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Adobe discloses some Apollo details

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Adobe Systems has begun to dish details of Apollo, a fruit of the company's merger with Macromedia that will allow developers to create run-time applications with Flash and Acrobat that can be used offline without a Web browser.

"This is the natural evolution of what [Adobe and Macromedia] have been promoting for a long time," Todd Hay, Adobe's director of platform marketing and developer relations, told PDFZone. "A lot of our core community really sees PDF not as a portable document format but rather a portable application container."

The idea behind Apollo, Hay said, is to enable applications currently made from Flash and PDF to move beyond the browser by assigning Flash-based apps a desktop icon that can be launched like traditional apps.

Adobe hopes the end result will be a slew of rich-media applications that offer the in-browser experience of Flash in a desktop client like Acrobat reader.

While Flash developers are likely to have a head start in creating Apollo applications, Hay told PDFZone his team is working to allow PDF developers and those who work in HTML and AJAX to build apps in those environments that can then be enriched with Flash.

The team is also reportedly working to make Apollo integrate with forms created in Adobe Designer and Acrobat as Apollo apps. Some of the apps could be built to save information offline and later sync with a server once the computer regains Internet connectivity.

"Apollo aims to create a cross-platform run-time that will allow you to develop desktop applications using traditional Web development," said Mike Chambers, an Adobe senior product manager, in an April podcast hosted on the Adobe site.
In it, he also dispelled rumors that Adobe plans to merge the Flash Player and Adobe Reader into one fat browser plug-in.

Adobe reportedly plans to issue a free Apollo public alpha download "much later" in the year.
post #2 of 20
Hmmm...interesting.. Seems that "much later" may just coincide with the WWDC.
post #3 of 20
I guess http://www.multidmedia.com/ who make Zinc, an excellent cross-platform compiler for Flash, are in for some serious competition.
post #4 of 20
Who are these core yahoos that think of PDF as an app environment? Do they think of it as an app environment that requires a really large and slow reader to "bootstrap"?

I'm going to go with the assumption that at the very least the first version will be absurd bloatware.
post #5 of 20
Web 3.0 here we come...!

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
The idea behind Apollo, Hay said, is to enable applications currently made from Flash and PDF to move beyond the browser by assigning Flash-based apps a desktop icon that can be launched like traditional apps.

Adobe hopes the end result will be a slew of rich-media applications that offer the in-browser experience of Flash in a desktop client like Acrobat reader.

Who would want that? I don't want all these dinkly little flash apps, games or movies cluttering up my desktop or computer. Those things are website embedded for a reason.
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post #7 of 20
Flash can build standalone executables for both Mac and Windows already. It's not as often used as Web delivery, but it's great for some things.

That much is old news.
post #8 of 20
Oh Look! They reinvented Java.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Plague Bearer
Oh Look! They reinvented Java.

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When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
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Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
Flash can build standalone executables for both Mac and Windows already. It's not as often used as Web delivery, but it's great for some things.

That much is old news.

I don't know your opinion of standalone Flash-based apps, but mine is that they suck! Adding PDF to the mix will not make Flash-based apps suck less.

From where I sit, creating forms in PDF files is slow enough already. I would like to see a much faster and much more feature-complete forms-creation environment in PDF. Maybe then I will be willing to think of combining Flash and PDF as a good thing.
post #11 of 20
I'm not terribly taken by the stand-alone app idea either, but there are some good uses for it. I've made a few web/cd-rom projects that essentially take a flash site and link it to other documents and apps and convert it for disc distribution. It pretty much takes things like Director out of the loop except for very heavyweight custom apps.

Curious to see what it looks like once in use though.
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post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
"A lot of our core community really sees PDF not as a portable document format but rather a portable application container."
[/c]

Call me crasy, but I thought PDF was a post script container...a simple, universal rendering platform for print documents to be digitally distributed and proofed then sent to press/printer -- hence releasing the post-script from the container to the printing device...Want fancy animated graphics? build a WEB SITE...the whole point of PDF is its static-ness...or so I thought...
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post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Plague Bearer
Oh Look! They reinvented Java.

Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
the whole point of PDF is its static-ness...or so I thought...

Quoted both for truth.
post #14 of 20
Lemme get this straight... they want to take Flash, a(n irritating) web based technology, and pair it with PDF, a web distribution technology, to make offline apps?

Web 3.0? How about web 0.5?

Somebody hand me that large clue stick...
post #15 of 20
ChizenCo isn't even trying any more.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
Call me crasy, but I thought PDF was a post script container...a simple, universal rendering platform for print documents to be digitally distributed and proofed then sent to press/printer -- hence releasing the post-script from the container to the printing device...Want fancy animated graphics? build a WEB SITE...the whole point of PDF is its static-ness...or so I thought...

You're not crazy; you just don't know how sane you are. PDF is not a PostScript container, it is a PostScript subset. Open any PDF file in your favorite text editor. You will see that PDF is pure ASCII PostScript source without the bitmap extensions.

PostScript and PDF interpreters are threaded-code FORTH compilers with special dictionaries. The beauty of FORTH dialects like PDF is that they are very small and fast. It is difficult to see how a PDF-Flash superset can remain so.
post #17 of 20
When Adobe first started courting Macromedia, you could see that Macromedia was trying to widen Flash's capabilities with technology like Flash Paper, a rival format to pdf in some cases. I think that Adobe noted this as well and felt that buying Macromedia would give them the leverage with a ubiquitous plug-in (acrobat plug-in and SVG weren't going that far) on the web and protect them against a competitor's chance to threaten pdf.

Of course, they also got so much more with eating up Macromedia (Dreamweaver, Flash) and a great foothold in content creation over a huge area (all of design from press and print to web).

It's kind of nice to have a common platform for developing and maybe Illustrator and Flash will play much nicer together, but I do worry about the state of things. Having no one else big to push them around in arenas might end up giving us less of what we want and fuel their tendency towards bloatware.

CS3 is going to be a big release for them... we'll get to see Adobe's strategy and see how the new suite/going universal will pan out. If they screw this up though... ugh.
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post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by netbanshee
I'm not terribly taken by the stand-alone app idea either, but there are some good uses for it. I've made a few web/cd-rom projects that essentially take a flash site and link it to other documents and apps and convert it for disc distribution. It pretty much takes things like Director out of the loop except for very heavyweight custom apps.

Curious to see what it looks like once in use though.

macromedia had been thoroughly confusing me with where they wanted flash to end and director to begin. now, with the macrodobia merger, i am guessing that thye will outright kill director, and try to glom on as many workign parts from that (lingo?) into the flash/pdf environment as possible.

in other words, i hope you didn't make your living making director apps, because you may need to readjust your skillset in the next 12-18 months.
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
Reply
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
Reply
post #19 of 20
Holy crap Flash as an application environment will make Java's fiasco on the client look like paradise.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Me
You're not crazy; you just don't know how sane you are. PDF is not a PostScript container, it is a PostScript subset. Open any PDF file in your favorite text editor. You will see that PDF is pure ASCII PostScript source without the bitmap extensions.

PostScript and PDF interpreters are threaded-code FORTH compilers with special dictionaries. The beauty of FORTH dialects like PDF is that they are very small and fast. It is difficult to see how a PDF-Flash superset can remain so.

Agreed. If they want to kill the benefits of PDF this will do it.
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