Feeds

Google digs 6-foot hole for Gears

It's all about HTML5 now, darlink

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google wonks have ended development of the company's Gears application platform, less than three years since its release.

The Gears API had been created by Mountain View as something of an elixir for developers who wanted to support offline access of their apps.

However, Google's allegiance has now shifted to the HTML5 API that the ad broker recently added support for in Chrome, thereby providing local database storage for web browsers. All of which has made the Gears platform effectively redundant.

"In January we shipped a new version of Google Chrome that natively supports a Database API similar to the Gears database API, workers (both local and shared, equivalent to workers and cross-origin wokers in Gears), and also new APIs like Local Storage and Web Sockets," said Ian Fette in a Gears blog post late last week.

"Other facets of Gears, such as the LocalServer API and Geolocation, are also represented by similar APIs in new standards and will be included in Google Chrome shortly.

"We realise there is not yet a simple, comprehensive way to take your Gears-enabled application and move it (and your entire userbase) over to a standards-based approach. We will continue to support Gears until such a migration is more feasible, but this support will be necessarily constrained in scope.

"We will not be investing resources in active development of new features."

Fette added that Google was unable to offer Gears support in Safari on Mac OS X Snow Leopard and later versions, but said support would continue for Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Firefox.

He said Gears had done a good job of offering offline access to Gmail, but that burden had now shifted to browsers, which now offer native support.

Synchronicity was clearly a watchword at Google last Friday when it chose to publicly announce it would nullify Gears on the same day that the company finally nabbed On2 Technologies' HTML5 video codecs.

Burying Gears is hardly a surprising move by a uber web-obsessed Google that wants to flatten any desire to develop code that serves up its online empire away from the flashing lights of the internet. At launch in May 2007, many tech writers wet their pants over Gears, but in essence it was Google's lacklustre attempt to take on Microsoft.

The platform required a user to install a browser plugin and then developers needed to write code to support Mountain View's offline effort, but Google never really put any faith in Gears.

Ultimately the search giant's shift over to HTML5 may in fact have been part of a long-term strategy at Mountain View, with the Gears API platform serving simply as a temporary doorstop while the company developed Chrome. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.