Google Gears – Notes replication for the web

At Google Developer Day, Google announced the ability for web apps to be available both offline and online. At their Google Gears website, they describe it as: an open source browser extension that enables web applications to provide offline functionality using following JavaScript APIs:

  • Store and serve application resources locally
  • Store data locally in a fully-searchable relational database
  • Run asynchronous Javascript to improve application responsiveness

At TechCrunch, they give a pretty good review of Google Gears. Now, this idea is not new in the desktop world. Lotus Notes pioneered the idea of “replication” for both online and offline use. This is Lotus Notes forte and cause of endless frustration at the same time. We’ll soon see how well Google will be able to work out the kinks. So far, the only web app that is Gears enabled is Google Reader. Other notable projects that propose to do similar thing are: Dojo Offline Toolkit and the Apache Derby embedded database.

Using your phone as a web server

Zec from Zec Online Journal wrote about a new concept from Nokia demonstrated at MobileCamp event in New York for the first time – Nokia Mobile Web Server:

It’s the concept of serving web pages directly from a mobile phone connected to the network.

The plan is that every mobile web server will be provided with global URL.

If every mobile phone or even every smartphone initially, is equipped with a webserver then very quickly many websites will reside on mobile phones. That is bound to have some impact not only on how mobile phones are perceived but also on how the web evolves.

Further reading at the Nokia OpenSource Wiki – Mobile Web Server describes some very interesting scenarios for possible use cases. In particular, one such scenario:

When every phone has a URL and there is a web service interface to calendar, it becomes straightforward to create a peer-2-peer based distributed calendar application without any centralized server.

This is really really cool stuff coming up. Can’t wait to see how this pans out.

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