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Adobe Joins Linux Foundation, Develops AIR For Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the do-we-trust-these-guys-yet dept.

Linux 171

2muchcoffeeman writes "Adobe announced Monday that it is joining the Linux Foundation and alpha-released a Linux version of its new Adobe Internet Runtime environment, which allows Internet-enabled applications to run on Windows and Mac OS desktops, for Linux. According to Adobe, the alpha version lacks some key features that will be available in the final product and only runs with Sun Java, not GNU Java. Adobe also released an alpha of Flex Builder for Linux Monday."

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Adobe quoted as saying... (4, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920768)

... "You think that's AIR you're breathing?"

Re:Adobe quoted as saying... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22920968)

..."I'm gonna need guns. Lots of guns."

How is AIR different from, say java? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22920788)

Not meant as a troll, but it is hard to find an objective explanation of how AIR is going to fill a huge need or bake better bread.

also (2, Interesting)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920950)

Wow, something that is written in Java, runs on Linux. *CHEER*
Oh, well, it isn't compatible with GNU Java, but it runs on Linux *duh*

Shouldn't it be default that something written in Java runs on ALL platforms which got a JRE?

Re:also (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921248)

Shouldn't it be default that something written in Java runs on ALL platforms which got a JRE?
I'm pretty sure that AIR is C/C++. They're probably talking about the Java Plugin being supported inside an AIR application. I think AIR uses WebKit, so it's probably just that Sun has a WebKit plugin, and GNU doesn't.

Re:also (1)

canistel (1103079) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922104)

Yes, but only when the JRE is 100% completed JRE; gnu java is not there yet.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (4, Informative)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920970)

Not totally objective (see my sig), but I'll try. AIR makes it a lot easier for web developers to create apps on the desktop. You can write apps in either Flash, Flex (now open source [adobe.com] ) or HTML and Javascript. While it's damn near impossible to create a UI in Java that doesn't look like a PoS (yeah, gross generalisation, but that's my experience), AIR makes it very easy. While stuff like Java Web Start never seemed to work smoothly, AIR integrates really well with web pages (you can do stuff like launch and install apps from the browser). I realise that much of these are benefits for the develop rather than the end user, but this obviously means that it will bring benefits to users in terms of the kind of apps developed.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (2, Informative)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921188)

That's more than a generalization, that's just incorrect. Java makes use of GUI Toolkits just like many other languages. Just this morning I was taking a look at Jambi [trolltech.com] .

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

SteveX (5640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921298)

Jambi wouldn't be quite the seamless cross platform experience you get with AIR, though, and it looks like you would need to develop separate installers for each supported platform. With AIR, you can post the *.air file somewhere and Mac, Windows and Linux users can grab it and use it.

It depends on what you're looking for - for some applications, native widgets would be an advantage; for others, consistency between platforms would be an advantage.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (2, Funny)

syntap (242090) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921262)

While it's damn near impossible to create a UI in Java that doesn't look like a PoS (yeah, gross generalisation, but that's my experience), AIR makes it very easy.

AIR is RAD for very easily making PoS interfaces? Or am I reading that wrong?

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921348)

Too many double-negatives in my sentence. Simplified: Making good interfaces in Java: damn near impossible. Making good interfaces in AIR: very easy.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921340)

I just took a look at the "Adobe AIR Marketplace" and all I see are apps that are just like OS X Dashboard and Microsoft / Yahoo Gadgets. From the end user's perspective, I don't see any benefit to AIR over the others. From the developer's perspective the only advantage I see is cross-platform support, except the user must also download another runtime environment. Without some significant differentiating factors I don't understand how AIR is expected to become popular.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (3, Interesting)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921436)

Like Dashboard, Gadgets etc, it's easy to develop simple AIR apps. This obviously means that there are a lot of those sort of apps available. This doesn't mean they all are. I may humbly submit my app [clevr.com] as an example of a less basic one. It does panoramic image stitching, so has machine vision, image processing and that sort of stuff. Not the sort of thing you can do in Dashboard or Gadgets. Incidentally, I've released some of the image processing and maths stuff in our Actionscript library [riaforge.org] . It has support for bicubic and bilinear interpolation, histogram stretching, and a partial port of the JAMA matrix algebra library.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921532)

Your app is definitely a notable difference. I guess it'll be up to the 3rd party developers to promote AIR because browsing Adobe's site I don't see many things that really stand out. Their "Staff Picks" should be filled with more apps like yours that are very different than Dashboard and Gadgets.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921608)

