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Adobe Max 2007 North America - Wrap Up

by Jon Rose on Oct 05, 2007 |
Adobe was busy this week showing off their latest work at the 2007 Max Conference. Adobe continues to cater to developers with many of their efforts. The conference came with a number of interesting and exciting announcements for the developer community including:
  • Flex Builder for Linux
  • Flash Player 10
  • Thermo Project for easing designer’s ability to create Flex user interfaces
  • Adobe Integrate Runtime (AIR): Updates and Buzzword Acquisition

Flash Builder for Linux
Adobe made public their Flex Builder IDE for Linux with a public alpha version, yet another important step in eliminating boundaries for developers considering adopting Flex. ZDNet summarized the release, including the community push for open source license.
The Flex builder IDE for Linux requires use of FlashPlayer 9 for Linux and works only with Firefox and Eclipse 3.3. It has been tested and is supported on 32-bit versions of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation 4 and the recently released Ubuntu 7.0.4.
Flash Player 10
Adobe gave their first peek of the Flash Player 10 – code name “Astro,” which will come with a new programming language “Hydra.” Adobe labs describes Hydra as a, “high-performance image processing language.” The new Flash Player boasts much needed improvements for advanced text layout, in addition to new 3D effects.

Thermo Project
The upcoming Thermo product announced at the conference has the potential to be an important tool in closing the gap between designers and developers. Adobe Labs describes the features of the product, including the ability for designers to create user interfaces that can be loaded directly into Flex Builder as Flex projects. CNet quotes Adobe’s Mark Anders’ in describing the product’s goals:
"We are trying to make it so designers don't have to change the way they work and what they give to developers makes more sense," said Mark Anders from Adobe.
Adobe Integrate Runtime (AIR)
Adobe continues to emphasize AIR as the center of their efforts to court software developers.
They started early in the conference, revealing a notable business move in their acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, creators of Buzzword, a RIA Word Processing application. The acquisition is an important move in Adobe’s overall AIR strategy, as detailed by Adobe’s Kevin Lynch, head of Platform Business Unit, in a Thursday interview with CNet.
“We thought that (Buzzword) was just a great example of potential of the runtimes that we are working on and also a great application in its own right. So it's not so much as getting into the Office market space as it's just seeing a great Web application that has a lot of potential and shows what the technology can do.”
Adobe continues to make improvements to the AIR platform, as they get closer to their 1.0 release - planned for the first quarter of 2008. ZDNet’s Dana Gardner sums up the most significant updates in his recent blog:
Adobe AIR now supports background applications and system tray notifications, allowing the app to run in the background. Among its other features are:
  • Synchronous APIs for embedded local database
  • Greater control of windows and menus
  • Content protection for video, HTML improvements
  • Application and runtime enhancements such as improved install process and automatic updates for the runtime.
There is clearly a lot going on at Adobe these days. For developers who do not get a chance to follow Adobe closely, now may be the time to pay more attention.

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