Hold on, this post takes a few twists and turns.   Consider it an exercise 
in non-linear thinking or perhaps web-based thinking where you end up 
following links to pages and finding other interesting links which you 
then follow to other pages not knowing quite where you'll end 
up...brainstorming.

Has anyone used Locana? (http://www.locana.org/)
There haven't been any updates lately...

For those not familiar with it: 

It's a Ruby based cross platform GUI builder/toolkit - where 'platform' 
here includes Windows (using native DLL calls), Linux (using Tk) and web 
browsers. The same code can be used to target all three which is 
interesting...  There are other cross-platform GUI toolkits out there 
(like Tk, WxWindows and to some extent Qt) but I don't think any of these 
others include the ability to run your GUI in a browser.

There was a recent thread of discussion on my local Linux user's group 
mailing list about what the best programming language for teaching new 
programmers would be (specifically the originator of the thread was asking 
if PHP would be a good beginner's language) - I of course jumped in with 
Ruby, but the PHP contingent offered a compelling reason for their 
language (I really don't think PHP _would_ be a good first language, but 
leaving the language issues aside) by making the point that it's very easy 
to create GUIs in PHP where the GUI runs in a browser.  Their point being 
that new programmers would like to be able to easily create GUI elements 
like buttons, etc (I don't totally agree, but their argument does seem to 
have some merit) so they can quickly see some interesting results and of 
course they felt that PHP was the quickest route to get there because you 
don't have to worry about having some specific GUI library installed, the 
GUI is composed of HTML and it 'runs' in the browser.

Now this got me to thinking about Locana since it is apparently easy to 
create a browser-based GUI with it.  

....then, the other day I read something about how KDE and GNOME are now 
using SVG to produce their icons - the advantage being that they can make 
their icons any size (scalable)... and of course that got me to looking a 
bit at SVG.  So would it be possible to create SVG-based GUIs that 'run' 
in a browser and have this SVG-based toolkit as one of Ruby's built-in GUI 
toolkits?  Would this be a coup for Ruby in the web-space? (could 
this sort of thing be considered a 'killer app' for Ruby? - I truely don't 
know, I'm looking for opinions.  I kind of think it would be very 
powerful, but I don't have enough in-depth knowledge about SVG yet to 
know for sure).

Phil
-- 
"Or perhaps the truth is less interesting than the facts?" 
Amy Weiss (accusing theregister.co.uk of engaging in 'tabloid journalism')
Senior VP, Communications
Recording Industry Association of America