7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 24, 2008 12:58 AM by d.wish

    why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)

    d.wish
      Hello,

      People seem to forget that it's possible to build local desktop app using fullscreen browser (or menu-less browser) + locally run web and db server that requires no configuration or installation. E.g. special packages for cross-platform local apps for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux - containing web server, mysql/sqlite, php/python/perl/java exist - see e.g. Web Server for CD and USB drives.

      User just unpacks .zip file, clicks an icon and web server and database server start on random ports and web browser opens with page on that web server.. Such beast can be even put to read-only media (database files will be stored in hidden directory on HDD if writes to db are required)!

      Why people try to move everything to AIR?
        • 1. Re: why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)
          Adam_Jimenez
          how much resources does that use? I imagine it's a lot.
          how would u go about updating the software and server software?

          how would u create chromeless interfaces with system tray/ dock that can start at login and all the other things air offers.

          I like AIR. It's pretty light, easy to install and update and has some nice hooks into the OS.
          • 2. why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)
            duncanhall Level 1
            quote:

            Why people try to move everything to AIR?

            Possbily because you dont have to unpack a zip file, start a web server, and view content in your browser.
            • 3. Re: why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)
              d.wish Level 1
              quote:

              Originally posted by: Adam Jimenez
              how much resources does that use? I imagine it's a lot.
              how would u go about updating the software and server software?


              Not that much, compared to AIR.

              quote:

              Originally posted by: Adam Jimenez
              how would u create chromeless interfaces with system tray/ dock that can start at login and all the other things air offers.

              I like AIR. It's pretty light, easy to install and update and has some nice hooks into the OS.


              As for starting at login, just put platform-specific file to platform-specific folder (e.g. autostart on windows) and it will start. Use window.open(real_URL_to_open,"menu=0,toolbar=0") (or something like that) in your starting page to open window without chrome.


              • 4. Re: why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)
                d.wish Level 1
                quote:

                Originally posted by: duncanhall
                quote:

                Why people try to move everything to AIR?

                Possbily because you dont have to unpack a zip file, start a web server, and view content in your browser.


                You have to unpack the .zip file only once when installing the package. One can use self-extracting archive with license agreement to turn it into installer on windows or use .dmg on Mac OS X to make user's life even easier.

                Then you just click an icon only ONCE to start EVERYTHING (including starting browser and opening page in it).

                So user has to perform same steps for staring it as with AIR (or even simpler AIR runtime doesn't have to be installed).
                • 5. Re: why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)
                  d.wish Level 1
                  quote:

                  Originally posted by: Adam Jimenez
                  how would u go about updating the software and server software?



                  Updating server software is not necessary in 99.99% of cases (you are using stable php and mysql after all!).

                  As for updating serverside scripts - just code additional script that will fetch updates from somewhere and install them - it's trivial!

                  • 6. Re: why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)
                    gizmogwai
                    quote:

                    Originally posted by: d.wish
                    Updating server software is not necessary in 99.99% of cases (you are using stable php and mysql after all!).

                    As for updating serverside scripts - just code additional script that will fetch updates from somewhere and install them - it's trivial!


                    First of all, "Stable" does not mean "without security hole".
                    Second, when you compare the memory fingerprint, no, php/mysql is NOT smaller than AIR. Java neither. Maybe Python is.
                    Then, using window.open does not allow you to to create a complete chromeless window, as AIR is able to do.
                    Finally, stop pretending installing a LAMP environment is as simple as clicking once on a big button on a webpage. Java Webstart installation is as easy as AIR's one, but the solution you propose is just overkill for deploying small applications.
                    • 7. Re: why not just run standard web server locally and run php/perl/python/java code on it (20Mb download for win)
                      d.wish Level 1
                      quote:

                      Originally posted by: gizmogwai
                      quote:

                      Originally posted by: d.wish
                      Updating server software is not necessary in 99.99% of cases (you are using stable php and mysql after all!).

                      As for updating serverside scripts - just code additional script that will fetch updates from somewhere and install them - it's trivial!


                      First of all, "Stable" does not mean "without security hole".


                      Security holes do not matter since web server is run on 127.0.0.1! Nobody is able to crack into web server since it's inaccessible from other computers.

                      quote:

                      Originally posted by: gizmogwai
                      Second, when you compare the memory fingerprint, no, php/mysql is NOT smaller than AIR. Java neither. Maybe Python is.



                      The dozen megabytes do not matter too given majoity of computers have 1-2 gigs of ram.

                      quote:

                      Originally posted by: gizmogwai
                      Then, using window.open does not allow you to to create a complete chromeless window, as AIR is able to do.



                      This may be the only advantage of AIR, not that important though.

                      quote:

                      Originally posted by: gizmogwai
                      Finally, stop pretending installing a LAMP environment is as simple as clicking once on a big button on a webpage. Java Webstart installation is as easy as AIR's one, but the solution you propose is just overkill for deploying small applications.



                      You are correct about STANDARD LAMP. I was talking about SPECIAL web server oriented towards desktop apps and cdrom/usb drives. With that web server, it's really a SINGLE click of a mouse.