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Adobe To Port AIR To Linux

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the breath-of-fresh dept.

Programming 218

unityofsaints writes "Up until now, Adobe hasn't done much in terms of porting its applications to Linux, as its only product to have recieved any kind of Linux implementation is Flash. This may be about to change because the company has announced a Linux port of AIR, its web application development software. No definite release date is mentioned in the interview with Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, just a vague 'later this year.'"

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People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (5, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590056)

Port the Adobe suites to linux.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (4, Interesting)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590114)

Port the Adobe suites to linux.
The funny thing is that at this point it would probably take about an afternoon for Adobe to port Photoshop to Linux.

Yes, I'm exaggerating... but only slightly. Currently Photoshop runs essentially flawlessly using up-to-date versions of Wine. Remember that Wine is intended both as a run-time compatibility layer, but also as a set of Windows API libraries that you can compile your Windows code against in order to make a native Linux application. (Well, some people might debate that the resulting app is actually native since it relies on Wine libraries being installed, rather than the more widespread Linux toolkits like GTK or QT.)

Given that the Wine project has already done 99% of the work, I can't imagine it would be very difficult to port Photoshop to Linux... The same is probably true for the rest of the suite. So, one wonders why they haven't bothered yet.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (3, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590184)

No thanks.

Google took that approach with picassa and the results are horrible.

Native GTK please. If gimp, pidgin, sylpheed, gvim, etc. can be cross platform, then certainly it wouldn't be too large a task for a company the size of Adobe to do the port the other way around.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (5, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590252)

Yeah, it couldn't possibly be a massive undertaking to port almost 15 years of built up code, working across an entire suite of interconnected programs, to a completely differnt set of APIs. They should get on that right away!

Please note, of the programs you listed, combined they are a drop in the bucket in terms of code base and complexity compared to the full Adobe Suite. You may not agree with commercial software and that is fine, but don't try and pass it off as less than it is.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

bucky0 (229117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590478)

I don't think you got what the parent was trying to say. Not only does wine allow you to "emulate" (wine insists it's not an emulator) the windows system calls and run binaries compiled against native windows libraries, they strive for source-level compatibility with the windows libraries. They could build against wine by just changing their buildchain to point to the wine headers and libraries.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590624)

That is the position of the GP. The parent post directly above me said

No thanks.

Google took that approach with picassa and the results are horrible.

Native GTK please. If gimp, pidgin, sylpheed, gvim, etc. can be cross platform, then certainly it wouldn't be too large a task for a company the size of Adobe to do the port the other way around.

Which is what I was replying to.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (4, Informative)

salimma (115327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590686)

The actual situation is most likely in-between the two extremes posited by parent and GP. Adobe has its own abstraction layer that they program against, so once they have a way to target GTK or Qt with that backend, compiling the applications should be quite straightforward.

(This layer is likely to be rather complex -- witness how long it took them to bring Photoshop to MacIntel)

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590898)

Yeah, it couldn't possibly be a massive undertaking to port almost 15 years of built up code, working across an entire suite of interconnected programs,

Which are currently available for Windows and OSX (which is very close to BSD and Linux). I see no great deal on porting OSX Adobe products to Linux. It is only a matter of porting Carbon code to GTK.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (2, Informative)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591032)

Why GTK? Adobe already uses QT for some of it's applications so the expertise to use that is there

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590964)

Adobe had a unix version of Photoshop and Illustrator(I believe), many moons ago. Now they have a version that runs very well on OSX, another unix variant. It's not infeasible for them to create a native linux version of their product line.

The problem they have is support.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (2, Informative)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590272)

the newest beta of Picasa for linux is much, much better. Importing from my camera via USB now works, uploading to web albums work now, the performance is almost as good as the "native" windows client, except for a delay in the startup. It takes a few seconds longer to start on my computer. the file management stuff is still a little weird.. Some places it opens up in its own "wine" file browser, others use Ubuntu. In fact, my only real complaint right now is the newest picasa beta for linux still doesn't work with videos. I use my camera alot to shoot short videos in AVI. The windows client has worked with them for quite some time.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (3, Insightful)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590690)

No GTK apps are what I would consider to be truly cross platform. GIMP on Windows looks like GIMP on linux with a theme applied. No GTK apps integrate properly with the native environments in Windows or OS X. Qt at least makes a decent attempt. So a port to GTK would make Photoshop only gnome-native anyway. Better to just use Wine, make the interface exactly familiar to all users of photoshop, and save thousands of man months of effort.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590736)

Or Qt.... whatever is easier.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590466)

