Best Platform for Web Application

What is the ideal platform for developing the most flexible web application possible?  I want it to run on Windows, linux, and Mac OSX, and it will need to support sophisticated graphics and database access.  I presently develop in .net, but I'm not sure that it offers the graphics support that I need across most platforms.  Is that an incorrect assumption?  If I'm wrong there then .net will probably be my choice, but right now it seems as though java or something else would be a better option.  Of course, if it's 'something else' please tell me what you'd recommend since I'm obviously not familiar with it.

Please just tell me the best way to do this, without worrying that I'm familiar with .net.  If it's not the best choice then I'll learn a new language.  I learned to program with C and C++ so java or something else won't be a problem.
tsprksAsked:
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kyodaiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It really, really depends on what you want to do. I would generelly prefer solutions that completely run on the server, best with PHP and an SQL database. The less Java/Flash/Sliverligth/and so on is used the more portable the application is regarding different browsers/platforms.

You could develop a java applet/script if local processing is necessary on the client, but if you can outsource all tasks to the server you will gain maximum compatibility. A typical php page without java/flash/scripts is so compatible it will work on every cell phone, even on video game consoles, TV settop boxes and so on.

The best benefit however is that it will also run on company computers. Keep in mind that company computers are often restricted heavily, so users do not have plugins or java runtimes installed. If you want to be sure to reach them  a "barrier free" solution would be best.


So if your aim is to develop the most compatible webbased solutions for all audiences the best language is imho PHP and keeping it all server sided. For database access php was kind of "made" as php kind of "lives" from the associated sql database. I dont know what you understand with "sophisticated graphics", but there are loads of open source applications  available for the typical linux based php/apache/sql webserver as most hosting companies offer them. If you have rroot access you can use hundreds of out-of-the-box solutions, sites like sourceforge are bursting with these. I am still drooling about ffmpeg-php which is imho one of the most powerfull webbased video processing libraries ever. I am sure for your graphics needs you can also find something suitable.


.net can also be an option as asp.net (php counterpart), but for flexibility you get like 10 times more sources and applications for php, so this would be the better decision in the long run.
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tsprksAuthor Commented:
What I need to do with the graphics is allow a user to select an item on an image, make a database call, and update the item over the image.  Does this sound reasonable with php?
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