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Google Abandoning Gears

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the bits-and-buckets dept.

Google 139

harrymcc noted a story talking about what might be the end of Google Gears. The concept has always been interesting, but it seems that Google is beginning to think of Gears as more of a proof of concept, and that focus will shift to HTML5, which has the same functionality.

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wave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30296680)

that's the reason

Re:wave (0)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296700)

Wave doesn't have anything to do with gears. Never mind that Wave is useless at this point; chicken and egg problem - nobody uses wave so nobody starts using it.

Re:wave (2, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296726)

lots of folks are using wave... just use "with:public" and you'll find all kinds of stuff

Re:wave (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297916)

Cheers for the heads up. re: "with:public"

I got my invite last week and was surprised at the lack of supporting websites. The three automatically added contacts aren't interested in playing, so it's been a no-go for me so far.

I have a ton of invites (sixteen) if anyone wants one. Those who understand spamgourmet should have no problem emailing me.

Re:wave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30296734)

Wave uses Gears for the drag and drop image uploading. That is it.

Re:wave (0, Offtopic)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297162)

That's true. This would be modded insightful if I hadn't used up all my mod points last week.

Re:wave (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297750)

Never mind that Wave is useless at this point; chicken and egg problem - nobody uses wave so nobody starts using it.

We're using Wave for planning and collaboration on a number of projects. It's pretty cool, and some of my friends have already basically abandonned e-mail in favour of Wave. You just need enough invites to get all of your friends on there (which works quite well if you have less than about 20 friends :-).

Re:wave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30299516)

All of /. will make it onto wave without a probl

Summary is not accurate (5, Insightful)

yakatz (1176317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296702)

Saying that Google is abandoning Gears is not 100% accurate as it has bad connotations.

Google created Gears to fill the void until browser makers would implement HTML5. Now that they are doing so, Gears is being retired.

Re:Summary is not accurate (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296790)

Exactly. HTML 5 is being deployed piecemeal, and Gears uses the HTML 5 features when they're available, falling back to its own functionality when it isn't. When all that Gears is doing is delegating functionality to the native HTML 5 implementation, it's pointless and just adds a layer of indirection that slows everything down.

Gears is out and works now. HTML 5 is starting to be widely deployed and all of the major browser manufacturers are backing it (MS announced IE9 will support it). When HTML 5 is universal, there will be no point in Gears. It never had a long-term future, it was just a prototype. Several of the HTML 5 features are lifted directly from Gears, so saying Google are abandoning Gears is no more interesting than saying Microsoft are abandoning Windows 95.

Re:Summary is not accurate (2)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296874)

Except for those people who are still using IE 6 or Netscape 4.
If only people would leave IE 6 once and for all.

Re:Summary is not accurate (0, Offtopic)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297022)

what about mac users with a IE-only web app? i know these things exist, if only as "internal" apps such as the school grading software my Teacher GF had to use at her last school. it produced brolen HTML that would freak out gecko and Safari, so i installed IE7 in wine. On her mac (w/o parallels ...) ancient IE would have been the only option.

Re:Summary is not accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30297096)

Well that's all fine and dandy, but can you please tell me what that has to do with Gears?

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297100)

In addition to being a bloody mess, the old mac-native IE was of limited use for dealing with "IE-only" sites. It used a different rendering engine than windows IE, and things like activeX plugs expecting to be able to play with COM weren't good for much in MacOS.

I would be not at all surprised if gears hangs around in some capacity to deal with the big pool of win32/IE6 users out there(if Google is half so interested in selling Google Apps to corporate customers as their advertising suggests, they'll have little choice); but MacOS IE is dead, dead, dead.

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297610)

I doubt such a web app would have ever used Gears, and certainly wouldn't use HTML5, so it isn't a problem.

Re:Summary is not accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30297028)

So? Fuck 'em. If users want advanced features, they need to use advanced software. There's absolutely no legitimate reason to still be using IE6 on the internet.

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297620)

In the corporate world, a lot of core training / timecard / expense "webapps" got hard coded to only work properly on IE6. So a lot of big companies (like the past 2 I've worked for) are still stuck with IE6 as their default browser because they didn't bother making their contractors adhere to web standards.

Microsoft's proprietary lock-in strategy was so effective that people can't even upgrade cleanly to their newer stuff :P

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297884)

Remember IE6 was released in 2001 when there were no web standard browsers that had any significant market share.