To be fair, we have been on staff picks, but as we went up on there in November when AIR was still in beta others have taken our place. Unfortunately that did mean we got a lot less visibility from it than if we were up there now AIR has actually been released! Stuff like ours is certainly in the minority though. I think is primarily because most AIR developers have a web background, and the apps are based on web apps. Our was ported from Java, so we're starting from a different standpoint. Perhaps as AIR gets more mature you'll see more developers like us using thye platform. It has been a joy to develop with Flex and AIR. Actionscript (ECMAScript 4) is a lovely language, and Flex reminds me of Cocoa/Objective C in a good way.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921488)

Check out desktop.ebay.com for an interesting beta app.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921362)

it's damn near impossible to create a UI in Java that doesn't look like a PoS (yeah, gross generalisation, but that's my experience)
Only if you stick with stock UI elements. More "custom" UIs are possible, for instance my site [sudoku100.com] . Also, MazeWorks [mazeworks.com] has some pretty amazing Java applets.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921454)

AIR, is not so different than Java, except based on delivery of Flash, Flex, AJAX content.

As for what uses it may have. Well, one we're considering is moving the offline version of our product to AIR, which would enable us to track certain content usage and report back to the publisher when reconnected with the internet.

A lot of the talk of use is in disconnected internet applications. (ie: Downloading a data set, working with it offline and than merging when internet access becomes available again).

Furthermore, Flash's performance is sometimes inhibited by the browser. AIR potentially frees it from such constraints.

As for creation of AIR applications. It's frightening how easy it is to convert an Adobe Flex app into an AIR app. For small ones, it's simply re-publishing the code and adding some icons and titles for application display purposes.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921600)

This could be a great way for Adobe to port their applications (photoshop and illustrator spring to mind) to all platforms (including Linux) much more easily. While the web may be the way to go for some things, I can't imagine editing a 20MB image file using an online version of photoshop. And of course, this would let them make code that could work in places, and under Windows/Mac/Linux.

Re:How is AIR different from, say java? (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921768)

I know Buzzword is to be ported to AIR down the road. It'd be pretty sweet to be able to get AIR versions of Sliderocket, Blist, Photoshop Express, etc.

Be able to sync your data to the web. Buzzword AIR & web. Work locally, access from anywhere. :)

Flash! Ajax! Buzzword Central! (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920792)

I once saw an elephant mother grieving over her dead calf. The calf had died due to thirst on the savannah and though the herd moved on to newer pastures, the mother elephant stayed with the dead calf until the mother too died of thirst, and I suppose sadness.

It was a terrible thing to watch. The emotional stress that the mother elephant went through was so tangible and human-like that I was really moved.

Kinda like I am with Adobe fans.

Re:Flash! Ajax! Buzzword Central! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920882)

That's not a bad analogy, that's a great analogy!

Re:Flash! Ajax! Buzzword Central! (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921076)

There are Adobe fans ?

I've met some fans of some Adobe products (Photoshop mostly), but none of them struck me as being fans of Adobe itself...

It's possible I hang out with the wrong crowds though.

Re:Flash! Ajax! Buzzword Central! (3, Funny)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22923014)

There are Adobe fans?
Sure, but they turn into mud if they get wet.

Re:Flash! Ajax! Buzzword Central! (1)

seanonymous (964897) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921912)

Really? That's interesting, because, for a long time now, that's the way I've felt about fans of Linux on the mainstream desktop.

Re:Flash! Ajax! Buzzword Central! (1)

crusty_yet_benign (1065060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922382)

AIR is web 3.0...buzzwords are mandatory.

gnu software is crap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22920814)

Actually, most gnu projects produce terrible code

gcj
gnash

oh, and don't say gcc, cause that was actually a hostile fork done to get away from rms, remember egcs? in any case gcc was replaced by egcs which was then renamed gcc -- stallman's lucky the internet was primitive and small back then, his blunder and hating went unnoticed

The best projects are ones that are developed by a small group or company, without interference.

Anecdotally, the Apache and MIT BSD-style licenses are growing their mindshare, the lack of respect accorded to dissenters poisoned minds against gplv3

In any case, the next major version of the Linux kernel may be released under the "Linux Licence" which will be a fork of GPLv2.

Re:gnu software is crap (2)

MT628496 (959515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920840)

Yea, they really dropped the ball on coreutils, huh?

