13 February, 2007

Web Apps going Offline in 2007 -ReadWrite Web

Firefox 3 will offer support for running web applications offline. Though it’s not yet clear on which level this might happen, this is major news for SaaS providers (Software as a Service). Of course, Firefox isn’t alone in trying to move web apps offline - Adobe’s Apollo framework promotes offline-services on top of their successful Flash platform.

Besides Adobe, several open source projects are working on solutions for the offline-dilemma: the Dojo Offline Project and POW (Plain Old Webserver) both implement a proxy http-server for running local copies of web-applications. While Dojo Offline isn’t available yet, POW - a firefox plugin (which means basically a web-server implemented in Javascript!) - is ready for download.

Related: How Firefox 3 will deliver support for offline applications...

This is significant because you'll be able to use your web apps - like Gmail, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, etc - in the browser even when offline. I deliberately mentioned all Google web apps there, because of course this plays right into Google's hands.

Although Mozilla is an open source organization, some of its top workers are employed by Google. So it's a very cozy relationship. We've discussed before how Firefox 3 as information broker suits Google very nicely, because the Mountain View company has a number of best of breed web apps - and if it's not building them, it's acquiring them (YouTube, JotSpot, Writely, etc).

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