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Adobe Releases Cross-Operating System Runtime

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the playing-nice-with-everyone dept.

297

An anonymous reader writes to mention that Adobe released the first public version of their new cross-operating system runtime today nicknamed 'Apollo'. "The software relies on HTML, JavaScript, Flash, and Adobe Flex. The alpha version, which presently works on Windows and Macintosh, can be downloaded for free at http://www.adobe.com/go/apollo. Once the Apollo apps are created, users can launch them from their desktops, without using their browser or connecting online. An Apollo application can connect automatically to online data or services when an Internet connection is detected, with new components automatically downloaded and integrated. The user needs the Apollo runtime to run the apps, just as a Flash player is needed to run Flash animations."

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297 comments

Translation... (5, Insightful)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405145)

"The software relies on HTML, JavaScript, Flash, and Adobe Flex."
Translation:

"It's slow."

Re:Translation... (5, Funny)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405203)

Could be worse.

Could be Java.

Re:Translation... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405385)

Could be even worse.

Could be .NET.

Re:Translation... (2, Insightful)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405487)

Could be worse. Could be Java.

actually, it sounds suspiciously like xul (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/xul/) with some flash thrown in. mind you, i've not read the article or played with any of the apps so i'm just guessing wildly.

Re:Translation... (1)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405229)

But like Java, by the time anybody cares we'll all be using octal core 8Ghz processors so nobody will care how slow it is because it'll run just fine.

Re:Translation... (2, Insightful)

jamshid (140925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405255)

Hope that unlike the HTML/Javascript/CSS soup we have now, this technology is designed from the ground up with security in mind.

I guess Flash/Flex/ActionScript/whatever the heck this stuff is turning out to be, is the Next Big Language? http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2007/02/next-big-l anguage.html [blogspot.com]

I just hope it works on mobile phones, it has to be a better solution than Sun's J2ME/JavaME mess. Is OpenLaszlo going anywhere?

Re:Translation... (0)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405361)

I'm sure it will have great security; the issue will be who is benefited by that security? Recall the javascript support included in PDF, now exactly who was that for?

My mind says wait and see, my heart says Adobe is Evil.

Re:Translation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405785)

That was for those darn hackers, right?

Re:Translation... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405363)

Sorry, as per the license, you are not permitted to install the software on embedded devices [slashdot.org] . They explicitly talk about PDAs. They don't specify which part of the software that applies to, so it must be assumed that it applies to both ends.

Re:Translation... (2, Interesting)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405473)

That's the end-user license agreement. That's not to say that there aren't or won't be other available licenses, such as licenses for OEMs to install it on embedded devices, available upon negotiation.

Re:Translation... (3, Informative)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405595)

Don't forget about this part:

13. Compliance with Licenses. If you are a business or organization, you agree that upon request from Adobe or Adobe's authorized representative*, you will within thirty (30) days fully document and certify that use of any and all Software at the time of the request is in conformity with your valid licenses from Adobe.

http://www.adobe.com/products/eulas/players/flash/ [adobe.com]


* Ie, the BSA which Adobe is a member of [wikipedia.org] .

This is one of the reasons I despise Flash. Hopefully someday Gnash will be a good replacement for it.

Re:Translation... (0)

josath (460165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405861)

The flash player doesn't require a license.
Neither does the free flex 2 sdk (compiler for flash 9 apps), nor the apollo sdk (compiler for apollo apps).

So if you are using only the free software, then you have nothing to worry about.

Of course if you want to use the fancy programmer IDE (Flex 2 Builder), or the Flash Authoring IDE, then of course you need to buy a license for each PC you install it on.

Re:Translation... (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405381)

Hope that unlike the HTML/Javascript/CSS soup we have now, this technology is designed from the ground up with security in mind.

Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

[breath] Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Okay, sorry. I'm done.

I just hope it works on mobile phones, it has to be a better solution than Sun's J2ME/JavaME mess.

I doubt it would help much. In my experience, the problems with J2ME have less to do with the language itself, and much more to do with the fact that every phone implements it just a little bit differently, which means that while an app should work on all phones, it'll crash for no apparent reason on some...There's also the problem that a lot of current phones are still not implementing MIDP2.0, and the minimum specs for both MIDP1.0 and MIDP2.0 are ridiculously low, given the current state of mobile technology.

