Claudiu Persoiu

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Archive for 21 April 2010

Web as a platform on Desktop using Adobe AIR

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After my second little project, I’m back with my opinion on Adobe AIR!

Working with Adobe AIR I had a revelation, in 2004 John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly presented the concept “Web as Platform”. These days, using the Web as a platform we can develop desktop applications. Basically we’ve left an environment to come back to it with a new perspective.

If the first time I had only 3 days at my disposal, this time I wasn’t constrained. During this time I had the opportunity to discover some of the features, like NativeMenu and the support for SQLite.

I believe that SQLite has the purpose of compensating for the storing possibility that are not available on this platform, like cookies. Of course, SQLite is using a database, and the storing is way superior to the traditional Web.

But way choose Adobe AIR compared to other platforms like Java or C#? Because it is simple! I don’t believe that Adobe AIR was intended to be a tool for developing large applications, even though only time will tell if that’s possible. This is a great tool for small to medium scale apps, which¬† can bring something extra to the Web. For instance in my app I had an alert system, I thought what I would like next to what I already have on the Web. With this alerts I don’t have to check all the time what’s new. Just as well I believe features like chats can be implemented or similarly features, after all if it can be done on the Web, it can be done here.

What Adobe AIR has is a very interesting distribution system, basically the platform is distributed with Adobe Acrobat Reader, thing that can make it available even on your computer without even knowing.

What Adobe AIR does not have, and I thing it would be useful, is a system for accessing COM objects for instance, possibility to access different database systems different then SQLite, which is quite simple.

Another feature that I would like is the possibility to access Adobe Flesh features from JavaScript. I know, I should use Flash if there are Flash features, but I prefer JavaScript as a platform. Probably the reason this features are not available in JavaScript is because this language has the HTML 5 features, like: Canvas and Audio, which somehow compensate with Flash features that are not available in JavaScript by default.

Adobe AIR 2 which is in beta version for the moment, will probably solve some of the need to access the system resources.

In my opinion, Adobe AIR is the platform on which a Web developer can develop desktop apps with ease!

Written by Claudiu Persoiu

21 April 2010 at 3:13 PM

Posted in Diverse,JavaScript

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