Adobe Gives Linux Devs a Blast of Fresh AIR
Linux developers now can get their hands on the same Adobe Integrated Runtime tools that have been available to Windows and Mac devs. AIR allows for the development of Web-based applications that do not rely on the user's browser. This gives the apps a greater ability to access local files.
Rolled out as an alpha offering in March 2008, the release of the software from beta means that now Linux developers have the same tools as Windows and Mac developers, whose final versions of AIR were released in November.
"It has feature parity with the version we shipped out a month ago for Mac and Windows. We're delivering on a promise we've been making to our development community around the world to make sure that their applications can be on Windows, Mac and Linux and reach anyone who's connected to the Web," Adrian Ludwig, group product manager for Adobe's Platform Business Unit, told LinuxInsider.
Up In the AIR
AIR 1.0 was released in February 2008. Currently, the Adobe AIR Marketplace offers 340 applications, according to Ludwig.
"We realized three or four years ago that no matter how hard we were to push on the browser by extending its capabilities using FlashPlayer we'd always hit hard limits in specific areas. Some of those hard limits included the security model of the browser, which prevent you from having access to local data," Ludwig explained.
No matter how wonderful an application is, if it was being delivered inside a browser, users would never have access to local files. In order to give developers the ability to go beyond the browser security model and create applications that could access local files, Adobe moved to take the applications outside of the browser.
"That's what AIR does. It takes the development model of the browser and of the Web and makes it available outside of the browser," Ludwig said.
Taking in the AIR
There is also a new encrypted database that offers developers the level of security necessary to meet most enterprise security compliance requirements while storing data more securely on customers' computers.
"Today is probably the largest influx of applications we have seen for Linux because every app that has been built for AIR works immediately," Ludwig said.
Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux is available immediately as a free download. The Linux version of Adobe AIR 1.5 includes support for Fedora 8, Ubuntu 7.10, and OpenSuse 10.3. The Adobe AIR 1.5 for Linux software development kit is also available for free.