Though my dissertation was just moved from May to September, I neww desperately to decide on the framework for which the material will be presented in. I want all my work (texts, music, videos, software demos) to be contained on a DVD and accessible in a non-linear, inter-linked and searchable fashion. These are my design considerations:

  • The repository must...
    • ...run in a standard web browser (possibly limited to Firefox).
    • ...be accessible off-line.
    • ...only rely on open formats.
    • ...require a minimal install effort on the part of the user,
  • It would be nice if...
    • ...it could be syncable with an on-line server.
    • ...it allowed for basic local persistent changes (comments, mark-as-read, etc)
    </ul> Offline RIAs (which is basically what I want) is a hot potato these days with initiatives such as Firefox 3, Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Air and Google Gears. But rather than relying on a large external framework such as these I would prefer to have something simple that is entirely embeddable. I have found two solutions that may work for me:
  1. Junction - a part of Google Gears and designed to be a JavaScript only version of Ruby on Rails.
  2. Embedding Apache Derby in a Java Applet and letting JavaScript retrieve content and insert it in the HTML similar to this demo. </ol> I'm leaning towards the second solution and I'm working on a proof-of-concept. My concerns are how to deal with the local storage and the installation and signature of the applet. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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