personal experiences and code :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

clientside persistence and such

i threw a what was more of a curveball than anything else on ryan stewart's blog earlier this morning on his thoughts on the upcoming firefox offline mode feature being a bad idea; any water ryan's 2 posts hold on the subject seem very little water to me though, and it looks like i've lost my rights to post on his blog ;)

reposting comment here, in the hope that i can get those rights back ;P

ryan, i got your email; take that last post very lightly though :)

i think there's a breed of application out there where clientside persistence increases their utility vastly. the work being done in this space did not just get started; rather than ramble on, i can point to a few resources:

java db embedded in a browser
dojo offline toolkit
user data behavior
moz/dom storage

the general whatwg stuff

i am as excited about apollo and the other web techs coming out just as you are, and i've seen the demo use cases and can think of a few where it will fill in brilliantly.

what is apollo? a runtime. the thick clients you build will run on it.
what is a browser? a thick client. some of them (like firefox) are extensible.

who is apollo aimed at? i think initially you, the developer not the 'customer'.
who is firefox aimed at? users. but developers can dive into it too.

those applications i mentioned earlier, however, are currently built to be run in a browser, and it will be ludicrous to think their owners will port them to a product that isn't even a public beta right away. maybe they will eventually; maybe they'll never do it.

if the browser allowed us to persist data easily, clientside, gmail will exploit those capabilities right away; so too the vast other gmail-like applications out there. will those applications be re-written in apollo; maybe. maybe not. but they'll still be available on firefox/ie. and based on their utility for people, they'll still enjoy a broad userbase.

do we miss offline mode in current webapps; maybe. will it be rendered useless if it's provided, because some other technology provides that and some other useful features? that's ludicrous.

-- eokyere :)


Ryan's blog post --


adrian said...

You tell him! Offline.. bad

People who need offline email have Outlook on their laptop and a Blackberry in their pocket. The online/offline apps that we need already exist, like iTunes.

Tink said...

"online/offline apps that we need already exist"

Thats a pretty bold statement. Basically your saying that no-one can come with any other ideas for online/offline apps that will be useful? How can you predict this?

Judit said...

I have to agree with your post. I don't yet see any staright forward use of apollo for users currently. I also feel that the reasons why people might switch to it or at least start using it at a later date is different from the reasons most developers suggest. I'm not sure that apollo's most appealing aspect is it's capability to work offline - I think the fact that it enables flash developers to work on desktop applications is more important as this will likely create greater diversity of desktop applications...


But what if I want to take a, say, project management app to market (or there already is one, like phprojekt), which would be nice to have offline-online functionality. Where would you stuff this one? Outlook, Blackberry or iTunes? i hope you see my point...

If you post a comment like those above, you don't even see the problem, why are you so bold to comment? It is persistence to ANY webapp, not just email or your favourite Calendar. There's a whole lot of apps (CRM, Inventory, blogeditors etc) which could rely on it.