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.

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