As Jeff mentioned, it doesn't appear to affect the way Gmail works. According to several different Chrome Bug reports (1, 2, 3, 4), the Gmail website is attempting to load a resource that is taking forever/not loading properly.
According to the bug reports, it has something to do with this
GET requested URL:
Request URL: https://mail.google.com/mail/channel/bind?VER=8&at=AF6bupMV0YlyE96Mz6Y9tRg5NS0raR6ssA&it=3125&RID=rpc&SID=304CA2227E292CA5&CI=0&AID=9&TYPE=xmlhttp&zx=2hn7zqydxypy&t=1
Status Code:200 OK
If you would like to take a look for yourself, you can do the following:
- Open a new tab
- Open the developer tools. This can be done by either going to Wrench -> Tools -> Developer Tools or pressing Ctrl + Shift + I
- Click on the Network button (3rd tab). You should see a message on the bottom that says "No requests captured. Reload the page to see detailed information on the network activity."
- In the address bar, go to gmail.com and let the page load.
You will see the network tab fill up with the back and forth requests/information between Chrome and Gmail's servers. Once you wait long enough for the logo to stop spinning, you can see what resource was causing the problem and how long it took.
This is a screenshot of my network tab - you can see that the
bind resource took 3.6 minutes to load:
Click to see full-sized.
Although there are Chrome bug reports filed for this, I am going to assume it's actually a problem with Gmail.
Edit: After watching the network activity for Gmail for the last 25 minutes, I'm not sure exactly what the
bind request does - it seems to be connected to everything. For me, the initial
bind request includes what seems to be all of my contacts, and then a bunch of information involving
contact.talk.google.com about those contacts. The
bind URL seems to close after about 4 minutes and then opens a new 4 minute connection - this seems to be how Gmail watches for new emails. Mine had a bunch of
[noop] entries, and then the email address and subject of a new email when it arrived.
I'm now wondering if Gmail isn't working the way it's supposed to, and the bug is with Chrome/webkit browsers that don't stop showing the "loading" graphic until all of the initial connections are closed (ie, right around 3-4 minutes when the first
I filed my own Chrome bug report with this information, if anyone wants to add to it.