It is not technical it is financial. There have been versions of Photoshop that runs on Unix Systems, I rember seeing an add for Photoshop for Sun Work Stations. It is not a situation that they can't make a Linux Version it is more of an issue they Won't make a Linux version unless it takes 0 effort on their part. Linux is strong in the Server Market but in the Desktop Market and Workstation market they are not really there where at best guesses Linux is less then 1% of the market share. Then I would suspect about 25% of them are Open Source Zealots who will not use a BSA Backed Closed Source Tool on Linux no matter how good it was. Then you have by my estimate 50% people who are just to cheap/unable to afford to shell out a few hundred - a few thousand bucks for a software package. Now we are left 25% Now that leave the people who want or need photoshop so lets say less then 1/2 of the 25% that leave 12% Now we figure a 1/3 will pirate a copy so that is 8% of Linux Users Left... Then We can assume from that 8% left 3/4 of them would use an other platform to use photoshop anyways so that 2% out of 1% Market Share that would be new Customers so that means 0.02% change in new customers. Now if 1/4 of the World Population Uses Computers that can meet the system requirements. estimating 6 billion in population that will be 300,000 copies sold over a 4 year life cycle meaning an average of 75,000 copies sold a year. Creating 37.5 Million Gross estimating 25% margins on the copy making 9.4 Million Net. Which may be a lot for You or Me. For for a Company Adobe's size that may not be the best bang for the effort. Because effort towards Mac or Windows user for the same cost could Lead to much higher Sales perhaps 10 or 100 fold. Efforts in making Adobe Wine Compatible or close to it may yeald better results for less effort.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590622)

You forget the people that would just switch to Linux if a Photoshop native port would be available.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590694)

Why would Adobe care? People switching from platform a to platform b will just cause them to loose money on their other platforms and make it up on their Linux platforms. These people are Net 0, as well if they did switch to Linux and depending on what they did with graphics they may find that The GIMP does the work for them that they want to do (Yes there is GIMP for windows too, but it is not defaultly installed). So they could loose costomers in the process. If people feel locked into their product the last thing they want to do is introduce them to change where a competing product is prevlant.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

zhiwenchong (155773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590832)

I'm not sure that's true of Photoshop's target demographic.

Many people I know who use Photoshop (i.e. people who actually pay for licenses) often also use other pre-press software that aren't available on Linux. One would have to port the other tools too, and deal with lack of availability of drivers for special equipment. Photoshop is only one tool in the pre-press production chain. Hence the inertia.

I'm a Debian user myself, but I personally agree with the GP that the target market is just too small.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (3, Interesting)

Jhan (542783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590764)

Currently Photoshop runs essentially flawlessly using up-to-date versions of Wine

Yes, but who wants Wine if you can get a native app? Photoshop was designed to be portable, and was released for SunOS and SGI IRIX [wikipedia.org] .

Amusing side note: In the nineties several popular programs were ported to Unix for reasons I didn't understand then, and don't now. In addition to Photoshop also MS Internet Explorer [wikipedia.org] and Outlook. Imagine my disbelief and horror when I found that nasty couple installed on a production HPUX server...

I wouldn't think Adobe has just thrown away the source portability. After all portable code is expensive to create in the first place, but once you're there it's pretty cheap to maintain portability. If this is the case then they have probably had a Linux version of Photoshop, and perhaps other products for years, they just don't feel like selling them at this point.

The point I want to make is that yes, indeed, Adobe could probably release Photoshop for Linux tomorrow. Wine wouldn't be necessary. It would be the real deal, a fully native Unix/X11 application. Unless of course Adobe hasn't done criminally stupid things to the code base in the past decade...

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591030)

Effort to port has little to do with it.

Even if it did take, literally, only an afternoon to port, the question is how many more sales would Adobe get from such a port? (i.e., sales that didn't cannibalize from existing Windows or Mac sales)

And how much would it cost to support such a port? The huge number of distributions means that probably only a well-restricted subset would be "officially" supported.

(Disclaimer: I work for Adobe, but not on Photoshop)

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590152)

If you can't develop your website with a syntax highlighted text editor, just keep using FrontPage or iWeb for those who need to have someone shake it for you after you take a leak.

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590218)

Web Application != website

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (2, Insightful)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590796)

Web != Web Application

Re:People use Photoshop to Dev the Web too Adobe! (2, Funny)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591026)

And....nobody disagreed that point. While I am at it Pencil != stapler.

That's nice, but how about FreeBSD? (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590362)

Nice. But how about getting Flash to work natively on FreeBSD also? Petition here [petitiononline.com] . There are over 5,600 signatures. FreeBSD currently uses the linux emulation layer to run flash, but it's not perfect.

