Google officially jams Gears
In a not unexpected announcement Google has said that it has stopped active development on Google Gears and is moving its efforts to the HTML5 database API to provide local database storage for web browsers. The H reported in December that Google was planning to retire Gears, but the official confirmation from Iain Fette of the Gears Team will allow developers who use the technology to plan ahead. The move comes after Google's Chrome browser was updated to support the emerging HTML5 Database API.
Google says it will not be actively investing in new development of Gears and that some platforms would not be supported at all such as Mac OS X Snow Leopard's Safari. Support for Gears in Firefox and Internet Explorer will be continued and Fette says Gears support for Firefox 3.6 is coming soon.
Google's change of emphasis to the HTML5 Database API comes just as the specification for the API has reached "an impasse". It appears that all implementations of the Database API have used the same SQL back end, Sqlite, and so the specification refers to Sqlite's documentation for its description of the SQL dialect implemented. The specification editor, Ian Hickson of Google, says this is not acceptable for a standard and that it won't be possible for the specification to move forward until another independent SQL back end is implemented.