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Google Businesses The Internet

Google Gears is Launched 265

Posted by samzenpus
from the google-google-google dept.
Mister Inbetween writes "Google is rolling out a technology designed to overcome the major drawback faced by all web-based applications: the fact that they don't work without an internet connection. Google Gears is an open source technology for creating offline web applications that is being launched today at Google's annual Developer Day gatherings around the world."
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Google Gears is Launched

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  • What's the Point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaveWick79 (939388) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:48PM (#19332299)
    What's the point of having an offline web application?

    You might as well create your own traditional app so that you don't have to deal with compatibility and security issues with a multitude of browsers and platforms. Or maybe the idea is doing something completely opposite to what Microsoft has been doing for almost a decade now, putting the browser functionality within the app.
  • by Daychilde (744181) <postmaster@daychilde.com> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:43AM (#19332667) Homepage
    Yeah, whatever.

    No company is all evil, not even Microsoft. And no company is all angelic, as most think about Google. I know you don't think Google is angelic - but I don't think they're all evil, either.

    Companies look out for themselves. Once people realize that, it really helps. They aren't good. They aren't evil. They exist to serve the shareholders (or owners, if not public)...

    I like the EFF, but I disagree with them on this one. The recent /. pointer to the "Ten Firefox Extensions To avoid OZMG!11" article - where a lot of slashdotters rightfully said "Yeah whatever" -- I think it applies to the EFF's stance here.

    Look, I don't want to *totally* blow you or the EFF off, there are some valid points.... but it's true of any and every business out there.

    I'd rather deal with Microsoft AND Google than the federal government. Ponder THAT one for a bit. ;-)
  • Re:What's the Point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:57AM (#19332787)
    Of course, whether this should all be built into web browsers, which were originally intended to store static pages, is an issue you could debate. Sometimes I think it might make more sense to make a browser-like framework for programs, but built from the ground up for applications instead of static pages. But then, I guess that more and more, that's what browsers are becoming.

    You may want to check Adobe Apollo, a multi-platform runtime that allows you to create desktop apps based on: HTML/CSS/JS and Flash.

    It has ability to store/read data locally and basically act as a normal desktop app, but it's inherently multiplatform, because it uses platform neutral technologies (even more so than Java and .NET managed to do so far).

    Honestly I'm not sure how smart it would be to invest in Google Gears. You may want to deploy a Yahoo app.. and then what? Google's also known for their ton of search-unrelated projects which they abandon the next day.

    For Adobe, Flash and Apollo is a deal maker/breaker: if they don't get it right, Microsoft and WPF/.NET/XPF/Expression will simply throw them out of business.

    For Google, Gears is just something they did for fun in their 20%.
  • The iPhone doesn't support desktop style apps. This could help bridge the gap if google / Apple were to support something like gears on the iPhone's browser.
  • Re:What's the Point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by misleb (129952) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:52AM (#19333163)

    It has ability to store/read data locally and basically act as a normal desktop app, but it's inherently multiplatform, because it uses platform neutral technologies (even more so than Java and .NET managed to do so far).


    First of all, .NET was NEVER intended to be platform neutral. There's Mono, sure, but last I checked Microsoft is giving that project little or no help. Java is actually pretty good as far as cross-platform goes. I'm not a Java developer myself, but from what I understand Java developers have little trouble building and testing on one platform and deploying on another. And it isn't like there is a shortage of Java devs....

    Given a decent language like Java, why would anyone WANT to develop their apps in... Flash. Yuck.

    -matthew

  • offline web apps (Score:4, Interesting)

    by l3v1 (787564) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:12AM (#19333279)
    Thing is, I like the mozilla approach ( http://www.bluishcoder.co.nz/2007/02/offline-zimbr a-with-firefox.html [bluishcoder.co.nz] ) better. I think it's because there's no need to install 3rd party apps and such. But thing is, as it seems Google is ahead in this, and if people start adopting it (remains to be seen) then the mozilla approach probably won't stir too much water when it's released.
     