Flash Too (1)

jetpack (22743) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590948)

A port of Flash for PPC Linux would be nice, too.

Bzzt (5, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590058)

... a Linux port of AIR, its web application development software.
AIR is the runtime, it is not web application development software. Flexbuilder build on top of Eclipse is the development software.
 

Re:Bzzt (0, Flamebait)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590078)

AIR is the runtime, it is not web application development software.
Just what I wanted another runtime, oh and one from Adobe? Awesome. /sarcasm

Re:Bzzt (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590098)

I'm not knowledgeable about it, but Flexbuilder lets you make applications for AIR? I thought Flex and AIR were mostly unrelated... I figured to develop AIR apps you just developed a conforming web app (using a few special action script APIs for integration) and ran it through some compiler tool. Or something along those ideas. Seeing in the showcases how many existing web apps were ported in a few days to AIR, what exactly is Flexbuilder's role in that?

Thats an honest question btw, not a sarcastic jab (since its Slashdot, I have to precise that I guess).

Re:Bzzt (5, Interesting)

Samus (1382) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590242)

The AIR stack is essentially composed of two parallel environments. One being an embedded web browser (webkit) with javascript (ECMAScript3) bindings into the runtime. The other side is an embedded Flash 9 player with access to all that Flash offers as well as the additional AIR libraries such as sqlite. I believe FlexBuilder allows you to develop either one though I have only used it to do a Flash based AIR app.

Re:Bzzt (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590418)

That makes more sense then. All of the AIR examples I had looked were ExtJS applications (I'm a big ExtJS fan), thus my (wrong) impression.

Re:Bzzt (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590320)

Flex Builder 3 has an option now to build an AIR application.

Re:Bzzt (2, Informative)

LostMyPassword (1026642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590704)

The newest release of FlexBuilder (3.0) let's you compile the same codebase down to a .swf or AIR application. This was not the case with version 2 I believe. Adobe is also working on an offering called "Thermo," that will let graphic teams develop skins and UI's in CS3 that will compile down to a Flex application that can be imported into FlexBuilder. I pray that this happens sooner rather than later, because I have had it with our creative team doing all their work in CS3, taking screenshots, and having us implement those in Flex. There are a lot of ideas that graphic designers have that simply amount to putting a square peg in a round hole when slightly different designs or approaches that are native to Flex would take way less man hours.

Re:Bzzt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590338)

I thought it was really something like that. AIR is intended to compete with Silverlight (really the other way around, since AIR came out of Flash if I'm not mistaken). With Moonlight on Linux, Adobe wants to make sure they also support Linux so that they can tick off all the same platforms Microsoft can.

This has nothing to do with actually supporting Linux (Linux has always been a third-class citizen for Flash, getting Flash updates a good year or so after Windows and Mac does), solely with competing with Microsoft and Silverlight.

(Although on the plus side, at least they're being honest about it instead of using Novell as their proxy.)

PDF? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590070)

Ok they didn't port their own PDF tools, but they made the specs available so others could.

Re:PDF? (4, Informative)

lexarius (560925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590136)

Acrobat Reader works fine on our Linux and Solaris machines.

Re:PDF? (5, Funny)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590300)

Really? My copy works just as crappy as it does on Windows.

Re:PDF? (0, Offtopic)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590382)

Acrobat Reader works fine on our Linux and Solaris machines.


Thats funny, cause it doesn't work for shyt under Windows.

I've spent a good deal of effort trying to figure out a way to print PDFs from my .NET Windows Forms app. So far I've found 2 free (as in beer) alternatives. Acrobat Reader (post-v8.0) leaves an empty Reader window up on the desktop and doesn't play well with batches of print jobs. And Ghostscript requires an install and then needs directories manually added to the user's PATH.

I'm mostly ranting off topic here cause I'd love it if anyone could tell me a good way to silently send PDFs to the printer on a windows machine.

Re:PDF? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590438)

You can try hiding the Window with P/Invoke and then killing the process (or being nice and using WM_CLOSE) once the printing is complete. Just be sure to check to see if it's already open and the user is using it before running it so you know not to hide or kill it.

Re:PDF? (2, Informative)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590358)

Actually, this is partially incorrect. While Adobe did not initially help out in the linux world, they have since ported the Acrobat Reader, and it works fairly well. In Ubuntu it's available from the commercial-unsupported repository, the package name is acroread. I had to find it because my school DRMs the PDF Textbooks with phone-home Ecmascript, and it only works in the Adobe pdf reader. (not document viewer or evince.)