There's no reason why these companies can't update their applications or use another browser for their non-internal web browsing. Sounds like it's more of a problem for you than for them.

Re:Summary is not accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30298852)

Lets see, our software works using IE6. It doesn't work in other browsers. Fix 1: Spend lots of money fixing it. Fix 2: Require IE6. Most will pick option 2. Funny how that works.

Re:Summary is not accurate (3, Insightful)

bvankuik (203077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30299396)

This argument comes up time and time again. I don't think it is a valid one. Sure, a couple of corporate apps are limited to IE6. So? An admin could just make a shortcut in the start menu that launches IE. For the rest (ie. normal web browsing), the admin could install any of the more modern browsers.

I think the "IE6 lock-in" is a myth.
 

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

hydroponx (1616401) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298794)

So? Fuck 'em. If users want advanced features, they need to use advanced software. There's absolutely no legitimate reason to still be using IE6 on the internet.

Virus propagation

Re:Summary is not accurate (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297280)

Except for those people who are still using IE 6 or Netscape 4.

That's their problem. The cost-benefit ratio of supporting those ancient systems (and enabling the defective IT departments that stick with them) just isn't worth it anymore. Let them have their Geocities-era sites and funky rendering while the rest of us enjoy the last decade's worth of progress.

Re:Summary is not accurate (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30299288)

lol - keep telling yourself that matey. the truth is that html5 is a load of fucking hype. like svg and all the other stuff that people around here crap on about it probably won't ever happen. ie doesn't support it - for most webdevs that's the end of story.

when will you suckers learn? for something to succeed in the browser it has to have total ubiquity - (hint...Flash) and it needs to be cross platform (hint - Flash) and it needs to be cross browser (hint - Flash). html5 aint any of these and it aint ever going to be.

btw - next year is not going to be the year of the linux desktop. sorry to the bellends who cant get youtube to work on their obscure flavor of os but let me introduce to the rest of the world.

(catcha = losers) spooky huh!

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30299918)

You're posting on a site that doesn't render correctly on IE6. Your points are invalid and you are a moron.

Re:Summary is not accurate (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297340)

My old Spectrum won't let me access the web either; should I be supported?

There comes a time in the lifecycle of any technology or software product where you either have to move on, or accept that there are things that other people can do with their equivalent that you can't do with yours. You can only support backwards compatibility for so long, and so far back.

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298910)

"My old Spectrum won't let me access the web either; should I be supported?"

Yes, assuming if by "you" you mean 10million + users. It would be stupid for a business to cut that many people off all at once.

Beside, you use a spectrum, clearly you pirate software delivered from radio stations and not worth consideration~

So, Opera 10.10 will be the best Google client? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297334)

So now, with a browser having 100% perfect Acid 3 score even on mobile/ARM flavor, I should be able to use Google sites in their full function not missing a single feature, no quirks, no "browser.js" hacks.

Basically I should be able to use Opera 10.10 and I shouldn't be thinking a second about Google Chrome which wasn't released for PowerPC anyway.

Somehow, I have hard time believing that.

Re:So, Opera 10.10 will be the best Google client? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297398)

Somehow, I have hard time believing that.

Why?

If every browser was as standards-compliant as Opera, Google wouldn't have needed to push Chrome. Yes; you should be able to use Google sites to their full function in Opera, once they migrate off Gears to HTML5.

Re:So, Opera 10.10 will be the best Google client? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298212)

Chrome isn't just the alternate alternate windows browser, it's also a part of ChromeOS and (more importantly) Android.

Re:So, Opera 10.10 will be the best Google client? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30297700)

So now, with a browser having 100% perfect Acid 3 score even on mobile/ARM flavor, I should be able to use Google sites in their full function not missing a single feature, no quirks, no "browser.js" hacks.

Not really. Acid3 does not test a lot of advanced HTML5 features of the kind being discussed here, like local storage, web workers, video tag, etc.
All features that incidentally, AFAIK, are not currently available in the Opera browser. But then again, neither is Google Gears, except for Opera Mobile.

Re:So, Opera 10.10 will be the best Google client? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298158)

You realise, I hope, that ACID3 tests a set of corner cases in CSS, ECMAscript and DOM that were poorly implemented on existing implementations when the test was introduced? It is not a full-coverate test suite for HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, and it does not cover any of the new features added with HTML 5.

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297548)

HTML 5 is starting to be widely deployed and all of the major browser manufacturers are backing it (MS announced IE9 will support it*).

* for very small values of "support"

FTFY.

