I developed many GUI applications for the Windows platform during my early professional career, and saw several GUI frameworks come, have whole magazines devoted to them, and then fade away. MFC is iconic.
Tasked with writing yet another GUI application, I starter researching cross-platform frameworks like Qt and WxWindows. I found the same steep learning curves I knew from before, and tooling doesn't help much in building a functional and elegant user interface because its clumsy and complicated.
But people are building beautiful and functional UIs on the Web all the time (look at this site!). The standards, the libraries, and the tools are certainly there.
Have you done something like that before? What's your experience/advise?
A browser widget will likely support a subset of the functionality of mainstream browsers, but enough to produce a rich user interface using web technologies. There's the added advantage of the enormous simplifications possible when the web-stuff doesn't have to talk to a server to service UI requests.
My idea is not to embed a full-blown browser (yikes!). It is to enable the use of web technologies in GUI programming.
Some Addtional Related Questions
These are drawn from the answers so far:
- User experience: Isn't the WebApp that runs StackExchange rich and intuitive enough?
- User expectations: Hasn't the Web, and aren't portable gadgets (smartphones and tablets) moving the user experience away from the traditional GUI?
- Could it be that there apps that must be GUI but benefit from being webified while other's don't?