-Ellie

I've never taken Adobe AIR seriously. (0)

Zarf (5735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590076)

I've never taken AIR seriously because of the lack of support for developers on Linux. Now, if they were going to enable running and developing AIR based applications on Linux then I might actually bother to take a look.

Re:I've never taken Adobe AIR seriously. (1)

shar303 (944843) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590676)

I would imagine that a lot of people would share your new found interest in air. This is great news indeed.

As the first poster says, it would be nice to see photoshop and flash (ide) on linux - any news on that?

I think we deserve an answer (3, Interesting)

feld (980784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590086)

where's our photoshop?

Re:I think we deserve an answer (4, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590232)

It will be released as soon as they release 64-bit flash for Linux.

Re:I think we deserve an answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22591278)

oh hell yeah, bring it! Kubuntu Hardy Heron + AMD64 + Firefox3 + 64bit flash = some crappy cell phone fan footage posted on youtube linked by blabbermouth. Now that makes for a good evening.

Yes, I can get by with 32 bit firefox and flash 9....

Re:I think we deserve an answer (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590234)

Re:I think we deserve an answer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590410)

Re:I think we deserve an answer (2, Insightful)

normal_guy (676813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590644)

It'll be released just as soon as desktop Linux surpasses 1% market share.

Re:I think we deserve an answer (0)

Rhabarber (1020311) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590730)

I hate Photoshop, always did.

I happily use

    - Gimp for casual image editing
    - ImageJ for stacks and 3d reconstructions
    - ImageMagick for most batch processing
    - Krita for CMYK and +8bits

Re:I think we deserve an answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590748)

I think Adobe is pretty clear on this point: Linux is for developers who can't stand the sight of sunlight, and real people use Mac/Windows.

So while many see this as "big company ports something else to Linux, huzzah!", I see a punch in the crotch: just another attempt to keep Linux out of the mainstream. Hi Linux, we see you over there; no, we're still not going to port our good apps to you. Go back in the corner where you belong.

Re:I think we deserve an answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22591106)

it's with your copy of duke nukem forever

Adobe: FIX FLASH UPLOADS! (3, Interesting)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590110)

Adobe,
Please fix Flash uploads in Flash for *nix.

No such thing as a closed source port to open OS (0)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590116)

It's virtually impossible to port a closed-source app to "Linux" or any other reasonably successful open source OS. "Linux" is not "Linux i386" it's not even "Linux x86" or "32-bit Linux and 64-bit Linux". Nor is it "Linux on Intel and Linux on PowerPC". Nor is it "Linux from Linus's tree", nor "Linux with Debian patches", nor "The custom version of Linux that autobuilds on my machine every time there's a new release of a kernel or a patch". Nor is it "Linux with glibc x.x".

Open source OS's require open source software just as much as open source drivers. If companies aren't willing to provide that, then we should make our own. Preferably following a lot more standards than AIR.

Re:No such thing as a closed source port to open O (3, Informative)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590256)

You say that, and yet there are plenty of proprietary binaries available for Linux. Many distros have huge repositories of "non-free" stuff. Plenty of proprietary vendors make Linux binaries available (e.g. nVidia binary driver, Opera [opera.com] , Skype [skype.com] , etc. See also this list [wikipedia.org] , much of which is distributed in binary-only form).

Yes, the vendor will probably only pre-compile binaries for the most popular architectures (32-bit x86 being the main one), and only for the most popular packaging formats (deb and rpm). But really that covers the vast majority of Linux users anyway.

Yes, it's a pain for the vendor to compile/package 2-8 versions instead of just one, but it's hardly the insurmountable obstacle you make it out to be.

Re:No such thing as a closed source port to open O (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590316)

there are plenty of proprietary binaries available for Linux


Congratulations on completely missing my point.

But really that covers the vast majority of Linux users anyway.


Oh, I see. It's not that you missed the point. It's just that you don't care about the rest of the community that's worked their butts off for years to give you freedom. As long as YOU have an executable, it's OK. Great solidarity there.

Re:No such thing as a closed source port to open O (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590474)

The community is not a monolith.

Some of them work at Oracle or EA or Blizzard.

Where have you been? This extreme political purity went out of fashion at least 10 years ago.

That said. The Sauron gets to benefit from Free Software the same as
anyone else. That's a part of the "free as in liberty" aspect of it.

Re:No such thing as a closed source port to open O (1)

closetpsycho (1175221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590490)

Well, the vast majority of the people who can't use installs in the form of .rpm and .deb would tend to be the very same people who would rather compile everything from source no matter what. And while being able to see the source is always a good thing, there is still a place for proprietary software. As long as there is proprietary software, there will always be a few people who can't use it, but that's just the way of the world. And on a side note, snide comments about solidarity is a great way to destroy it.