Re:Summary is not accurate (0)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296834)

What about offline caching?

I thought that was part of Chrome OS so that it can still be used offline?

Re:Summary is not accurate (-1, Offtopic)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296858)

Saying that Google is abandoning Gears is not 100% accurate as it has bad connotations.

Google created Gears to fill the void until browser makers would implement HTML5. Now that they are doing so, Gears is being retired.

Afghanistan was meant to fill the void until war makers would implement Operation Relax Because the Next Election Is Three Years Away. Now that they are doing so, Afghanistan is being retired. Offtopic? Troll? Funny? You be the judge!

Re:Summary is not accurate (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297150)

Offtopic? Troll? Funny? You be the judge!

Why limit ourselves to just one? I vote for all three! Only thing is you now lose twice the karma,

makes sense (5, Interesting)

fedorfedor (838521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296710)

Gears was a smart way to get important new features into stagnant older browsers (we're looking at you, IE...) and implemented far more quickly than any standards process allows. Now that those features are in the HTML5 standard, there's no reason to require gears. Until the next round of feature-adding, of course...

Re:makes sense (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298588)

In the interim there's always PersistJS [pablotron.org] , which uses whatever the best available client-side storage medium available is. Native, Gears, Flash, Cookies... It works pretty smoothly, since there's still going to be a few years until HTML5 is implemented, and the browsers on clients get updated. It pains me that anyone is still using IE6 at this point.

At my work, they're currently making plans to (finally) update from IE6 to IE8 (bypassing 7) and update from XP to Win7 (bypassing Vista).

HTML 5 (4, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296736)

Makes one wonder how much of this "HTML 5 will do this", "HTML 5 will do that" is hype or wishful thinking. Past experience has shown great disappointment in all this hyperbole...

Re:HTML 5 (4, Informative)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296766)

from actually working with this stuff. Quite alot already.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296778)

I'm pretty thrilled with what came out of AJAX myself.

Just google maps alone makes it well worth it.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297786)

I'm pretty thrilled with what came out of AJAX myself.

Just google maps alone makes it well worth it.

The main Javascript object that does AJAX is XMLHttpRequest, which was originally a Microsoft ActiveX object. It had nothing to do with Google or HTML standards.

Shhh (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297946)

We don't even imply that MS had any original ideas around here.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298608)

no, I was more referring to Past experience has shown great disappointment in all this hyperbole....

I think that XMLHttpRequest is fantastic, and even if the only thing done with it was google maps, it would still be great.

It originating by MS has nothing to do with it.

Just as the power of that ActiveX object worked its way into standards to everyone's benefit and I think really lived up to expectations, HTML 5 is working in things such as gears and more. I expect it to be great in the end. Even if there is stuff that MS originated in there.

and at this point it does have something to do with standards:
http://www.w3.org/TR/XMLHttpRequest2/ [w3.org]

Re:HTML 5 (5, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296820)

HTML 5 does exactly what it says it does.

Dive into HTML 5 [diveintohtml5.org] tells you what that is, and whether your browser supports it.

It's up to developers to apply it. Google is doing so.

Re:HTML 5 (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296872)

Read the spec, compare it with browser implementations. A few things are deployed and work well now, such as the video and audio tags in FireFox and Safari (although they support different CODECs out of the box) and client-side storage. The latter is the big one that Gears provided; with HTML 5 there are existing implementations of both the JavaScript persistent object storage and the database-style version (which lets you run SQL queries against a local store). Most of the new form elements are already supported by Gecko and WebKit and Canvas (which allows drawing on a PostScript-style model) has been working in both for ages.

Re:HTML 5 (3, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297122)

HTML5 is pretty slick, but you have to remember most sites will never upgrade to it.

One of the problems with the web is whenever you add a new markup, you still have to support the old markup. One of the reasons I thought that XHTML was mostly a waste of time was that everybody involved in it was acting like a year after XHTML2 came out, HTML2,3,4 would instantly disappear and browsers could simplify their parsing, becoming faster... the reality is, the vast majority of sites will never switch over.

HTML5 is a better idea, since at least it's not a completely new way of doing things. But since it does the few things XHTML did that HTML 4 didn't, now browsers have to support a totally useless XHTML strict syntax in addition.

Ugh.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

wolverine1999 (126497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297224)

actually some sites already have been using it for some time!

