The IE 8 updates are out, and there are some great features that relate to Gears. Also, a lot of the features are standards based so we will see the functionality in other browsers too.
Six connections per host
Yay! The 2 connection limit has been so painful for rich Ajax development, especially when you get into advanced work like Comet. This small change is going to be huge.
Connectivity events allow websites to check when the user is connected to the network and receive notification of connectivity changes.
This is fantastic. A lot of developers want this functionality, and we have held off implementing it in Gears as it is actually quite tricky to do correctly. Having a version of this in the browser will be great, and Gears applications can leverage it.
The simple storage for offline applications. I could see someone writing an app that uses DOM storage for simple cases, and Gears for the more advanced (SQL vs. name/value pairs).
Cross domain is actually going to happen in 2008, which is very exciting indeed. By jumping in we can iron out the issues and end up with a real mashup world that is more than read only tools. I am assuming that this is also using standards such as postMessage.
Cross-domain communication is an integral part of AJAX development
and mashup Web applications. Internet Explorer 8 includes two
features to help you build cross-domain communications that are safe
and easy to implement:
- With Cross-domain Request (XDR), developers can
create cross-site data aggregation scenarios. Similar to the
XMLHttpRequest object but with a simpler programming model, this
request, called XDomainRequest, is the easiest way to make anonymous
requests to third-party sites that support XDR and opt in to making
their data available across domains. Three lines of code will have
you making basic cross-site requests. This will ensure data
aggregation for public sites (such as blogs) will be simple, secure
- Cross-document Messaging (XDM) APIs allow
communication between documents from different domains through
IFrames in a way that is easy, secure and standardized.