Re:No such thing as a closed source port to open O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590350)

So when did Oracle become open source?

Re:No such thing as a closed source port to open O (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590480)

No, it's "Linux with statically compiled binary blobs", architecture notwithstanding.

I agree that having the code makes stuff easier, but there is no reason why companies wouldn't be able to run closed source software on an open source OS. And even if you don't want to compile _everything_ into a single binary, there's always the option of LD_PRELOAD together with your own shared libraries.

Capitalism or Freedom. At least we're in the position to choose.

Re:No such thing as a closed source port to open O (3, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590570)

That is why they established the Linux Standard Base (LSB) [linux-foundation.org] and freedesktop.org [freedesktop.org] . You say "My software runs on LSB 3.2 IA32 and IA64" and provide a .deb and .rpm for each and be done with it. It's no more difficult that supporting Win32 and Win64 and providing a .exe and .msi for each.

Not quite (5, Informative)

krog (25663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590120)

Up until now, Adobe hasn't done much in terms of porting its applications to Linux, as its only product to have recieved any kind of Linux implementation is Flash.

Adobe FrameMaker has run on more than 10 Unixes over the years, including Linux. Consider this nit picked!

Re:Not quite (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590208)

But did they port it, or was that one of the apps that was designed that way, and was equally unreviewed by Adobe in terms of moving away from Unix, as others were in terms of porting TO unix?

Re:Not quite (1)

noldrin (635339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590276)

And Acrobat Reader is also on Linux

Re:Not quite (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591008)

Adobe FrameMaker has run on more than 10 Unixes over the years, including Linux. Consider this nit picked!

Actually Frame Technology Corp. wrote Framemaker and ported it to many Linux/UNIX based OS's, Windows, and Mac OS. Once Adobe acquired Frame Technology Corp. they slowly dropped all the other versions until 2004 when they finally dropped Mac OS (who at the time comprised about half of their user base), making this product a Windows only. They basically put the whole program in the deep freeze with minimal updates to keep things working and no new features while they tried to migrate users to their home grown InDesign which was written originally for making magazines and was very unsuited to technical books (which was Framemaker's main target). In fact, they only recently started up development again (outsourced to India) when MadCap Software announced a new program called Blaze, which was billed as having every feature of Framemaker, but implemented from scratch with many new features and an order of magnitude better performance. As of 2007, they claimed to have no plans to support anything but Windows going forward.

Re:Not quite (1)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591292)

Bwha? Yeah, "over the years" is the key phrase here. They experimented wide and far during the dot-com bubble, as everyone else did, but the only versions that count (i.e., anything past 2004) are essentially Windows-only. Luckily, FrameMaker is being dustbinned by the switch to XML documentation. Their version 8 is a pathetic attempt to remain competitive. RIP, I say. I really like Frame, but Adobe's massive lack of support for it has led it into a dead end.

While they're at it... (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590144)

I realize that Adobe's code can be... err, messy, to be charitable about it (at least judging by Acrobat Reader and FrameMaker).

Question is this: is this a step towards (hopefully) Adobe going over their existing products and re-writing them so as to make porting easier? I know they're working with Codeweavers to get P-shop to work on a Linux platform (via WINE), but it would be cool to see some native implementations instead.

I figure once/if Adobe can get things like P-Shop and Illustrator to work on a Linux platform, other graphics companies would have that final impetus to follow. While the higher-end CG vendors usually have Linux ports or Linux-native apps (Shake, Maya, etc), the mid-range, amateur, and pro-am ones usually don't (Modo, Silo, DAZ|Studio and Poser, Vue d' Esprit, Carrara, Bryce, etc).

It'd be hella nice to see the CG/gfx companies take Linux seriously across the board, and not just as niche/custom items, or as "hey, that OS makes a great render farm node!" type of platform.

/P

Re:While they're at it... (1)

dmsuperman (1033704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590574)

I doubt it, as a Linux port was planned from the beginning for AIR (even when it was still called Apollo), so they were able to make the code easy to port over. For the other such applications, they'd have to completely rewrite it, where as with AIR they just make the changes they've been setting up for all along.

Flash for i386 Linux (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590146)

Flash for "Linux" isn't really flash for Linux, its still built for i386 architecture so it only works on i386 architecture, not on any of the other hardware Linux runs on...

