Due to a major power failure this morning at Hosting365 ( Ireland’s largest hosting provider and gateway to the internet for my WiFi based internet provider) I got to try out Google Reader‘s new Google Gears powered off-line capability for real.
Worked perfectly, the original sync (via my ISDN backup line) took two or three minutes, subsequent syncs appeared to be quicker. Oddly enough reviewing feeds using the “J” shortcut in a “wall of news” fashion appeared to be slower in off-line mode than when I was connected, obviously all the writes to disk to mark each feed item as read slowed down the off-line experience. I wonder if the Google Reader folks are using SQLite transactions? If not maybe they should, as combining multiple inserts/updates into a single transaction makes SQLite write operations run much faster.
If only Google Docs or the WordPress Posts page were “geared up” I could have have written this post off-line while waiting for the network to come back. As more and more web apps incorporate Google Gears then, as we say in Kildare, they will be truly “sucking diesel”.