All 6 entries tagged Adobe

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March 11, 2008

Silverlight and AIR events

Tomorrow I’m off to the Silverlight Academic Day and I’ve just registered for the AIRTour London event on 9th April – both programmes look good and it’s a good opportunity to compare roadmaps and applications. Silverlight is more of a Flash/Flex rival of course, but it will be interesting to finally be able to see how each company presents its product and what the differences are.

Reports to follow – I have some preconceptions about Silverlight that I don’t think will be overturned, namely that it’s Flash/Flex for for .NET developers and that converting a legion of Adobe design tool users to an MS Expression/Silverlight workflow is going to be almost impossible, but I think Adobe has to keep moving now that Silverlight is available and MS can push it out widely via Windows Update.


March 01, 2008

AIR vs WPF: Fight!

Writing about web page http://www.onflex.org/ted/2008/02/adobe-air-for-cross-windows-development.php

Gotta love corporate rivalry, especially when it’s between Adobe and Microsoft as both attempt to outgun each other in the RIA space. Up until now it’s been the odd blog post and counter blog-post between platform evangelists which is sometimes entertaining, but this recent post by Adobe’s Ted Patrick made me smile:

Developing native desktop applications for the many permutations of the Microsoft® Windows® operating system is a really difficult problem for software developers and corporate IT. In many cases applications have migrated to the web browser to simply avoid the fragmented native API’s of the operating system. Microsoft deprecates support of certain operating systems as they push new operating systems, tools, and dependencies…even Microsoft® Silverlight only supports up to Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher for browser based applications. Adobe AIR supports the following Microsoft® Windows® operating systems today with 100% feature equivalance: Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Microsoft® Windows® XP, Microsoft® Windows® Vista® Home Premium, Microsoft® Windows® Vista® Business, Microsoft® Windows® Vista® Ultimate, Microsoft® Windows® Vista® Enterprise.

Basically if you are thinking about building an native desktop application on Microsoft® Windows®, you might want to take a look at Adobe AIR. You will get more reach with existing operating systems and you get full Apple OSX and Linux support all for $0. I think it will come to pass that AIR really is changing the game in terms of software reach.


February 25, 2008

Flex 3, Air 1.0 and Adobe Open Source

Adobe announced a trio of important new products today; AIR is now 1.0 and ready for download, and the Flex 3 framework and Flex Builder 3 development suite were released at the same time. There’s also a new site showcasing the open-source frameworks (FlexSDK, BlazeDS and Tamarin). It looks like Flex Builder 3 will be free for education users, just like Flex Builder 2, but as yet the application form hasn’t been updated.


February 13, 2008

Flash debug player reinstallation

Writing about Flash player issues from Blogbuilder news

We’re having one or two issues with the 9,0,115,0 version of the Flash Player at the moment, and it reminded me that I was going to post something about re-installing the Flash debug Player. If you are using Flex, updating the Player via the normal mechanism will overwrite your debug player and prompt the compiler to warn you that it can’t connect to the debugger.

There are a couple of ways to fix this – the Flex install has a copy of the player under its /configuration/player directory – just reinstall this version over the existing one. A better solution is to grab the latest debug player from the Adobe Developer site, that way you’ll have the most up to date version.


October 31, 2007

Repeat After Me: Silverlight is NOT a rival to AIR

Long time without a blog entry, but I’m back :-) More on this later.

Adobe obviously hasn’t done a very good job at getting this across and Microsoft’s relative silence suggests it is possibly enjoying the confusion. Numerous so-called ‘experts’ out there keep mentioning AIR and Silverlight as competing directly in the RIA space. It’s an easy trap to fall into, as we shall see. A whole new crop of these popped up this week with the announcement of Mozilla Prism which, depending on how you look at it, is either a genius move by Mozilla or totally cheating seeing as all it currently does is pretend to be a desktop app by removing buttons from the Firefox browser.

So here’s my attempt at explaining the differences….

AIR
Desktop applications, can work online or offline, created (important this) in Javascript/HTML or Flex/Flash if you like (for added UI polish and none of that flickery DHTML stuff). Can render web pages, PDFs and Flash content. Applications have an installer/uninstaller and a desktop icon and support some desktop functionality like drag and drop, system tray etc.

Flash
Browser plug-in (although Flash apps can be also be ported to desktop via AIR), animation, interactivity, powerful graphics manipulation, video streaming delivery platform, now with H.264 support too. Uses Actionscript.

Flex
Uses Flash runtime (and like Flash can also easily be ported to AIR on the desktop), but much more robust application development tools and some clever (but expensive) back-end capabilities, talking to Java etc. (but doesn’t quite do authentication with file uploads properly thanks to a quirk in the Flash player, much to the amusement of every Java developer I work with). Uses MXML and Actionscript.

Silverlight
Promising Flash alternative, animation, interactivity, powerful graphics manipulation, except that perhaps unsurprisingly it has a few MS-centric features and although it does video well doesn’t have H.264 support and 90% penetration, uses .NET tools/workflow, XAML, C# – similar kind of model to Flex.

WPF
Stands for Windows Presentation Foundation, the real AIR rival, alongside Prism (which cheats, albeit elegantly). Silverlight is a subset of WPF/E, kind of what Flash is to AIR I guess. Applications run on desktop with access to DirectX, system functions etc.

Prism
Firefox without the buttons, plus a desktop icon so it looks like a desktop application but is really a browser page/application pretending to be a desktop application. Arguably all you need though, hence accusations of evil genius. At the moment making a desktop shortcut to the GMail address and hitting F11 in IE has much the same effect but this approach actually promises much once Firefox 3 and things like Canvas and other new HTML features come along.

So next time you feel compelled to compare, it’s sort of like this, only more complicated:

Sliverlight is an alternative to Flash
WPF is an alternative to AIR
Prism is a modified browser that provides a desktop ‘experience’ similar to AIR and WPF


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