Re:Translation... (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405621)

Hope that unlike the HTML/Javascript/CSS soup we have now, this technology is designed from the ground up with security in mind.
I find that most of the time, the security problems don't come from anything to do with HTML/CSS/Javascript, but have more to do with web programmers who don't understand the implications of putting a database driven application online for anybody in the world to use, when contrasted with an application that runs on your local computer. Take a simple application that stores a list of movies you own. If the user is running it locally on their own machine, there's much less to worry about in terms of security. The worst that could happen is the user may delete their own data. When you take this application and put in online, then there's a lot more stuff to worry about. Ensuring that a user's movie list remains private, Making sure there are no SQL injection attacks, and lots of other security related issues. Applications on the internet are less secure because there's a lot more to consider as far as security goes, and most people who program these web applications don't take the proper precautions.

Re:Translation... (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405443)

"The software relies on HTML,
Okay..

JavaScript,
'Kay...

Flash,
Ugh. Screw that noise.

Re:Translation... (1)

metalpet (557056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406003)

The use of Flash is optional.
You can write an Apollo app entirely in HTML/js/css.

The HTML renderer is WebKit.
I wonder if it supports the tag.
Now *that* would show Flash.

java? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405149)

Is this supposed to replace Java or similiar technologies?

Re:java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405221)

It's a thousand times better than Java. A million times, maybe.

Re:java? (3, Interesting)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405659)

From the description it seems like an alternative Mozilla's XUL [wikipedia.org] except that it ties in Flash and probably opens up a way for a BSA audit (see my other post [slashdot.org] ).

Wrapper (2, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405163)

So in other words it's a wrapper for existing technologies? It could be useful I suppose, but I'm thinking it's being hyped up already by Adobe. Abstraction of the underlying technolgies is good in some cases, but I can just see the horrid things people will do with this. Flash alone is bad enough as it is the way it's often implemented.

Could be very useful (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405237)

Anyone who has ever had to make a cross platform GUI application that works identically on Linux, Mac, and Windows, can tell you what a nightmare it is. Even if you use a good cross platform toolkit like Qt or wxWidgets, the apps are still not *identical*. And you have to build them and test them for every platform. And you have to account for the myrid of possible library combinations the users my have installed. Etc etc.

This is why so many companies are embracing web applications - but web applications can't do it all. Some things you just *need* to do client side. This Apollo thing could be a really great way to do it.

And what may make it even more killer, would be the fact that you could perhapse share GUI code between your web applications and your client applications - so a user could run his UI over the web *OR* locally. Excellent.

I will definitely be taking a close look at this.

Re:Wrapper (3, Insightful)

jlowe (907739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405249)

It is not exactly a "wrapper" for existing technologies. What the Apollo software will allow is people accustomed to writing rich web-based applications, using various technologies such as AJAX, flash, and plain ole HTML to port those applications to the desktop. No need for internet connectivity, no need to have a web server or internet browser. All the user will need is the runtime environment. I believe this will open up the applications that are available for users across windows, linux, and osx.

Re:Wrapper (3, Interesting)

namityadav (989838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405275)

I will take notice of this technology (or wrapping of technologies) when Adobe gets their own cash-cows (Read Photoshop et al) run on this platform. That is perhaps the only way Linux is going to get these Adobe applications running natively. Going by the number of people who use "Photoshop" as a reason not to switch to Linux, I think this will be huge.

Re:Wrapper (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405431)

People are just looking for an excuse not to use Linux, so they say Photoshop. Most home users don't need photoshop, probably haven't paid for it, and could do just as well with GIMP. For professional graphic artists, I guess can see a need for Photoshop, but those are the extreme minority of users. Even some professionals could probably get by with only using GIMP. I don't think that having Photoshop on Linux would do anything to increase the number of people using linux. People who say they need photoshop are just looking for something to complain about.

Re:Wrapper (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405743)

A lot of the time it is just the extream minority of users telling the rest of the people what to use. It looks different because it cascades into other areas and eventualy looks as if every one is doing it for different reasons.

People don't like change. I know women who stay in semi-abusive relationships because they are afraid of changing it (the most certaintly can). I remeber when working at resaurants as a kid, they would change the menue or recipies or even just how things were made (IE from scratch to seasining packet) every 3 or 4 years. Almost everyone in the kitchen fought it. After the change, they eventualy embrace it and fight against the next change using much of the same arguments as how good the current way is.

So yea, I would say your right. But bringing Photoshop over and having it look the same, work the same, or yahoo games look the same, or whatever, will remove some elements of this change. I think it would remove some of the barriers to change. I think more people qould be likely to change to linux.

