Apollo nearing launch

Here’s a list 15 facts about apollo from the flex blogosphere 😉

So, by way of a follow-up to an earlier post: “Adobe Apollo nearing launch”, here’s a list of 15 things about Adobe Apollo:

  1. The ability to install web applications as desktop applications. So the web applications exist outside of the browser and are browser independent.
  2. Applications that work out of Apollo don’t have to be connected to the internet to function.
  3. In addition, Apollo applications can have access to your files and your network.
  4. Real time notifications can be sent via the Apollo framework.
  5. Adobe’s PDF file format is a peer format, which is of huge strategic significance.
  6. Apollo will work on Mac and Windows to begin with, Linux support to follow.
  7. Because of the technologies underpinning Apollo, the emphasis is clearly on ‘mashups’, which web applications created from loosely coupled APIs belonging to other web applications.An example given was a media player that made use of the Amazon API to pull down music artwork and a visualize that made use of Flickr images.
  8. Although the guy from Adobe, chief software architect Kevin Lynch, tried to play down the significance of Apollo and the fact that Apollo is Adobe playing Microsoft at their own game, Apollo is as significant a strategy that Adobe could hope to conceive.A strategy that will no doubt come under immense scrutiny over the next near, not least scrutinized by Microsoft’s own web strategy people.
  9. Apollo uses the WebKit web rendering engine built into Apple’s Safari web browser and the Nokia S60 platform.
  10. Over time, Adobe hope to bring JavaScript, ActionScript (a derivative of EMCA script, which is essentially JavaScript, but used inside Adobe Flash) and the JavaScript used within the WebKit, into ‘one VM’ or Virtual Machine, which is a piece of software that executes code and reinterprets into another language more ‘native’ to the device, in this case, the computer.
  11. Whereas it’s clear that Microsoft aren’t all that bothered about customers running older platforms, Adobe’s Apollo will be more compatible with Windows than, err .. Windows! Essentially, pre Vista and pre XP computers will be supported.Again, this is because of the totally open nature of the technologies that underpin Apollo and allow for compatibility with a huge swathe of differing versions of operating systems.
  12. While this wasn’t directly mentioned in the Podcast, what Adobe are working towards with Apollo is something that one could imagine giving birth to the Widgets used in Apple’s Dashboard.It’s clear that Apple have their own ideas about how a Widget ought to take shape. What with Apple looking to release Dashcode, which is IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for developing Widgets used in Dashboard.However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if both Apple and Google didn’t get their heads together on this issue and work with either Adobe or OpenLaszlo (an open source framework of similar intention and purpose as Apollo) to help establish a standard practice.Meanwhile, the World Wide Web Consortium have moved to establish the Widgets 1.0 Working Draft:

“The type of widgets that are addressed by this document are usually small client-side applications for displaying and updating remote data, packaged in a way to allow a single download and installation on a client machine. The widget may execute outside of the typical web browser interface. Examples include clocks, stock tickers, news casters, games and weather forecasters. Some existing industry solutions go by the names ‘widgets’, ‘gadgets’ or ‘modules’.”

However, when asked about how similar Apollo applications sound to Apple’s Dashboard Widgets, Kevin Lynch confessed that he hadn’t given the idea much thought.

I’m not going to speculate on whether he had or he hadn’t, but he didn’t dismiss the ability of Apollo of being able to produce such things.

Indeed, Apple’s own Widgets are built around exactly the same open standards and technologies as both Apollo and OpenLaszlo.

  • Adobe will make the ‘runtime’ player for Apollo free, much like the Flash player is free. However, the revenue will come from the expected increase in sale of their web development applications, such as DreamWeaver and Flash.
  • While it’s possible for people to develop a whole range of things with Apollo, Adobe don’t want to build too much into Apollo, such as Adobe Reader, which would make Apollo too heavy and not ‘light weight’, which is their specific goal.
  • A public developer release of Apollo will take place some time in 2007, but no fixed, specific date was given.
  • In conclusion

    Personally, I’d think Apollo is big. I’d also say that it’s the logical direction forward.

    What I don’t want to see is Microsoft succeed here, because they will drag the whole thing towards their proprietary hooks & barbs, entangling a really powerful platform of the future on an idea based around a business model of the past…

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