Re:gnu software is crap (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921300)

Your "Linux License" may never see fruitation - Thorvalds has said he doesn't foresee the need to move on to Linux 2.8 or 3.0

Re:gnu software is crap (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922562)

Your "Linux License" may never see fruitation

Ummm, fruition ...?

Maybe people who can spell (or use a spellchecker? I don't think IE has one yet) have a different opinion.

Re:gnu software is crap (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922398)

Try it this way: Most projects produce terrible code. That'ld be correct. The license is an insignificant contribution...and I can't even tell in which direction, so it may not matter at all.

I think that I tend to produce very good code...but it takes me a long time compared to many others. Possibly there's a tradeoff here.

The nice thing about FOSS projects is that it lets you get SOMETHING out there fast, and then if there's a need, it will be continually improved. I do believe that commercially sponsored projects can develop large applications to a decent level of reliability more quickly. For this purpose ANY FOSS license will work....any that's accepted by the community, and I believe that GPL3 readily qualifies here. It may well be, however, that GPL3 projects are less likely to attract commercial sponsors. OK. They aren't allowed to fork the code into a closed tree. That makes it less attractive to them. But more attractive to me.

Over time I believe that the FOSS projects will provide the higher quality code that fit better with the need of both the developers and the end-users. This doesn't mean that it will happen as quickly with FOSS code as it would with commercial code. But it will be more usable, and more tailored to the "customers" desires. (And, naturally, also more tailored to the desires of the developers.) Over time.

Anecdotally the use of MOST FOSS licenses is increasing. (Not all. Artistic seems on the decline, as does the GNAT variant of the GPL. I'd say the same about the Eiffel variant, but it never was popular enough to estimate. And about most I don't have even enough anecdotal evidence to make a guess.)

P.S.: I *do* count gcc. That may have been a hostile fork, as you say, but it was one specifically allowed by the license. I also count X Window, for the same reason. That's a part of how FOSS operates.

GNU Java? (2)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920830)

What is GNU Java? GCJ?

That's the one! (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920994)

Yeah... that Java JRE that doesn't run anything correctly. It's been nothing but troubles for me, at least. YMMV.

Re:That's the one! (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921142)

Which some Linux distributions (*cough*RedHat*cough*) insist on giving you instead of Sun Java, while making you think you still have a usable JRE. (and thus making it more difficult to correctly install the Sun JRE in a way that doesn't conflict or sit off to the side)

Sun/GCJ (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921878)

I'm still not sure why Sun lets GCJ enthusiasts get away with calling it 'java'. Whether it's the default packaging, or the distros that do it (redhat/fedora/etc) having a program on your system called 'java' which is so half-assed compatible like the GCJ stuff is just gives Java a bad name. It's far *less* compatible than the MS Java of years ago was with 'mainstream' Java at that time, yet Sun throws a fit over MS, but leaves GCJ enthusiasts alone. I don't get it.

Re:GNU Java? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921192)

GCJ is a compiler for Java. In other words, it takes Java code (which normally runs on top a VM), and compiles it to native code. It totally defeats the purpose of Java being cross-platform, but it's good if you only know Java and need native-level performance

Re:GNU Java? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921780)

Sun released the JRE as Free Software last year. The Sun version, however, includes a load of libraries that Sun does not own and so could not release. There is also a project to create a completely Free Software implementation of Java by replacing these libraries with open source equivalents. That is presumably what the poster was referring to as GNU Java (this is the version of Java you will find in the OpenBSD ports tree, for example).

How big is this? (1)

utnapistim (931738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920868)

So ... any known application that uses this?

I had to look it up on google to fid out what exactly adobe AIR is. How big is this?

Re:How big is this? (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921004)

It was only released last month (though it's been in beta since last June) but there are already some significant apps like ebay desktop [ebay.com] . For loads more, of varying significance, see here [adobe.com] . Also, I can shameless plug mine [clevr.com]

Re:How big is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921058)


Ebay is playing with it....

Not sure how much they are actually using it.

First things first... (5, Insightful)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920884)

64-bit Flash!

Re:First things first... (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921110)

Yes! They should get their &%#@! priorities straight!

Re:First things first... (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922384)

How about open source flash? Or at least a Flash open standard?

Adobe seems to want Flash (and now AIR) to be the new way to develop web apps -- it almost looks like they want it to replace HTML/JavaScript. I have many problems with this, but the biggest one is that Flash is proprietary, and I don't want to go back to a proprietary Internet. I thought we got rid of that when IE stopped being the defacto standard...

