[whatwg] Gears design goals

Andy Palay ajpalay at google.com
Fri Jun 29 13:00:00 PDT 2007

On Jun 26, 2007 4:26 PM, Robert O'Callahan <robert at ocallahan.org> wrote:
> On 6/27/07, Aaron Boodman <aa at google.com> wrote:
> > If so, that means apps can't serve different resources at the same
> > URL, even when a connection is available, which seems like a big
> > constraint.
> Sure they can. The user can only have one active login per browser session
> anyway, so the app just swaps in a whole new set of resources when the
> logs in with a different ID. The only restriction is that when the user's
> offline, they'll only be able to use the last ID that they logged in as.

The problem with this is what happens when two users share the same
machine.  Not unusual with families and laptops.

So my kid and I both have an offline enabled version of a application X.  My
kid was the last one runing X before leaving on a trip. I open the laptop
and fire up X. From what I believe you said, I can't see my version of X.
This is a problem if the versions are actually different.

One could (as Aaron did for Gearpad) down load all the code and dynamically
use it depending on the user, but that can be expensive to do, especially as
applications grow in size. For example in our initial tests it bacame clear
that we would download different resources depending on the language setting
for the user. You would not want to download all the languages for the
application. If the user changed languages then we would recapture the
application. Yes this does limit the user from changing languages when
offline, but changing languages is a rare event and forcing the user to be
online seemed to be a reasonable tradeoff.

The downloading of different code per user also is useful for supporting web
applications that provide different functionality depending on the user.
This can occur if the application is tiered (e.g. you get a basic version
for free, and the premium version for a fee) or when the application is
slowly rolled out to the user community.
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