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The Application Cache is one of the cool bits of HTML5, allowing sites to work without a network connection, which brings us much closer to native app-like behaviour. However, from HTML5 roundup articles and talks, you may be left with the impression that it’s a magic-bullet fix. Unfortunately it isn’t; the Application Cache is a douchebag.
That’s not to say ‘incompetent’ or ‘difficult’ - definitely ‘douchebag’. The Application Cache has skills we need, but if you asked him to paint your bathroom, he’d somehow manage to flood your kitchen and break your TV in the process, and he wouldn’t care.
We’ll learn how to use the features of Application Cache without the horrible side effects, comparing techniques you’d use for a simple client-side app and a large content-driven site. We’ll explore the many gotchas left out of most AppCache articles and how you can build your site to survive them.
Jake Archibald is a developer at Lanyrd, and formerly of the BBC and The Team. He’ll be sharing the pleasure and pain of AppCache, as he went through the process of building Lanyrd’s mobile web app, which went for ambitious device support, rather than “Webkit only thank-you-please”.