Friday, June 13, 2008

Google open sources Gears

Google has open sourced it's web plugin Gears under a modified BSD license. Normally I wouldn't comment on something like this because it seems unrelated to what I'm doing with EarthBrowser. However I believe that it could be very important to the future direction of EarthBrowser. A web plugin that supports all major browsers on all major platforms is a *very* large project, one I would never attempt myself. I am kind of in shock that Google would make it so easy for others to make web plugins by giving this away under such a permissive license.

A really long time ago, way back when in the days of Netscape before Internet Explorer even came around, I had a version of EarthBrowser working as a web plugin. It had too many problems with memory limits on the old MacOS 7 and 8 so I canned the project and went with a desktop app. So now there is an open source web plugin code base that I can use to port my OpenGL version of EarthBrowser right into a website. I probably won't tackle that particular project until next year, but it is good to know that it is now possible.

I am very impressed with the release of this code, this is such a different way of doing business. I don't see any benefit for them in doing this, but there isn't any harm either. Way to share knowledge Google!

4 comments:

Christopher Schmidt said...

... Gears has been open source from day one. I'm not sure what makes you think otherwise...

matt_giger said...

Has it? That's news to me, I just saw it posted somewhere recently. The fact that they did open source it is what is important to me, not the timing.

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