Google Gears, Rojo, and Offline Storage

200705302030Google Gears launches today and brings together a lot of open loops in my career.

While at Rojo, we spent a lot of time talking about offline storage. NewsMonster was the first RSS aggregator that added full offline support (which I’m still proud of – only took Google five years!) and we generally wanted it for Rojo as well.

Brad deserves a lot of credit for pushing this forward with Dojo offline storage. In fact, I’m a bit shocked that Google didn’t approach Brad to hire him to push this forward. If they don’t hire him now they’re insane.

What’s interesting here is that Gears is Open Source which really puts and end to the browser vs desktop debate:

Google Gears is open source software, licensed under the New BSD license. Generally speaking, this license is very permissive. You should, of course, always consult an attorney if you have any questions about software licensing.

There are generally two ways to use Google Gears: by embedding the API or runtime software in an application you distribute to end users, or by writing a web application which makes use of installations of Gears on end-users’ computers.

The only thing left I think is a local installer to keep shortcuts for online apps available in the start menu and on the desktop.

I’m not sure where this leaves Dojo offline. There were some significant limitations due to the fact that it was using flash and cookies and other ‘hacks’ (in the clever sense of the word) to store content locally.

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