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Issue 3, 15 May 2015

A monthly reader featuring all things Offline First, covering theory, technology and user experience for new offline use cases.


The latest issue of the Thoughtworks Tech Radar was released in May and it includes local storage sync and also added offline first web applications as a new topic to be on everybody‘s radar. Hoodie and CouchDB are mentioned as tools to “help simplify offline first implementation” and offer the “ability to work with a locally deployed application on a local data storage”. Also according to Thoughtworks the ”offline-first mindset” plays an important role today. Local storage sync in this context has become a successful technique for e.g. the implementation of offline single-page applications.
The Thoughtworks Tech Radar gives advice especially about new and yet unproven technologies and independent opinions about the ones that have become standards and is released biannually.
Thoughtworks, May 2015
Jake Archibald at SmashingConf Oxford 2015: “The UX Of Offline-First” or “Modern Progressive Enhancement”. The release of Service Worker by Chrome is a clear sign that technology is readier than ever to solve more and more problems of network-dependency. We have now reached the point to ask loudly for solutions on the experience side of offline and native apps. (@jaffathecake/@smashingconf)
SmashingConf Oxford 2015, Jake Archibald, 04/28/2015
On April 23 Dropbox announced that it'll soon be deprecating their sync API: “As of today, new Dropbox apps should use our Core API. Over the next six months, we’ll continue to implement urgent bug fixes as needed to the Sync and Datastore SDKs, but we are no longer actively developing them. In October 2015, we will discontinue support for the deprecated SDKs entirely.” - clearly evoking some critical reaction: “Dropbox deprecating their sync API is why you are better off using Open Source solutions for your core infra.” (@janl, CouchDB/Hoodie). Couchbase summarised disappointed user voices and aspects of the controversial decision on their blog. James Nocetini (@jamitz, Couchbase) shows in a video how to switch from Dropbox Datastore to Couchbase Mobile.
Dropbox Developer Blog, Steve Marx, 04/23/2015
Dropbox Sync APIOpen Source
ampersand-offline-first 0.014 release: Ampersand.js, ampersand-sync hijack with localForage. A module hijacking the sync in the ampersand-sync method of your Ampersand models and rest-collections. It uses localForage: a JavaScript library that improves the offline experience by using an asynchronous data store with a simple, localStorage-like API., Bob Hamblock, 05/11/2015
Eugenio Marletti from Clue App: “Holy Sync: A sane approach to offline-first cross-platform data syncing” presents data syncing for offline access on base of Couchbase Lite and the CouchDB protocol using the case of the mobile period tracker Clue.
Droidcon Turino (April 10, 2015), Eugenio Marletti, 05/05/2015
VideoUse Case 1.5 was released – a noBackend, offline-first OS for WebApps that syncs with CouchDB. Author or modify docs offline, which are saved locally and get synced when you go online. CloudWall is suitable for any workflow that need real-time data collecting offline., @ermouth, 04/07/2015
Offline States – or “the different shades of ERROR!!” A Tumblr show casing native apps' behaviour in offline state. (found via @LewisCowper)
Offline, Oct 2014
Offline Wikipedia? A demo of how a content site like Wikipedia could be a case of offline-first like an offline reader. And this is it on Github.
Jake Archibald, 03/26/2015
VideoUse Case
So Chrome shipped Service Worker, Firefox is “looking busy” and if you don't want to miss any event of the big Service Worker implementations parade you can meanwhile follow them on Twitter. Or look at their general implementation status overview. on Github
“Slow Internet” the sticker. Get it before it's no longer a thing., Stephanie Hertl
Article: Offline Data Synchronization in Ionic with CouchDB and PouchDB. “Based on Angular JS from Google, Ionic is an open-source framework that runs on top of Cordova to generate apps both for IOS and Android platforms.”, Marko Fernandes, 04/29/2015
Use CaseIonic


See how “Background sync builds on Service Worker but isn't captured by whats implemented atm :)” (via Twitter, @addyosmani) in the spec and design and extensive explainer for BackgroundSync (Alex Russel, @slightlyoff).
Alex Russel (@slighlyoff), Github last update 04/08/2015
The first step to a successful offline-first application architecture is a database layer that handles synchronisation in the face of unreliable networks. Apache CouchDB and its family of peers, like PouchDB and Couchbase Mobile, are exactly what you need.

If you rely on CouchDB for your business, we make sure everything goes well. Get professional CouchDB support: 


Webinar: “Developing Offline first apps with Xamarin and Couchbase Lite” with Martin Esmann (Couchbase)., Martin Esmann (Couchbase), 05/20/2015
Google I/O 2015 (28th-29th May in San Fransisco) lines up some offline-savvy talks: “Offline apps with Polymer and Service Worker” and “Lovefield - Simple, offline SQL-like data store for the web”. “Google's Lovefield is an open source, cross-browser relational database management system written in JavaScript. The discussion will focus on using Lovefield to help with offline-first Web apps. – It provides expressive SQL-like query capabilities that bridge the gap created by WebSQL deprecation.” (, All eyes on Android)
Google I/O 2015, 05/29/2015
ConferenceGoogle I/O
Join conversations about Offline First in the community channel on Slack. You just have to sign up here and take note of the code of conduct. Would be great to see you there!, 03/20/2015
This reader was compiled and edited by contributors to and is kindly supported by Neighbourhoodie Software. Further reading, space for research and discussion can be found in the Offline First repo on GitHub.

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