Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Nearline - the best of online and offline

There is a lot of interest in online and web-based data and applications, but there are a lot of disadvantages too. Working offline has disadvantages too, but has some clear benefits as well. I propose that we focus increasing attention on whatI call nearline, a hybrid of online and offline.

The easy way to think of it is that you work online when you're online, but you work offline when it is not convenient to work online. Obviously you can do that manually, but the trick is to offer infrastructure support so that the on-to-off-line and off-to-on-line transitions are transparent and not a significant inconvenience.

I would note that the term nearline has already been used to some extent, but not so widely, so maybe it is okay to repurpose it for this better purpose.

-- Jack Krupansky


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