Adobe's Air Mistakes

By Michael Flanakin @ 7:31 AM :: 1723 Views :: Development :: Digg it!

Adobe Air

Air is Adobe's initial foray into desktop development. As you might imagine, Air is essentially Flash for the desktop. I'm not impressed at all. Air gives you 3 development options: Flash, Flex, or HTML.

Flash is primarily used by designers for ads, video playback, and small games -- notably, no "real" development. Seriously, what intelligent person is going to develop a significantly sized app with ActionScript?

Flex seems to be the preferred method for creating Flash and does so using a proprietary markup syntax. Flex still uses ActionScript, tho, which begs the question: who in their right mind would use this for anything more than a trivial app?

Finally, the HTML option gives us something feasible to work with. Here's a technology all web developers know and love... oh, wait... We don't love HTML. As a matter of fact, most devs I know have been complaining about it for the last 10 years. I've always been one to embrace JavaScript, but it's far from ideal. Actually, I think that's what most devs hate more than HTML. This is why there's controversy surrounding the EcmaScript standard update. All that aside, it's the only feasible platform for Air development, in my mind. Because of this, I think Air is flawed.

If I was Adobe, I'd latch onto a more powerful platform, like Java -- I'd say .NET, but we all know that won't happen. I don't see Air going too far due to the lack of strong underpinnings. Then again, I have been surprised at the apps that have picked up on it. Perhaps HTML support is more about migration strategy than a quality development platform. I'm definitely interested in seeing where this goes. With Silverlight 2.0 on its tails, Adobe is under the gun to make some serious movement in this arena.