Adobe Maps Future of

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2007-09-20 Print this article Print

Flash, Flex, AIR"> BOSTON—Adobes chief software architect, Kevin Lynch, mapped out the direction of some of the companys core technologies for developers and designers in a speech to Adobe designers and developers here Sept. 19. Speaking at the Flashforward 2007 Conference, Lynch discussed the ongoing developments occurring with Adobe technologies, including Flash, Flex and the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR, formerly code-named Apollo), in a keynote presentation that was essentially a preview of the Adobe Max conference slated to run Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 in Chicago. Lynch said Adobe has been making "incredible progress" with AIR, and a beta of the technology will be available "in the next couple of weeks" to coincide with the Max event.
In a separate talk, Mike Chambers, principal product manager for developer relations at Adobe, described AIR as "a cross-platform run-time that allows Web developers to leverage existing development skills to build and deploy Web applications to the desktop." AIR applications can be built in Flash, Flex, HTML and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), he said.
"Its not just about Flash. You dont need to know any Flash" to use AIR, Chambers said. Adobe has been working on AIR for nearly five years in various forms, yet "its still early" in the process of shaping the technology into a product, Lynch said. "Were focused on enabling these apps to run well on the desktop—taking advantage of Flash, as well as HTML and PDF," he said. Adobe and BEA Systems are teaming up on Web applications. Read why. AIR is designed to be usable in both online and offline modes and detects when the user has a network connection, Lynch said. The second beta of AIR will also support access to local file system archives, user notification, applications updates, drag-and-drop capability and local storage, among other features, Lynch said. Lynch demonstrated applications based on Adobes AIR, some of which he said had never been shown before. Among those demonstrated was one from the Adobe AIR sample applications Web site called Pixel Perfect, a utility for measuring the size of objects on a users desktop. Other AIR-based applications included Art Musheen, the Digimix Project, Finetune and the Buzzword word-processing application. Hitting on Adobes most famous technology, Lynch mentioned that the next version of the companys Flash Player is code-named Astro and will be discussed in greater detail at the Max conference. He did, however, demonstrate many of the capabilities of an upgrade to the current version of the product, Flash Player 9. The upgrade, known as "Moviestar," enhances the video capabilities of the player, he said. "Were really focused on video technology and helping you create experiences," Lynch said. Indeed, Adobe is intent on helping developers and designers plan, acquire, produce, manage, publish, deliver and play back video content, he said. Page 2: Adobe Maps Future of Flash, Flex, AIR

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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