I want to start a side project at the company i work for. Right now we are a 100% web based company. I have an idea for a fun project that would install an application on your computer. Anyways, i am not here to discuss the product. I am here to ask about the front end application development. I am a good C++ programmer but only algorithms (I have over 10 years in web development). I have never made a UI application before (minus the old school VB days). I would like to know my options for the front end application for windows, osx and linux.

What are the popular choices these days for the UI of applications in windows, osx and linux?

closed as not constructive by ChrisF Dec 19 '11 at 22:01

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    Would installing a framework like Java or .NET be a no-go? – nikie Feb 18 '11 at 13:00
  • seems like there are many options, best thing to do is survey them all and choose the one that i eventually find suitable. – gprime Feb 19 '11 at 5:05

Qt provides a cross-platform framework for GUI development, that runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.

  • And Qt interfaces with C++. – aqua Feb 19 '11 at 0:03

On the Windows plateform the choices (for the most part) are Winforms and WPF. WPF is the newer technology which Microsoft is pushing. Microsoft has setup a Windows Client web site that offers a ton of resources for both technologies and would be a good starting point if you choose .NET. Also keep in mind that you can run .NET code on osx and linux with Mono.

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    Mono at this time does not support WPF it does have Silverlight support ( aka Moonlight ). Mono has done a good job duplicating WinForms so if being able to port it quickly to another platform is important that would be an option. – Ramhound Feb 18 '11 at 14:17
  • @Ramhound: Has WinForms in Mono improved a lot in the last year or two? Last I looked, there were some very major gaps. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 18 '11 at 14:21
  • @Ramhound - good catch. I've used it for Winforms and was mostly thinking about that experience, I obviously didn't verify its compatibility with WPF. – Walter Feb 18 '11 at 15:02

You can launch a Java Web Start app from your webpage that will run cross-platform as a desktop application. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/tech/index-jsp-136112.html

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