M.Chambers & M.Downey in Belgium report – part1 !

Mike Chambers and Mike DowneyToday  Mike Chambers and Mike Downey visited our Adobe User group in Belgium (http://www.mmug.be ) and gave us an insight in what the future of Flash and Apollo has to offer. First I have to say it was a really cool event and it tastes like more 🙂
We arrived a bit to late (damn, I need a GPS system) and Mike Chambers was already talking about Apollo. Apollo is a runtime which is now in private release at Adobe and enables Flash or Flex applications to run on a desktop without the need of  a browser. So that sounds really cool! The long time goal for Apollo is to run cross desktop and cross device. We saw some very cool demo applications but one of the coolest things we saw was HTML rendered through Flash. The user was able to scale, rotate, blur,.. real time websites  while they were still responding to user events. So you could still interact with the user interface. (webkit open source engine) Even CSS, Javascript just works ! Just Quicktime and Windows Media Player and other browser plugins are not really supported at the moment. There are lots of other things that are possible, some of them listed here:

  • XML sockets  API / XML RPC / SOAP
  • Can run in background
  • Offline – occasionally connected
  • File I/O support
  • Custom chrome (or if you are not a really creative person; use the system chrome)
  • Synchronous API ! (so the opposite of Flash event model now)

The desktop integration makes several other cool things possible:

  • installation
  • application shortcuts
  • drag and drop support
  • clipboard functionality
  • cross platform communication
  • notifications (tied in the operating system)

There is offourse also a lot of scripting support but it depends on the container being used (AS3, HTML /AJAX / CSS, HTML, DOM,…)

Apollo also has already a bit of a history:

  • M0 release: only Flash on windows support
  • M1 release: +-4 months ago: Mac support; command line tools; ADL : run files as appolo application
  • M2 release: 2 weeks ago
    • updated windows API
    • apollo specific Flex components (Flex team is working on it 🙂 )
    • .AIR extension is used at the moment
    • dekstop install
      • windows and mac install (with build in check if Apollo is installed, if not == download)
    • web install

We saw an really example where VCARDS could be dropped in an Apollo application where google maps was running inside the app. When you dropped the VCARD, the route was calculated automatically.

How do we make from a Flash/Flex app an Apollo app?

An Appolo application consists of two files:

  • XML file
  • Application file (Flex, Flash)

This is all packed together in an AIR file (some kind of ZIP format) and when is  installed then copied in the application directory. The XML file has eg an element: <windowmode=system chrome> and that sets the skin of the application. You can also easily set the application to be transparent so that the background color of the Flash movie is knocked out. In the same way you can also easily create your own custom chromes.

When can we finaly test Apollo ourself 🙂 ?

Mike Chambers told us that Appolo will be on Adobe Labs at early 2007 !!

The first full release is planned somewhere mid 2007 (can be early mid or late mid) !

So still a few weeks to go without Apollo…really really looking forward to first public release on Adobe Labs !


3 responses to “M.Chambers & M.Downey in Belgium report – part1 !

  1. Pingback: Christophe Herreman » Apollo and Flash CS3 at MMUG Belgium

  2. Savvas 3 December , 2006 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for the info..

  3. Pingback: Creattica - Flash » Blog Archive » New MovieClip( ) - Koen De Weggheleire