Thursday, 1 March 2007

Offline Web Apps - Please, Keep It Simple Stupid!

I noticed that my offline Web apps post got'd by Dion Hinchcliffe - he comments:

"Yep, offline capability is a key checklist for the next generation of Web apps, particularly for things like Web mail (when you're on the plane and have to get work done.)"

Hmm. Doesn't that assumes that inflight Web access will never be available or too expensive?

Anyway, when I'm on the road and I won't have Wifi access to the Internet I just download my personal email to my PDA, and my work email is already to sync'd on my laptop. Its already pretty easy.

Now this is not to say that I'm not convinced that offline won't be a key capability on the checklist as Hinchcliffe suggests, but I just see us cycling back into resource hungry, difficult to install and maintain, fat-clients that we went online to avoid in the first place... I just hope in all of this we remember to KISS.

PS Andrew - if you want to take your wiki with you right now, can't you just copy it with something like HTTrack?


  1. Thanks for your reference to HTTrack. I will give it a go. However its clear that it won't give me the main value I want from an offline wiki. My need is for offline updates primarily, not for offline reference.

    I'd like to see offline web apps which are simple to install, self-maintaining, and with automatic synchronisation. That's not asking too much is it? ;-)

  2. And some wikis, such as Socialtext have a synchronization technology built in, allowing you to unplug, alter and upload your changes when you get back on.

    TWiki also has a couple of mechanisms in development for this.


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