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Re: web-based application or desktop application?

by l3nz (Friar)
on Dec 04, 2003 at 09:26 UTC ( #312150=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to web-based application or desktop application?

Where I work, we have deployed a number of web-based applications and desktop-based application. Customers (internal ones) usually prefer web based applications, because:

  • The look and feel is consistent (they already know how to use a web browser)
  • They load fast
  • Pages are "simpler" and easier to understand
For us, this means:
  • No versioning hassles (ever tried to manage a project made oh hundreds of separate DLLs that depend on each other and are on a client that breaks 1,000 miles away?)
  • No low-level hard-to-debug errors (the client breaks, leaks memory....)
  • Shorter developement times
  • Less 'layers' and less moving data back-and-fort
Before starting the project, anyway, we designed a very simple widget tolkit that we use to handle HTML data (things like a scrollable table you can select rows on, a hierarchical tree object, a currecy control...) and then designed the pages to be simple: no (or very few) Javascript on-page events, you always press a button to perform an action, and so on. This means we almost forget HTML in coding and both layout and behaviour are always consistent.

What you should not do, instead, is to say 'HTML is simple - let's embed it here and there'. This produces a mass (or a mess?) of unreadable code that will be very hard to mantain and understand when the project's over (when you have three or four nested tables, whose TD is that?)

My 0.02 euros


Comment on Re: web-based application or desktop application?
Re: Re: web-based application or desktop application?
by exussum0 (Vicar) on Dec 05, 2003 at 02:27 UTC
    The look and feel is consistent (they already know how to use a web browser)
    Consistent w/ what? Have you ever noticed that google, yahoo and msn don't look alike? Just like these sites can look different, so can web pages. I don't but this one.
    They load fast
    Another false statement. The rendering of a page and rendering of a client side app are minimal compared to what they do on the backend, wether it is a DB operation, SOAP call, or something mathematical. I'd even go so far as saying, using an app is faster for more things. Imagine doing a spreadsheet in a web page. It'd be god slow just to add a new row or column.
    No versioning hassles (ever tried to manage a project made oh hundreds of separate DLLs that depend on each other and are on a client that breaks 1,000 miles away?)
    That's why you sandbox your app. Apple did this right, right off the bat. Your app is not a .exe per se, but a .app directory under the hood. When you double click say, Word, it "runs" Word.app. It actually loooks for an executable in the right place in that directory. BUT it uses a lot of internal libraries stored in that directory too.

    Now to argue the other end of things. Web sites can be VERY complex, especially if you develop a common api for common things. You break something very rudamentary, or something in the language that you program with changes a library, you have the same problem.

    No low-level hard-to-debug errors (the client breaks, leaks memory....) Shorter developement times
    Depends. Are you using mod_perl, servlets or something? It's easy to create a memory leak.
    Less 'layers' and less moving data back-and-fort
    Er? You always move data back and forth. if you mean ease of access, a Perl/TK program is just as easy as a perl cgi. Same w/ php/gtk and php.

    Play that funky music white boy..

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