Let’s Take this Offline

A phrase that is said many times in meetings and rarely means without internet.

Offline Is Just Online With Extreme Latency - Jim Nielsen’s Blog

Instead, you can think of online/offline as part of the same continuum just different measurements of latency. There are gradations of latency when you’re “online”, and “offline” is merely at the slowest end of that spectrum. For example:

  • Wifi: < 300ms latency
  • 3G: 1s latency
  • Offline: 30 seconds to days of latency (until you sync back online)

I think this is a perfect summary of how to design software in a hopeful pessimistic view that the internet does go down. There shouldn’t be a point where applications that are locally installed, just cannot show cached / downloaded files. I encountered this with Notion and quickly switched away from it after realizing it was strictly online only for practical use.

 How To Use Notion Offline  - First result when searching for Notion offline mode

Technically, Notion can work offline, but it doesn’t offer a great user experience. In fact, your possibilities would be so limited that it’s easier to simply wait to regain your internet connection.

The article summarizes Notion as functional offline for your last open page. Surprisingly, look and test these features, because workflows can be unknowingly interrupted at the worst times like traveling.

Nathan Grey @overtfuture