Chapter 6. Going Offline

There’s a feature of HTML5 called the offline application cache that allows users to run web apps even when they are not connected to the Internet. It works like this: when a user navigates to your web app, the browser downloads and stores all the files it needs to display the page (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, etc.). The next time the user navigates to your web app, the browser will recognize the URL and serve the files out of the local application cache instead of pulling them across the network.

The Basics of the Offline Application Cache

The main component of the offline application cache is a cache manifest file that you host on your web server. I’m going to use a simple example to explain the concepts involved, then I’ll show you how to apply what you’ve learned to the Kilo example we’ve been working on.

A manifest file is just a simple text document that lives on your web server and is sent to the user’s device with a content type of cache-manifest. The manifest contains a list of files a user’s device must download and save in order to function. Consider a web directory containing the following files:


In this case, index.html is the page users will load in their browsers when they visit the application. The other files are referenced from within index.html. To make everything available offline, you’d create a file named demo.manifest in the directory with index.html (don’t bother ...

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