Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Adobe AIR Free Book Download

Category: Adobe, Books

Mike Chambers and the Adobe AIR crew have generously released the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) for JavaScript Developers Pocket Guide (Amazon) under a creative commons license.

They have given us an electronic copy available for download for free, here.

The pocket guide covers:

  • Introduction to AIR
  • Getting Started with AIR development
  • Working with JavaScript and HTML within AIR
  • AIR Mini Cookbook
  • Command line tools
  • Aliases

Everyone who shows up for the free bus tour will get a paper copy of the book.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:34 am

4 rating from 129 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

download link goes to feedburner…it does not work :(

Comment by Tom — June 27, 2007

very useful. Thanks for the info.

Comment by silent — June 27, 2007

well, it did not work before…now it does ::puzzled::

Comment by Tom — June 27, 2007

Given that Adobe really wants developers to start developing stuff with AIR (aka Apollo), not entirely surprising, but it’s great to see a company stand behind their product with professionally-produced documentation for developers. Thanks!

Comment by Peter Mularien — June 27, 2007

Were they expecting somebody to pay for this?! I guess they are new to this type of products and don’t know how it works

Comment by Bono — June 27, 2007

>Were they expecting somebody to pay for this

Umm… the book is released under a creative commons license, AND you can download it from this very blog post.

Some people like to have the printed material to read, but for those that don’t care about that, you can download the PDF for free.

So, Im not sure exactly what we “don’t know how it works”. You can download the book for free, or you can buy a printed copy. That seems pretty flexible to me.

mike chambers

Comment by mike chambers — June 27, 2007

I just don’t get the purpose of this post specially the word “generously” in the first line.
You guys have created a PDF file that explains your own product, then you are bragging about it that is free? hell it better be free!

Comment by Bono — June 27, 2007

Maybe you are confusing this book, with the actual runtime documentation.

You can find the documentation for developing for the beta runtime at:

This weblog post is about a book, published by O’Reilly, which, unlike most books published, has been released under an open license, which among other things, has allowed to post it.

Hope that helps…

mike chambers

Comment by mike chambers — June 27, 2007

First open sourcing Flex, giving us free development tools for AIR, releasing flash 9 for Linux and now a free book. Somebody pinch me, this is too good to be true. Thank you Adobe.

Comment by Kristof Neirynck — June 27, 2007


Comment by Delixe — June 27, 2007

Why doesn’t the documentation acknowlegde it’s using SQLite?

Comment by Alan — June 27, 2007

I don’t understand. Why use this and not Google Gears?

Comment by jorne — June 27, 2007

“Why doesn’t the documentation acknowlegde it’s using SQLite?”

because, in the current beta version it is not in there. The product isn’t in a 1.0 release yet, so a lot of features and bug fixes still have to be worked out and added/edited in the documentation

Comment by Quentin — June 27, 2007

“I don’t understand. Why use this and not Google Gears?”

Can’t access the file system from Google Gears. This is more comparable, from what I can tell, to the .NET Framework. It lets you run HTML based applications outside of the browser.

Comment by SCott — June 27, 2007

Thanks a lot :)

Comment by julien — June 27, 2007

For clarification,

The AIR Beta does include the SQLite database, and it is called out on the section that pertains to using it (page 113). The content is really more about how SQLite is exposed via JavaScript than SQLite proper. There’s more than enough documentation on that already.

To the question about why not Google Gears…

I’d suggest that depends on the requirements of your application. AIR is more than about just having a local database. Consider features like native windows (i.e. custom chrome, modal, always on top, etc.), native drag-and-drop to/from the operating system and other applications, native clipboard support to/from the operating system and other applications, native menus that appear where they should on that operating system, native context menus (not yet baked in the Beta), and more. These features are all about allowing developers familiar with web development technologies to extend their application to include a desktop presence.

Just to be clear here too, I’m not suggesting that every application needs a desktop presence. There are applications that warrant this type of behavior however, such as iTunes/iTMS and eBay’s San Dimas project (

Two cents,
Kevin Hoyt

Comment by Kevin Hoyt — June 27, 2007

If you get bored with the examples from the book and are craving more examples, it looks like one of the authors has expanded on the list and beefed up the existing examples:

Comment by Andrew Wooldridge — June 27, 2007

Dion, the feed link doesn’t include the domain and bauks on downloading from a reader.

Comment by Craig Overend — June 27, 2007

does the ADBE marketing dept know ‘air’ means shit/nonsense in common slang?

