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#1 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:17 PM

So, I'm planning a software application, initially designed for the consumer, and I want the program to be as cross-platform as possible. I haven't started to code it yet, but I want to design it as a gui application, possibly with a database on the backend (not a hardup necessity, mind you)and to be able to run it on as many platforms as possible (which precludes Microsoft products by default).

First thought was Java, but I don't want it to not work in 6 months or 2 years because they came out with java updates that ruined my code. Second thought is, and I found this with a web search, Perl/Tck, which takes care of the cross-platform part, but not the data part. So, there leaves Open-Office for the data. Problem is, initially, it will be free until such time that it catches on and maybe people like it and start using it. Then I won't be able to charge for it without a complete redesign. So, basically, I want it to be freeware, cross-platform, and scalable.

Also, I want all aspects of the software to be provided with the deployment, so users don't have to go scrambling to find this module, or that plugin, etc. I'm up to learning something new if need be, so does anybody have any suggestions for what I want to accomplish?

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#2 ThrowsException  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:08 PM

Not meaning to sound rude but it sounds like you're saying "I'm completely lost and have no idea what I need". There's an endless number of combinations that people can begin throwing at you here. WPF, Javascript, PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby, HTML5, c++, objective-C. Whitespace looks promising. Why you're at it why not write a Dart application? That seems to be getting some buzz.

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so does anybody have any suggestions for what I want to accomplish?


So, the answer is yes. In fact millions of people will have millions of answers to something as broad as "I need to write an application. what should I write?".

Your choice in technology, I believe, will be driven by the requirements you decide on. So saying you need a cross platform application with a database opens you up to pretty much any technology in the known universe.

If this a personal project that you are using to learn or maybe make a neat application to show case then the possibilities are endless. You could go with a technology you already know or one you want to learn.

If this is something that a business is relying on or you need it right now as quickly as possible, then try sticking with the technology you know to get it done.

I also don't follow you're comment about open office becoming popular and therefore not free. Open Office is incredibly popular and will continue to remain free. Hence the name Open Office - The Free and Open Productivity Suite.
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#3 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:39 PM

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First thought was Java, but I don't want it to not work in 6 months or 2 years because they came out with java updates that ruined my code.


Who told you that? I'm not completely sure, but I'm willing to bet that won't be a major issue. Java was designed to be backwards compatible. Java is cross-platform too.

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Second thought is, and I found this with a web search, Perl/Tck, which takes care of the cross-platform part, but not the data part.


Designing a GUI/DB app in Perl.....Sounds like a train wreck. Perl is mainly used for data processing, scripts, etc. If you know Perl well, then maybe it's not so abnormal. Just my opinion though.

Quote

Second thought is, and I found this with a web search, Perl/Tck, which takes care of the cross-platform part, but not the data part. So, there leaves Open-Office for the data.


It sounds like you're requiring that the consumer installs the DB, and you just want to make sure the DB is available for installation. Hence "cross-platform." Is this correct? I really don't what to say in response to that. Using Open Office wouldn't be my first instinct for a back-end.

On another note, from what I've gathered online, bundling a DB with your app can be a very messy process because of all the configuration stuff. One idea is (if you were using Java) to use a pure Java DB such as HyperSQL or Derby.

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So, basically, I want it to be freeware, cross-platform, and scalable.


I don't want to sound discouraging, but scalability isn't an easy issue to tackle. There's a lot to consider. I once heard the persistence tier is the most difficult layer to scale, so you might want to keep that in mind.

Have you considered a cloud solution? That pretty much takes care of every requirement you've listed.
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#4 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:01 PM

View PostThrowsException, on 19 July 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

Not meaning to sound rude but it sounds like you're saying "I'm completely lost and have no idea what I need". There's an endless number of combinations that people can begin throwing at you here. WPF, Javascript, PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby, HTML5, c++, objective-C. Whitespace looks promising. Why you're at it why not write a Dart application? That seems to be getting some buzz.


I am not completely lost, sorry I wasted your time asking your opinion.

View PostThrowsException, on 19 July 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

So, the answer is yes. In fact millions of people will have millions of answers to something as broad as "I need to write an application. what should I write?".


I know what I want to write, I'm just not giving details here. I'm not asking you to write it for me, just what would be some good choices for what I want to do; again, sorry I didn't tell you exactly what I'm doing.

View PostThrowsException, on 19 July 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

Your choice in technology, I believe, will be driven by the requirements you decide on. So saying you need a cross platform application with a database opens you up to pretty much any technology in the known universe.


This statement strikes me as funny. Tell me how you got a VB app to work on Spark or Unix, without emulation of some kind.

View PostThrowsException, on 19 July 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

If this a personal project that you are using to learn or maybe make a neat application to show case then the possibilities are endless. You could go with a technology you already know or one you want to learn.


This would be an application designed to run on Windows, Linux mainly, since that's the two most people use today. Right now, it is a personal project until I get it presentable. I get the feeling you read my post with the idea in your head I'm fresh out of school, meaning you didn't read it at all.

