — or a way that adds enough other benefits — we’re going to be wrapping our attachment anvils in brown paper and twine, sticking stamps on them, and sending them through the emails just like God and Google intended.