WordPress 2.6 and Google Gears
ANOTHER UPDATE: WordPress 2.6 is out. When you’ve finished reading the article below (which I recommend ), come watch the video about it’s new features in my post “WordPress 2.6 is out and it’s Turbo Charged“
So, there I was, having just upgraded my local Windows installation of WordPress so that I could update one of my plugins when I noticed a new piece of text on the top right hand side of my screen:
Little update: It would appear that this has now been renamed to “Turbo”
Who is WordPress to tell ME, the king of speed on a PC, to SPEED UP!?!?!
But, always one to improve on a process, I clicked it, and this is what I saw:
What is Google Gears?
Google Gears is a browser add-on from Google that enables web applications such as Google Reader and Google Docs to feel more like an offline application like MS Word or Excel.
It does this by storing information on your machine allowing you to read, edit and update “data” from the internet without actually being connected. And then, the next time you connect to the internet it synchronises with the website, uploading any changes you’ve made, and downloading any changes/updates that have been made on the site.
At least, that’s the very basic explanation of it.
Google Gears and WordPress
So, how about an example, using your friendly neighbourhood blogging platform?
Having installed the Google Gears plugin for my browser, I clicked the “Enable Google Gears” button, and this is what I saw:
As you can see, my browser is downloading all the information it needs so that WordPress doesn’t need to connect to the internet for certain information.
What has WordPress made faster
As a side note and introduction to what has been sped up, here’s a little rant.
I personally LOVE the changes that were implemented with WordPress 2.5.
But, some of the new features (and features I’ve just started using now that I use the Visual Editor) just aren’t as cool thanks to the not-so-great internet speeds in South Africa.
For example, if you want to create a link. Every time you click the link icon in the editor’s toolbar, it has to download the same stuff over and over…
Well, it looks to me like the WordPress Google Gears implementation has solved that. The link and the “insert embedded media” popups are now instantaneous!
Thank you to whoever decided to do this.
It also seems that switching between each “pane” in the admin section is a LOT faster… Believe me, working on the South African tubes (via iBurst), this makes a HUGE difference!
Google will be PROUD!
All I can say is, this is going to give Google Gears the much needed attention that they’ve so far been lacking. Especially since out of all Google’s products, it’s only the Google Reader and Google Docs products that utilise Google Gears.