Re:HTML 5 (1)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297228)

you're right... but. your missing the point. the important, ground breaking changes are not the tags or even for that matter the video elemen, these are all distractions. It's the other stuff like. WebWorkers, webSockets, ApplicationCache etc... This is the important stuff. Really go read the specs

Re:HTML 5 (2, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297806)

I'm not saying people *shouldn't* use it, I'm excited about it myself. What I'm saying is, realistically, the majority of sites will never convert to HTML5. The lesson being: make your standards great, because they Never. Go. Away.

Sorry I shouldn't post at 6:30 AM

Re:HTML 5 (1)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298156)

mod +1 parent! :)

Re:HTML 5 (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297496)

Web sites that want to support it and also support legacy browsers will use something like Modernizr [modernizr.com] or other HTML5 detection techniques [diveintohtml5.org] and provide alternate content - like flash video as alternate content for HTML5 video, javascript or flash charts as alt content for canvas charts, etc.

Some features like sockets and web workers and local storage aren't really feasible for legacy browsers even with workarounds like Gears but a subset can be implemented for specific apps which is the focus of this topic....

Re:HTML 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30297688)

Past experience in what? Something entirely unrelated? Have you even bothered to read up on some of the features? It's not hype, and in fact most of it is already here. Check out a modern browser (firefox 3.5+, chrome, etc) and see for yourself.

BLOAT (0, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296754)

On a beach in Mexico a whale beached itself. It's buoyant fatty body crushed the whale's lungs and suffocated it in the wide open air. Bacteria from the whale's intestines began to multiply and ferment and large amounts of gas accumulated in the whale's body. Soon a bulge was visible around the belly of the whale. Then the bulge grew until the whole carcass was bloated.

One day, the whale's rotting body broke and released the gas in a giant explosion.

Pushing functionality into the browser instead of relying on scripting means longer launch times, more failure points, and more disparate functionality from browser to browser for developers to consider. It's a fountain of whale guts, metaphorically speaking.

Re:BLOAT (3, Insightful)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296836)

what! doesn't anyone actually think things through before opening their mouths anymore? Everything you'd tried to apply some whale meme anaolgy to is wrong. Developers need to get this into their heads: 1. the days of request -> response -> request are going 2. more load is going to be placed of client resources. 3. Data should be stateless, your client will retain state HTML5 improves efficiency, removes latency. So why is that a bad thing? WebWorkers, WebSockets??? No? Then go and read the specs before to dismiss them off hand.

Re:BLOAT (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297046)

Everything you'd tried to apply some whale meme anaolgy to is wrong

Hey! Quit bashing WellThoughtOutAnalogyGuy!

Re:BLOAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30298504)

the days of request -> response -> request are going 2. more load is going to be placed of client resources.

I find this interesting. Back in the day, people used dumb terminals, and then moved to desktops... which had more load placed on client resources.

Looks like the same thing is happening with the web.

I wonder if this will ever repeat in the future... or how it will look different.

Re:BLOAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30299762)

Maybe this is just that pot speaking, so bear with me... (AC so I can admit that)

The same thing is happening to some degree with the way the software is even written, when you look at FLOSS. The development of software is moving to people on desktops in [their parents basements]... Power's returning to the people?

Re:BLOAT (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296854)

You're right. I think we've all taken the wrong approach with huge, bloated standard libraries. Let all developers write all code from scratch. Need to output an integer, just write the code that turns the integer into a stream of characters, then pass that stream of characters into your homebrew I/O functions, which pass them off to your custom built drivers. There's no need for all languages to have this functionality! It just makes developers have to code around the differences and bugs in each runtime!

stream of chars, I/O functions, drivers? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298022)

Hey if your going to mock, do it correctly. Need to output an integer? Use assembly instruction code to write to hard-coded address. Done.

Re:BLOAT (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296964)

What exactly is different or more efficient about making the browser parse new HTML tags and incorporate new libraries instead of making the browser run JavaScript every time the page is loaded and relying on third parties to produce browser plug-ins for standard web content?

Re:BLOAT (2, Informative)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297080)

It's got nothing to do with "tags", the whole point of the HTML5 API is to try and evolve the request -> response model we have at the moment. for example, WebSockets http://dev.w3.org/html5/websockets/ [w3.org] event based full duplex communications. Or that you can now actually store files locally (applicationCache), so for example client side templates would be possible, only send the data that changes, not as happens now, everything over, and over again. The new tags in HTML5 are not the important bits.

