Google Gears R.I.P. Cloud Computing

Google Gears is an open source project that powers the offline features of Google Reader and Google Docs by providing a local database. It has been renamed simply Gears. It provides additional support for other browsers, and Google has made it available for all developers. Its key capabilities are:

  • Let Web applications interact naturally with the desktop
  • Store data locally in a fully-searchable database
  • Run JavaScript in the background to improve performance

Google Gears, however, appears not to be long for this world. Google has decided instead to support HTML5, which subsumes the functionality that Gears was intended to supply. The specification for HTML5 is still being finalized. As one Google rep told The Los Angeles Times,“We are excited that much of the technology in Gears, including offline support and geolocation APIs, are being incorporated into the HTML5 spec as an open standard supported across browsers, and see that as the logical next step for developers looking to include these features in their websites.” You can keep up with progress of standardization process at W3.org.

Clearly, Google has decided to spare no expense to win the hearts and minds of
developers. And it is appears to be succeeding. Free is an attractive price, isn’t it?


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