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Mar 05

IE 8 and Google Gears

Gears, Microsoft, Tech with tags: , Add comments

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

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.

DOM Storage

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

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
    and fast.
  • Cross-document Messaging (XDM) APIs allow
    communication between documents from different domains through
    IFrames in a way that is easy, secure and standardized.

4 Responses to “IE 8 and Google Gears”

  1. Michael Sullivan Says:

    Just for clarification will I.E.8 run as well on providers such as google, who actually seem to prefer firefox. (Only God knows why) Because I’ve been using Google for many years now, and I don’t see any valid reason to switch I.S.P.,s so I plan to continue to use Google. I do need to know, however if I.E.8 is an upgrade worthy of taking because I.E. 7 seems to work very well for me. Specifically what does I.E.8 bring to the table that I.E.7 does not have?

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  4. Johnny Fuery Says:

    Maybe developers prefer Firefox over IE because all previous versions of IE before 8 played ridiculously badly with the (ahem) html4 spec.

    Add the richness of Firebug as a dev tool, the rapid updates, etc., and IE feels more and more what the Luddites use. It’s analogous to having MSN as your home page because you never realized you could change it.

    It is definitely frustrating when I have to write a separate version of my web app for IE7 — and the same code works pretty much identically in Webkit and FF.

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