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Programming Google Technology

Google Phasing Out Gears For HTML5 35

Posted by timothy
from the toothless-grin dept.
Kelson writes "Have you noticed that there haven't been many updates to Gears in a while? That's because Google has decided to focus instead on similar capabilities in the emerging HTML5 standard: local storage, database, workers and location cover similar functionality, but natively in the web browser. Of course, since Gears and HTML APIs aren't exactly the same, it's not a simple drop-in replacement, so they'll continue supporting the current version of Gears in Firefox and Internet Explorer. I guess this means the long-anticipated Gears support for 64-bit Firefox on Linux and Opera are moot."
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Google Phasing Out Gears For HTML5

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  • by eihab (823648) * on Saturday February 20, 2010 @01:41AM (#31208108)

    This just goes to show how much IE is holding us back. According to the Blog post, Google won't be dropping Gears' maintenance support for IE for the foreseen future:

    We will not be investing resources in active development of new features. Likewise, there are some platforms that would require a significant engineering effort to support due to large architectural changes. Specifically, we cannot support Gears in Safari on OS X Snow Leopard and later. Support for Gears in Firefox (including 3.6, which will be supported shortly) and Internet Explorer will continue.

    I'm guessing they'll want that around as a fall back for IE when they start depending more and more on HTML5's new features.

    Had IE been keeping up with HTML5's development, we wouldn't be in a situation where we need external plug-ins to make sure our Apps are cross-platform.

    • by Twigmon (1095941)

      Yeah, IE really is screwing us all around. It will all work out though, chromeframe might end up being the gears replacement ;)

      Meanwhile, it will be very very good when google finally enables html5 stuff for docs.google.com and gmail. I use prerelease browsers and gears just doesn't work for me anyway. Looking forward to that part of the future!

    • by stimpleton (732392) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @02:09AM (#31208216)
      "This just goes to show how much IE is holding us back

      I work for a small DNA services company and that is a burgeoning industry. We are pretty young but we match the advancing industry with our own very aggressive, but smart style.

      One of our young team in a meeting the other day, said in regard to a particular DNA trait technology: "Let come down off the top rope with an elbow to the throat of {our competitor}. They are like the Internet Explorer of DNA. Lets fuck 'em up.".

      I do like our meetings. But yeah, if we were google, we wouldnt be able to hold back our your pit bulls. And I bet Google have a few that are chewing their chains to hit MS and Flash with HTML 5. Off the top rope so to speak.
    • I am all for HTML 5 and it replacing the hodgepodge of crap out there to mitigate the usecase gaps in HTML 4. However I wouldn't blame MS for this quite yet. The W3C was supposed to come out with something conclusive by now. Sure we have a good idea of what will be in HTML 5, but a good idea and a couple of dollars might get you a cup coffee at Starbucks. i.e. good ideas disappear out of final specs and products all the time. Why should MS redesign things to accommodate features that may not even make it in
      • by eihab (823648) *

        However I wouldn't blame MS for this quite yet. The W3C was supposed to come out with something conclusive by now. Sure we have a good idea of what will be in HTML 5, but a good idea and a couple of dollars might get you a cup coffee at Starbucks. i.e. good ideas disappear out of final specs and products all the time.

        But see, web standards (or at least HTML5's) are really based on what browser vendors and content producers are doing right now.

        The process roughly goes like this:
        - Someone throws and idea on the mailing list and maybe a demo/implementation
        - People argue back and forth
        - Someone possibly comes up with a better solution that satisfies some other vendor
        - More bitching and moaning
        - Some consensus/compromise is reached with a few implementations of it already in browsers and it becomes part of the standard

        No one

  • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @01:50AM (#31208134) Homepage Journal
    W3.org, though, they've got some serious heft in web standards. It probably would not do to ignore their new standard version unless you're Microsoft, in which case interop is a negative and ignoring the new standard is an implied part of "ignore standards".
  • ADHD? (Score:5, Funny)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @01:51AM (#31208140)
    I know that it's good to for a corporation to explore new avenues, but sometimes I get the feeling that Google has ADHD.
  • But honestly I hope they are actively evaluating the standards. Just because it's a "standard" doesn't mean it's good and worth using.

