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Re: Seamless online-offline applications

From: Nikunj Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 08:10:56 -0700
Message-ID: <48F8AB00.2000807@oracle.com>
To: "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
CC: public-webapps@w3.org, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>

Please bear with me as I gain my footing with the w3 communication 
style. This message is now in plain text.

[2] should be corrected as http://oracle.com/technology/tech/feeds/

Below is a comparison of BITSY/AtomDB on the one hand and Gears and 
FeedSync on the other:

*Why would I use BITSY over FeedSync?*

FeedSync is a protocol developed by Microsoft to perform synchronization 
of data on XML feed formats such as RSS or Atom. FeedSync is suited to 
scenarios where there is no single “master” copy. Atompub and BITSY are 
designed for HTTP-based client-server systems where the server owns the 
master copy. FeedSync has additional restrictions on the Atom feeds and 
can only work with feeds specially prepared for synchronization with 
FeedSync. BITSY can work using plain old Atom feeds with no extensions. 
Furthermore, FeedSync places additional burden on feed sources to keep 
additional FeedSync metadata, while BITSY does not place any obligations 
on the server.

FeedSync has not been contributed to any standards body whereas Atompub 
is already standardized and BITSY is being offered for public 

*How is AtomDB different from Gears?*

Gears (from Google) is an open source project to provide a web based 
application environment that will run inside of any browser and to 
extend the capabilities of existing browsers without becoming dependent 
on the browser vendor. Gears provides a SQL data store and a local HTTP 
server, however Gears does not provide a synchronization mechanism 
forcing applications to come up with their own. Moreover, applications 
are also required to use a SQL-based programming model to take advantage 
of the local storage capabilities requiring the application to be 
rewritten to acquire off line capabilities. By leveraging Atom feeds, 
AtomDB does not require every application to develop a new 
synchronization protocol nor does it impose a new programming technique 
for taking advantage of the local storage capabilities.

Gears engenders an offline application mindset where applications are 
designed primarily for off-line use with synchronization sprinkled in 
between. In environments where Gears is not present, a separate kind of 
application is offered to the user since local storage is not available. 
AtomDB fosters thinking about applications seamlessly transitioning 
between online and offline situations. The same application code that 
works off-line works online as well (modulo server replication logic 
running on the client when the server is missing). Some online functions 
may not be available when a server cannot be reached, but this is no 
different from Gears.

Hope that helps.



On Oct 16, 2008, at 12:19 AM, Michael(tm) Smith wrote:

> Nikunj Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>, 2008-10-14 21:00 -0700:
>> [...] More documents explaining the motivation for this approach as
>> well as comparisons with other techniques such as Gears and FeedSync are
>> also available [2]
>> [1] http://oracle.com/technology/tech/feeds/spec/bitsy.xhtml
>> [2] http://oracle.com/technology/tech/feeds
> I couldn't find anything at [2] that actually does compare BITSY
> to Gears, etc. Perhaps you could post a summary directly to
> public-webapps@w3.org?
> --Mike
> -- 
> Michael(tm) Smith
> http://people.w3.org/mike/
Received on Friday, 17 October 2008 15:12:14 UTC

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