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When Firefox and Apollo unite!

Not wanting to be deliberately contrary, no matter what all of the good books say about great headline writing, I have to disagree with Anne Zelenka’s recent post on GigaOM:

“Adobe announced the public alpha of its Apollo development framework that allows developers to build cross-platform hybrid web/desktop applications using Flash and Ajax … Some consider Microsoft’s WPF/e platform the main competitor to Apollo, because it promises rich cross-platform applications, just like WPF/e. However, I wonder if the real competitor to Apollo is the web browser, specifically Firefox.”

The thinking is sound, and Microsoft are always going to be a threat, no matter what.

However, in many ways, Apollo is Apple’s Dashboard on speed. No wait, Apollo is everything Apple’s Dashboard isn’t .. no, that’s still not right.

OK, Adobe’s Apollo has only one thing over Apple’s Dashboard: it’s remotely useful.

But these are early days, and I digress…

Anyway, someone in the comments section posted a link to a Mozilla project called Tamarin, but hold on! There’s a little Adobe and Mozilla history, there:

Adobe and Mozilla Foundation to Open Source Flash Player Scripting Engine
Unifies Modern Scripting Across Firefox and Flash and Advances Innovation on the Web

WEB 2.0, SAN FRANCISCO — Nov. 7, 2006 — Adobe Systems Incorporated and the Mozilla Foundation, a public-benefit organization dedicated to promoting choice and innovation on the Internet, today announced that Adobe has contributed source code for the ActionScript™ Virtual Machine, the powerful standards-based scripting language engine in Adobe® Flash® Player, 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.”

Sure enough, when you follow up the link to the Tamarin project web page and scroll down a little to the Team Members heading, you see a whole mess of developers, most of which are Adobe employees.

I really would not be surprised if Mozilla aren’t embedding hooks into Firefox 3 to aid Adobe Apollo get traction on the web. Let’s not forget how flexible / portable Mozilla’s rendering engine is.

There’s an old Russian proverb: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Thing is, Adobe and Mozilla hardly qualify as enemies, but they most certainly have a common enemy in Microsoft…

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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.