A short note. A friend's computer blew the mainboard and she didn't have the money to replace it. I have/had (it is still mine but she has it now) a computer running mandrake that i wasn't using and it was about the same speed. I offered it to her until she got another one. Of course I have updated it to take advantage of new features and had to come over and fix things that didn't work that way she expected. But after about a year and a half, she got a new computer (actualy her dad bought it because he couldn't figure out how to make a few changes when he came over). Now, she tells me how much she hates using the other computer which is XP and faster. She cannot point out exactly what she doesn't like but tells me she ends up unpluging it and hooking the linux back up when she does what she cannot do in linux(some active X thing with school).

This isn't a testement on how much better linux is, It is a testement to how people dislike change. I belive the majority of people are this way.

Re:Wrapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405919)

People don't need an excuse not to use Linux. That's silly. That's like an excuse not to use Hyundai or something. But, you are close to one thing: More people using photoshop on Linux won't mean more people paying for Photoshop.

Re:Wrapper (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405949)

People who say they need photoshop are just looking for something to complain about.

I don't need Photoshop (although I use it near-professionally, editing tens of thousands of photos). The GIMP has 95% of the functionality I use.

However, I can't stand using the GIMP. It has near zero usability. It doesn't allow any efficient workflow. Focus is perpetually in the wrong window, important functionality isn't accessible with the keyboard, options reset to default near randomly, it (the windows version, at least) doesn't allow for drag-and-dropping files into it (I suspect/hope if I dropped them just so on a non-discoverable sub window they might open, but I haven't discovered which one this would be yet). Basically, where Photoshop allows me to use my time fully to edit photographs, with the GIMP the process takes three times as long (no exaggeration), and the overwhelming majority of that extra time is spent struggling with the user interface. And yes, I've put in two solid days trying to learn it and adjust my thinking to it. Photoshop is beautifully crafted right down to the tiniest little detail. All user interface conventions carry over beautifully (once you discover one ctrl+[tool key] combo, you won't have to think about what the same combo does with all the other tools). Focus is always right where you want it. Everything Just Works.

Until the GIMP begins to think about at least considering the possibility of paying attention at that level, using it is just not an option. The important thing with software is getting things done, and that's just not happening with the GIMP.

And so, Photoshop is one of two programs keeping me on Windows fulltime. (The other one is foobar2000.)

Re:Wrapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405445)

It looks more like a shell than a wrapper. A shell for the accepted web-based standards like the above named...very interesting

Like everything, there is the potential that this could be used for some pretty malicious stuff too, but there can also be a lot of useful applications made from this architecture. I am not a machine-level programmer, but this looks like something even I could write web-based programs with.

Re:Wrapper (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405485)

There is a video in the article showing you how ebay plans to use it...

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/videos/apollo_demo07/i ndex.html [adobe.com]

Looks very Apple OS X-esque with the interface., but to be fair they are running OS X in the video.

Sample Apps are not so much Aqua (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405799)

RSS reader for example, is very much Windows like. So much so that it's colors, text and skin are like I've never seen in OS X before.

Write once, spam everywhere? (2, Insightful)

KE1LR (206175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405205)

Hmm, why did I instantly think of cross-platform viruses/worms being early uses of this technology? Self-propagating flash-based avertising?

Re:Write once, spam everywhere? (2, Informative)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405277)

You're either an alarmist or a realist. Only time will tell.

That's one of the first reactions to any new technology on Slashdot it seems, however - "What evil can it be used for?"

Well, that and "Can it run Linux?"

Re:Write once, spam everywhere? (3, Funny)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405461)

"What evil can it be used for?"

"Can it run Linux?"
Isn't that a bit redundant?

Re:Write once, spam everywhere? (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405503)

From the /. description:

An Apollo application can connect automatically to online data or services when an Internet connection is detected, with new components automatically downloaded and integrated.
I'd be leaning on the side of a realist. Spam, popups, and malware are increasing at an alarming rate and now we're going to provide them an easy way to infest macs as well as windows PCs?
An equivalent product I can think of is ActiveX (of course, sans automatic update and persistent execution). Didn't we learn our lesson with that? How many porn dialers have you removed from unsavvy friends' computers?

Re:Write once, spam everywhere? (1)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405607)

Not too many, thankfully. Most of my friends and family have a healthy level of skepticism about the word "free" and are pretty intolerant of poor performance.

Typically what happened would be they'd install some "freeware" notice their computer running like hell, uninstall it, notice it still running like hell, then call me and ask me what to download to fix it.

I'm just lucky, I guess.

What? No Duct Tape? (5, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405207)

Surely an architecture like this can't function without duct tape.

