SAN FRANCISCO-Adobe Systems hopes to make nice with the open-source community and soon deliver a Linux version of its newly released Adobe Integrated Runtime.
Kevin Lynch, chief technology officer at Adobe, said the company is working on a Linux version of AIR, a run-time that lets developers use proven Web technologies to build RIAs (rich Internet applications) that deploy to the desktop and run across operating systems.
Speaking at the Adobe Engage event here Feb. 25, Lynch said that although AIR currently runs on Windows and the Macintosh, “I’m excited about the potential for AIR and Linux working together.” He demonstrated an Intel-based device that ran Windows and Linux, with AIR running on it.
“I think Linux and AIR is a great solution because Linux is a free operating system and AIR is free,” Lynch said.
Moreover, he said he would not be surprised if someone developed an appliance for AIR running on Linux.
Lynch played up Adobe’s interest in open-source technology. Major portions of Adobe AIR, such as the WebKit HTML engine, Tamarin ActionScript Virtual Machine and SQLite local database functionality, are open source, he said.
In addition, Adobe is committed to contributing to the open-source community on multiple fronts, including the release of the free open-source Flex framework and open-source BlazeDS for high-speed data connectivity, as well as active membership in the SQLite Consortium, company officials said.
Lynch said he wants to see AIR in as many places as possible, and Linux is another “very important” target for the AIR run-time. AIR on Linux will come later this year, he said.
Flash on iPhone?
In response to a question about whether Adobe will be making Flash available for the Apple’s iPhone, Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s president and CEO, said that “the goal is to make sure we look at providing Flash and AIR across all devices. Our goal is AIR everywhere. We have 450 million devices shipping with Flash.”
In the end, Narayen said, “You’ll have to ask Apple” about Flash on the iPhone.
Lynch said Adobe has been working to deliver AIR on the small screen for various devices.
“The design center of what we build is going to shift to being mobile first over the next few years,” Lynch said. “That’s pretty liberating. We’ll design for the small screen knowing that we can make things bigger. If you design small, it’s a lot easier to make it bigger. You could have the same AIR application on a device and on the desktop, or even stretched for larger screens. That’s something we’re looking to enable-to broaden the mobile and PC and other worlds.”
Lynch also addressed the issue of security and AIR.
“Security was obviously a really big focus with AIR, so we have a system where the components are signed,” he said. “We have a trust model.”
In addition, he said, Adobe has a research project in place to see how different languages can run on top of the Flash player. The project currently has C and C++ running on top of Flash, he said.