Re:First things first... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922478)

Open Source flash would quickly be adapted to 64-bits, so that would work.

Re:First things first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22922830)

And why, pray tell us, do you need Flash to address more than 4GB of address space?

I'm assuming you're talking about x86-84. x86-64 isn't faster than plain old x86. It just has more addressable memory space.

Flash for PPC? (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920886)

Does that mean there is a chance I can finally watch YouTube video on my Ubuntu-powered iMac G4?

Re:Flash for PPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921316)

Is there a Sun JRE for Linux/PPC?

There's your answer.

I guess there's a very small chance of it working with the IBM one...

Re:Flash for PPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22922064)

Why not use Gnash? It's got PPC/64-bit support.

Re:Flash for PPC? (2, Interesting)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922774)

That's silly; what makes you think Adobe supports Linux? (I mean, because all of their tech marketers and tech evangelists saying that they do.) As far as Adobe cares, the Linux kernel only runs on 32-bit x86 CPUs.

What is AIR (5, Informative)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920888)

For those of you who don't drink the Adobe kool-aid, a quick explanation.

AIR is a desktop runtime environment. You can run either Html/Javascript or Flash based applications inside it. AIR provides a few interesting features beyond HTML/Flash including:

1) File I/O
2) SQLLite Support
3) An integrated web browser (based on WebKit) that you can use inside applications.
4) A fairly good distribution mechanism
5) Desktop integration (OSX Dock icons, Win32 systray support, etc.)

It's a great technology if you're using Adobe products to make web applications and you want to branch into making desktop apps.

It's a great technology if you want to make a desktop app that may later become a web app and you want to share most of the code.

It's a horrible technology if you're a desktop developer who's looking for a different technology.

It's way more write-once run-anywhere than Java ever was.

It does not pick up the system's native UI widgets.

Re:What is AIR (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920988)

So how is this any different from those nasty Active-X controls that we are told not to allow ?

Internet Access + Local File I/O = inevitable 0 day exploit / virus / malware.

We've seen it in Flash, we've seen it in PDF ... how long before the first AIRsploit ?

(And before the Java fanboyz start kicking ... the sandbox only works until someone finds a way to climb out of it).

Re:What is AIR (2, Informative)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921054)

It's not a browser plugin. They are desktop apps, so it's not massively different from any other apps you download - i.e. only install them from sites that you trust. They all have to be signed by the developer (not by adobe, it's ok. you can use your own cert), so there's a bit more piece of mind than you'd get with many apps you may download. At least you know the real world identity of the developers.

Re:What is AIR (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921138)

My bad ... on first glance the list of features read like a malware construction kit ;-)

1) File I/O
2) SQLLite Support
3) An integrated web browser (based on WebKit) that you can use inside applications.
4) A fairly good distribution mechanism
5) Desktop integration (OSX Dock icons, Win32 systray support, etc.)

Re:What is AIR (3, Insightful)

anomalous cohort (704239) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921784)

The notion of trust is nothing new. The basic question comes down to this, do you trust the code (or coders for the code that) you are about to run or not? If you don't, then don't run the code. If you do, then go ahead and run the code.

That question may be easy to ask but not so easy to answer. Maybe you trust the organization but there could be inadvertent security vulnerabilities in the code. Or maybe you don't know much about the organization who authored or published the application. How do you decide whether or not to trust the application?

In theory, open source mitigates this trust issue because you can study the code yourself. In practice, it's not so easy. First of all, access to the source code is immaterial to people who are not coders themselves. Second, it would take a lot of time and mind to study the code for a large project. Sure, any competent programmer could study and verify for his or herself that my open source project [sourceforge.net] can be trusted because it really isn't all that big. How can you be sure that Firefox [mozilla.com] doesn't have any malicious code in it?

One approach to this problem is to run programs in what is called a sandbox [wikipedia.org] . What that means is that the program isn't written in what is called the native "machine" code. Rather, it is written in a code for a virtual machine [wikipedia.org] . Every time that code makes an API call, the virtual machine checks to see if it is permitted from a security perspective. Applications that run in a sandbox don't get a lot of permissions. It is OK to run an application that you don't completely trust within the sandbox because the virtual machine is going to deny any requests that could compromise or take advantage of your system anyway.

That is why the complaint about ActiveX. Both ActiveX controls and Java applets run in a web browser. The Java applet has to run in the sandbox (unless it is signed but it is beyond the scope of this post to introduce PKI and X.509 certificates) but the ActiveX control never runs in a sandbox.

