All 5 entries tagged Rias
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June 02, 2008
Writing about web page http://browserplus.yahoo.com/
Yahoo has entered the RIA domain with BrowserPlus, a technology that allows you to create functionality that bridges desktop and browser. Some reports I’ve seen say that BrowserPlus is a direct rival to AIR, but from what I’ve read on the Yahoo site I’d say it sits closer to the browser than the desktop, like Gears; applications are still browser-hosted, whereas AIR sits more evenly between the two (albeit with much stronger emphasis on applications being system-based), but I’m wondering how many more niches there are left to fill in the RIA paradigm. BrowserPlus does offer some genuinely useful capabilities that are similar to those offered by AIR, like file drag/drop and system tray capabilities so comparisons are inevitable and in some ways justified, but these are currently a limited subset. An area which I think does justify close comparison to AIR is the development ‘gateway’, simply because both technologies allow HTML/JS developers to create RIAs with their existing skill-set.
If it’s easy to detect the existence of the BrowserPlus runtime within a page, it could get some traction; on our own web applications I can see it being useful to provide users who have it installed some extra functionality, like dragging and dropping files to the browser, or page update notifications, but it would be important not to rely on it being there for core functionality, partly I think because it would be harder to persuade users to install something that isn’t so ‘tangible’ as an AIR or Webstart application. Security may also be a concern – AIR and Java applications need to be digitally signed whereas it’s not clear yet what Yahoo will do here. I guess though it will depend on how useful and ubiquitous applications built on BrowserPlus become, and Yahoo has some fairly prominent applications for it within its own portfolio (e.g. Flickr). AIR is fast approaching that stage I think – Ebay Desktop, Google Analytics AIR, Twhirl, Adobe Media Player and Snackr are now core applications for many people I know, and the new and rather lovely Acrobat.com suite (and not forgetting Aviary) will be a major driver for further adoption, especially if the the AIR version can be extended to include desktop versions of the applications. I’m sure Yahoo will have the detection aspect covered – in addition they have done something similar to JavaFX with an extensible runtime that can be added to without re-installation, so it’s really only a case of getting that important first-install.
One final thought – it seems to me that if you could combine BrowserPlus with Prism you would have something closer in concept to AIR, if not execution; a browser-based application that looks like a desktop application, with a desktop integration runtime on top.
April 09, 2008
Writing about web page http://onair.adobe.com/schedule/cities/london.php
Just some live notes from the AIRTour London event today…
Adobe – ‘disruptive technologies’
RIA platforms – AMP, Buzzword Connect, all built on Flex/AIR
Why AIR? – occasionally-connected opportunities, efficient development, richer interfaces.
Branding on desktop – clever clothing store that can match clothes to an image dragged
Showing mapping app using Yahoo Maps API
Export map view as PNG by dragging – encodes PNG on the fly, drag map straight to desktop
Using notepad app to write an AIR app
Starts with bare HTML page
Point to XML application descriptor file – template comes with SDK
Running AIR from Terminal to test app – runs directly
Dreamweaver demo – extension for AIR available
Writing tags like input id=”foo” type=”button” value=”save”
then writes JS script that handles event, using DOM to grab object, then runs as AIR app
AIRIntrospector – similar to Firebug
Maps AIR namespace to JS, allows AIR APIs to be called: var stream = new air.FileStream(); direct in HTML.
Now showing Aptana as IDE fr AIR/JS dev – Aptana now supports AIR
Sandboxed environment to prevent scripting hacks, adds some limitations
Mike Downey – Lighthouse programme – looking for key apps to extend reach of AIR (e.g. EBay desktop) *
Kevin Hoyt – Integrating HTML, JS and AS*
Mixing SWFs using SWFObject – then drags an image from Webkit into his Flash app window, makes a table from the BMP that contains each px colour value(!)
Uses FileStream to re-render px values as image in other application window
Basically levering the WebKit engine in AIR to mix HTML, JS and Flash in the same desktop window and all can communicate with each other.
Deploying and updating AIR applications
Self-signed applications report identity as ‘unknown’ on AIR installer, when known ico turns green
Uses any signing mechanism, Thawte etc.
Export Release Build, import certificate
Install badge on Labs
CheckForUpdate() script, parses application descriptor file for current version, compares, prompts user to upgrade
Daniel Dura – AIR APIs
Network detection, File I/0, Window chrome
Multi-window, z-ordering, utility windows (no taskbar entry), Native menus, Drag/Drop from various sources, clipboard, System Tray, notifications, Signing, Icons
..and much more!
Windowing control is very rich
File Sync/Async APIs
Lots of code on Daniel’s site
Can drag a URL into browser, browser opens
Network/Socket Monitor API – URLMonitor(URLRequest);
Bah, Macbook batteries don’t last long…
Jeremy Baines – from concept to TechCrunch in 5 days
Developed Alert Thingy – AIR-based social network aggregator with alerts etc, in-application commenting on peoples blogs, actually some very useful features and a good example of using AIR.
Developing Secure AIR Applications (Oliver Goldman)
Imported/loaded content executes with the Loader sandbox – does not run with application privileges by default
Sandbox bridges – opt-in on both sides, arguments are pass-by-value, allow communications between loaded content and application
Can expose function calls, but can’t pass objects
Document.write(), eval() are prohibited to protect sandbox
Suggests only loading signed content – XMLSignatureValidator API available
Implementing update functionality makes urgent updates easy should you find a bug – make updating work first
Gah, batteries really gone now…that’s all for today – excellent day, ice-cold Coke, beer, games, short sessions, direct contact with Engineering team.
April 02, 2008
Writing about web page http://adamflater.blogspot.com/2008/02/meet-merapi.html
Merapi will provide a framework that uses Java to give AIR access to the system shell (and therefore have access to things like printing, scanning, hardware etc.). It’s very early days for the project but in a few months time it may be possible to create desktop applications using Merapi that do really useful things, without going near Swing. One to watch…
March 01, 2008
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.
July 31, 2007
Writing about web page http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2007/06/27/new-adobe-air-book-available-for-download/
Bumping this up from my sidebar feed: Mike Chambers has announced the release of the AIR for JS Developers pocketguide, published by O’Reilly and available as a PDF under a Creative Commons licence. Contents include:
- Introduction to AIR
- Getting Started with AIR development
- AIR Mini Cookbook
- Command line tools
Ajaxian is hosting the download.