View PostThrowsException, on 19 July 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

If this is something that a business is relying on or you need it right now as quickly as possible, then try sticking with the technology you know to get it done.


If I get it right, eventually, it could possibly be used by businesses; good guesswork.

View PostThrowsException, on 19 July 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

I also don't follow you're comment about open office becoming popular and therefore not free. Open Office is incredibly popular and will continue to remain free. Hence the name Open Office - The Free and Open Productivity Suite.


I don't recall saying Open Office was popular. I can, however, see how you can misconstrue my wording to think I meant Open Office would be free until it catches on, but I assure you, I was talking about my application. My thought process behind that was I wouldn't be able to charge for my application under the GPL license and would have to rewrite my code to use something else, something I don't want to have to do.


View Postblackcompe, on 19 July 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

Who told you that? I'm not completely sure, but I'm willing to bet that won't be a major issue. Java was designed to be backwards compatible. Java is cross-platform too.


Nobody had to tell me that, I work in IT supporting various commercial Java applications, and I know it for a fact. We have to keep trying different versions of Java until we find one that works with all our applications, or the biggest part of them. Believe me, that's not easy.

View Postblackcompe, on 19 July 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

Designing a GUI/DB app in Perl.....Sounds like a train wreck. Perl is mainly used for data processing, scripts, etc. If you know Perl well, then maybe it's not so abnormal. Just my opinion though.


This is closer to the kind of feedback I was fishing for. I don't know perl that well, but I found a website saying it could be done, and I know perl will work pretty well on both Linux and Windows.

View Postblackcompe, on 19 July 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

It sounds like you're requiring that the consumer installs the DB, and you just want to make sure the DB is available for installation. Hence "cross-platform." Is this correct? I really don't what to say in response to that. Using Open Office wouldn't be my first instinct for a back-end.


I hear you on that, but then, I can't exactly force people to buy Microsoft Office either.

View Postblackcompe, on 19 July 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

On another note, from what I've gathered online, bundling a DB with your app can be a very messy process because of all the configuration stuff. One idea is (if you were using Java) to use a pure Java DB such as HyperSQL or Derby.


And I would not be averse to using flatfiles with encryption; again, thanks for the constructive criticism.

View Postblackcompe, on 19 July 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

I don't want to sound discouraging, but scalability isn't an easy issue to tackle. There's a lot to consider. I once heard the persistence tier is the most difficult layer to scale, so you might want to keep that in mind.


You're not discouraging me at all. This is something that will be done, I'm just wanting to make sure I plan ahead.

View Postblackcompe, on 19 July 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

Have you considered a cloud solution? That pretty much takes care of every requirement you've listed.


I haven't done any cloud programming, although I recently downloaded VS2010 with Azure. I did consider cloud, but to make it a standalone application, from the little bit I've read into it, seems like advanced usage of the technology.

Thank you blackcompe, you've been pretty helpful.
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#5 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:10 AM

View PostPwn, on 19 July 2012 - 09:01 PM, said:

View PostThrowsException, on 19 July 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

I also don't follow you're comment about open office becoming popular and therefore not free. Open Office is incredibly popular and will continue to remain free. Hence the name Open Office - The Free and Open Productivity Suite.


I don't recall saying Open Office was popular. I can, however, see how you can misconstrue my wording to think I meant Open Office would be free until it catches on, but I assure you, I was talking about my application. My thought process behind that was I wouldn't be able to charge for my application under the GPL license and would have to rewrite my code to use something else, something I don't want to have to do.


Unless I'm completely misreading this page: Selling Free Software, it sounds to me like you can charge for software under the GPL license. And to quote from the preamble of GPLv3:

Quote

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.

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#6 ThrowsException  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:17 PM

I didn't come here to get into an online pissing match with you so sorry If I misconstrued your questions but asking

View PostPwn, on 19 July 2012 - 05:17 PM, said:

So, basically, I want it to be freeware, cross-platform, and scalable.


Leaves a lot for interpretation.

If you also went through my post instead of just finding lines to sling personal attacks at me, because you thought I was somehow insulting you, you would in fact find information in there that could help you.

HTML5/Javascript/PHP
Ruby/ruby on rails
Dart

All viable technologies to create a cross platform application that will run on the web completely agnostic of OS or device. All mentioned aboved will satisfy your constraints of being cross platform, graphical, and compatible with a database. If I thought you were a beginner programmer I would not have included the humorous idea of using Whitespace because any developer that steers a new developer to Whitespace may possibly be the most evil person in the world.

Oh and btw yes I can run a VB.NET application on Linux. Its called Mono. so maybe my statement isn't so humorous anymore.
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#7 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 21 July 2012 - 12:26 PM

ThrowsException, your first statement was insulting and set the tone; "Sounds like you're saying I don't know what I want to do and I'm lost", and the rest of your post was a poke in the eye. Plus, I did not pick peices and lines of your post to reply to, I replied to your whole post. And if you didn't come in here to get in a pissing match, then quit pissing. I read your whole post, and it reaked with sarcasm. If that's the best you can do, and if you believe that to be helpful and constructive, maybe you should seek out a course on etiquette and grace. Unless you can come at me with a civil manner, I will simply look over any more replies you have.

