Developer expectations run high for Google Gears

By , IDG News Service |  Software

Another developer with high hopes for Gears is Brandon Kraft from the University Catholic Center campus ministry of the University of Texas at Austin.

Kraft hopes Gears will allow him to give an offline component to a variety of Web-hosted resources available to university students and staff.

Like other early testers, Kraft plans to wait for Gears to mature before using it in production applications. So far, he has run into a few kinks, including a clunky synchronization indicator.

Kraft also stumbled with a known issue that has prevented proxy server users from installing Gears. After the installer failed twice on him, Kraft put Gears aside. A week later, he delved into the issue and, after 20 minutes, worked around it.

"For the average consumer, once they get an error message [during the installation], they won't come back," Kraft said in a phone interview.

The proxy server issue, flagged repeatedly in discussion forums, has caused some developers to take Google to task, a sign that with the high expectations also come strong feelings. Many corporate developers connect to the Internet via a proxy server.

However, by the end of next week, the installer's problem with proxy server connections will be solved for most users, a Google spokesman said Friday.

Google already started updating its servers with the latest version of the Gears installer, and some users have downloaded it already.

"The update will be finished by next week, at which point you can be sure of getting the latest version of the installer from the Gears Web site," the spokesman said via e-mail.

Despite its bugs, Gears has also generated enthusiasm among IT security experts.

"I strongly believe that light footprint on the end-point device -- the user's computer -- makes for strong security. Because of that, I always prefer Web applications to installed applications," Maxime Rousseau, a security consultant with Soci

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