Later iterations of this sandbox concept allow the user more control over what the program can and cannot do. In .NET, this is called Code Access Security and in J2SE, this is called Java Security Policy. Before running an application, the user can specify what API calls that the application can and cannot call. The problem here is that this specification is not easy to tweak for mere mortals. When you just double click the application icon, you are running the application with whatever policy that the publishing company specified. So, you are back to trusting that company since there is nothing that keeps them from specifying a policy that is wide open.

I have no experience in AIR so I could not tell you whether or not that virtual machine implements any kind of policy control. Perhaps someone that is knowledgeable about AIR would care to clarify here?

Re:What is AIR (0)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921112)

So how is this any different from those nasty Active-X controls that we are told not to allow ?
I'm not terribly thrilled by this thing either. At least not until there's a little more third party reviews of the security model.

Re:What is AIR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921002)

And if you decrypt anything produced by it, you get the Dmitry Sklyarov treatment.

A *WIN* all around!

Fuck Adobe.

Re:What is AIR (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922400)

It's also a great technology if I have a web application that, for some reason or other, people are convinced they want as a desktop app.

And it does pick up the system's native UI widgets, I think -- at least it does for its embedded WebKit.

Excellent news. (3, Interesting)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920894)

This is excellent news. We've never had the resources to port our panoramic image stitcher [clevr.com] to Linux, but as it's now an AIR app, this means we get it for free. I can finally use my own app on Ubuntu! Anyone who hasn't taken a look at AIR yet should seriously check it out, especially now that Flex is open source [adobe.com] .

Re:Excellent news. (0, Offtopic)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920960)

...especially now that Flex is open source.

Surely Flex [slashdot.org] has always been open source?

The Free version of lex was around for decades before Adobe's marketing department rode roughshod over their prior claim to the name.

News at 11: Adobe sues open source project for trademark violation?

Re:Excellent news. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921246)

When you said Flex, it immediately brought this [wikipedia.org] to mind.

Anyone? (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22920912)

Does anyone not see it... Now you can buy AIR... virtual AIR, but none the less... someone has found a way for you to purchase AIR

Reminds me of an old Sesame Street skit. (1)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921312)

Hey buddy, wanna buy some...air?

I'm not selling the bottle, just what's in it!

Adobe Loses to SWF (5, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921006)

AIR doesn't come preinstalled, so it's just another piece of software people can choose to use, not an existing platform to target with content.

Meanwhile, the GNU implementation of SWF is GNASH [gnashdev.org] , which just released a new version. GNASH is also not preinstalled, but it's in some ways superior to Adobe's Flash, while remaining compatible (with practically all features found in the wild, and adding the rest) - and free, including not adding DRM you don't want. And GNASH was announced to be part of the new KDE, so it will in fact be preinstalled on lots of Linux machines.

Re:Adobe Loses to SWF (3, Insightful)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921088)

If you install an AIR app, it can install the runtime at the same time. It's pretty transparent, and certainly better than stuff like the Java installer with Web Start. Also, if any company can build an install base it's Adobe. Look at the penetration of Flash.

Re:Adobe Loses to SWF (1)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921434)

If any company can build an install base it's Adobe. Look at the penetration of Flash.
step 1: create cool idea (See FutureSpash)
step 2: sell cool idea to bigger company (See Macromedia)
step 3: bigger company does all the heavy lifting to get product bundled with the number 1 and number 2 operating systems (See Microsoft, Apple)
step 4: get bought by Adobe

yep, Adobe sure does know how to build an install bases. @.@

for other examples, see PageMaker and Freehand. (both killed by Adobe after an acquisition (or 2 in the case of Freehand!)) Is it just me or is Adobe cribbing notes from Microsoft's playbook?

Re:Adobe Loses to SWF (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921958)

That raises the question of how "open" is, say, Firefox, if it always installs Adobe's Flash player for

application/x-shockwave-flash [filext.com]
application/x-shockwave-flash2-preview
application/futuresplash
image/vnd.rn-realflash

And doesn't offer alternatives like GNASH at that time. All media types are supposed to be that transparent, and install their handler plugin when data of that type is first downloaded. But if GNASH isn't offered, even though it's valid, that's not really "open": the preinstalled bundling of the "default" Adobe Flash handler makes a closed system.

Re:Adobe Loses to SWF (2, Interesting)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922086)

IIRC, Flash was pretty common for a while before Adobe aquired it.

