Adobe AIR tour

I made a quick trip to Dallas to catch the Adobe AIR bus tour there. You know, it was pretty interesting. I was braced for a 4 hour long vendor sales demo, and it kind of was that, but with enough hands-on detail to keep my attention. Plus, it looks like a sweet product.

A few misunderstandings that got cleared up for me:

  • AIR is specifically the runtime. Think the .NET runtime - its a cross-platform way of running for desktop apps that are built to it. You can get AIR apps from the web, and those apps can use web content, but it is not really a web technology as such.
  • You can build AIR apps from Flash/Flex or HTML/JS - but the runtime itself doesn’t require or tie directly to one more than the other.
  • The runtime is a free download, the “Product” that Adobe is selling is the authoring tools in this case. The SDK is free, and you can author and build AIR apps without the fancy IDE.
I’ve begun to play with it. The APIs that javascript can now reach are going to be fun. Its like WSH (Windows Scripting Host) and scripting Rhino.. but more, er.. integrated.