Look, no tape (1)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405481)

Maybe there's some perl in there ;)

Developers developers etc. (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405211)

Why would we need another java or flash? TFA is very sparse on details what is so much better about apollo and why that can't be done with flash or java. But their little project is doomed since people will tend to refuse downloading/installing new software unless the added value is clear. So unless they can generate a massive switchover from a lot of websites/developers to apollo, this technology is dead as a duck in the water.

Re:Developers developers etc. (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405395)

Cmonnnnnn, you know you want to download bonzo buddy. I mean you ARE our 234628346245th visitor!

Re:Developers developers etc. (2, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405537)

Why would we need another java or flash?

To sell books and support to developers, of course. It doesn't even really matter how few people end up using it, it's just another way to segment the computer world even further. If they get a few big companies to use it, it will sort of build and build. There was a time when nobody was using Flash, remember? Now it's pretty much everywhere. Just because Macromedia kept plugging away bit by bit, slow and steady...

dead as a duck in the water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405563)

I am tired of re-reading that. What does it mean? I hope you didn't kill the duck.

Re:Developers developers etc. (4, Funny)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405927)

Why would we need another java or flash?

Because those products are ancient. They've been on the market for literally years, about a decade (!!!) each. How can you possibly make money selling a software brand that old? Adobe and Flash are the Chia Pet and Hula Hoop of the industry. Blah.

TFA is very sparse on details what is so much better about apollo and why that can't be done with flash or java.

You would clearly make a terrible manager.

Linux? (1)

rnmartinez (968929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405215)

Any Linux support on this one?

Re:Linux? (1)

jlowe (907739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405279)

The current alpha release is for windows and mac osx only. A linux runtime environment and SDK is supposed to be released for Linux at some point as well.

Re:Linux? (4, Informative)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405317)

"Apollo will work on Mac and Windows to begin with, Linux support to follow."

http://myblah-blah-tech.blogspot.com/2007/01/15-th ings-about-adobe-apollo.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Linux? (4, Funny)

thewils (463314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405337)

...and 64-bit support will be available shortly after Duke Nukem Forever is released.

Re:Linux? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405589)

Strangely enough...

skoal@morpheus:///usr/lib/firefox $ file firefox-bin
firefox-bin: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.6.0, dynamically linked (uses shared libs), stripped
and...

File name: /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer. so
Shockwave Flash 9.0 r31
...and I _still_ have to use a 32-bit IE for flash content on XP. OSS beat Microsoft in this case. I wouldn't be surprised if 64-bit support on linux by Adobe followed (by themself or a 3rd party dev).

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405331)

Probably not, as they don't want anything useful to be created from it.

/I really am bitter aren't I!?!

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405453)

64-bit will take forever ala flashplayer

Re:Linux? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405581)

you mean stolen don't you, not created? let's face facts: it was not created, it was copied. any oss project of any note also has been copied from a better closed source project.

and frankly, linux sucks.

No. They only target people who pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405519)

But you can still steal a copy from your favorite warez site and run it in some kind of emulator full of illegally copied Windows DLL (like Wine).

It's "cross platform" you insensitive clod. (2, Funny)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405651)

Oh, wait, it's not.

Nevermind.

Security? (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405235)

In a browser environment, the browser operates the app in a sandbox and controls access to the machine. Sure hope Adobe's runtime does the same (preferably with fewer security bugs).

must be what lightroom is written in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405245)

slooooooow UI update (try alt-tabbing to and fro), needless eye candy

Two good reasons to stay far away (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405265)

The first reason, and the less sure one and more petty one, is that I feel that Adobe ruins all software over time. If you think carefully about this, and if you have sufficient experience with Adobe software, you will agree with me. The only project Adobe has not completely destroyed is Photoshop, and that is only because they move most cautiously with that product. If they screwed up Photoshop they would cease to exist yesterday.

The other reason, however, and the one that I expect more support on, is the Apollo Runtime Licensing Agreement [adobe.com] . It contains such gems as "2.2 Distribution. You may not sublicense or distribute the Software.", "2.3 Backup Copy. You may make one backup copy of the Software, provided your backup copy is not installed or used on any computer. You may not transfer the rights to a backup copy unless you transfer all rights in the Software as provided under Section 4." And then there's "2.4 No Modification. You may not modify, adapt, translate or create derivative works based upon the Software.". Here's another fun one: "3.1 Prohibited Devices and Systems. You may not install or use the Software on any non-PC device or with any embedded or device version of any operating system. For the avoidance of doubt, and by example only, you may not install or use the Software on any (a) mobile devices, set top boxes (STB), handhelds, phones, web pads, tablets and Tablet PCs that are not running Windows XP or Vista Tablet PC Edition, game consoles, TVs, DVD players, media centers (excluding Windows XP Media Center Edition and its successors), electronic billboards or other digital signage, internet appliances or other internet-connected devices, PDAs, medical devices, ATMs, telematic devices, gaming machines, home automation systems, kiosks, remote control devices, or any other consumer electronics device, (b) operator-based mobile, cable, satellite, or television systems or (c) other closed system devices."

