We’ve known for a while that Google wasn’t actively improving Gears, their tool that offers offline support for many popular web applications. Now the Official Gears blog explains their transition to the game-changing HTML5:
If you’ve wondered why there haven’t been many Gears releases or posts on the Gears blog lately, it’s because we’ve shifted our effort towards bringing all of the Gears capabilities into web standards like HTML5. We’re not there yet, but we are getting closer. In January we shipped a new version of Google Chrome that natively supports a Database API similar to the Gears database API, workers (both local and shared, equivalent to workers and cross-origin wokers in Gears), and also new APIs like Local Storage and Web Sockets. Other facets of Gears, such as the LocalServer API and Geolocation, are also represented by similar APIs in new standards and will be included in Google Chrome shortly.
The HTML5 transition should mean great things for users in the long-run, but it’s a bummer to see good solutions fall by the wayside while we wait for the major browsers to catch up to, agree on, and support the latest standards. The cost of progress, I suppose.