[erlang-questions] GUI idea

Claus Reinke <>
Sat Sep 9 13:14:41 CEST 2006

> Isn't that just a normal web application ?

yes, and no:-) it's a single-server-single-client-intraweb app.

you can see and develop it as a normal web application, with
the only unusual feature being that the client deploys the server
code as well.

but if you just see the browser as a potential portable GUI lib
maintained by others, you might be able to avoid some of the
nonfun of web applications:

    1 you only need one browser that supports your code

    2 you are free to use ridiculously tight interactions between
        browser and application, without having to worry about
        scaling up to many clients or slow networks

by 1, I don't mean to suggest programming to specific browsers.
but, if you're programming to standards, you'll find yourself
limited to the browsers that support them. for instance, SVG
(Scalable Vector Graphics) is supported fairly well in Opera,
slightly less well in FireFox, and depends on Adobe's plugin
(soon to be discontinued, as it seems) in IE. if you were doing
a web application, you'd be stuck here already, not to mention
other browsers in use, but if you're doing a local application
that just happens to use a browser as a GUI, you can focus
on programming to the SVG standard and suggest your clients
install a browser that support that, since at least one exists.

2 is a matter of taste, perhaps. and it may be tempting to keep
the interaction loop not quite as tight, so that you have a chance
to scale up later, or to control your Erlang app from the browser
on your phone someday..

btw, wouldn't a cooperation between Ericsson (Erlang apps)
and Opera (browser GUIs) be very Scandinavian (please
remember to send me an appropriate bonus if these companies
decide to make good use of this suggestion;-)?


ps. it is tempting to program to browsers, especially as many
    of them support their own widgets/standalone app extras.

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