In fact, the biggest difference that I've seen since then was the proliferation of punch-the-monkey-win-a-free-lappy ads

Re:Adobe Loses to SWF (2, Insightful)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921338)

Meanwhile, the GNU implementation of SWF is GNASH [gnashdev.org] , which just released a new version. GNASH is also not preinstalled, but it's in some ways superior to Adobe's Flash, while remaining compatible (with practically all features found in the wild, and adding the rest) - and free, including not adding DRM you don't want. And GNASH was announced to be part of the new KDE, so it will in fact be preinstalled on lots of Linux machines.

That's the first beta release after four alphas, correct? How "beta" is it?

Re:Adobe Loses to SWF (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922018)

Well, it's "beta" vs "alpha" in the traditional sense: the alphas were test versions tested by the developer team, and the beta is released for testing to people outside the team for feedback. Which is really the distinction here: plenty of people outside the team tested the alphas, but the alphas didn't necessarily use that nonteam feedback. The betas' nonteam feedback is being used to refine the next version.

So this SW is "beta" the way it used to be before Netscape defined that down to "under construction". I've talked with Rob Savoye, who heads the GNASH project, and GNASH is in use all over the place on intranets in critical paths, including life support at hospitals, etc. I dunno about realtime apps, but GNASH's customized deployments are solid and reliable. That might not always be reflected in stability in the wild, with all the different platform specs, configs and random data consumed, but that's what beta is for.

What I really want to know is how well does the GNASH FOSS version of Adobe's FLEX compete with the "real" FLEX.

Re:Adobe Loses to SWF (1)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921708)

Not only is there gnash but another project is coming along very quickly: swfdec. I decided to use it over gnash on my Hardy install. It's very compatible and has cool features like putting a "play" button on every flash animation so you don't get assaulted by flash you don't want.

And an Open "FLEX" Server (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921886)

GNASH also includes a FOSS version of Adobe's proprietary FLEX media streaming server, that's compatible with Adobe's Flash players. Now that is a FOSS product that doesn't suffer from the "not preinstalled" problem, because it uses the preinstalled Adobe Flash players as its target installed base. You can just install it on your server instead of installing FLEX.

But I haven't heard how good it is. Is it fully compatible with Adobe's Flash? Feature-competitive with FLEX? Have you heard anything?

What adobe should do... (1, Offtopic)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921074)

I kinda wish adobe would make a decent pdf viewer for linux, or at least make the pdf format open ... The current viewer they have sucks as I have to keep agreeing to the license every time I open a document up and each document is opened in an opera-esque parent application (not individually). It's not really pleasant to use the other linux viewers either, as you can't do selection in a dual column document all that well. The flash support for linux, on the other hand seems pretty functional and having vibrant webapps isn't all that critical to me. I just wish Adobe would do a decent job at supporting their core applications on linux, e.g. Acrobat and Photoshop, but maybe that's just me. : /

Photoshop for Linux? (3, Interesting)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921134)

It may actually be possible to create a PDF viewer using AIR. It has some native support for the format, which means you may be able to create a lighter-weight app which uses this. Significantly, Adobe have said that they plan to move their apps gradually over to AIR, so this could mean that Photoshop and others may finally be available for Linux.

Re:Photoshop for Linux? (2, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921568)

"Adobe have said that they plan to move their apps gradually over to AIR"

Where did you hear that statement???

Re:What adobe should do... (1)

spvo (955716) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921384)

I've never really had any problems with the Adobe PDF viewer in linux. I don't usually use it, but it always works fine when, for whatever reason, Evince or KPDF doesn't render the document correctly. Also, PDF is an open standard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_Format [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What adobe should do... (2, Insightful)

hub (78021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921422)

PDF is ISO standard now. Maybe you were living on another planet. I haven't use Adobe Reader is YEARS and I still read PDF files without any glitches on Linux.

Wrong battle dude.

Re:What adobe should do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22922192)

Dude, PDF has been open format for long time now. Really. Go download the specification and you can make kick-ass viewer without waiting for Adobe.

Re:What adobe should do... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922286)

I kinda wish adobe would make a decent pdf viewer for linux, or at least make the pdf format open

Umm, PDF is an open standard, one with many, many implementations. Adobe's reader is not terrible, but its default configuration is (many slow and bloated plugins). Alternately you can use Foxit on Windows, Preview on OS X, XPDF of KPDF on Linux. There are actually quite a few more readers if you want to try others. You can make PDFs using any application on OS X, using CUPs on Linux, MS Office, OpenOffice, Wordperfect, Docbook, etc.

