May 31, 2007 5:58 PM   Subscribe

'Google Gears' is program interface for AJAX application developers. * A local server, to cache and serve application resources (HTML, JavaScript, images, etc.) without needing to contact a server * A database, to store and access data from within the browser * A worker thread pool, to make web applications more responsive by performing expensive operations in the background
posted by acro (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Heh, I just got done reading about this at the Beeb, then clicked over here and saw this. Looks kind of cool.
posted by Demogorgon at 6:04 PM on May 31, 2007

Conversation with some of the developers here: 'Google Developers Day'
posted by acro at 6:11 PM on May 31, 2007

Video demo at googlevideo: here
posted by acro at 6:25 PM on May 31, 2007

This is what I've thought Apple should have had for a while now, to support apps running in a WebView.

They're planning something like this -- always on webserver, in this case mongrel -- with 10.5 apparently.

It's possible to home a Web 2.0 app (DHTML) in a WebView in a proper application via the Cocoa< ->JavaScript bridge but I'll have to check this out.

google is a scary good force in the world.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:37 PM on May 31, 2007

I was just reading about this yesterday, as one of my web developer buddies was preaching about the future of ajax.

See Adobe's spry as well...
posted by subaruwrx at 6:41 PM on May 31, 2007

I'm just about ready to dive into this and try to make an app worthy of offline access.

I'd be curious to see if any MeFites come up with anything.
posted by jragon at 6:42 PM on May 31, 2007

This may be silly, but what if someone devised a dynamic language that interacted with a visual library that lived in a browser?

Shit, I'd be out of work. Long live browser/language/system incompatibilities.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:57 PM on May 31, 2007

Looking forward to taking this thing for a drive.

Regarding the video: Google, please - send Andy Palay to Toastmasters or something before you make him get on a stage. The poor guy was terrified up there. It was bloody painful to watch. :/
posted by sidereal at 7:16 PM on May 31, 2007

too bad AJAX apps leak memory like sieves. And although its possible gears tries to address that, it's not immediately apparent looking at their "api".

While I, for one, welcome our new webapp overlords, I think user experiences may, nay will, get worse before they get better.
posted by kickback at 8:30 PM on May 31, 2007

If you saw the 'Cringely' tag, and wondered why no reference to Cringely, here's why... :)
posted by acro at 8:39 PM on May 31, 2007

I'm just hoping sqlite finally gets the exposure it deserves from this. I can't see myself using gears, but anything that shines more light on the fantastic sqlite is OK in my book.

If you want to have some real programming fun, take a look at the Jim Interpreter. Tcl and Sqlite bindings in one tiny, tiny footprint.
posted by zap rowsdower at 9:01 PM on May 31, 2007

I hear IBM may be hiring soon.
posted by id at 9:13 PM on May 31, 2007

^devised a dynamic language that interacted wi...

there's also Microsoft's Silverlight. JavaScript needs a rev, but of course MS has not got its thumb on the scale keeping it sucky so it doesn't compete with its proprietary offerings.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:04 AM on June 1, 2007

Finally, a way to run applications on my local machine. Thank god.

It's like we've made four left turns.

(Also, I agree with zap about SQLite being awesome.)
posted by blenderfish at 1:36 AM on June 1, 2007

Ever since I installed Google gears, google reader keeps asking me every 10 minutes if i want to go offline because my internet connection is down. Even though it's not. I'm not quite sure why i'd use it anyway.
posted by empath at 6:46 AM on June 1, 2007

I've been having exactly the same problem as empath. I'm not going to run an offline-enabling app that makes my online experience worse. I hope this is a bug that gets fixed ASAP, because the platform-for-offline idea is otherwise great.
posted by grimmelm at 7:18 AM on June 1, 2007

There's preliminary talk of making this stuff standard in HTML5. I was surprised to learn that the current working draft of HTML5 already includes a local SQL database for use by web pages.
posted by Llama-Lime at 1:45 PM on June 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

The only real shame about it all is that the Web UI experience is so shitty compared to, say, the OS X Leopard interface. OS X's new animation core is going to make amazing improvements to the UI experience, helping users recognize and manipulate information. Meanwhile, WebUI is still trying to figure out what a button looks like...

...but nonetheless, my bet is that within a few years web applications become the norm. They may run only locally; one can do slick things with Django and a py-to-executable script.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:37 PM on June 1, 2007

I'm surprised they released this without a killer app. I mean, package this together with offline GMail, and you're on to a winner. Now it's just another extension tha I'm not downloading.
posted by bonaldi at 6:56 AM on June 2, 2007

I haven't tried it yet, but it seems they released it with a local version of their book reader.
posted by acro at 7:15 AM on June 2, 2007

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