Now consider Apollo in the context of actually using it; the only place you can install it is on a web server. The license does not even permit installation on a web server appliance! I am not making this up; you are prohibited from installing it on "internet appliances or other internet-connected devices". You cannot install the software on a PDA used as a webserver. You cannot use the software as the interface for a set-top box. You cannot, in fact, use the software anywhere other than a webserver (but not an appliance!) or pretty much anything running Windows XP (tablet PCs and media centers NOT running Windows XP are explicitly prohibited.)

Avoid this software at all costs! It's just an attempt by Adobe to create lock-in. Use ANY alternative.

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (1, Flamebait)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405329)

All software from Adobe is an attempt to create lock-in. Anyone still shocked by that should be sent to the short bus.

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (5, Informative)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405405)

1. Definitions. "Software" means (a) (i) all of the contents of the files (provided either by electronic download, on physical media or any other method of distribution), disk(s), CD-ROM(s) or other media with which this agreement is provided; (ii) related explanatory written materials or files ("Documentation"); and (iii) fonts; and (b) upgrades, modified versions, updates, additions, and copies of the the foregoing, if any, licensed to you by Adobe (collectively, "Updates").

"Software" doesn't mean products that you've created using Apollo, this EULA is explicitly referring to the Windows runtime of Apollo.

This is the standard sort of CYA EULA put out by just about any company that releases a platform-specific runtime. Not saying that Adobe won't attempt to restrict creative use of the Apollo framework, just saying that this EULA does not mean what you think it means.

Caveat: IANAL.

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (0, Redundant)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405413)

The first reason, and the less sure one and more petty one, is that I feel that Adobe ruins all software over time. If you think carefully about this, and if you have sufficient experience with Adobe software, you will agree with me. The only project Adobe has not completely destroyed is Photoshop, and that is only because they move most cautiously with that product. If they screwed up Photoshop they would cease to exist yesterday.

Definitely agreed, "adobe pdf viewer" alone is enough to bring a state-of-the-art dual core computer to its knees in some cases. I recommend everyone use any alternative PDF viewer, which has faulty printing algorithms, slow printing algorithms, and seems to go out of its way to be a bloated, buggy piece of trash that will take all the CPUs time up in a heartbeat.

Photoshop, I would even say, seems to eat more and more resources for no conceivable reason with every new revision. Adobe is a bloat machine on par with AOL, and Microsoft for sure. All that being said, Apollo should be resisted at all costs. Adobe is as Linux unfriendly as almost anything else and every step ahead it takes in adoption is a step backwards in cross-platform compatibility.

I beg to differ (5, Insightful)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405719)

The first reason, and the less sure one and more petty one, is that I feel that Adobe ruins all software over time. If you think carefully about this, and if you have sufficient experience with Adobe software, you will agree with me. The only project Adobe has not completely destroyed is Photoshop, and that is only because they move most cautiously with that product. If they screwed up Photoshop they would cease to exist yesterday.
Actually, I quite like the Adobe Creative Suite. Did you ever try the real Acrobat, i.e. the full version, not the reader? It's an amazing tool: You can do reviews of texts among a group of people, including mere mortals. They will intuitively know how to use it, it does what they want, and it works. Illustrator is even cooler. You can actually open a pdf and do with it whatever you like. Move text, change single letters, add stuff, copy elements, whatever. InDesign is the perfect print preprocessing tool. (I'm not in the printing business, but I've written a few large documents in (pdf)LaTeX (with lots of (pdf) figures) and the odd fancy one-page flyer). I'm managing my webpage in GoLive, although I will readily admit that this particular piece of the suite has its quirks. I got hooked up to the Creative Suite when I worked at an institution that had a licence. A few months ago, I actually purchased it for myself. I don't know of any other software package for document-handling out there that's this well-documented, easy to use yet powerful.

