Not everything has to be a website!

Being a web developer, and working for a web development company, I often find myself coming up with ideas for new in-house tools that can improve our day-to-day lives.

Where I work, we have “creative days” once a month where us devs get to spend the whole day doodling around, playing with new technologies, building tools and generally just flexing our grey matter and keeping our skillset sharp.

Being a web developer, and working for a web development company, I often find myself building these tools as websites. It stands to reason; I use the LAMP[hp] stack all day, I live and breathe web and web technologies. Lately, however, I’ve been fiddling with C# and building *gasp* … desktop apps.

I know, I know. I’m a web developer, and I work for a web development company.”Ooh”, I think, “Wouldn’t it make sense to build these tools as universally-accessible websites? That way, you can access them from anywhere and they can all share data easily and blah blah blah..”

Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

We use an in-house project management/issue tracking/invoicing *website* to do pretty much everything we might need. But you know what? It’s clunky. Even with AJAX and nice fast Javascript it just … it isn’t a native desktop application. It doesn’t have that same feel.

So, sod it. I built an application that consumes a REST webservice from our project-management-does-everything-and-shaves-your-hamster website which allows us to track time with an automatic timer. It hides when we’re not using it. It updates itself on-the-fly. You don’t need to click links and wait for pages to load. You don’t need to worry about pressing backspace when you’re not in a textbox and going back to the previous page. You don’t have to worry about a slow internet connection (or heavy office internet usage) slowing you down.

Nope. It all just works. Offline. And with the speed and fluidity that only really comes from subtly-threaded desktop applications.

There, I’ve said it.

Being a web developer, and working for a web development company, I sometimes build desktop applications.

And you know what?

I really like it.


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