Going out on a limb... (1, Informative)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590148)

Just from a quick perusal of The Google, I'm getting a distinct feeling AIR is something of a glorified web browser. So you can run offline and on your desktop? Hmmmm... Does anyone remember Push technology? [wikipedia.org] Or Active Channels? [microsoft.com] It seems a little like that, but heavy on the Web 2.0 sauce. But like I said, this was just from a quick perusal of Google results. If anyone would care to point out what makes AIR, more than a glorfied Browser+AJAX, I'm all ears...

Re:Going out on a limb... (2, Informative)

Samus (1382) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590448)

Not so much a browser but a runtime that allows you to create desktop applications using browser technologies. You wouldn't open the runtime and browse from site to site. An individual site might provide a desktop application that interacts with their own back end but also allows you to access your desktop resources better. Yes you do have to trust the publisher a lot more than when you surf to that same publisher's web site. You are after all downloading an actual program. As for the usefulness of it? I'm not totally sold yet.

Re:Going out on a limb... (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590522)

Yeah I kinda got that, the browser techs on the desktop thing. I guess I never thought of the benefits of being able to run those techs with elevated privileges. I guess it could lower the bar for desktop app publishing. But whether that's a good thing or not...

Re:Going out on a limb... (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591170)

As for the usefulness of it? I'm not totally sold yet.
I have just about zero interest in it. For one thing, now there would be one more thing (AIR runtime) to make sure that my clients would have installed and up to date on their systems.

One of the reasons the web is so useful is that it is a very well understood, open specification. Anyone from major corporations to my grandmother can (relatively) easily create content than then becomes viewable to anyone with an internet connection and a web-browser (doesn't even have to be a fancy or up-to-date one). So, why on earth would I (as a developer) want to become locked into a single companies implementation of a web browser...that only adds off-line viewing (anything else in there worth mentioning)? Granted off-line viewing is cool and a step in the right direction. But being cross-platform (to an extent) means nothing if the standards aren't open.

I'll be impressed when Adobe also ports AIR to:
  • My phone...every phone...every make...every model
  • My computer...any platform...every platform
  • My toaster, you know the one that runs linux (wait, they already did)
  • Anything else that already has a web-browser
I'm not even a die-hard FOSS person, but I can easily see how this is several steps backwards...one company trying to "control" the web with their own version of it, and then being responsible or controlling the platforms that its available for.

Re:Going out on a limb... (1)

PackMan97 (244419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590700)

I would say the biggest difference is that AIR apps are not web pages. They are applications that have to be installed and have full desktop rights. So, anyone that can do html+ajax or flash can now create desktop apps.

I imagine the full desktop rights is the big kicker as they can interact with and affect the computer. Breaking out of the sandbox if you will. I would compare it to desktop java vs applets. The difference in capabilities is amazing when you are no longer restricted to the browser sandbox.

Re:Going out on a limb... (1)

shar303 (944843) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590780)

it should bring together the huge power of flex with the multimedia and animation capabilities of flash (about to be enhanced by the addition of hidef video.) if its automatically downloaded with the flash plugin then a lot of people will have access to it straight away. trust me, air has more to offer than active channels, silverlight etc.

No thanks. (3, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590150)

I've not given Adobe a single dime in a decade*. First it was their overpricing themselves out of all but the students-and-pirates market. Then it was about using their corporate power to influence our government against the valid rights of individuals [freesklyarov.org] who were speaking out about data security and the freedom to read.

I'm sure some cash went from Canon or Apple to these jackasses, when I bought hardware that bundled their teaser products (which I don't use). I regret even that level of support for Adobe.

Re:No thanks. (1)

diegocn (1109503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590212)

You don't have to. Both Adobe Air runtime and SDK are going to be free [adobe.com] (as in beer).

This is not surprisng... (2, Informative)

KenCrandall (13860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590162)

...as Adobe has said all along that for Apollo/AIR 1.0 it would be Mac/Windows only. Once 1.0 was reached, then Linux would follow. I'm glad that Adobe's CTO came out and made the announcement, though. This continues to lead credence to Linux being a top-tier platform from desktop/productivity applications.

I think the REAL interesting part, though, is how AIR relates to an earlier statement made by Adobe's CEO. He mentioned that in the future, all Adobe apps would be on the web. I think that statement was a bit misleading, either through a mis-understanding or mis-interpretation. I think that Adobe is banking the future on AIR as the runtime for all of it's applications (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) This gives them the design capabilities of Flash and web graphics, and a common runtime on which to deploy them. Then, platform independence becomes a reality, as whatever platform has AIR, can run Adobe applications.

Re:This is not surprisng... (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590824)

Top-tier? Their linux flash releases are buggy and always behind those of windows and osx. Even simple changes that should take a day to roll out wind up taking months. And air from the beginning was pushed back because they couldn't be bothered to step up the work on the flash player for linux. As much as I'm happy to see any support of linux, adobe's doing it as an afterthought at best.