Comment by c — June 28, 2007

IMO there aren’t any good reasons to use AIR. Developers are already mixing HTML and Flash for years so not really an advantage here. Mixing HTML inside Flash totally kills the point of using HTML, basically it is a Flash based web browser that is loaded inside another browser. This would render all my browser optimization/ extensions / accessibility features useless (e.g. Firefox search as you type feature). Why not just release a Flash based web browser and see how far you can get?!

Also if somebody wants to write a desktop application why not using a mature OO Framework such as .NET or J2EE where possibilities are endless and you can reach far beyond AIR runtime. Probably AIR works for users who don’t know other than HTML/JS but for professional Object Oriented applications it is not an option.

Comment by Mish — June 28, 2007

Mish, I’ll give you my reason for using AIR: it allows me, a web application developer, to create desktop applications using the technologies I already know–HTML, CSS, and JavaScript or Flex (which admittedly I’m still learning).

If I’m building an application that is primarily designed to be used on-line, but I want to give users the option of viewing or storing data locally when they’re not connected to the Internet, it doesn’t make sense for me to code the on-line part of the app using web technologies and then code the smaller desktop portion using an entirely different language.

Flex, by the way, is very OO.

Comment by Brian Swartzfager — June 28, 2007

it is useful for helpping more web developers join AIR.

Comment by vincentzou — June 28, 2007

The book is pretty useful for someone to get started on Adobe AIR technology. See my full review of the book at

An excerpt from the review:

“….Frankly I have not played with all the examples, just a handful; however, I found them to be useful. I must admit that the very first example “Hello World” was a bit frustrating to deal with, as the sample contained some typo. As we all know Adobe AIR was formerly known as Apollo, it seems that this sample was half-converted to the new naming convention. It would have saved an hour of my time troubleshooting and hunting through the forum if “ApolloHelloWorld.html” would have been mentioned as “AIRHelloWorld.html” on page 30. Anyway, I have noted it here just in case someone else needs it. Besides, the typo I think the book has also been silent on other features of a desktop application such as threading, inter-process communication or ability to access registry settings. I am thinking none of these are supported…..”

Comment by Ashish Prasad — July 8, 2007

This is excellent. Thank you, Mike Chambers & gang for the excellent resource that I’ve been searching non-stop for. AIR really raises the bar, IMO. Great new things are coming & I love it.

Keep up the fantastic work!

Comment by Mike Rogne — July 16, 2007

Great work guys, thanks for the reference and the download.

Comment by Ben — July 17, 2007

excellent work guys. thank you so much

Comment by Private Label Rights — November 1, 2007

Great book, printed it, read it, perfect resource!!!

Comment by HolmesSPH — December 16, 2007

Very good book. It is also very good to be freely downloadable on the net

Comment by goji — December 27, 2007

great book, thanks a lot.

Comment by tagmersheim — February 19, 2008

Why should we use this though and not Google Gears? I don’t see what this saves, but maybe I am missing the point.

Comment by marshaflowers — March 7, 2008

Download link is not working …

Comment by sucram — March 26, 2008

Yeah, download link is broken. Could you please fix it?

Comment by psucalc — April 10, 2008

Great book. Thanks for sharing it.

Comment by Mickay — April 17, 2008

Not that I don’t like free but I’m just wondering how one benefits from giving it out for free…

Comment by linseed — April 23, 2008

I think it is a great book but I wonder how does it differentiate with other e-books like this. Ah.. Nevermind me as long as its free, I’ll just find it out myself. lol. Thanks by the way!

Comment by tibetan — April 28, 2008

Site was updated.. And now I am unable to locate the download link. Anyone care to point me to the same download link that is free? Thanks in advance!

Comment by gogi — April 29, 2008

Great book. Thanks a lot for this Link.

Comment by ghazii — May 11, 2008

Thanks a lot. It is very helpful. BTW, google it and you will find other sites that offer this for download if the downloader does not work.

Comment by jcp — May 22, 2008

Thanks for the info &
Thanks for sharing it

Comment by Aphrodisiac — June 5, 2008

Very usefull Info. Thanks !

Comment by Alexx — June 12, 2008

Thanks for the info!

Comment by alliedpark — July 13, 2008

I will download it as i do believe it is a valuable book. Thanks for that!

Comment by monicafallia — September 18, 2009

thanks again for sharing your knowledge!

Comment by monicafallia — September 18, 2009

Is this e-book still available?

Comment by AJHEELS — October 28, 2009

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