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Access the Web offline with Google Gears July 10, 2008

Posted by razasayed in Hacks.
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“Offline web access”- does this term sound paradoxical ?.  Well, it should not if you have heard of a technology called Google Gears . Google Gears is actually an open source browser extension/add-in , available for both Firefox and Internet Explorer, which makes web applications available offline.

Google Gears

The way it works is that a gear enabled website allows you to download some portion of the website that you commonly work with onto your local hard drive. A case in point is Google Docs . I can for example have a copy of my google docs on my local machine . Now, even when im not connected to the Internet, i can continue to work with my google docs offline , and the next time I go online , my changes are automatically synced with the online copy…pretty neat, huh ? 🙂

Not every website though on the web is currently gears enabled , however there many popular ones like Google Docs, Google Reader, Zoho etc…which support offline access via gears. And the list continues to grow. WordPress, recently joined the bandwagon of gears enabled websites.

To get started with using Google Gears, simply download the extension from http://gears.google.com/?hl=en

Google Docs

Then , to access your Google Docs offline just click on the Offline option available on the top right hand corner when you login to Google Docs. However, currently Google Docs supports viewing and editing documents offline , but spreadsheets can only be viewed offline . I would love to see support for offline spreadsheet editing too in the near future.

To use Google Gears with WordPress just click on the Turbo option at the top right hand corner when you are logged into wordpress. When this is done the images, javascript, and CSS used inside the WordPress dashboard would be copied to your local hard drive , so in case of a slow connection  this downloaded data would act as a local cache to speed up your dashboard . The posts are not copied , so offline viewing/editing of posts is currently not possible .

And just in case you are wondering where exactly on your local hard drive this data gets stored then below is a list of these locations.

  • Windows Vista – Internet Explorer
    C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\LocalLow\Google\Google Gears for Internet Explorer
  • Windows Vista – Firefox. Database files are stored in the user profile directory.
    C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{PROFILE}.default\Google Gears for Firefox
  • Windows XP – Internet Explorer.
    C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Gears for Internet Explorer
  • Windows XP – Firefox. Database files are stored in the user profile directory.
    C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{PROFILE}.default\Google Gears for Firefox
  • Mac OS/X – Firefox. Database files are stored in the user profile directory.
    Users/%USERNAME%/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles/{PROFILE}.default/Google Gears for Firefox
  • Linux – Firefox. Database files are stored in the user home directory.
    ~%USERNAME%/.mozilla/firefox/{PROFILE}.default/Google Gears for Firefox

So, the next time you are on that cool web 2.0 website, do look out for offline access by google gears..have fun 🙂

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Comments»

1. woolleyaidedge - August 3, 2008

Very nice!!


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