Re:This is not surprisng... (1)

KenCrandall (13860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590916)

I actually edited my original wording of "2nd tier" to "top tier" to not seem too much like a Linux desktop basher. I think the very fact that Adobe targets Linux at all is a testament to its emergence as a viable desktop platform. However, even after several "This is the year of the Linux desktop!" years, Windows and Mac still dominate the desktop.

I cannot fault Adobe for doing Linux 2nd, but just for the reasons you state, I'm happy they do it at all.

But after all of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590164)

Will it actually run on Linux?

If you want to give file system accesss to Air... (1)

notaprguy (906128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590174)

more power to you. Is it just me or is AIR basically just another browser with full file system access? Seems like a pretty big security risk to me.

Re:If you want to give file system accesss to Air. (2, Informative)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590294)

AIR is a desktop runtime. When you install an AIR based app, it actually installs an application on your desktop. It just gives the developer the ability to write a desktop app using web technologies (i.e. Flex, HTML & Ajax, Javascript, Flash) rather than using C, C++, etc..

Re:If you want to give file system accesss to Air. (1)

notaprguy (906128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590608)

Yes, AIR is a desktop runtime...for a Web-based application. There's a lot of risk in letting Web apps loose outside of the browser security sandbox. It seems like a better choice would be to use Flash or Silverlight which run withint the browser security sandbox or run a "real" desktop application using .NET/WPF which uses the .NET security model.

Re:If you want to give file system accesss to Air. (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591040)

AIR apps are desktop apps, period. They can access all your files, listen on sockets, draw non-rectangular windows, etc. As long as you treat them like desktop apps (by thinking before installing), there's no problem.

"i" before "e" except after "c" (0)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590206)

recieved ???

Re:"i" before "e" except after "c" (2, Funny)

ledow (319597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590240)

their

More Info... (4, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590262)

I guess Slashdot's trend toward suckage continues. Yes, I love that Slashdot is becoming a political site more than a tech site and the bias' run deep.

So Slashdot rejected the story submission about Adobe's release of AIR, and announcement that they were open-sourcing the Flex 3 SDK. And had released a new open-source project site for Flex, Tamarin and a few other products. Nope...that stuff isn't noteworthy to Slashdot's editors.

Bah!...rest assured if there is any political BS topic it'll be posted (even if it's been posted 2-3 times and is a year old).

So yes...

> Adobe AIR launches
> AIR being ported to Linux
> Flex Builder 3 being ported to Linux
> Flex 3 SDK being open sourced

Lets talk about what it actually is. (3, Interesting)

awjr (1248008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590370)

Just to give some background on this. AIR is an equivalent to the Java Runtime Environment. Now unfortunately (or fortunately) Adobe also released Flex 3 Builder (application development for Flash 9) at the same time and made it the easiest way to deliver AIR apps. You could easily build air apps using Flash 9, javascript or even plain html but I can't see the point to this. There are certain things Air does provide that will be interesting to see how they are used: SQLLite engine and system resource (disk drive etc) access. The latter screams security risk however this the same risk as installing any app on your computer. To be honest there are a couple of big companies (e.g. Ebay) that are writing AIR apps, but I don't really see there being much need in that arena (searching for auctions). I think it's is going to shine when hooking up to business applications (which is also indicative of the number of financial institutions looking for Flex developers). As an example, I've written an air app that hooks into our servers and provides an easy way to managing our error log entries, and various data characteristics. Previously this would be a case of logging into the back end through a browser and finding this out from various reports. There may be a case that a better dashboard design would have made this simpler, however I can have an AIR app sitting in the background feeding this information to me, and most importantly, it took very little time, as it hooked into existing web services. Personally it has a lot going for it, but it really is going to shine in big business. Oh and please don't compare it to MS Silverlight. Compare Flash to Silverlight, but not AIR.

Re:Lets talk about what it actually is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590732)

Bingo.

I'm being quietly impressed by the whole Flex experience at the moment. I kind of fell into it backwards while looknig at writing online puzzle games but from exploting the system it clearly shines best in business CRUD-like apps. I've had reason to write a bunch of small data grabbers/visualisers/updater apps and Flex has made writing what would normally be routine yet tedious code and absolute breeze.

Flex Builders user interface builder (and the backing MXML) is in my view fantastic, it actually produces code I can read and understand which is a massive step up in my experience in GUI builders.

