Friday, July 20th, 2007

Google Gears for Offline Data Entry

Category: Articles, Gears, PHP, Prototype

Jack Herrington has written his second article in his series on Gears.

The article goes into detail on creating a form based data entry application that works offline. This means that entries are batched up, so when the user goes online they can be sync’d up. The forms are sent using Prototype and Ajax.Updater.

Jack iterates on the data model, going from a simple blog, to separate content.


For years now, web applications have been stuck at the 90 percent solution mark. Web applications are incredibly easy to develop, but fail utterly when the customer isn’t connected to the Web. On the day Google Gears was released, I knew that this status quo had instantly changed. Just as the addition of Ajax functionality to the browser was the one small step that added rich interactivity, this small step of Gears solves one of the few remaining problems of web development. What a powerful tool indeed!

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:01 am

3.7 rating from 40 votes


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IE5 has had offline support for a while now using the “userData” behavior. Now we can support it in Firefox with Gears.

Comment by Jordan — July 20, 2007

The problem is not the offline support. Both IE and Firefox have it, but it is not sufficient for large amount of data and anyway it depends heavily on browser configuration and security settings.
Google Gears is not the only solution, since there is also the Adobe Air platform and a lot of support will be in Firefox 3.
Anyway the article is very interesting because it is explained step by step from the basics.

Comment by Michele Mader — July 20, 2007

While Google Gears is really cool, I would have been much more excited several years ago. Now it is much easier to be online all the time. When planes get WiFi it will be even easier.

Comment by dan — July 20, 2007

Nice info from Jack. Please keep the Google Gears information flowing, Ajaxians. …support for a sufficiently sized, durable, offline cache is essential with regards to future of web develepment, no question. Gears seems like it will have the most traction in this space, not only because it’s open source, but the runtime will have a much better distribution path coming via Google. [been thinking: what if Google also partnered with someone with a huge viral application reach {like Facebook} to distribute Gears? Gears-to-the-masses would be nice to see]

Comment by Mark Holton — July 20, 2007

Re: “When planes get WiFi it will be even easier.”

I think this might be insulting to the 95% of the world that does not have a broadband connection. Just sayin.

Comment by Chris Blow — July 20, 2007

I think that more than 95% of the world population does not have a broadband connection. But this is another discussion. In my opinion this project can be use only in a didactic scope.

Comment by wappy — August 15, 2007

“IE5 has had offline support for a while now using the “userData” behavior. Now we can support it in Firefox with Gears.” IE7 still sux Firefox alway my buddy. Thank for very interesting article anyway.

Comment by Bobby — August 31, 2007

Comment by phpsourcecode — October 23, 2007

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