THL Toolbox > Offline THL > THL Fully Offline
Contributor(s): David Germano, Than Grove.
The Grand Unified Theory of Web work would either envision the entire world hooked into the Internet with rapid access at all time and in all places, or, would offer a seamless integration of offline and online editing and delivery systems. In the latter context, people would be able to edit things offline, and then easily synchronize them with online collections when they (or friends) had Internet access. Likewise, online digital systems would be easy to package up and run offline on personal computers with the functionality and data they possess online. In practice, we are quite distant from the dream of pervasive connectivity, or the dream of seamless integration of online and offline.
THL is pursuing partial solutions with its Mobile Digital Libraries and Contributing to THL Offline initiatives. However, a fuller solution that is more seamless requires at present more resources than it currently has. The present section is devoted to notes and brainstorming towards the day when we will have the resources and maturity to focus more on such seamless solutions.
XML is one of THL's two core technologies, along with Ruby on Rails. Editing XML offline is not a problem, but delivering the final product for personal use on one's own computer is in an easy to install and operate way certainly us.
Ruby on Rails is one of THL's two core technologies, along with XML. There are general efforts underway to make a Ruby on Rails application run as an off-line application, and even synchronize it with the on-line version. See: http://developers.joyent.com/
Google is also making its various online office applications run offline, including for all its AJAX applications. Since Google offers these applications for free, these could be a resource to help build THL's editing capabilities. See: http://gears.google.com/
VirtualBox is a program that allows the user to run a "guest" virtual machine of a different type on her/his "host" machine. Thus, one can run a virtual Linux OS or Mac OS on Windows and vice versa. Originally a Sun open-source project, VirtualBox was acquired by Oracle when they bought Sun. They have so far kept the bulk of it open-source. It is available at http://www.virtualbox.org/
Using VirtualBox, THL is developing a virtual machine that presents a stand-alone version of our whole website with as many of the resources as possible. While the underlying OS of this virtual machine is Linux, it will be all contains on a single (very large) hard drive and will essentially be plug-and-play for any host operating system. This is still under-development as of November 2010.
Members of the project can access the information about Setting Up the THL Virtual Guest. As this is still under development, it is restricted to THL staff and collaborators.