Adobe put together a tour to promote their new software, Adobe AIR. They held an all-day even at the Guvernment in Toronto. Here are my thoughts:
About Adobe Air
The product looks great. Mind you, i sat through a day-long brainwashing and indoctrination session. i don’t remember much, but i have a feeling i signed some kind of purchase agreement, and was touched inappropriately by the Bus Tour presenters. Here’s what i recite robotically when someone utters the phrase “Adobe AIR makes you cluck like a chicken”:
– open and close the file dashboard to load stuff and save stuff
– recognize when files are dragged over your app – file type too – and respond to that event
– let the user pull stuff OUT of your app, draggy/droppy style, and bundle that with file info so that, for example, you can build an app where the user pulls a jpg OUT of your thing and IN to Photoshop, and P-shop’s all like “that’s coo”
– build your app ONCE to deliver on Mac, PC, whatever
– native OS support. All your windows and alerts and prompts are gonna look like they’re at home on the Mac or the PC – whatever your user digs – and you don’t have to lift a finger
– windowing. Give your app a window with the title bar and min/max/close gadgets. Or a slimmer window chrome. Or NO BLOODY CHROME AT ALL. That means if you dupe someone into running your AIR app, you could have a transparent chromeless window with a naked pic of gramma stuck like graffitti to the desktop. RrrrrroOWWWRR!!
– create one – 1 – WUN – png, and let AIR figure out how to build the icons. It builds Mac icons! It builds PC icons! It does different sizes! It slices! It dices! Anyway – a very nice feature, because it’s a great polished detail and one less thing to fuss over.
– Local single-file database. Hot, hot hot. You can set up a 1-file DB on the user’s machine and store things in there, like secrets and Tic Tacs
Code bridging. Easy communication between apps. Data synch. Connectivity detection. Installation badges. i could go on. Some of you app devs out there will be like “what’s the big deal? i’ve been developing desktop apps for years.” Yeah, big shot? Well I HAVEN’T. Flash hasn’t been able to do any of this nonsense without some heavy-duty nipple-twisting. Sure, you can open the dashboard, but you kiss your soul goodbye and hope Satan has fun with it, because you gotta re-hooptle the flimflam and unjiggrify the blaminator before you can get it working. With Adobe AIR, the syntax is something like “GIMME MAH DASHBOARD, BITCHES!” and *poof* … you got the dashboard. And given the choice between Adobe documentation and Microsoft Developer Network, i’d rather see Adobe’s simple code usage example right up front than navigate Microsoft’s labyrynthine list of common runtime usage and exceptions and NerdSpeak. OPEN MAH DASHBOARD, BITCHES. Sheesh. Throw some dots and slashes in there, and you’re done.
Next post: more about the Adobe OnAIR tour. Sure, Grant Skinner knows his code, but is he hot or not? And which of the Adobe bus evangelists would YOU rate as best – and WORST – dressed?