Applications Running on a Local Webserver

Posted in technology, web at 10:04 am by wingerz


A few months ago Lee downloaded and installed Tracks, a task organizer in the Getting Things Done flavor. It runs as as a Ruby on Rails application on Dreamhost. There’s no reason that it has to be running on a server somewhere; I’m the only one who accesses the data and I only access it from one machine (well, besides Lee). It got me thinking more about software that you connect through a web browser that can fake an offline mode by running a local server on your desktop.

Yesterday I read about Parakey, which installs a local webserver that syncs with an online server for sharing when the host machine is connected to the Internet. There’s another article on RWW about the convergence of online and desktop applications. The web approach to this has some interesting possibilities – if the local and remote servers are abstracted into datasources that web clients (HTML/JavaScript/Greasemonkey/FF extensions) consume (rather than HTML providers), savvy web developers can adapt, theme, and share the application client code. Users can choose to expose features that they use commonly. They’ll have more flexibility and they’ll also be able to see the same UI while offline, since those customized files will be hosted locally.


  1. John said,

    November 5, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    Google desktop search also uses a local web server for its UI.

  2. Christopher said,

    November 6, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    So WebSphere Micro Edition really was the right idea?

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