Google Gears Takes The Web Offline

Google held their Developer Day today, and took the opportunity to release Google Gears. Gears is a cross-platform, cross-browser plugin that allows web applications to function while offline.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, had the following statement regarding Gears:

“With Google Gears, we’re tackling the key limitation of the browser in order to make it a stronger platform for deploying all types of applications and enabling a better user experience.”

The web browser is becoming the dominant application platform, one on which Google is very comfortable. By actively working to extend the functionality of the browser, Google is making a profound impact, both for users and developers.

Web applications are very convenient, offering many improvements in ease of use and anywhere access. However, their biggest drawback has been non-existent functionality in the absence of a network connection.

Gears solves this problem, by providing access to a computer’s local resources when the remote server is not available. Gears consists of three primary components, a server, database, and worker pool for executing long running tasks. Web applications can utilize these resources in order to provide offline capabilities.

Google is seeking to evolve Gears into an open standard. Towards that end, they are working with Adobe, Mozilla, and Opera. They’ve also released the code under a BSD licence, and are encouraging developer feedback during the beta period.


Lonna Hanson
June 2, 2007 at 6:23 PM

This is again very interesting, Jared. I wish that I understood more of the “developer” language as you do. I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

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