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Enabling Offline Web Applications

Google Gears is an open source browser extension that lets developers create web applications that can run off-line. Gears provides three key features:

  • A local server, to cache and serve application resources (HTML, JavaScript, images, etc.) without needing to contact a server
  • A database, to store and access data from within the browser
  • A worker thread pool, to make web applications more responsive by performing expensive operations in the background
Google Gears is currently an early-access developers' release.

Google Gears extends browsers by making new APIs available to JavaScript code. Like all APIs, they must be used explicitly. To take advantage of the offline features provided by Google Gears, you'll need to add or change code in your web application.

There are three core modules provided by Gears: a LocalServer for storing and accessing application pages offline, a Database for storing and accessing application data on the user's computer, and a WorkerPool for performing long-running tasks (such as the code that synchronizes data between your server and users' computers). For more information, follow the links.

A Gears Tutorial is available that illustrates the basic concepts. You may also find the Google Gears sample applications useful. Source code for these samples can be downloaded in a zip file found on the same page.

Google Gears Home Page

Download Link



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