In the late 1990s, I rushed in to web-app development with a million other developers, following the demand. At the time I accepted that it took more work to get a web app working than a desktop app, using the tools of the era.
But looking at Ruby / Rails and TurboGears:
It strikes me that it is now *less work and less code* to get the functionality shown here working in a web app w/AJAX, than it would be to get it working in a rich client with Swing or in a multi-tier application in Delphi. The idea above that desktop client apps are less work than web apps, is no longer true. We are now paying a penalty when we choose to create non-web-apps.