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Google ditching Gears for HTML5 in future

by Stefan Christopher on 2 December 2009, 09:19

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Gear stick comes unstuck

Google is getting its rear in gear when it comes to scrapping its Gears plug-in, all in anticipation of HTML5.

According to the LA Times, Google has already done away with its desktop app when it comes to the Mac version of Chrome, and that's just a sign of things to come.

Gears, launched in 2007, allows users to work on Google docs and cached emails offline, will still work with Firefox and Internet Explorer for the time being but will be gradually phased out as HTML5 steamrolls in with much of that functionality already onboard.

It's not just Google that has been pushing for the new standard, either. Mozilla, Opera, Apple and others in the World Wide Web consortium have all been advocating for code which will enhance ye old Web browser and make web applications more stable and solid like desktop apps. HTML5 is thought to be that special something.

A Google spokesman said that while the firm was "excited that much of the technology in Gears, including offline support and geolocation APIs, are being incorporated into the HTML5 spec as an open standard supported across browsers, and see that as the logical next step for developers looking to include these features in their websites."

But not all browsers currently support HTML5 yet, with only Safari and Chrome really pushing ahead to date. Luckily, Google says it will stay committed to Gears for a little while longer.

"We're continuing to support Gears so that nothing breaks for sites that use it. But we expect developers to use HTML5 for these features moving forward as it's a standards-based approach that will be available across all browsers," said the firm's engineering director for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS, Linus Upson.

Looks like Google's thinking of trading up from a manual to an automatic fairly soon though.

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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I'm really keen to get some HTML5 & CSS3 features developed for the likes of HEXUS, but even with Chrome Frame, I worry about support for them.
I was doing some reading about the <video> tag in HTML5 a couple of weeks ago. I think Opera have been working on support, but when I tried their demo I just got a message about Theora not being installed, even though I had done that bit.

Have you seen the time line for HTML5? they are estimating it to take something like a decade or more to get it ratified. That is complete madness!