Thanks for your input skydiver, guess I misheard or misread about the GPL. Mind you, OpenOffice is still not the ideal solution for a backend, but it is free and I should be able to work with it at least partially as well as Excel.
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#8 DaneAU  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 22 July 2012 - 12:59 AM

Perhaps Nokia Qt under the LGPL license ? You can develop graphical user interfaces, deploy to all major platforms...
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#9 macatari  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:05 AM

View PostPwn, on 19 July 2012 - 03:17 PM, said:

So, I'm planning a software application, initially designed for the consumer, and I want the program to be as cross-platform as possible. I haven't started to code it yet, but I want to design it as a gui application, possibly with a database on the backend (not a hardup necessity, mind you)and to be able to run it on as many platforms as possible (which precludes Microsoft products by default).

First thought was Java, but I don't want it to not work in 6 months or 2 years because they came out with java updates that ruined my code. Second thought is, and I found this with a web search, Perl/Tck, which takes care of the cross-platform part, but not the data part. So, there leaves Open-Office for the data. Problem is, initially, it will be free until such time that it catches on and maybe people like it and start using it. Then I won't be able to charge for it without a complete redesign. So, basically, I want it to be freeware, cross-platform, and scalable.

Also, I want all aspects of the software to be provided with the deployment, so users don't have to go scrambling to find this module, or that plugin, etc. I'm up to learning something new if need be, so does anybody have any suggestions for what I want to accomplish?

I'm going to recommend that you take a look at Real Studio. Real Studio creates stand-alone, cross-platform applications for Windows, OS X, Linux and Web. It can connect to any database I've ever used (SQLite is great for local, cross-platform databases). If you have any programming experience at all, you will find Real Studio to be incredibly easy to use.

-- Paul
<Removed Email>
Real Software Developer Evangelist.

This post has been edited by macosxnerd101: 25 July 2012 - 06:37 PM
Reason for edit:: Removed email per site policies

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#10 m_wylie85  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:09 AM

This is slightly off topic but i just wanted to know about the hole java issue surounding compatable when java updates are istalled. Could an update really affect pervious code if so please could you supply an example as this would be good to know. :bigsmile:
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#11 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:54 AM

No matter which technology you choose (a cross-platform language as a base or otherwise), you should not expect to have 1 codebase that works entirely cross-platform without cross-compilation, platform-specific switches of code blocks and other things.*

This goes for Java, C/C++, or anything else.

However I'm sure you already know there will be a little work involved for this so I would suggest the two technologies of Qt and Mono. Personally, I'd go with Mono since it can use C# as it's language, but it would be beneficial for yourself to use which ever you're most comfortable with. Qt is a C++ framework just for reference.

* - I can see this being misleading so don't read into it too much. You can of course have a single codebase, but there's a high chance you'll need some platform-specific hackerymagic to have it work everywhere.

This post has been edited by RudiVisser: 24 July 2012 - 04:01 AM

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#12 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 25 July 2012 - 06:17 PM

Some great advice guys.

I've downloaded QT once, but never got to mess with it; may give it a try again. I've probably got the most experience with VB, but I love coding in C++, so that sounds like it may be the one I go with. I have a copy of VStudio 2005, but it's not compatible with Windows 7 (read, Microsoft wants me to buy a new product).

As for your question, m_wylie, we have several business solutions coded in Java, and we have never found one version that will support all of them on the same pc. The problem is, they code it using the current library for that version, then the next version comes out and some of these libraries have been updated. The program itself doesn't change, so it's still referencing the old library, even though the functions may have the same name, there are changes that the program is unaware of. For instance, one software we use that provides a graphical display of customers locations, works fine on say, java 6 update 6, 13, 17, and 23 (per the vendor). On other versions, we have graphical issues, such as buttons that are way oversized and block out other items, such as labels, on the gui. Then we have a scheduling/payroll software by another company that won't print reports on some versions of Java. We have several different solutions put out by one company, and none of them support the same version of Java; same company, different requirements.

@macatari, is Real Studio created by the makers of Real Player by chance? I'm still out on Real Player as to whether I like them or not. I looked at their website, and it sounds like a pretty sweet language, unless you want a challenge, lol.

Great, thanks a lot to all who contributed opinions, will definitely help in making my decision.
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#13 macatari  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cross Platform standalone application with possible db backend.

Posted 25 July 2012 - 06:43 PM

View PostPwn, on 25 July 2012 - 08:17 PM, said:

@macatari, is Real Studio created by the makers of Real Player by chance? I'm still out on Real Player as to whether I like them or not. I looked at their website, and it sounds like a pretty sweet language, unless you want a challenge, lol.

No, Real Player is made by Real Networks, which has no relation to Real Software.

You can check out Real Studio (and download a trial) here: http://www.realsoftware.com
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