Now you're going to say: "Of course, it's because Adobe is the inventor of the stupid portable document format, so no wonder they know all the tricks." You know what? You're right. In fact, Adobe even changes the definitions of pdf with every new release of the reader. I don't care. PDFs are the only format for documents besides Microsofts moronic .doc Word format that normal people know of. I can't send dvi's or postscripts to publishers, not even to non-techie friends. Adobe has not only developed a nice toolbox, the also deliver the userbase with it, right to my door. It might be that their software uses quite a lot of memory and processing power, but it also actually does what I want it to do. That's more to me. I've got the CPU cycles to burn.

The SDK EULA differs (1)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405425)

The Apollo SDK EULA [adobe.com] is considerably less draconian.

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405451)

OK, it's your opinion that Adobe ruins their products....I'd argue Photoshop and Illustrator, you'd argue Acrobat.

As far as the licensing agreement goes, it scared me as an Adobe user. But then I remembered that this Apollo release is an early developer's preview and an alpha. It is most definitely not finished, and nobody should be relying or distributing any content for public consumption yet. This agreement is probably just to protect them from liability for people who distribute applications, or alter the exe in some way to run on a device that Adobe hasn't released an official runtime for. Apollo is just the code name, so the Runtime Licensing Agreement will most likely be completely different - and if not, there's sure to be some fallout.

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405455)

This statement is simply there to force appliance manufacturers to license the player - kinda like the way Sony licensed it for the PSP. Or phone companies/operators license it for phones.

I've never read the Java license agreement, but I'm sure it has similar intent.

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405741)

> I've never read the Java license agreement, but I'm sure it has similar intent.

O RLY? [gnu.org]

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (1)

josath (460165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405777)

The Apollo runtime is created by the team formerly known as Macromedia. These guys focus really hard on reducing bloat as much as possible. For years they had a strict policy that the flash player download size must stay under 1MB. I just checked, and the current size of the firefox/windows plugin is 1,324KB. So they've gone over a bit, but you'll have to agree that it's still quite small for what it does.

As for the EULA, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It's almost boilerplate, in fact it looks like it's copy&pasted from the Flash Player EULA. And that hasn't stopped the flash player from getting on something like 98% of internet connected desktop pc's.

If Apollo can do all it promises, and do it well (which I have high hopes, as it's being made by the creators of Flash itself), it will blow all the competition out of the water. The two main competing products right now are mProjector and Zinc, but they all have limitations which come from not having as deep integration with the flash & web runtimes. They also have shakey crossplatform support, with some features only supported on some platforms, and even silly things like having to call different functions for the same feature when on different platforms. Zinc also has a bad reputation for introducing more bugs than they fix in every update.

One really cool thing is the bridge between the flash and web runtimes. You can do things like pass function pointers between them, and be able to call them, and still have it work. Or flash can subscribe to DOM events, and vice versa (javascript can subscribe to events broadcast from within the flash player).

Re:Two good reasons to stay far away (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405915)

The fact that it involves flash is by itself enough to chase me away. Flash may have a "small" runtime (I personally feel that's kind of big for a plugin, but anyway) but it's very very inefficient. Any kind of complex flash app can choke even a modern system. If plugins are required, I want a different solution, even if they are ubiquitous.

privacy concerns (1)

Zinho (17895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405283)

When they say

An Apollo application can connect automatically to online data or services when an Internet connection is detected
my spyware paranoia starts acting up. I really don't want my applications calling home and checking for updates without my explicit permission! I don't think I'd trust an auto-updater from Adobe much more than I'd trust Microsoft's "Windows Update" utility.

Re:privacy concerns (1)

larkost (79011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405945)

You've got the wrong idea. They are not talking about the Apollo runtime checking for updates, but rather the Application built with Apollo checking with the database behind the application for updates that happened since it last connected, and dumping down the changes made while the user was not net connected. If they can get this right and easy for developers to use then this will be huge.

And despite everyone hating flash (because of annoying flash animation) there are some really great solutions using Flex that really make Flash shine as a business development environment. Its only real competition there is WebObject's Direct-to-Java-Client technology (too bad no-one knows about either).

Re:privacy concerns (1)

josath (460165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405969)

They are not saying Adobe will call home, they are saying the people writing apps ontop of the framework can update stuff from the web, yet still run when not connected. The example I saw was an ebay app, that lets you manage the items you are selling. You don't need to be online all the time (like you do with the web version of ebay), but when you are, it updates the item's stats (price, # of bids, etc).

Imagine being able to read your gmail & compose messages without an internet connection, and when you connect it sends them all off? (Of course you can do this with a POP3 client, but perhaps some people prefer the gmail interface).

