Adobe discloses some Apollo details

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Hmmm...interesting.. Seems that "much later" may just coincide with the WWDC.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    I guess http://www.multidmedia.com/ who make Zinc, an excellent cross-platform compiler for Flash, are in for some serious competition.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,834member
    Web 3.0 here we come...!
  • Reply 5 of 19
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    Oh Look! They reinvented Java.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Plague Bearer

    Oh Look! They reinvented Java.



  • Reply 9 of 19
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    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...
  • Reply 12 of 19
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 19
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    ChizenCo isn't even trying any more.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,228member
    Holy crap Flash as an application environment will make Java's fiasco on the client look like paradise.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,228member
    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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