Re:BLOAT (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298062)

The problem is the "evolve" part. The current request->response model doesn't really work for web apps. An HTML5 "bag on the side" isn't a good solution.

Re:BLOAT (1)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298190)

??? things do "evolve", so I don't get your point. So how else should we do it?

Re:BLOAT (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298510)

It's not going to happen, but the better solution is to design a new set of standards and protocols that include web apps capability as a first class design goal.

Re:BLOAT (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297338)

Pushing functionality into the browser instead of relying on scripting means longer launch times, more failure points, and more disparate functionality from browser to browser for developers to consider.

...and interactive sites that don't require a whole page load every time you want to change the tiniest thing. Yeah, so they're harder to develop (unless you're one of the 99.9% of web programmers who use a library to handle the differences) but I can live with that.

Re:BLOAT (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297512)

I agree, that's why Flash is such a great idea. Instead of browser developers being bogged down fixing its multitude of problems, they just have to pester Adobe for a few years.

Seriously though, Adobe just announced that while Flash on Windows will support GPU acceleration, the OS X version will not (and I suspect neither will the Linux version). Adobe might take years to add a feature that Apple have already implemented for Safari's HTML engine (using the Quicktime library). Scripting means a single point of closed source failure.

Re:BLOAT (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298258)

No. This is essentially an extension of the cookie.

The web has changed. I don't like a lot of the changes, but this is one of the good ones. Actually, most of HTML5 is a great idea. Would you rather rely on Quicktime and Flash to do everything in the standard? I sure don't.

Re:BLOAT (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298850)

Pushing functionality into the browser instead of relying on scripting means longer launch times, more failure points, and more disparate functionality from browser to browser for developers to consider.

This isn't true insofar as it is relevant to the issue at hand, and isn't relevant so far as it is true. First, HTML5 local storage doesn't push "functionality into the browser instead of relying on scripting"; the browser functionality relies on JavaScript scripting. Second, because it pushes local storage for which there are demands and existing, but not common, implementations (like Gears) into a standard form (HTML5), it reduces disparate functionality among browsers.

As long as I can still have offline Gmail... (2, Interesting)

madsci1016 (1111233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296822)

...I won't really miss Gears. Since right now Offline Gmail uses Gears, I don't want it to go away.

Re:As long as I can still have offline Gmail... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297074)

As long as Gears is perpetually behind on Linux/x64, it's a hassle. As long as Offline Gmail uses Gears, I won't use it. I have used it and think it's nifty but... not that nifty. I can send mail with and archive mail in Evolution, if need be.

Great news (1)

FrankDerKte (1472221) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296890)

Google has created a technology to adress the shortcomings of an old standard and now, as the new one reaches it's final state, Google tells us to use it.

Fantastic!! (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30299560)

Which part of this is it that Google != do no evil?

me.bows_down_to(Google)

I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30296954)

that Google Gears would be replaced by Google Sky Net ?

What about offline gmail? (1)

homunq (30657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30296992)

Abandoning gears has been obvious for some time - for instance, there's no support in the linux version of Chrome. However, the question is, when willl existing google services based on Gears move to HTML5? The most important one of these being, of course, offline gmail. Google has demonstrated a mobile offline gmail prototype using HTML5 around the beginning of 2009, so the delay is hard to justify on a technical basis.

One wonders if they haven't made a policy decision not to support offline gmail - to force you to use the online, ad-containing version. If that is true, it would be yet another straw on the back of the "don't be evil" camel.

Re:What about offline gmail? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297040)

Of course offline GMail will use HTML5. That's *strongly* implied by "we are abandoning Gears in favour of HTML 5"

Re:What about offline gmail? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297072)

what's wrong with using an ordinary email client? or are you also stuck on the 'Everything over HTTP' bandwagon?

Re:What about offline gmail? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298076)

Exactly. GMail was the free provider who offered free IMAPS and SMTPS support, when Hotmail was charging for a HTTP based Outlook only system. I use a Gmail account with Alpine without any problems.

Re:What about offline gmail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30299878)

I like the gmail interface. I like not having to remember to sync my email before I lose my internet, and without having an extra app always running in the background. I like having the same interface for when I'm computing from the cloud (on a public computer) or from home. I do not like fiddling with the settings and updates of yet another app.

Sure, email clients work. But they are not the same as offline gmail.

Re:What about offline gmail? (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297524)

Since the iPhone version of GMail already uses HTML5 for offline access, I assume so will the desktop version.

Re:What about offline gmail? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298434)

You are a massive idiot and asshole.

