Finding a single development environment for all purposes has so far proven an unattainable goal. But with the advent of rich Internet applications (RIA), development nirvana gets a bit closer.
[ For more on info on rich Internet application platforms, check out "Not your father's Web: The year in RIAs" | And keep up with app dev issues and trends with InfoWorld's Fatal Exception and Strategic Developer blogs. ]
In the past year or so, a number of cross-platform RIA technologies have been released that can double as desktop application technologies. I'll discuss four technologies that accomplish this trick: Adobe AIR, Curl Nitro, Google Gears, and Microsoft Silverlight. I installed them all, explored them, and used them for several months in the course of my work.
[ Check out the InfoWorld Test Center review: Adobe AIR soars to loftier heights. ]