  • Re:IBM... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by misleb (129952) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:21AM (#19333325)

    Of course IBM rolled this [techtarget.com] out six years ago in the Domino server, although I don't really expect Google's offering to handle Replication/Save conflicts as well as Domino does.


    From the sound of it, Google expects the developer to handle database synchronization issues. And in some cases, you actually have to duplicate your business logic in the browser in Javascript to make the app function offline at all. Ouch!

    http://code.google.com/apis/gears/architecture.htm l [google.com]

    I'm not touching this tech with a 10 foot pole. Internet access is getting more an more ubiquitous. In the not too distant future the entire concept of being "offline" will be all but forgotten. I'm much more focused on making web apps not suck when they are ONLINE. Who has time to worry about what happens when they are offline?

    -matthew
  • because last time, Microsoft was Google, and IBM was Microsoft. But now Google is Microsoft and Microsoft is IBM. If you haven't read any of Clayton Christensen's books, now would be a good time to read The Innovator's Solution [theinnovat...lution.com] by Christensen and Raynor. Ever since the telephone, small upstart companies have been offering products and services that were shunned by the market leader's best customers, and hence the market leader, usually because the product underperformed the expectations of the market leader's best customers. But the market entrant was able to make enough profit and gradually got better and better, and then started pulling customers out of the market leader's business network.

    RCA didn't use transistors in small radios until it was too late. Western Union didn't use the telephone until it was too late. Microsoft didn't work with the FOSS community, and now it is too late. Google is great at broadcasting software. Microsoft is still mostly delivering software the old, slow way. This news is another digital tipping point. The OS is becoming less crucial. GNU Linux is getting its foot in the door with Dell. Google and 1000 other new start ups are using the power of FOSS to do creative stuff. Microsoft seems to be focused on older business models (DRM'd content) while Google continues to broadcast everything from its own software (Google algorithms on Linux) to fun, new format for video (YouTube shorts). I think that we are going to see some major changes in the way that desktop software is funded, distributed, and delivered. Once the Microsoft monopoly on the desktop is cracked, think of the changes we will see.
  • by dodobh (65811) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @03:13AM (#19333629) Homepage
  • Dojo Offline? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nanosquid (1074949) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @03:41AM (#19333743)
    How does this compare to Dojo Offline?

    http://dojotoolkit.org/offline [dojotoolkit.org]
  • Re:What's the Point (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mstrom (1060158) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @05:28AM (#19334291)

    Honestly I'm not sure how smart it would be to invest in Google Gears. You may want to deploy a Yahoo app.. and then what? Google's also known for their ton of search-unrelated projects which they abandon the next day.

    Um, are you not aware it's Open Source [google.com]! Yahoo, you, me and everyone can use it. Google could stop supporting it if they want and the community will continue to build it!

    More to the point, since Google are using it themselves (see below) I doubt support will stop anytime soon. Open source + used & supported by a major 'net company seems like a winning formula.

    or Google, Gears is just something they did for fun in their 20%.

    They don't consider it a bit of fun but a serious way to make their Apps work offline - Google Reader is already Gears enabled (I used it on my way to work this morning) and I have no doubt all the rest of them (Docs, Gmail, Calendar) will follow soon

  • Re:pseudo-standards (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ronadams (987516) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @08:19AM (#19335299) Homepage

    Unfortunately, these days, a "standard" seems to mean to many people a rubber stamping of some idea that some committee or engineers cooked up, with little or no practical usage. W3C is guilty of that, and ECMA even more so.
    Your ideas intrigue me and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter. Seriously, though, that is the truth: many standards have become these cut-out-of-the-mold pipe dreams that, while they have definite possible strengths, lack solid testing and real-world integration. It seems the rush these days is to get X idea standardized, instead of getting X idea actually used and useful. A byproduct of the patent rush/I'll-sue-you-for-knitting-the-same-color-sock s-as-me age?

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