Just don't plan on trying to hack AIR (4, Interesting)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921280)

Here's the final paragraph of the PC World version of the story [yahoo.com] . It points out something else I found interesting ...

Although the Linux Foundation hailed Adobe's arrival as "a natural extension of its commitment to open standards and open source," that commitment stops short of publishing source code for the Linux version of Air. Adobe's end-user license for the code explicitly forbids any attempt to "reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to discover the source code of the software."

In other words, "We'll let you play in our sandbox, but don't try to figure out how we built our sandbox so you can build your own sandbox that looks just like our sandbox."

Re:Just don't plan on trying to hack AIR (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922792)

Somehow I'm not surprised. This *is* Adobe we're talking about.

What I'm not clear on is "Who is this Linux Foundation?" Google seems to indicate that it's a recent creation of a bunch of companies, and that they claim that they're organized to promote FOSS, but I didn't follow things any further. I'm not at all certain that they should be trusted. I'm not sure they shouldn't be, but allowing Adobe to join seems to indicate that they probably shouldn't.

When I think of Adobe, I think of how they sic'ed the Feds on Dimitri Skylarov, and they stood back and protested that they weren't involved. I wouldn't trust them one inch. If things started to get built in Air, they'd probably pull a Microsoft and change the specs, auto-upgrading the installed base to the new version.

I didn't trust Java until it was GPL'd, even though there were competing implementations. I don't think I plan on trusting an application with a sole-source implementation under a closed license from a company I think of as villainous.

probably gonna suck (0)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921360)

Adobe doesn't know how to make a good UI; just look at Adobe Acrobat Reader or Photoshop. Historically, their Linux versions are even worse than their Windows and Mac software.

In order to get a decent version of AIR for Linux, we'll have to write an open source version ourselves.

Re:probably gonna suck (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921486)

It's a runtime. There is no UI apart from the installer.

Re:probably gonna suck (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921590)

First off, you create the UI for your application. AIR apps will use the default system UI for windows, etc.

Or you can break away from that and have a very customized application window.

***

If you mean development UI. Well you can use a simple text editor to create your apps. Though I recommend Adobe's Flex Builder 3 (built on Eclipse). Nice tool...and only $250 for Flex Builder stand-a-lone or plug-in.

Re:probably gonna suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921696)

Adobe doesn't know how to make a good UI; just look at Adobe Acrobat Reader or Photoshop. Historically, their Linux versions are even worse than their Windows and Mac software.

In order to get a decent version of AIR for Linux, we'll have to write an open source version ourselves.

Because the community did such a great job on The GIMP [gimp.org] .

Re:probably gonna suck (1)

Enselic (933809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922668)

Well GIMP development is far from stalled; the next version will be an important milestone.

It will have a non-optional GEGL dependency (although from a user point of view the GEGL integration will not be very visible yet) and the first major UI change will take place (removing the menu from the toolbox and merge it with the image window menu, and keep a special variant of an image window up to hold this menu when there are no images opened). This work has already been done and you can try it out in SVN trunk.

Stop it Adobe, you're making me laugh.... (-1, Redundant)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921518)

...Haha... c'mon, stop messing around ...Hahahaha... just give me the source code and let me compile it myself.... Haha...

What do you mean "I can't have the source code"? ...hahahaha...

But you still want me to put it on my Linux box? ....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHA... STOP IT! NOW! HAHAHAHAHA! MY SIDES ARE HURTING! MY EYES ARE WATERING.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....

Re:Stop it Adobe, you're making me laugh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921810)

Please, you stop, OK? It's just annoying.

Re:Stop it Adobe, you're making me laugh.... (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922222)

Ok, who the hell let Tom Cruise near an Ubuntu live cd?

namespace clashes (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921654)

> "Adobe also released an alpha of Flex Builder for Linux Monday."
Is GNU gonna be sued because of the name "flex"?

RE: Adobe Joins Linux Foundation... (0, Troll)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921754)

Well, time to move to Haiku [haiku-os.org] .

Fuck that. Let's move to BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921902)

First all the tangoing with Microsoft was bad enough. But if the Linux Foundation is taking Adobe, it loses Linux users. We know exactly what's going on. The same organization can't be a Jewish rights advocate and accept Hitler as a member.

