SQLite is one of the most popular databases that you may not know about. It is used in every Firefox, Skype, McAfee, and Solaris instance. It is also used on Apple Mac computers and iPhones. Adobe, Google and Mozilla use SQLite for Web related applications. Google’s local data storage engine, Google Gears, uses SQLite. But now SQLite may be too popular. Here is the announcement in the W3C Web SQL Database site:
The following accompanies the latest W3C Editors Draft [our bolding and underline added – curiously, there is no elaboration as to why SQLite is not acceptable for a standard] dated July 23, 2010 for the Web SQL Database standard that is included in the HTML5 documentation listed at Wikipedia. Given that the editor, Ian Hickson, works for Google and Google uses SQLite, notably for its Google Gears local Web store, this impasse seems a bit anomalous. However, further investigation finds that Google is a)leaving Gears intact but b)not using SQLite itself itself and encouraging its developers to transition to HTML5 for local Web storage.
Here are some possible reasons for the impasse with SQLite:
1)Ian Hickson has raised objections to the fact that SQLite does not support the Boolean data type and other shortcomings in SQLite . See here for issue.
2)Mozilla Firefox which does use SQLite, is proposing a new IndexedDB approach [yes shades of BTree] for local Web Storage and is planning to bypass the Web SQL Database standard. IndexedDB will be used in Firefox 4. See here for the details.
3)Google has had problems in AdWords with its SQLite implementation – but Firefox does not. See here for details.
4)Google has a new Google Cloud Storage API – that can act as a proxy for a local store. Keep an Open Eye objected that the whole idea is for offline usage; but a colleague said that issue would be worked out and insisted on inclusion. See here for details.
5)The Web browser developers are fighting over the Web Database standard. See here for the details.
This skirmish over what many would consider a slam dunk for the Web Database or Web SQL Database standard given a)the availability of SQLite and b)the relatively mature state of database development – this gives a taste for some of the turmoil that lurks in critical parts of the emerging HTML5 standard. Yes, large chunks of HTML5 are fairly well set and large chunks of those “settled standards” have been implemented by various browser vendor. But as we shall see in the posting – HTML5: Whats Implemented to July 2010, the implementation is hardly complete of uniform among the top 5 browser vendors. Given this , you now can imagine what is happening over HTML5 standards for Touch, Gestures, and associated Events or Local Storage or 2D Canvas Standards. The first, Touch standards, will be the topic of coming HTML5 post.
Update: Google appears to be database neutral and expecting both IndexedDB and Web SQL to appear in Web Stanadrds