So for Babelfin, the goal would be to list a set of phrases that one would want to learn, or that the user might enter, and then the plugin would pre-fetch the translation and store it in the language that the user wants to learn. If the phrase list is short, using a key-value store like localStorage would make sense, as almost every browser supports it, including IE8, and even though there are small differences, the data model and pattern would still work. However for anything other than the minimal product, a larger data set will be required for more advanced users. And as a result it would be nice to have a query-able data set.
Twice google has tried to solve this problem, once with Google Gears, and again with Web SQL Database, which works in Chrome, Opera, and Safari, but does not work in Firefox, or IE. Microsoft and Mozilla do not want to add SQL as a language to browser side logic, and I happen to agree.
So in any case there is still a gap for Browser Side Storage that is query-able and indexed. I suppose something could be built on top of localStorage, but it would be a hack until the browsers fully support it.
I am trying to find out how much work it would be to put a stub wrapper on top of Webkit’s Web SQL Database layer and have it look like IndexedDB since that seems to be what Google will support eventually, once they figure out how to thread it, but it would be nice to have something now. 😉