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Adobe Apollo nearing launch

an image of the Adobe logoI did toy with the idea of running an article on what technologies would be big in 2007.

But the whole idea has been done already, so I let that pass.

Instead, I’m going to focus on a technology that really isn’t a technology at all. Or, at least it’s not one technology. It’s actually an amalgam of many.

And therein lies the reason why I believe Adobe’s Apollo web platform is going to succeed:

“2007 will bring the launch of the much anticipated Adobe Apollo platform, a cross platform run time that will allow developers to take rich internet applications, whether they be built on Flash, HTML, JavaScript and / or Ajax, and turn them into desktop applications.”

What’s known is that Adobe aren’t alone on this. Right now, OpenLaszlo have fixed their gaze on the same spot in the distance:

“OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software.

OpenLaszlo programs are written in XML and JavaScript and transparently compiled to Flash and soon DHTML. The OpenLaszlo APIs provide animation, layout, data binding, server communication, and declarative UI.”

So far, OpenLaszlo got off to a good start with having the Pandora online radio and music sharing service making use of their platform, but over time, Adobe is going to be the one to watch.

But that’s not to discount OpenLaszlo. Far from it, in fact. As I reported Adobe recently inked a deal with the Mozilla Foundation to share some code:

“Adobe Systems Incorporated and the Mozilla Foundation,… [blah, blah, blah .. PR flanel] today announced that Adobe has contributed source code for the ActionScript™ Virtual Machine,… [blah, blah, blah .. more PR flanel] to the Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla will host a new open source project, called Tamarin, to accelerate the development of this standards-based approach for creating rich and engaging Web applications.”

So what you have is a more open, caring, sharing Adobe — an Adobe less likely to shit on the little guy .. maybe?

In any event, what with Adobe committing to open source through the Mozilla Foundation, I just don’t see this line in the sand dividing the efforts of the two camps.

Besides, because of the truly open nature of the technologies at the heart of either strategy, it would be harder to keep them apart than it would to just allow them to work together.

Harder to keep them apart? But, wouldn’t that mean some kind of proprietary nonsense? Ah, yes indeed! And I just don’t see that in the tea leaves.

Interestingly, it seems that OpenLaszlo is a competitor to Adobe’s Flex:

“OpenLaszlo is often talked about as an open source competitor to Adobe’s Flex, because both are rich client application development platforms. And from the user’s perspective, a website built with Laszlo is almost identical to a website built with Flash (indeed OpenLaszlo has a Flash run-time option). From a company and developer perspective, the competition is pretty fierce between the two.”

However, it’s clear that Apollo is so much more than Flex. Indeed, Flex appears to be just yet another underlying technology used by Apollo.

I don’t know what to read into that at this stage. Whether it’s Adobe pulling away from OpenLaszlo, or Apollo coming at the problem from a different angle, I just can’t see which way.

Even more so since Apollo is still under development and much of the strategy could change in the coming months, not least as a result of pressure from Microsoft.

What I do know is, Adobe’s Apollo has the makings of the next big thing. And with the weight of someone like Adobe behind such an open, expansive web platform, the possibilities are immense and pave the way for an entirely new class of application…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

8 replies on “Adobe Apollo nearing launch”

I like the Adobe Spry framework. It has brilliant features and I’m going to use it in some projects in the future.

Hi Sebastian and thanks for posting!

It’d be good to have someone like yourself on hand to give some insight.

I’ve got another Adobe Apollo article coming in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Firstly Happy New Year. Personally I am also excited about this, being able to write your “own” apps in a new way, just with basic webprogramming knowledge : )
My only concern is how smoothly it will run, on my old outdated machines : p

i was playing around with spry over the holidays and did something my own way you can see here.

apollo is really interessting, but i don’t know, if the step to the desktop is the best way. but if i can bring my existing apps to the desktop without changing anything, that would be great.

“My only concern is how smoothly it will run, on my old outdated machines”

That’s a point covered in my next article coming up first thing tomorrow.

What I will say is, no need to worry too much!

I’ve got a project that’s sort of under way which would benefit massively from Apollo, and it’s early enough for such a direction change to not cause problems.

Off-topic: I’ve recently signed up with MyBlogLog, which has proved to be a pretty interesting of generating some traffic, building community et cetera.

Go to:

Worth a try, if nothing else…

I’m thinking of a blogging or digital asset management software first, when I look at Apollo. Because it would be nice to have the same interface offline as you have online. Just an idea.

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