Adobe’s World of Web/Desktop Integration

Read/WriteWeb’s Web 2.0 Summit coverage sponsored by Yahoo!

I’m at a session at the Web 2.0 Summit called
‘Breaking Free: Working with Real Time Data, Online, Offline, and Outside of the
Browser’. The speaker is Christophe Coenraets, a
Senior Technical Evangelist from Adobe. He starts off by saying that Adobe is looking for
a “high definition user experience”. He thinks the following things are still missing
from the Web:

  • Expressiveness
  • Performance
  • Rich Media – not just passive consumption like YouTube, but interactive
  • Real Time – a rich flow of data between the server and the client
  • Desktop/Offline – apps that run outside the browser

Adobe open sources Virtual Machine technology to Mozilla

He then talks about the Flash Player 9, which includes a virtual machine for
ActionScript (like Java). In laymens terms, “virtual machine” refers to the software used
to run applications.

Adobe announced this morning that they have donated this virtual machine to Mozilla,
to work on as an open source project. Mozilla will use it within Firefox (by the first
half of 2008) and Adobe will continue to use it in Flash Player 9. The name of the open
source project is Tamarin and it will be governed and managed by developers from Adobe
and Mozilla. calls
“the largest code contribution yet to the open source Mozilla Foundation”. As
Kevin Lynch, chief software architect at Adobe, told the move furthers the
company’s plan to allow developers to mix and match programming technologies, including
AJAX-style Web development and Flash for media and animation.

While I’m no expert in Adobe products yet, I have learned this year that they’re
promoting a mix of Ajax and Flash technologies for web-based apps – rather than demanding
that Flash is best for all interactivity on the Web. Widgets is one area where there is a
lot of promise in Flash, because they are mini apps where interactivity is a primary

Dowdell has
an excellent list of links and quotes if you want to follow up on this
news, including this great soundbite from Slashdot: “AJAX
in Flash, with a Web 2.0 hype engine. May god have mercy on us all.”

Apollo Project

Christophe talks about how Apollo will be able
to play and render different types of content – e.g. Flash, Flex, HTML, Ajax. What this
means is that you can take HTML content offline. I’ll be finding out more about Apollo
during the conference.

This workshop I’m sitting in on currently is a bit developer-focused for my high level
brain to process, so I’ll follow up with another post later when I’ve gotten more details
of Apollo.

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