Monday, December 18, 2006

"Understanding Apollo" - Mike Chambers

Mike Chambers, the Senior Product Manager for Developer Relations, gave us the lowdown on one of Adobe's exciting new products for 2006: Apollo, a run-time engine which will bring rich internet applications and Flash applications to the desktop.

  • Not a general application framework - focussed on RIA feature set

  • Install size for the RTE is aimed to be around 5-9mb

  • Aim is to eventually be cross device as well as cross platform - in future Apollo will go to devices

  • HTML engine is webkit

    • Open source

    • Safari

    • HTML is fully integrated

    • Really makes content format independent (Ed note)

  • Plugins within HTML

    • Some will - initially Flash, PDF

    • 2 different ways to do Flash

      1. Object embed - uses default player version on the user's machine

      2. Another way will use Apollo's built-in player

    • No Quicktime or WMV yet

  • Synchronous or Asynchronous loading

    • So loading smaller files will be automatic (configs etc)

  • Apollo apps have to feel like accepted desktop applications

    • So standard desktop functionality is a given

    • Includes system level notification events (bouncing toolbar in the mc/bubble menu bar alert in windows)

  • AS & JS interaction at a low level - i.e. seamless interaction between the two, including passing whole objects

  • Install options

    • 1. AIR file - installation bundle (ZIP based format) - requires Apollo RTE to already be installed

    • 2. Native installer - create win or Mac installer

    • Checks for Apollo

    • If not there, installs Apollo, then application

    • 3. Web install - click on a link - if no Apollo it'll prompt to install RTE and then app

  • All applications have a application XML which defines metadata for app

  • Full control over the app chrome

  • Timeline for release - early 2007 (labs), v1.0 sometime 2nd half of 2007

  • Apollo info:


    • (Apollo smart category - aggregates)

  • You'll be able to go full screen and push to selected monitors if more than one available

  • Security model

    • In development so couldn't say too much

    • Aim to have different "sandboxes"

  • An Apollo app can be installed from a CD-ROM but won't run from a CD-ROM - big distinction - maybe SWFKit ain't going to go out of business after all

  • Aiming to have framework APIs to take the grunt work out of common functionality, i.e. file saving, online/offline syncing and caching

  • Admin rights to install on Win - you may need admin rights to install the RTE. You won't to install apps (he couldn't be definitive on this as its still in dev)

  • Aiming to make dynamic updates to apps possible!

  • Benefits over similar technologies such as WPF

    • Leverage over web technologies

    • Cross-platform support

  • But its not for everyone - some reqs may make WPF a better options

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