Simple GUI Apps

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Thursday, January 4. 2007 in Programming

To help out with the schools or other organizations I'm involved with, I volunteer to write small little applications that basically make simple administrative tasks easier: handling grades, tracking attendance, things like that. Up to now, most of them have been more "traditional" GUI apps, using widgets and the like to create the interface... After all, I wanted these to be as self-contained as possible. But now I'm moving away from that setup and instead making all of these "traditional" web applications. I can assume that a browser, after all, will be available, and so I can easily dispense with all the hassle of GUI and use XHTML. Open a browser, point it to localhost port whatever and bang! Simple. Being self-contained is still an issue, of course, so I'm doing these completely in Ruby or Python and using a simple web server (like WEBrick, natch). And as these apps grow, I can easily migrate them to something more robust and Apache based. In fact, for the ones that I use myself, I just use my iBook running Apache and PHP/mod_python. Don't know why I've resisted this for so long... Yeah, I know I could do all this in Java, but for these tasks, it's just way too much overkill. Plus, it's much easier for their own computer people to add stuff and extend features this way.

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