Google Docs has announced that as of today, they’re rolling out an offline capacity. (I’ve checked my account and I’m not one of the lucky ones — yet.) If you’re among the favoured, you’ll see the word Offline in the top right menu, as in this graphic, taken from a simple video demonstrating how it works. You’ll have to have Google’s Gears installed to make it work.
This is a Good Thing, I suppose: any increase in functionality is valuable. But at the same time it does seem to be a bit of a zag after so much Web 2.0 zigging. Everything was to be in the cloud (There’s a great Latin expression for this that I can’t resist wheeling out here: in gremio nubibus — in the bosom of the clouds. I think it’s the “nubibus” I like.); but now the cloud has to rain some stuff back to earth again. The problem, of course, is that wireless access is not ubiquitous, as we’d hoped it might be. So I think of this as “off roading” where the pavement hasn’t reached yet.