It took a while for it to come all the way from San Francisco but yesterday it finally arrived!
On August 8th Adobe released, after five months of beta testing, the RoboHelp packager for AIR. This packager allows you to convert your existing WebHelp files created with RoboHelp 7 into Adobe AIR applications.
The battle for the defacto rich desktop application framework has now truly begun with Sun Microsystem releasing the preview of JavaFX.com on Thursday 31st July 2008. JavaFX is a technology not unlike Adobe's AIR, or Microsoft's Silverlight, in that it allows developers to build applications for both the Internet and Desktop.
It didn't take as long as I thought it would. As with most technological advances one of the industries that are always on the forefront in using the new technology is the adult entertainment industry.
I stumbled upon a post by Jason Bartholme titled 101 Adobe AIR Resources to Add to Your Toolbelt of Awesomeness.
He gives a pretty good list of resources for learning about AIR including tutorials, example applications, Bloggers, and articles.
I thought I would pass the find along.
On April 14 Infoworld released an article titled "Curl moves to take on Adobe Air in offline RIA business".
The article introduces Curl as "the latest vendor looking to garner part of the expanding offline RIA business". Curl also claims to provide an engine that "provides high performance, rich graphics, enterprise security constraints that enterprises need to run RIAs on the desktop."
Curl further claims that they offer stronger performance than AIR. Typically claims like this are substantiated in some way with either technical white papers with fancy benchmarking graphs or with executions times and what not.
I decided to head over to Curl and nose around a bit
Today Adobe released the alpha of the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) for Linux based operating system. AIR was released in February for the Microsoft Windows and Mac operating systems.
I am attending the first Munich CFUG meeting of 2008 on Wednesday 12 March at 18:00. The company I work for has graciously donated space to hold the meeting.
The focus will be on Flex/AIR with CF as the natural choice for the backend. Christoph Schmitz has promised some Adobe sponsored give-aways, and I have promised to present a "proof of concept" AIR Application written in HTML/Ajax that connects to a backend system written in Coldfusion.
I haven't quite decided yet if I should attempt to give the presentation in German or stick to what I know best, English. The good thing is of course that the Germans us 90% English IT terminology so I should be good-to-go in that regard should I decide to give it a try in German.
I hope this CFUG meeting will be the start of something somewhat regular where we can get together and exchange ideas. Actually now that I think of it this will be my first ever CFUG meeting.
"Hi, My name is Gary and I am a CF Junky"
Jack and the team over at Ext JS released an update to their popular Ajax framework. This update was release to provide better support for the newly released Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).
The sample application built for AIR using the EXT framework was also subsequently updated and is now available (source included) for download.
You can read more about the amazing Simple Task application on the EXT JS blog.
I took the application for a test drive and I have to say it's pretty damn cool. I especially like ability to drag-n-drop tasks from Outlook to Simple Task.
Adobe announced the release of the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) on Sunday February 24th.
AIR provides developers with exciting ways to engage their customers with branded desktop applications without requiring developers with typical desktop programming language skills.
Adobe has officially blurred the line between the desktop and web. Web developers who embrace AIR can simply call themselves developers as they will no longer be exclusively developing applications for the Web.
I read a pretty good article over on computer world featuring the upcoming release of Adobe AIR titled "Adobe AIR set to take flight at Nasdaq, charity".
The author, Heather Havenstein, neither extols nor deplores the potential of AIR but rather shows both sides of coin in a rather refreshingly unbiased light.
On Tuesday January 22nd CIO Today posted an article on Adobe AIR and the hopes of startups like Instacoll cashing in by providing
"smart Web-enabled clients that allow users to seamlessly switch between the desktop and browser versions while automatically taking care of synchronisation and version-control aspects without requiring any manual actions."Instacoll's chief executive Sumanth Raghavendran adds
"We see our AIR app as providing an alternative to users who want to collaborate from the desktop, running any OS, and use the app in offline mode without requiring any Microsoft software"
I think it's great to see the interest in Adobe Air but there still seems to be some concerns about competition, deviation from understood desktop interface usability, the terms and conditions of use as well as some missing or not well developed areas of the platform.
We will have to see how Adobe addresses these concerns when AIR is no longer in Beta. I for one see great business productivity potential from simple expense report applications to full suites of applications for Insurance Companies.
The possibilities are endless.
Just about "everyone" have already blogged about this but I figured I would throw my two cents in as well.
So here is the new AIR logo:
If attending MAX did anything it got me excited about Flex and AIR. I have a bit of experience with Flex but nothing major, and have been pretty stagnant. I have been meaning to update/upgrade my old Photoalbum application for some time now and plan on getting to that in the near future.
Adobe announced the winners of the AIR Derby
The Grand Prize winner Agile Agenda is the type of project that we all need and wished we had built.
We all use MS Project because well its the defacto project scheduler and, I am sure, we all equally hate the damn thing Well Marc put his hate to good use, where as a lot of us, myself included wanted and even perhaps planned to build something better but didn't get around to doing it.
You can download an open beta copy of Agile Agenda and take if for a test ride. It's relatively easy to use and you can also view the demo videos provided on the site.
Keep in mind that it is still Beta and I am sure now that Marc has won the Derby he will be adding more and more features.
Adobe labs has released an API to their in-house AIR/Web color scheme generator. Kuler's API allows you to subscribe to different RSS feed types, search for a particular theme based on certain search criteria or even return a thumbnail image of a specified theme.
If you need some inspiration on color themes for a site you are building Kuler is a good way to get some ideas.
I have been using Eclipse as my full time development environment for a while now and recently decided to install it at home as well. One of the great things about Eclipse is the huge array of free plugins that you can install.
If you haven't tried the Aptana plugin I would highly recommend giving it a test drive.
Air, which used to be called Apollo and was officially released into beta on Monday, is a technology by Adobe that helps to bridge the gap between web programmers and desktop application programmers.
This means that you can build an application using web technologies and have access to desktop resources (file system). Additionally AIR comes with its own lightweight database engine and an interface that allows SQL to be executed against that database.
They have also provided mechanisms for determining whether or not there is Internet connectivity, which means you could write an application to be able to sync up with an online system once connected to the internet!
With AIR web developers will find it a lot easier to package a web application for the desktop.
But AIR is far from the only competitor out there, we can't forget about JavaFX or Silverlight (Microsoft). The RIA companies are battling for the bull share of the attention from developers. I don't think there will be any one clear winner any time soon as the battle is really just beginning on this front.
I think the winner will be the one company who is able to appeal to the widest audience provide the best functionality and have the broadest support for open source development languages.
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