I have been reading a lot about AIR lately and it seems that most of long time Macromedia users are missing the point of the product. The best Flash/Flex developers do not see enough of the difference with existing browser solutions�and HTML guys do not understand why would they need another browser/compatibility test for their overstressed sites.
1. Flash/Flex programming/authoring are limiting explosive grows of the Rich Internet Applicaions – mash-ups with easy publishing is the must if you want to get support of millions of IT people that were ‘Thinking in HTML’.
Low-level performance and lowest denominator of the features available across the browsers limit the complexity of the applications and skyrocket the costs.
AIR is THE SOLUTION to these problems.
We have been developing large AJAX applications for enterprises between 1999 and 2005.
Along the way, we had to “upgrade” the browsers our clients used with extended HTTP protocol for reliability and performance.
We had to complement browser security model to allow business printing and controlled file access.
We had to provide framework of high level controls like datagrids, treeviews and tabfolders to make AJAX programming more productive.
In short, by building real-world application we had to build proprietary AIR/Flex platform for our clients.
When we talked to Microsoft 3 years ago of what the next version of IE could be – and explained our vision – they bluntly said that it would be a competition to Vista. They wanted the browser dead and Vista replacing everything as an application platform.
Here is a funny part – since then they spent billion of dollars buying technology to catch up in their AJAX offering. They did it for a reason – AJAX is what businesses are spending on NOW. It is GROWING not because of the technical merits, but because of the KISS (keep it simple stupid) aproach and speed of delivery using existing trained staff. We are spending time and money making our Flex controls like interactive reporting tool to be available as Flex component for AJAX – there is huge market there as AJAX can’t compare with the power and reliability of mash-ups.
Marketing at Adobe needs to take higher aim with this product�- they need to appeal to the right people�NOW to make the product success – and these are the people way outside of Macromedia / Adobe camps.