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Designing Rich Thin Clients - DHTML, Applets

I am investigating creating a rich thin client interface to a personal project I am undertaking.

I was wondering if there is a site which compares the various rich thin client technologies - like DHTML, Applets, ActiveX etc

And also lists the trade-off and benefits.

Are there many applications that used a rich clients?

Ram Dass
Thursday, September 11, 2003

I asked about this recently :-) After checking out the various server-side solutions, we're building prototypes based on ActiveX. Java is out of the picture since a VM is no longer available on XP, and Flash seems more oriented towards graphic designers. Besides, nothing beats the productivity of building applications with VB.

The only issue we've seen so far is install/update on some hosts. I'm currently looking into this.

Considering that most users run Windows + IE, and provided you can afford ignoring other users, I think that you should take a look.

Hope that helps.

Frederic Faure.
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Thursday, September 11, 2003

you might want to check Rajesh Jain's weblog - he talks a lot about Thin Clients,

Prakash S
Thursday, September 11, 2003

If you are targeting for special users (inside your own company etc) you could look at XUL:

Then user should have Mozilla installed, but you'll use all power of GUI and newtworking options

Example of XUL based GUI is a MozillaBrowser itself :)
Or simple demo (use Mozilla to access page):

Some stranger
Thursday, September 11, 2003

How "rich" does these thin clients need to be?

Also, if it's a personal project, does the interface need to be web-based? Is a desktop client connecting to a web server via something like SOAP feasible?

Walter Rumsby
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Macromedia's new Flash MX 2004 Studio is oriented more towards programmers. Flash is more than the 'skip intro' that it has been famous for. Look into Shockwave(Director) if you're looking for 3D or if you need to develop very custom stuff closely tied to hardware. Macromedia are also releasing a new product 'Central' in the next few months. It is billed as 'browsable applications'. Macromedia pretty much own the whole cross-platform rich client area.

Knowledge Maker
Thursday, September 11, 2003

How "thin" does the rich client need to be?

Are you presuming running in or launching from a browser or just a local application?

Is WinForms too thick?

As stated above, Is XUL runs on all platforms and with the XUL runtime just around the corner, the Mozilla apps won't have to be installed.

fool for python
Thursday, September 11, 2003

A colleague has shown me some I3ML thin client applications that might do the job.

You need to download the cokinetic player to use them, and I believe they only work on windows, but they're fast and look just like windows applications, but are actually thin clients.

You can download the player and see some elaborate examples at:

Some of these examples are pretty impressive.

This colleague is also writing a book on developing apps with I3ML. Some chapters and simple examples are available at:

Michael Bean
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Have a look at Echo !

James Ladd
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Use .NET WinForms, create a regular exe and auto deplot it via a webserver.
Haven't tried it for large apps yet, but small utilities work great this way.

Geert-Jan Thomas
Friday, September 12, 2003

Haven't used it but looks interesting:
Bindows™ is a Graphical User Interface Toolkit for writing rich client side web applications with the look, feel and behavior of modern Windows™ applications. Bindows applications are lightweight applications with zero footprint which means no installation required.

Friday, September 12, 2003

This looks like it has some promise ...

Friday, September 12, 2003

have a look at Canoo ULC:

I don't share Frederic's view that Java is "out of the picture".

Thursday, January 22, 2004

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