Google to quietly move away from Gears, adopt HTML 5

By on December 1, 2009, 1:45 PM
It's been more than two years since Google launched Gears in an effort to bring offline capabilities to web-based applications. But after the initial excitement over the browser extension and subsequent inclusion in Chrome, it looks like the search giant is scaling back support for the tool.

Now that a beta of Google's Chrome browser is becoming available for Mac sans Gears support, and Apple's Snow Leopard doesn't play nicely with the functionality even months after release, a company spokesman has come forward to shed some light into the matter. While there was no formal abandonment of the project, it's clear that in Google's view HTML 5 is the future.

The next version of the web programming language isn't even finished yet, but it should support many of the same features in Gears, allowing users to take online data offline. According to Google, Gears will continue to be supported for sites that already use it, but they expect developers to use HTML 5 for adding offline capabilities moving forward as it's a standards-based approach that will be available across all browsers and operating systems.




User Comments: 16

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matchu said:

Nice. Looking forward to the next html. It's cool watching html change over the past decade. Especially can't wait to get rid of the need for all these plugins...

AfricanTech said:

Wonder if they'll offer a migration path - i use gears to host my gmail offline and that's gotten pretty big by now - would hate to have to redownload the whole lot especially here in land of bandwidth starvation of ridiculous data caps!

Se7enVII said:

Good to see more HTML 5 adoption. I've always thought offline functionality with web apps is a really great idea and didn't even know it was part of the HTML 5 spec. I'd like to see whether Chrome OS has any effect on HTML 5 adoption in the next year or so and how quickly Microsoft adopts it in their IE web browser.

harby said:

Yay for HTML 5!

Serag said:

A huge step "since from google" in the way of HTML5 adoption...

looking forward for more..

manintech said:

I think google is doing the right thing: follow the standard rather than forcing others to follow their standard, while microsoft always does the opposite

SuperSmith said:

It's good to see that Google is still looking forward despite the difficulties with attempting to move Chrome to the Mac OS. Personally, I think they should have built Gears from scratch if it was not working with the Mac OS purely because they were advertising it as an identical product to the PC versions. I wonder why they released the download if they knew Gears was not going to work (and if they didn't then they didn't test it properly which is something I don't expect from a giant such as Google).

All that aside, HTML 5 seems to be exactly what they need to have a universal system. I can't wait to see how it pans out. I wonder when the language is going to be finished for commercial use.

vangrat said:

I tried to get into HTML in the past but it changed and added so much so quickly that I just couldn't keep up. WYSIWYG is my best friend...

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The HTML 5 offline features are described here: http://www.w3.org/TR/offline-webapps/

Must say I didn't know about them, either. It's good they're there, and I think this makes it even more likely that multi-platform cloud apps will become the norm. If the rumour that the PS3 will get Firefox is true, it could really become a nice PC alternative.

saintbodhisatva said:

ET3D said:

The HTML 5 offline features are described here: http://www.w3.org/TR/offline-webapps/

Must say I didn't know about them, either. It's good they're there, and I think this makes it even more likely that multi-platform cloud apps will become the norm. If the rumour that the PS3 will get Firefox is true, it could really become a nice PC alternative.

The specification looks more like java script  than HTML. Good to know though that Google will be complying with HTML5 features instead of insisting on purely "Gears"

freedomthinker said:

Well we will see how things go so far

Puiu Puiu said:

Standardization is the way to go. Google played it's cards well and they abandoned Gears before HTML5 even hit the streets.

kaonis92 said:

HTML 5 will also be adopted by youtube, lets see...

swilllx2p said:

Yeah I'd prefer to see the standardization like many others when it comes to this. It just makes things so much easier imo. I've tried to get into HTML design before and just couldn't get myself motivated enough for it..maybe i'll give it another go.

BlackIrish said:

Yeah HTML 5 will be really good once it gets used by video sites and such - so long flash!

AbsolutGaloot said:

BlackIrish said:

Yeah HTML 5 will be really good once it gets used by video sites and such - so long flash!

I certainly wouldn't miss having to install Flash all the time, and have it be so fussy. Not to mention, integrated HTML5 support will be much easier for devs to design for multiplatform, eliminating this "oh, sorry, we can't run flash so you're out of luck" nonsense.

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