Monday, September 15th, 2008

Dion on Gears – @Media Ajax

More blogging at @media Ajax. Some bloke called Dion Almaer ;) is talking about Gears.

Why Gears? Reliability, Performance, Convenience. There’s a long tail of users who don’t have permanent access. Furthermore, connectivity goes down everywhere – we want to keep working when that happens.

Gears philosophy. Can go to URL when offline and also be more useful when connected.

Dion explains the minimalist design philosophy. Small things – gears – that can be built up piecemeal – cf. the power of a small thing called XMLHttpRequest.

Local Server.

Database API. Led to GearsDB, GearsORM (e.g. Jooce)
Application – Buxfer. Instead of storing personal finance data on the server, since some wouldn’t trust them, they gave people the option to store it locally via Gears.
Application – Digg Oracle.
Application – MySpace. Found it too resource-intensive to store chat history, so an engineer created a gears-powered local search feature in one day, and made it into production.
Application – WordPress “speed up” feature. Caches aggressively on the desktop.

Workerpool API. Calculation demo – much more fluid when running with resource pool.

Geolocation API. Can choose different geo providers – IP

Desktop API. To get a desktop icon.
File System API. Better file uploader – get access to the files.

Blob API.

Resumable HTTP API.

Notification API. Growl for the browser.

Audio API. Playback and recording.

“Zipper model” – HTML 5 catching up to current features of Google. The idea being that Gears gets these features out much earlier so we can see how people like it and what people do with it. e.g. workerpool->HTML web workers. geolocation->W3C geolocation. Database -> HTML 5 local storage. Local server -> HTML 5 offline store. In most cases, the Gears developers are involved in the spec development.

– (from a question) Gears – get it out into as many different browsers. Chrome – push browsers to do many more things. Worth noting that even if nothing happened with Chrome, it would encourage browser developers to do more. Just like Android will push mobile platforms regardless of market share.

Update – Dion’s posted the presentation:

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 9:45 am
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nice to see my project in the slides :)

Comment by Urielka — September 16, 2008

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