[Mono-dev] visual webgui for mono?

Jesse Guardiani jesse at guardiani.us
Mon Jul 24 13:12:22 EDT 2006

Michael Schurter wrote:
> Robert Jordan wrote:
>> Hey,
>> Jesse Guardiani wrote:
>>> I just ran across this today while search compulsively for things like "AJAX WebOS",
>>> "AJAX Internet Operating System", and "AJAX Web Desktop":
>>>    http://www.visualwebgui.com
>>> Looks really slick. I think the concept is that you code using the normal
>>> WinForms API, but the code generates HTML and javascript that runs in a
>>> thin AJAX client on the browser side.
>>> The problem I see is that it doesn't work in firefox, only IE.
>>> I've been thinking about AJAX a lot lately and I'm starting to think that
>>> an AJAX Desktop might be the development platform of the near future.
>>> It looks like the Visual WebGUI folks agree, but I think the goal might be
>>> better achieved by an open source group. (supporting a broad range of
>>> browsers rather than just IE.)
>>> Sounds like a massive amount of work. And I'm not sure if it would be better
>>> to recode an existing API or create a new, simpler API. But the obvious advantage
>>> to using WinForms, assuming a group of programmers could pull it off, would be
>>> that it is already a widespread and widely used API in the industry.
>>> I'm probably smoking something.
>> Would you mind to share some of this great weed? :-)
> Puff puff pass

I was thinking about it over lunch, and here's what I came up with:

1.) It would probably be smarter to define a new API rather than use Winforms.
     Winforms is bound to have (I've never used it personally) a lot of bloat,
     and even an AJAX webGUI is bound to have quirks that can't be easily handled
     by an existing framework.
2.) I don't have the experience to design such an API, having only used one windowing
     framework in the past (Win32 C++. I don't even remember if it has a name it's
     been so long ago). I'm decent with design, so could give it a shot and get lucky,
     or not. But I'm not a gambling man.
3.) Even if I did come up with the World's Best AJAX framework, there's always the
     chance that nobody would use it. And even if they did, organizations with more
     resources than me would release competing technologies, if for no other reason
     than they can.
4.) I'm a programmer, not a business man, and writing Open Source code for myself
     doesn't pay bills, so I wouldn't really have time to write the code in the first
     place. After all, coding for glory is a fool's dream (guilty). Most programmers
     earn glory purely by chance, IMO. And even so, glory probably wouldn't pay my
     bills. :)

So, I'll pass that puff to someone else. I think the idea is sound, but I don't think
WinForms is the way to go and I know I don't have the resources to make it happen. Oh
well. It was a fun idea. Still, if I could get paid to work on such a technology in
the future I'd be an extremely happy man. :) I think Event driven AJAX Desktop
technology is a very promising idea. Well, as promising as AJAX itself anyway, for
what that's worth.

Jesse Guardiani
Programmer/Sys Admin
jesse at guardiani.us

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