Ajax Experience: Chris Schalk – Google Gears

October 24th, 2007

Chris Schalk is a Developer Advocate at Google. His talk is called Beyond XHR: Taking Ajax Offline With Google Gears.

Google Gears is a browser plugin that provides offline storage and other supporting functionality. It is supported in most popular browsers.

With Gears you can completely decouple communication from UI actions. The communication happens periodically when connectivity is available.

The three APIs that Gears provides are:

  • LocalServer – to access the application offline
  • Database – a powerful relational db (SQLite) for storage
  • WorkerPool – a way to dispatch chunks of code to run in separate thread-like pools that don’t impact your app


  • ResourceStore – capture individual online resources for offline use
  • ManagedResourceStore – capture entire applications for offline use (using a manifest file)

Chris’s presentation is itself an offline app created with Gears (no link, I’m afraid although a variant of it comes with the gears download). It works equally well online or offline.


  • SQLite – Open source, mature, small, fast full featured relational db
  • Gigabtes of storage


  • thread-like functionality
  • no more blocking the browser UI
  • communications via IPC – no shared state

Chris is showing us some Full Text Search code samples that leverage the FTS3 features of SQLite

What’s Next

  • Support Google Apps going offline
  • Support External app developers
  • FTS3 in languages other than English
  • Cross-domain API and other WorkerPool enhancements

Chris encourages us to visit http://code.google.com/ to discover the cool things google is working on and learn how to use them.

I’m going to subscribe to the Google Code Blog RSS feed right now.

If you have Gears loaded up and want to try an example app, have a look at the blog.gears sample app.

2 comments to “Ajax Experience: Chris Schalk – Google Gears”

  1. […] admin wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptChris is showing us some Full Text Search code samples that leverage the FTS3 features of SQLite. What’s Next. Support Google Apps going offline; Support External app developers; FTS3 in languages other than English; Cross-domain API … […]

  2. Another JavaScript framework that supports SQLite (and, since it can be easily extended, also almost anything else you can think of) is http://jnext.org