Apollo – Now with Browser Begone!

Ahhhhh… That is the sound of me letting out a sigh of relief.

So it begins…

What if you and a group of other software engineers had the chance to go back to when the internet was being developed and knowing what we know now, rewrite the infrastructure and the platform to support it? I believe that is what the Macromedia and Adobe team asked themselves when they created Flex and Apollo. They rewrote from the ground up the tools, the language, the transport and the mechanisms to support online and offline development into the next ten years.

What is Flex?
Flex is a framework for creating feature rich content and applications online. It features fast development, easy to use syntax, powerful rendering engine, cross-browser compatibility, cross-platform compatibility and a compile option to make it cross-connected compatible. It can run from a server or from the desktop (with additional features).

What is Apollo?
Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime being developed by Adobe that allows developers to leverage their existing web development skills (Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, Ajax – any or all) to build and deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to the desktop.

If I could speak for the Macromedia / Adobe team it would be, “Hey look, we created new tools to make web applications better, faster and easier and more powerful. You can do so much more with this. We addressed a lot of the problems with current web development. We have put a lot of people working on this and we are pouring a lot of resources into it.” That is what I’d think they’d say.

The reason I originally, as developer, chose to work with Flex is that whatever application I wrote, would look the same and run the same across platform (including linux) and across browser. Now with Apollo my apps can be cross-connected ™ all rights reserved blah blah blah jk. Meaning the application / program I make can run online or offline.

The reason you want to know about Apollo is if you are developing an online application it is now possible to take that same app and run it on the desktop. If that is something you need or want to have then look into Apollo. For the best development framework for that I would suggest to look into Flex as well.

Since I’ve been using Flex, I attest that it is fast to develop, it makes sense (HTML is a hack remember) and I don’t have to worry about anything but creating the application. I don’t have to worry about if it work in Safari, IE or Firefox, etc. I don’t have to write 3 different scripts for one Javascript function, etc. I don’t have to use CSS browser hacks, etc. Even so you can use HTML, AJAX and CSS if you wanted to develop Apollo applications as well.

Some people have mentioned WPF/e which is Microsofts somewhat similar application but sorta not really. It’s not in the same category and its not addressing nearly the same issues. But FWIW, I’ve seen WPF and it reminds me of Visual Interdev. It should be called Visual Interdev Resurrection. For those that don’t know Interdev look it up on wikipedia. It is comparable to Dreamweaver because it uses HTML, JavaScript and DHTML. I’m disappointed because I thought they were going to incorporate some new technology but they are using DHTML and JavaScript. Note, JavaScript and DHTML are SLOW! I’m not bashing it. But regardless, WPF/e may not be trying to compete on the same level.

It would be interesting to see the same app created in WPF/e next to the same app in Flex / Apollo. You might be able to see just that with eBays “Sans Dimas” Apollo project. It would also be interesting to see if a WPF/e can output something to run in Apollo.

For more information:
http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/12/16/preparing-for-apollo/
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Stewart/?p=197
http://blog.digitalbackcountry.com/?p=75
http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Apollo:developerfaq

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One Response to Apollo – Now with Browser Begone!

  1. Aditya says:

    Hi

    Information on your blog was quite informative. I would like to request a small clarification. In your blog you said flex application runs the same on every browser. I have not had this experience in my recent project. It works the same in Mozilla Firefox and Internet explorer. But, the form I created is displayed disorderly(” the beginning of the form was shown at the end of the safari window, thereby not making the entire form visible”) in Safari. Could you share your insights on why this is happening?

    Thank you

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