Feeds

Lift-off for Adobe's Apollo

One giant leap for webapplicationkind...

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

As Apollo is a new tool, and a new way of working for anyone who's used Flash to build web applications, Adobe has provided plenty of documentation. The HTML-based documentation walks you through several simple applications, adding more and more complex functions with each worked example. There's also plenty of set up information as you can build your first Apollo applications in an HTML editor using JavaScript. HTML code requires hand-built XML files to control how your code is packaged in a .air file.

It's certainly well worth spending plenty of time looking through the sample code provided with the Apollo documentation. This will help you get started and shows you some of the tricks and techniques you'll need when working with Apollo. Once you've finished with the basic tutorials, the weather station sample shows many of the more advanced features, including coloured transparent windows and irregular window shapes.

One key feature that Apollo offers developers is cross-platform window controls. On a Windows machine, an Apollo application can look like a Windows application, or like OS X code on an Apple Macintosh. Alternatively, you can use Apollo's own chrome tools to build irregular windows – and even add transparency and alpha-blending effects. Apollo windows can mix vector and bitmap graphics, so you can experiment with your own UI. This is a similar approach to Microsoft's WPF – though here it gives you a lot more cross platform capabilities than the browser-hosted WPF/e. The alpha does have some limitations – including no support for drag-and-drop, and issues with using Flex components in multiple window applications.

The file system tools are an important feature, but if you've used JavaScript you'll find the basic ActionScript commands familiar. There are also a set of Flex filesystem controls, which will help simplify developing applications that need access to a host systems file system. Adobe has done a good job of abstracting Apollo's file tools so that it can work with both Windows and OS X file systems.

There's still a lot of work to be done. Apollo's PDF support is currently missing, so we'll have to wait for future releases to see just how we'll be able to use PDF in our Apollo applications. While Flex makes an excellent host for the development platform, it's not as designer friendly as the rest of Adobe's creative tools. With a major refresh of its web development suite due next week, there's probably not much scope for Apollo development features to appear there – though there is the possibility of extensions and future updates (and, of course, a version of Flash that - hopefully - will work with ActionScript 3.0 and will also play well with Flex).

A video demo of the Apollo alpha.

This is definitely alpha code (so perhaps you may want to look at the video demonstration of a rich eBay-branded Apollo application here).

Even so, it's going to help you get to grips with what promises to be an interesting – and useful – alternative to the traditional web application. The learning curve will be shorter than you might expect, especially if you already have experience with building CSS/HTML/JavaScript applications – and, of course, if you're using Flex you'll have a head start.

The next few test releases are going to be interesting as Adobe adds features and controls and gets rid of some of the nastier bugs. However, by the time the code ships we should see something akin to the original promise - a new way of bringing internet experiences to the desktop.

Download the Apollo Alpha here (registration needed). ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.