Cross-operating systems... (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405291)

Ah. Cross-operating systems.

Where's the OpenBSD version? Where's the DragonFlyBSD version?

Re:Cross-operating systems... (0, Flamebait)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405497)

Silly human - everyone knows no-one uses BSD for anything.

Re:Cross-operating systems... (1)

metalpet (557056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405729)

> Where's the OpenBSD version? Where's the DragonFlyBSD version?

Hiding somewhere inside your linux compatibility layer?

The real question is, where's the amigaOS version?
Darn Adobe for not caring about the coolest OS out there!

Re:Cross-operating systems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405745)

OS/2 version?

Nathan

Re:Cross-operating systems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405831)

Right next to Linux Photoshop-support...

Ria....gulp...a? (3, Interesting)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405299)

From the site:

Adobe said Apollo will make the development and use of rich Internet applications (RIAs) -- Web applications that have the interactivity of desktop apps -- quicker and easier. RIAs can offer more interactivity than is usually available via the Web. The San Jose, California company said upcoming versions of Apollo will run on Linux, integrate PDF, provide deeper Ajax support, extend support for mobile technologies, and enable media assets to be dragged and dropped directly into Apollo apps.

RIAs? So basically, you want me to not only have a wrapper agent on my system but also a network and system app layer that will have direct access to other remote like objects? Hmmm, gee, has anyone told Citrix this?

So this won't fly in an Corporate Enterprise environment and for home use...well, does anyone want mySpace resource hogging your whole system and not just your browser's use of your resources? Uhm, no thanks.

Re:Ria....gulp...a? (2, Insightful)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405555)

Would Citrix work for any user who downloads your applet off your website? No not really because with Citrix you'll need the client app, client access license (paid for annually) and a connection to a live presentation server.

For a custom solution Apollo would eliminate all the cost/infrastructure surrounding Citrix.

Launching without being online.. (1)

DelawareBoy (757170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405313)

"Once the Apollo apps are created, users can launch them from their desktops, without using their browser or connecting online."

Sounds a lot like Microsoft's ClickOnce technology: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/netframework/aa49 7348.aspx [microsoft.com]

And Microsoft "auto-updates" Windows machines (whether or not you want them to, it would seem) to include the latest frameworks and such. Regardless, how does what Adobe does improve on what Microsoft (and I'm sure some F/OSS alternatives) already do?

is free or is not free? that is a question (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405323)

"Adobe says that Apollo will be easier to use, easier to install, more leading edge, and a more reliable and consistent platform" for creating [Rich Internet Applications] than existing solutions, she [DiDio] said. She expected the Apollo runtime -- essentially, a player -- to be available for free in its final release.
...
A beta version of Apollo is expected this summer, with the first official release later this year. Prices were not announced.

I'm sure the player will be free, the SDK not so free.

I'm curious how much memory this thing's going to eat, and how annoying the upgrade prompts will be. If it integrates Acrobat, I wonder how many times I'll need to reinstall it each year in order to keep it from hanging.

Re:is free or is not free? that is a question (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405663)

Not to mention a forced reboot after EACH and EVERY patch!

RAWR >:0

Mozilla's XUL + JS (3, Insightful)

ccozan (754085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405325)

isn't the same thing? i remember playing with a thingie called XULPlayer, i loved it.

Modern day delphi (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405615)

XULRunner [mozilla.org] = HTML, js, canvas and SVG.

Java is under the GPL and other stuff like HaXe is also free.

Where does that leave this proprietary crud? I have a love/hate relationship with Adobe, mostly hate since they acquired Macromedia.

Let's See What Adobe Claims (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405465)

http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Apollo [adobe.com]

Apollo is targeted at allowing web developers to build and deploy web applications to the desktop.

Linux?
Apollo 1.0 will not be available on Linux. We plan to release Linux support shortly after the 1.0. release.

Which means, like maybe when a big-fish pays us for the port.

Then there's very-non-free License terms:
You may make a limited and reasonable number of copies of the SDK Components

The structure, organization and code of the SDK Components provided to you in compiled or object code form are the valuable trade secrets and confidential information of Adobe Systems Incorporated and its suppliers.

may be expressly permitted to decompile...it is essential to do so in order to achieve interoperability with another software program, and you have first requested that Adobe provide the information necessary to achieve such interoperability and Adobe has not made such information available. Adobe has the right to impose reasonable conditions and to request a reasonable fee before providing such information.

What about the malware factory you are creating?
You shall not use the SDK Components to create, develop or use any program, software or service that (a) contains any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines

That'll stop em.

