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Adobe MAX Day 1 Brings AIR 1.5 and Flex 3.2

by Scott Delap on Nov 18, 2008 |

Adobe's annual MAX conference kicked off in San Francisco yesterday. The keynote covered a wide variety of themes including cloud/client computing, RIA's in the enterprise, and creating a consistent platform across a variety of devices (computers, televisions, mobile, etc). RedMonk summed up the keynote as follows:

 

Today’s Adobe MAX was all about the Platform division. This is the group that does RIAs: Flash, Flex, AIR, etc. Indeed, it seems that Macromedia has really done a reverse-acquisition when it comes to Adobe’s agenda. We all know that PDF and Creative Suite are cash-cows for Adobe, but the vision and agenda is all Flash, all the time.

As it should be, really. To be blunt: there’s not that much more to say when it comes to PDF and Creative Suite. Adobe has those two locked up. To sand down the hyperbole, there actually is a lot to say about the more general topic of documents, namely things like Acrobat.com and the BPM world of LiveCycle. And there’s plenty of excitement in Creative Suite land (XMP is an especially dorky thing that lays the lattice for niftiness, e.g., transcripts and Overlay.tv-like functionality native in video).

But, yeah: Adobe’s spending it’s resources on the Flash Platform when it comes to where it wants to drive attention. It’s setup to be the growth unit, the green-field, the new and future cash...

In terms of specific product announcements MAX included the introduction of Flex 3.2 and AIR 1.5. New features in Flex 3.2 include:

  • Numerous bug fixes including fixes provided by the community. You can find a complete list of bug fixes here.
  • Support for Flash Player 10. While the Flex framework does not explicitly use any new functionality, developers can write code that takes advantage of the new features in the latest release of the Flash Player.
  • You can learn more about Flash Player 10 by reading Justin Everett-Church's introductory article. Enable
  • Flash Player 10 functionality by setting -target-player=10 in your compiler arguments (or making the appropriate updates in flex-config.xml).
  • Support for Adobe AIR 1.5. Similar to support for Flash Player 10, developers can leverage any new functionality available in Adobe AIR 1.5, though the Flex framework does not expose anything new itself. This
  • SDK is already configured to enable Flash Player 10 functionality when targeting Adobe AIR by using amxmlc.
  • Support for sandboxed and multi-versioned applications. Flex 3.2 adds the ability for an application developer to divide functionality between multiple sub-applications and allow them to interoperate. Applications can be developed using different versions of Flex (starting from 3.2), and can optionally operate in an untrusted environment which allows applications to safely load code provided by third parties. For more information, please refer to the related documentation.

Highlights of AIR 1.5 include:

 

  • Support for Encrypted Databases
  • Flash Player 10 Support
  • WebKit Update including SquirrelFish (30%+ Faster Javascript)

FlexBuilder 4 was also previewed with enhanced debugging support that includes conditional breakpoints, watchpoints, and exception breakpoints.

Finally, Adobe released a public beta of CoCoMo, a platform as a service allowing developers to add real-time social capabilities into Web applications via “cloud” computing.

 

Real-time social features that can be added to Web applications include:

 

  • Robust Data Messaging
  • VoIP Audio
  • Webcam Video
  • Real-Time File Sharing
  • Text Chat
  • Contextual Presence

 

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