Monday, November 26th, 2007
Kevin Hoyt of Adobe gives a personal tour of how you can take your web development skills to the desktop using the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) in his presentation from The Ajax Experience, which was recorded, and shown here.
Kevin is a top notch guy, and really gets Ajax. One good example is his latest post on Ajax and Flash in which he sticks up for Ajax, and its future, while showing that Flash has its place too:
For as far ahead as Flash may be in some areas, Google took Ajax and made a calendaring system, collaborative spreadsheet and even a decent word processor. Flash is only just now getting around to the word processor, and still lacks examples of a spreadsheet and calendaring system used on the same scale as the Google suite.
Itâ€™s true that standards bodies move slow. Committees and political agendas abound. Thereâ€™s something to be said for that vision though. What happens for Flash if all the aforementioned standards (proposals really) actually do become standards? HTML 5 even includes an embedded database, for which Flash has to go to the desktop (i.e. AIR). ECMAScript 4 and the Tamarin VM could put the browser on the whole on the same playing field as Flash, and it would all be standard.
An interesting side note about solutions and alternatives is approachability. Richard alludes to this, but when it comes to making Flash support deep-linking, testing and even accessibility, thereâ€™s a fair amount of additional work that really requires the developer be â€œin the know.â€ SDKâ€™s and IDE alternatives for Flash may also be available, but Notepad/TextEdit is always right there.
Turning the conversation 180 degrees, letâ€™s not forget that for all of Flash Playerâ€™s ubiquity, thereâ€™s nothing that comes close to the vast amount of standards-based HTML content out there. Most Flash in fact still requires HTML to at least setup where on a page that content will reside, and to specify what content will act as the root. HTML rendering in Flash Player is extremely limited, but thereâ€™s no more ubiquitous format anywhere.
I also find it amusing when Flash developers tout Flash Player 9â€™s VM and AS3 as a language. Letâ€™s not forget where Flash came from, and remember that Flashers have struggled with component development in Flash since scripting was introduced the Player. It is only recently that this has become mature, and that component development in Flash has a long ways to go to match what Microsoft has across the board.
Posted by Dion Almaer at 9:00 am