Monday, November 06, 2006

Adobe Apollo - Flash moves to the desktop (again)

When I first heard about Apollo I instantly jumped to the conclusion that Adobe are re-launching Macromedia Central. I was wrong.

Central was a framework that you develop flash modules for that could access desktop resources. This meant that although you were "breaking out of the browser" you were also breaking into the Central Framework UI. There were all sorts of licensing issues on top of the fact that you couldn't develop a completely custom branded user experience.

Although some of the guys who worked on Central are also working on Apollo Adobe have reassured developers countless times that Apollo is NOT Central 2.0, e.g: -
There were lessons learned from building Central, and from users using Central, but this is completely new, and built from the ground up. Apollo does not share any of the Central code base.
If you don't know what Apollo is then go to, the rest of this post kind of assumes that you have an overview of Apollo.

I just saw a MAX 2006 video where Chris Brichford talks about Adobe's latest addition to the Flash Platform product line. The topic of the video is "Leveraging HTML and JavaScript in Apollo Applications".

The HTML/JavaScript support is amazing. One interesting point is that Adobe are using the source-code used on Apple's Safari web browser to handle HTML and JavaScript. This means that if a web page renders well in Safari then it should also render the same in Apollo applications.

To summarise the video, Apollo allows developers to: -
  • create Flash/Flex desktop applications;
  • create Flash/Flex/AJAX desktop applications;
  • create AJAX desktop applications (no Flash required);
  • access JavaScript variables, functions, etc from within a Flash or Flex application;
  • access Flash or Flex variables, functions, etc from within a JavaScript application;
There are a few interesting examples of Apollo applications so check out the video @

No comments: