[Lazarus] The future of desktop

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.lazarus at telemetry.co.uk
Thu Nov 28 17:40:50 CET 2013

Michael Schnell wrote:
> On 11/28/2013 02:18 PM, Santiago A. wrote:
>> Perhaps Lazarus should start thinking about a widget "html+javascript"
> Some years ago I did some (limited) testing on that behalf, but gave up 
> after some days, seeing that the necessary effort is not limited at all. 
> I do hope that Michael v C is more successful.
> At home I have a NAS by QNAP..
> Since the latest update it features a really nice HTML GUI.
> It nicely can do forms and many Lazarus-like GUI elements and 
> -functions, and it can show status changes really fast (which is not 
> easy with a HTTP-connected, browser-based GUI).
> I do suppose, they use a "standard" "widget set" for this (EXTJS or 
> something), but I never saw such a thing working this great.
> No idea how they designed the GUI. It is so complex that I would be 
> astonished if they did not use a GUI designer tool for this.
> If Lazarus would be able to offer such a capability, driven by the 
> standard GUI design tool (of course taking some limitations into account 
> in that mode), this would be a major argument for doing embedded 
> application with Lazarus. (This was why I did the research at that time.)

Both Borland and Netscape (later Sun) had visual HTML/Javascript 
builders, both got buried. Part of the problem was that both assumed 
that the backend would be their own database and transaction manager, 
and we all know how much corporates like to charge for that sort of 
thing once they've got their foot in the door.

If you're designing a headless system like a NAS, then the terminal type 
that you can rely on people having is pretty limited: an HTML browser or 
a VT-100 terminal (including telnet). A significant advantage of this 
approach is that with care it can be designed to do something sensible 
even if the client can't or won't run Javascript or Java, other 
alternatives such as a desktop app served by VNC fail dismally by 

Once you're talking about an app that runs on the desktop or handheld 
system then the rules are completely different. Perhaps we can make a 
difference by constantly reminding people that it's still possible to 
write portable apps for that environment, and that there can be 
significant performance advantages doing so.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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