"Forcing" you to use the online version of a free service so that there is a chance to display ads is not evil. It's not even remotely evil. It's not bad. It's not wrong.

You are a greedy shit. I would think that's actually evil.

Re:What about offline gmail? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30299296)

Abandoning gears has been obvious for some time - for instance, there's no support in the linux version of Chrome.

That's hardly a fair complaint, considering Chrome for Linux is not supported [google.com] , either (yet).

Google hates anything that is offline (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297034)

event the iphone app is just a front for the website. For Google Reader I use MobileRSS that downloads the first few lines of my feeds so i can read them offline in the NYC subway.

Re:Google hates anything that is offline (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297118)

Offline == No ads, No statistics == No money for google Also, protocols other than HTTP easily support the injection of ads, therefore google hate anything that isn't HTTP

Re:Google hates anything that is offline (2, Interesting)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297182)

Really? you don't think that if you have a client side DB that is network aware, that can sync when it reconnects that it can't a) inject ads b) record what you do c) sync all of the above when you re-connect? I'm sorry but get prepared for offline analytics and ads

Re:Google hates anything that is offline (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297492)

That's possible, but people will complain that it's spyware. You see, if you do all your spying server side and it isn't immediately obvious that everything you do with the software is being recorded then people won't mind it so much.

Re:Google hates anything that is offline (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30299618)

Oh yea, Google is evil. That's why they have been the first to have released APIs for nearly every service they provide on the web.

Oh wait..

Hey Google, (1)

nixtanatos (610010) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297064)

Come to the Dark Side of the Force.

the only reason I'll miss gears (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297128)

I had poor luck successfully using Google Docs offline, even though this was supposedly what Gears was made for. I still do find Gears useful for one thing - Wordpress. I obviously can't blog offline, and if I were writing a post offline I'd do it in Microsoft Live Writer or MS Word or something, but regardless, that's not how Wordpress uses Gears; it leverages Gears to cache common Javascript files locally so that the pages on the admin console load much more quickly. This makes complex procedures really painless - like when I have to switch between many pages on the admin console, such as when I'm tweaking a series of templates or testing incremental changes to a plugin.

I'm no web designer so perhaps I'm misunderstanding TFA, but is offline script caching one of the features of HTML5? I really love this feature for frequently viewed web apps.

Re:the only reason I'll miss gears (3, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297420)

I'm no web designer so perhaps I'm misunderstanding TFA, but is offline script caching one of the features of HTML5?

Yes.
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/offline.html#offline [whatwg.org]

Re:the only reason I'll miss gears (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297538)

Thanks for the information! Sounds like HTML5 is a non-proprietary rip and replace for Gears.

Time to ... (3, Funny)

PePe242 (1690706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297216)

shift gear

Interesting idea of the day -1 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30297470)

I'd been toying with the idea of making my existing webapp available offline, and just this morning began reading up on Google Gears to use it. I put the documentation down for a minute to check out /. and what do I see? Well, fuck.

Offline apps (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30297832)

The couple of times I looked into Gears, the main feature touted by Google was the ability to use your web apps when you're not connected to the internet. This was reason enough for me not to spend a lot of energy on Gears, as in practice, in this day and age, I never find a computer that is NOT connected to the internet.

So in short, I've never had a need for Gears.

Re:Offline apps (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298684)

The only need I've had for Gears was on airplanes, and for drag-and-drop document upload on Wave.

Chrome OS (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298268)

From what I understood, Gears was the primary reason a computer with chrome OS is somewhat more useful than a brick when offline. Does this mean they'll have to allow real local applications for chrome OS now?

Re:Chrome OS (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30298698)

No, because HTML5 includes Gears' functionality. As browser developer teams upgrade their browsers to be adherent to the new standard, you won't need a plugin to use these features.

So, it's not hard to imagine that ChromeOS will be HTML5-compliant.

I'm still waiting for the Linux Gears! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30298656)

Evil Evil Evil!

Re:I'm still waiting for the Linux Gears! (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30299252)

Cool, here you go. [google.com]

JavaScript speed wars (3, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30299334)

One of the more overlooked features of Gears is its JavaScript parser, which allows apps to execute JavaScript in a separate thread from the rest of the page to improve performance. Now that Google has released Chrome, it makes less sense for it to keep working on a hack to allow Firefox and IE to run JavaScript more efficiently. Chrome is incentive enough for Mozilla and Microsoft to start doing that for themselves.

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