It is almost a year since this thread started — May I ask where you are with the topic now?
I just created an account for Airtable, because it looks really superb. I don’t like any of the other collaboration tools (Slack included), and this looks to let me work the way I would like to.
As soon as I started to set up the database, I noticed I was working in a browser, and immediately looked for the standalone app mode so I don’t have to always have the browser on and connected to the internet, at which point this topic raised in my mind.
I read the thread, and mostly noticed (besides the technical difficulties, which, as a former programmer, I understand quite well) that the thread is a year old. So - what is the Aug 2017 state, please?
I am working on a fairly complex book + Kickstarter + video library collaborative project, and want to keep track of the parts and allow my colleagues to discuss and contribute as we go. There will be between 3 and 5 key collaborators with access to this db, as I see it. Timeframe is about 6-10 months.
I often find myself working in coffee shops or in locations (Argentina, Colombia, France, Italy, Florida, Washington DC) where there is no internet. But those are the moments when I am working hard on this project. So I need some form of offline work.
I would not need to change the db structure when offline, only add and modify records.
I can collaboratively merge with the others, if we need to. I will be lead author.
I like the suggestion way up high by Howie on Sept 16 about opening the browser, loading the db, turning wifi off, editing away, reconnecting later, and Airtable already handles that! Awesome - I will definitely use that in the next month while I am in the US, at least to try it out.
(ref: "Some Airtable user actions, such as editing a cell or creating/deleting new rows, are performed immediately on the client’s local data representation. Thus, they could theoretically be performed offline. In fact, you can do so today by disconnecting your internet connection without closing the browser tab or the iOS/Android app, making changes, then reconnecting—in absence of any conflicting changes from other clients, your offline edits should seamlessly sync.)
That proposal presupposes that I can load the db before I head to the coffee shop. Which I will try out, for fun and just in case my favorite coffee shop doesn’t have wifi (e.g. Wash DC on the weekends, many coffee shops turn off their internets).
But most of the time I won’t have the luxury to load my db freshly before leaving for the coffee shop. I might get internet every few days (e.g. in Cuba), or I might have to reboot my machine - browser window lost.
Hope that information helps you design your solution.
Back to the original question — where are you with the offline work idea at this point, Aug 2017?
thanks - Alistair Cockburn