Director replacement (1)

Aokubidaikon (942336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405475)

Sounds like a future replacement to Director and Shockwave to me.

Update time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405489)

I smell a Huge Microsoft (Cough cough) Update coming soon.

Where have I heard of this before? (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405511)

I wonder? Oh, yeah, ActiveX.

Re:Where have I heard of this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405645)

No.

Crap - another annoyance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405525)

So is this thing going to sit in my toolbar and annoy the hell out of me about how the update manager needs my attention every week? And if so, are they going to make it very painful to apply the updates by making you apply each minor update in order while rebooting between each update? I booted up a computer that had not been on in a while and the update manager informed me that Acrobat Reader 7.0.1 needed to be updated to 7.0.5 (or something like that). That was a major pain in the ass. The next time I was in that situation, I completely uninstalled the reader and downloaded the latest.

Erk? (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405533)

What's the point? We have Mozilla's GRE (plus XUL), and Apache's whatever-they-call-it?

The 1990's called... (5, Funny)

mustafap (452510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405547)

they want java back.

Java failed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405899)

...on the desktop. It's too big to install and it never had a decent GUI.

Flash on the other hand... well it sucks but it's in wide spread use and developers have been pushing it towards a full fledged GUI environment for a while. I believe the main reasons are: 1) It has a nice artist friendly development environment 2) Scripting languages blow Java away in terms of usability 3) Small, simple install.

I never got Java, it's hard to use like C/C++ but runs slower than those and it's a pain in the ass to tie to native functions (ie. JNI is too much work). A nice scripting language provides much better ease of use. Languages like Lua are simple as anything to hook into existing C API's for performance. Javascript isn't as good as Lua but it's better than Java for the common "HTML developer".

Since when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405575)

did "two systems out of twenty" become "cross-operating system"? And isn't that just what we needed, is one more proprietary prison for our media courtesy of Adobe?

That's Funny (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405597)

They're running Linux. Netcraft confirms it: http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/?host=labs.ado be.com [netcraft.com]

Clearly the best tool for the job.

Now, when will the PHB's at Adobe get the message that the only best tools run on Linux natively?

Re:That's Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405731)

The site also runs PHP rather than their own ColdFusion. The Labs site was actually started by Macromedia before the Adobe purchase, and ColdFusion was a Macromedia product. Coldfusion does run on Linux, though.

Talk about reinventing the wheel.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405641)

From the website:

Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime being developed by Adobe that allows developers to leverage their existing web development skills (Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, Ajax) to build and deploy rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the desktop.


Why? Isin't this what the internet is already? The internet is fundamentally cross platform and I see no need to run my web applications directly in an adobe sandbox (we already have flash). Sites that want to be run 'on the desktop' can be configured to a local network address or localhost in a web browser. I am not sure I like the direction adobe is taking macromedia with this move, it seems microsoftish. No innovation, more redoing whats been already been done.

Java webstart bis? (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405695)

In which way is this different from Java webstart? AFAIK that does about everything described above? Maybe it has more shiny graphics? PSSST, Adobe, hear this.... Make some software which makes it easier to develop forms on websites. Make it connect to and auto-update from your servers. If "Country" is needed, you guys supply a current list of all countries in the world. If the end user selects "Germany", you change the "Postcode" field automatically so it will only accept "D-xxxx" where x is a digit. Get the picture? A nice graphical UI on the develloper side where you can say "Date of Birth" has to be a valid date between 18 and 120 years ago. (You know, instead of a whole bunch of javascript with bugs in.) Add the posibility to map the fields graphically to a column in a database. Then release a free client with the next release of Flash, where the user can store his personal data, password protected, to autofill the said forms. Instant $$$$! Promess!

It's called FLEX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405923)

You might want to look into it.

Guess what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405759)

You all are a bunch of fucking whiners; that's all you all do. This site has such a pathetic community.

cross-operating system runtime (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405791)

Available for XP only.Irony.

No database drivers! From the FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405891)

Apollo 1.0 will not have built in support for communicating directly with databases. However, it will be possible to write Database drivers in ActionScript (leveraging binary or XML sockets), which would allow Apollo applications to communicate directly with a database (both local and remote).

Will Apollo include an embedded database that applications can access?

This is a feature that we are still considering for the 1.0 release.

Sounds kinda useless there ... Can we honestly take anything seriously that doesn't have database drivers?

Sources? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405947)

last I heard, the HTML engine behind Apollo is supposed to be a modified WebKit.

So how does Adobe comply with the LGPL?
Where are the sources?
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