    • by eihab (823648) * on Saturday February 20, 2010 @02:27AM (#31208288)

      But honestly I hope they are actively evaluating the standards. Just because it's a "standard" doesn't mean it's good and worth using.

      Evaluating? They're effectively making it.

      Ian Hickson [wikipedia.org], the author and maintainer of HTML5, is a Google employee.

      Not that this is a bad thing, I mean, I'm very excited about some of the stuff (like background workers) that are basically Google's finger print on the draft. But make no mistake about it, they are evaluating it very well as they're writing it :)

  • by afabbro (33948)
    ...so I take it that gears will be phased out when HTML5 arrives in 2022 [wikipedia.org]?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe you should read the explanation for that date in context -- http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/FAQ#When_will_HTML5_be_finished.3F

    • Hixie might not expect it to be "finished" until 2022, but, to paraphrase him, "finished" is a big deal, and you'll be able to use it before then.

  • Dupe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grouchomarxist (127479) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @02:56AM (#31208366)

    Isn't this article a dupe of this one: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/12/02/139243/Google-Abandoning-Gears [slashdot.org] ?

    • by D Ninja (825055)

      Dear grouchomarxist,

      Hello. I would say that you must be new here to Slashdot, but looking at your low, six-digit ID number, that is obviously not true. So, I must assume it has been quite some time since you have logged in given your surprise at a duplicated story on Slashdot. See, here at Slashdot, we believe that a story isn't a story until it's been posted two, three, maybe even four times. Only when that happens is the story something that has become true. Of course, it's also a good idea to post m

  • by 3vi1 (544505)

    >> I guess this means the long-anticipated Gears support for 64-bit Firefox on Linux and Opera are moot.

    To be clear, there have been 64-bit version available for at least a year, if not longer, from 3rd parties (I use it with Google Wave). They're just not 'officially' supported.

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <flyingguy.gmail@com> on Saturday February 20, 2010 @02:05PM (#31211218)

    Once again, we have the guy writing the spec or at least the maintainer working for a company with a HUGE vested interest in its outcome.

    Sorry, but this is no different from MS, IBM or Oracle trying to define how things are going to work and doing it in their best interest.

    Gears was invented to address the hideous short comings of the DOM, and now they think that HTML 5 is the magic pill?!

    Read the HTML 5 spec. It is a rewrite of all the other equally hideous HTML specifications.

    No one, not Google, not the WC3 is doing ANYTHING to fix all the stupidity that is the DOM, HTML and CSS.

    We need to just call it a day on the current state of all of them and start over.

    We need to stop having wars about tables -v- divs and things like What is a construction element and what is a cosmetic element and will CSS effect that part of DOM or not.

    Microsoft was right in a lot of their decisions about how IE would work and present information to the browser user, but as usual they did in the most asshat manner possible and therefor they were wrong, but a lot of their concepts were spot on.

    People keep trying to turn a text rendering program into what is essentially database UI where you can define fields and bind them to data sources. The combination of the two is absolutely insane and should be stopped right now.

    The Browser makers should take a lesson from from from Delphi and VB and just implement a forms painter with objects that handle all the use input and stop trying to build all this crap out of a really really awful mashup of HTML, Javascript and CSS because while it might kinda sorta work, it works like crap.

    A grid control should be implemented that is data aware ( local storage whatevah ) that can properly handle the concept of records instead of having to do all the stupidity you have to do now.

    You want an application UI then build it like one and stop all this insanity of mixing them together.

    I have said it before and I will say it again, there should be two top tags, <HTML> and <APP> and each one tells the browser to do two very different things.

  • Someone has helpfully compiled Gears for Firefox on Ubuntu 64-bit:
    http://blog.celogeek.fr/linux/linux-trucs-et-astuces/google-gears-compilation/ [celogeek.fr]

    I've been using it with Wordpress for 8 months now.

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