Since early 2013, Mozillians have been involved with the design of the Service Worker. Thanks to work by Google, Samsung, Mozilla, and others, this exciting new feature of the web platform has evolved to the point that it is being implemented in various web browser engines.
What are Service Workers?
Since Service Workers run in the “background”, they open up several possibilities for the Web that were previously only available on native platforms. Apart from the networking capabilities provided by the base specification, Service Workers are intended to be used by the Push API and the Background Sync API to deliver messages from the user-agent to web applications.
Service Workers in Firefox
A number of Mozillians have been hard at work implementing Service Workers in Gecko while Anne van Kesteren and Jonas Sicking help with the design and specification. Members of the Necko team and others have provided input from networking and related perspectives. Nikhil Marathe recently published a blog post about the status of Service Workers in Gecko.
The Service Worker implementation in Gecko is landing in pieces as soon as they are finished and reviewed. For the time being, as the specification continues toward stability and other implementations — notably Blink’s — progress, all functionality in Gecko is behind the
dom.serviceWorkers.enabled preference which is set to false by default but can be toggled in
Our plan is that web developers will soon be able to exercise most Service Worker functionality in Firefox Nightly with the above preference flipped to true. The best plans can always be waylaid but we hope for this to happen by the end of September 2014 at the latest.
Status of Service Worker implementations
The inimitable Jake Archibald has written a tool to easily see the status of Service Worker implementations. You can follow along with the gecko implementation via the meta bug.
About Nikhil Marathe
Nikhil is a Platform Engineer at Mozilla. He likes technical writing, having written 'An Introduction to libuv', and blogs at http://blog.nikhilism.com. He can be found working when he is not hiking, climbing or reading.
More articles by Nikhil Marathe…
About Andrew Overholt
Andrew is an engineering manager on the DOM team at Mozilla.
More articles by Andrew Overholt…
About Robert Nyman [Editor emeritus]