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With all the web2.0 hype and webapps being all the rage, the only advantage from a corporate POV that I can think of webapps having is that it is easier to service your user base: upgrades become easier among several things.

It's just that the browser is not a good platform.

I've been mulling this over for a while now. My original idea was to use python, then I found out about QSA. I like QT. It's widgets are excellent for most purposes, and it's cross platform. A generic QT application is installed on the clients machine. They point it to a URL to begin executing the signed/encrypted application at that location. The actual application could be written in Qt script. It could be developed very much like a traditional MVC application. Or it could, and probably should, be developed like WT, so that a "web" application can be coded the same way as a "desktop" application.

Before I go reinventing the wheel, are there any such platforms/frameworks in existence?

If I do go inventing this wheel, what are some things I should be aware of?

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2 Answers

Web applications exist for two singular reasons:

  1. Everyone knows how to "point and click."
  2. No installation is required.

Do not underestimate the power of these two reasons. Many lives have been squandered supporting users who, for whatever reason, are either unable or unwilling to learn how to install software and use it properly.

If you're in a corporate environment with 1000 users, how much money can you save by updating the software in one place (the application server), versus rolling it out individually to every workstation?

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A lot! Which is why I'm considering this approach. Maybe you missed this part: "A generic QT application is installed on the clients machine. They point it to a URL to begin executing the signed/encrypted application at that location." This is much like a browser but w/o it's limitations. Software updates in one place AND a standard environment. win/win? –  d-_-b May 10 '11 at 6:37
    
PS. I always wondered: Why do you use 美 to represent yourself...? –  d-_-b May 10 '11 at 7:18
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I generally try to stay away from anything that hints at vendor lock-in, however:

Have you considered Flash? The normal user experience is via a browser, BUT the developer doesn't have browser compatability to consider.

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If I'm going to shackle my balls to Adobe, I may as well go with AIR then. –  d-_-b May 2 '11 at 4:40
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Actually, Java Web Start is also worth considering, if you're dealing with a controlled environment (these days, Java is less widely installed on desktops than Flash). –  Phil Lello May 2 '11 at 5:56
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