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The State of Adobe AIR – Two Months Later

Posted by Moxie Zhang | August 9, 2007 .

Adobe officially turned Apollo into Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) in June. First of all, the name is really geek-ish. It’s same type of recursive name as PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor). So, it’s very human I should say:-) There is a good writing about the the state of AIR at InfoQ, which give you sense where AIR is. In summary, AIR is a big bag of goodies contains the utilizations of HTML/CSS, AJAX, Flash and it make online-go-offline a reality. It features:

  • Support for PDF
  • Improved runtime and application install experience
  • Embedded local database (using SQLite)
  • Drag’n’drop and clipboard support
  • Numerous HTML support and hosting API improvements, including support for transparent HTML windows
  • Server/service connectivity API
  • Native file pickers/browsers
  • Basic runtime update support
  • Security model improvements, including Doors API for communicating between high and low privilege Flash content

The HTML engine is a interesting piece, which is WebKit HTML engine and a opensource project. The ActionScript VM is outsourced to the The Tamarin Project, which shared with Mozilla Foundation. It means that the there might be compatibility there with the up-coming Firefox 3, which is another RIA technologies contender. Very interesting…

Database engine is SQLite, which is good for structured data storage and retrieval. It’s also a area will have face off with Google Gear’s offline solution.

The impact of Adobe AIR was diluted by the introductions of Silverlight and JavaFX, which in a way makes the RIA space in general a more exciting and interesting place.

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