Thursday, May 31

Google Gears - offline ajax

Google has just now announced a tool called Google Gears to run ajax applications offline.

Currently google's search engine has not indexed the site (too new?) so use to install the toolkit locally in your browser.

InfoWeek has the story here.

Aaron Boodman, Gears Engineer is speaking about the tookit at Google Developer Day in Sydney now and he says the following about gears:
  • Gears is implemented as a browser plugin, and currently supports IE, Firefox, Windows, Mac, Linux and (almost) Safari.
  • The framework is fully open source (see and has a "new BSD" license.
  • Architecture of gears: You UI code always uses the local DB, and the framework syncs with the server periodically. This allows a seamless online/offline experience.
  • The gears component "LocalServer" adds a special cache in the browser. It has a ManagedResourceStore that can store an entire web application into a "manifest" with an auto update feature to ensure changes to the web app are updated to the client.
  • Gears comes with a real database! It uses the tiny opensource SQLite db. Code example:
    • db = google.gears.factory.create('beta.database', '1.0');
    • db. execute('insert into .... values (?, ?)', ['foo', 'bar']);
  • SDK now available online.
  • Has a database tool: dbquery.html
  • Has a component called "WorkerPool" that provides a thread-like non-blocking javascript api. This allows for CPU intensive calculations to be run in the background without impacting the browser's responsiveness.
  • Bonus: full text search capability using SQLite and Google's "FTS2" open source project. This supports millions of documents. FTS3 is in development with a much larger number of documents.

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Blogger James Crisp said...

Interesting, and I can see the point with say google reader. However, what about more complex apps which have more than one 'page'?

Taking a cynical step back, isn't this simply a way to write a crippled desktop app in javascript?

The MS Silverlight approach seems a much cleaner and more powerful way to do similar things.


11:50 am  

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