Computer World reports that many of the upcoming Gmail features will use HTML5. Adam de Boor, a Gmail engineer, said that Google’s goal is to make Gmail load in less than a second.

„If the browser supports CSS3, Gmail will render the pages using these specifications, rather than its traditional approach of using the Document Object Model (DOM). The company has found that using CSS3 can speed the rendering time by 12 percent. (…) Gmail will also make use of HTML5’s database standards. Now, the e-mail service uses Google Gears to store mail for offline reading, but over time that will migrate to the HTML5 standards.“

Another feature that will be added to Gmail allows users to drag attachments to the desktop. This feature is not part of HTML5, but Google says that it will encourage other browsers to use it. Right now, you can drag and drop files from the desktop to Gmail, but only if you use Firefox 3.6 or Chrome.

Adam de Boor revealed how many lines of code are in Gmail: 443,000 lines of JavaScript code written by hand.

Gmail has added many features that used to be available only in desktop mail clients: fetching email from other accounts, threading, powerful spam filters, reading messages offline. Now it’s time to better integrate Gmail with the browser or the operating system and to add notifications, a simplified way to handle attachments and a better performance.