BSD is just as free, just as open, works just as well, and doesn't have a million buzzards trying to eat it like Linux does.

dont get too excited.. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22921978)

As someone who in the last 6 weeks has been currently developing a flex app for both AIR and the web... dont get too excited.
I am finding the Flex3 framework to be buggy as hell.

* I have been having constant crashes from Flex Builder (It is built on eclipse)
* The ui components are coded like dogshit. (i ended up coding custom elements in flash which are the tenth of the size, and work as intended)
* Some documented features dont work.
* I have spent alot of time figuring out work arounds/undocumented features.

sorry for the rant.. but the claim that it is easy to develop flex apps is bullshit.
I have been using flash since it was called FutureSplash, so after over 10 years of day in day out
developing and making bread with this tech, I think I can speak with some authority.

It seems to me that Adobe is glorifying their steps into open source.
I just have a funny feeling that it is not as good willed, as intended,
but just as a way to get their shit coded/fixed for free,then reimplemented
in their closed source upscale/addon technologies.

Which I might add, allows adobe to compete directly against the very developers
that buy into their software.

Re:dont get too excited.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22922882)

Aaaah, you're one of these people who's trying to write Flash in Flex.

In much the same way as Jersey Girl isn't for the critics, Flex isn't for you. Flash is Flash and Flex is Flex. Just because they both compile down to SWFs and are scripted with ActionScript 3 doesn't mean they're the same technology.

Flex is for people who build proper grown up applications. The UI components, and the MXML layout syntax is the best UI development system I've ever used for WIMPy business CRUDlike apps. I'm even pushing it beyond it's comfort zone in making a set of puzzle games with it and it's still better than any of the other options I could use, one of which, of course, is fiddling around with the overgrown animation system that is Flash CS.

And my anecdotal evidence has a grand total of 0 crashes from Flex Builder.

The flash format is a trap, careful (5, Interesting)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22921994)

From the SWF and FLV File Format Specification and License [adobe.com]
-- This license does not permit the usage of the specification to create software which supports SWF file playback.

That's pathetic. Adobe is explicitly trying to control the _format_, while trying to convince (and confuse) people by releasing the runtime and SDK as open source. Which means they still retail all the control of closed-source software, without many people even being aware of it. Once (hopefully not) AIR or Flash becomes a widely accepted platform for applications, Adobe can easily ask people to pay up or do whatever.

These days, I get frustrated by the number of people who mention that Adobe is a major supported of open source, and get excited about it. Java may suck, but it sure is not a lock in.

Not sure what to think... (2, Insightful)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922310)

Adobe seems to want to jump on the OSS bandwagon, which might make a lot of people smile... although, ....

- Flash isn't OSS

- The Linux Flash binary-only plugin is still WAY behind the Windows version in quality and stability (remember how long we had to wait for Flash 9.x on Linux??)

- Shockwave Director isn't OSS (and isn't even ported to Linux in a binary-only format, despite the 29511 [petitiononline.com] signatures in the online petition that's been going on forever). Not a peep from Adobe on if this will ever even happen, even though revisions are still being made and it being widely used

- No intention of porting Flash to x86-64 platforms, on Linux -or- Windows (at least AFAIK)

- Just in my experience alone, COUNTLESS other buggy applications (like the other week, installing a version of Acrobat with a .0 known bug that plainly doesn't launch when executed without a fix from their website)

I agree Adobe has a LOT of momentum behind them with the Internet community. With this, however, comes great responsibility. If they want to play in the OSS playground, I think they need to share all of their toys like the others do.

so how bout those amd64 flash/java plugins? (1)

Akatosh (80189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922540)

Glad to see Adobe has their priorities strait.

AIR, Flex = Flash marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22922832)

The problem for Adobe and users of this is that by linking your applications to proprietary things like flash, the customer base is limited and there are no compatible alternatives to switch to.

Now if it was based on Gnash, Swfdec or the yet to be released OpenFlash from Adobe, then perhaps it would be worth considering...

It's hard to move to proprietary solutions when you are accustomed to open ones.

"for Linux"? (1)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922834)

For Linux, or for RedHat on x86? Sad to see even Slashdot has fallen to the low of just pasting press releases instead of questioning these nonsensical claims.

anthrax song... (1)

flahwho (1243110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22922866)

you're no good, missunderstood, AIR.

Only supports Sun Java clarification (1)

dFaust (546790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22923020)

To be clear, this is only related to the SDK and NOT the runtime. More specifically, it's related to the debugger (ADT) and it's listed as a "known issue", which seems to imply that it's something they're looking to fix by the time it's released.
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