AIR just kicks it up another notch for me, local-filesystem access (along with the other components) rounds out the functionality that Flex provides making AIR the smart choice for quickly producing basic data manipulation apps. I don't see the local system resources as a security risk, no more than any other arbitary program on your computer.

What about making Flash actually work (2, Insightful)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590374)

They could also make Flash actually work before moving on to traditional development tools. Supporting the half dozen Alsa derivatives & video scaling R the main issues. However, moving to development tools instead of focusing on Flash makes sense since Linux is mainly a development platform.

Re:What about making Flash actually work (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591064)

From Adobe's Developer FAQ:

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

While we had originally planned to support Linux in the 1.0 timeframe, we have had to wait on the core Flash Player's support for Linux to be finalized.
So it sounds like they've been working on improving Flash as well.

Personally, I haven't had problems with Flash on Linux since they released version 9. I've run it on an x86 and a 64 bit processor using nswrapperplugin. I've had no problems with sound nor video scaling.

Not really a change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590388)

That's not really a change then, is it? Flash was a webdev platform and it got ported. Same with AIR. Shockwave never made it because it was never adopted that fully by anyone.

Bad information (4, Informative)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590482)

Up until now, Adobe hasn't done much in terms of porting its applications to Linux, ...only .... Flash. ... the company has announced a Linux port of AIR, its web application development software...

Wow :)... Few corrections:

1) Flex Builder [adobe.com] has had a public alpha for Linux for some time now.

2) There's Adobe Acrobat for Linux/Solaris/Unix [adobe.com]

3) Most of the servers Adobe offers, like ColdFusion [adobe.com] and Flash Media Streaming [adobe.com] servers are available for Linux/Unix.

4) Adobe AIR isn't a web application development environment of any sort... that's completley messed up. It's the runtime component of a connected desktop app platform that supports HTML/CSS/JS/PDF/Flash content.

5) Macromedia (now part of Adobe) has made attempts to commercialize Dreamweaver/Flash/Freehand on Linux before utilizing Wine-compatible releases, but there was no enough demand to pay the bills, so the project was canned. I have the feeling they'll be trying this with selected Adobe CS applications again within 24 months, but it'll be expensive, so the market should show enough demand, and put their money where their mouth is, this time.

Version differences (1)

superbrose (1030148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590652)

It should be noted that the Linux version of Acrobat Reader seems fairly antiquated compared with its Windows counterpart. The last time I used acroread I was unable to fill PDF forms with it.

This is similar to Skype for Linux vs Skype for Windows. Skype for windows has supported video calls for ages and has generally been ahead by a full version number.

Things are getting better for the Linux world though, eg there's a Skype beta version that offers video streaming in Linux. And one can argue that the Linux versions of these programs are definitely not bloated.

One thing I'd personally like to see is a 64-bit Flash player for Linux, it's about time.

Re:Version differences (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590784)

It should be noted that the Linux version of Acrobat Reader seems fairly antiquated compared with its Windows counterpart. The last time I used acroread I was unable to fill PDF forms with it.

Actually it has worked with PDF forms for quite some time. The latest version I have (8.1.2) feels pretty nice and unixy overall. Of course it's still binary for i386, but it's much better than before.

Expensive? (1)

wytcld (179112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590862)

With a number of originally-for-Linux apps having been ported to OS X, without apparently calling for any overwhelming expense, why should Adobe's stuff, all of which runs on OS X, take much effort to port to Linux?

I'm sure it's not something done for free, but expensive? On the scale of what Adobe pays for office coffee each day?

Apple To Port Linux To AIR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590540)

Made you look, made you stare, made you wet your underwear!

LOL

Can I have my +5 funny now? Pleeeeeeeease? \(^o^)/

Adobe does have other products that run on Linux (1)

haighishaighis (1002768) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590560)

I would like to point out that Adobe does have other products that run Linux and they include: - ColdFusion - Jrun Both ColdFusion and Jrun have worked under linux for years. ColdFusion and Jrun (formerly from Allaire and then Macromedia) are now Adobe products that they inherited from Macromedia that they bought a while ago.

This isn't news (1)

ignatz (10191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590714)

Adobe has always said there'll be a Linux version of AIR. I've got several Adobe evangelists on record stating that going back to the original AIR announcement a year ago - and as it's built on Tamarind and WebKit no one should be surprised.

That's good to hear... (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591042)

... Now we can breathe easy. ... I was holding my breath for that one to be ported. ... Well that has knocked the wind out of the "No good software is available" crowd.

Acrobat (1)

Raphael Emportu (1143977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591220)

I don't think my acrobat reader runs under wine, so that would make at least 2 apps. I hope many will follow before they stop supporting Vista :-)
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