Practical Technology

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AIR on Linux test run


AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) is a cross-operating system runtime that lets you use rich Internet applications that combine HTML, Ajax, Adobe Flash, and Adobe Flex technologies. What that means to you and me is that it’s lets us run another kind of application on our Internet-connected Windows PCs, Macs, and just this month, Linux desktop computers.

I’m not crazy about AIR. It’s not the first, or one-hundred and first, application layer software to make it possible to run the same application on multiple platforms. Java, JavaScript, etc. etc. have all had their day in the sun and more recently Silverlight/Moonlight, JavaFX, and Appcelerator Titanium have thrown their hats in the ring. That said. AIR applications are remarkably fast and reasonably mature.

We’re already seeing a fair number of non-trivial, useful AIR programs like the Google Analytics Reporting Suite, the twhrl social network client, and RichFLV, a Flash video editor. And, now, in addition to Windows and Mac OS, you can run AIR and its applications on Linux as well.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that getting AIR to install on your Linux desktop can be troublesome and, once in place, installing AIR applications is a bit of a security worry.

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