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Flex is in the Air

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Flex is in the Air

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Reading about it in the new edition of the German Typo3 Magazine TN3 I had a look at hype! for AIR news. I found a post about a Firebug-like tool available for AIR development, called Adobe AIR HTML/Javascript Application Introspector (scroll to middle of the page).

I'm a fan of Firebug, so I gave it a try. It delivers a JavaScript file that you can embed into your AIR project for debugging. You get a window with different tabs that are comparable to what you get with the Firefox Firebug extension. BTW, try the new Firefox 3 beta. It'll boost your surfing experience ;-).

Additionally, I've to mention the free Aptana IDE Community Edition, based on Eclipse that has an AIR extension. I've tested Aptana to develop some HMTL pages and JavaScript snippets, and it seems to be useful for this. So, developing an AIR application with it could be very interesting. Flex Builder 3 beta 3 (90 days demo) also offers to create AIR applications from your Flex code.

Although, having an eye on Flex for some time now I had no time left to have a deeper look at the desktop stuff. It's quite interesting to find applications for AIR, even with a beta 3 release, that are fully functional, and seem to be quite stable.

Some already show, how Web 2.0 will look on the desktop, e.g. the Google Analytics Reporting Suite or the eBay Desktop. Both are pretty cool in their user experience and offer advanced functionalities in comparison to the existing service frontends.

As I'm also a hobbyist in digital studio music production, I couldn't resist to play the emulation of the legendary 909 drum computer. Pretty cool for the first implementation of an AIR application.

For me all this looks cooler than a Java Web Start based RCP implementation, whereas a Netbeans-based one was the worst in the past. Although, we have to wait for the real killer apps, like SlideRocket, to start comparing both platforms for speed, usability and design aspects.


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