In response to my post about webservers as applications, Morbus Iff, author of AmphetaDesk emailed me with another advantage of local webservers as applications. Morbus (if that is his real name!) pointed out that if the code is written in an interpreted language, then patches and hacks are very simple. This isn’t strictly an advantage of a local webserver (since a traditionally-constructed GUI application could be easily patched as well), but given that the webserver app has a GUI built in HTML, it is much easier for others to hack.
For example, AmphetaDesk is written in Perl, and a number of enhancements have cropped up:
These are more than just simple skins over the existing code. The first two are radically different UIs for the underlying RSS engine.
For me personally, the promise of being able to change the underlying application is a two-edged sword. Because I’m tempted to make changes, but who’s got the time and focus to successfully carry it through, especially in (shiver) Perl?