On Jul 16, 2007, at 8:30 AM, James Edward Gray II wrote:

> On Jul 16, 2007, at 2:21 AM, Michael Reiland wrote:
>
>> SonOfLilit wrote:
>>> The ruby way is to consider building any app with the  
>>> requirements you
>>> listed as a Rails app. Is there a reason for you not to?
>>>
>>>
>>> Aur
>>
>>
>> The project is to replace an existing desktop software solution  
>> targeted
>> towards small to midsized companies.  I don't see any advantages to
>> moving it onto the web.
>
> Well, without knowing thing one about the problem domain, a  
> midsized company I often work with is hard at work moving one of  
> their applications to the Web for several reasons that may or may  
> not apply to you:
>
> * Centralized database.  Having to constantly sync up the data on  
> various employee boxes has caused them a lot of grief.
> * Easier software updates.  Their current desktop solution requires  
> them to upgrade all boxes involved at the same time.  Their  
> employees are spread all over the country, so that's quite a  
> challenge.
> * Simplified training for new employees.  They've found that it  
> takes less time to train employees to use a company Web site than  
> it does a custom desktop application.
>
> I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job.  Many applications  
> aren't viable for a move to the Web, in my opinion.  If yours is  
> though, I think there are quite a few advantages to doing it.
>
> James Edward Gray II
>
>
A web-based interface can be clumsy and ugly compared to native GUI  
interfaces, but you could also look into Flex or Flash as viable  
alternatives that make interfaces pretty easy and are definitely  
cross platform, still leaving web connectivity open as an option.  
There's always Ncurses if you want to go with butt ugly in the eyes  
of users!
One other option I just thought of is RealBasic. If you have VB  
skills around, RealBasic would be pretty easy to start using. You'd  
need to buy a license, but you can compile to native UI apps for  
various platforms including  Windows and OS X.