June 2004 to March, 2012
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Why I am not pursuing Adobe Air

Adobe Air makes it fairly easy to create desktop applications that will work on any computer that can handle Flash… and that’s most computers, regardless of platform. Flash technology is good and it works well for web apps. Why not use it to make desktop apps, then?

Air desktop apps can work directly with a user’s system files. Web apps aren’t allowed to do that, for security reasons. There’s the rub… if you distribute an AIR app, how is anyone supposed to know it won’t do evil things with their files? They have to trust the app. Not a good idea.

To overcome this huge disadvantage, Adobe Air advocates recommend purchase of “code-signing certificates” assuring users that the app was made by the person who has signed the app. That makes the author identifiable and accountable. Fine. But the certificates cost hundreds of dollars. Hobbyists aren’t likely to shell out, just so that they can give their homemade software to strangers. At least I’m not going to.

If I’m making an app just for myself, I don’t have to make it cross-platform. As long as my app works on my Mac, I’m good. Don’t need Air for that. I can share my Mac apps with Mac friends who know me, too.

So no Air for me, thanks. I love Flash and will continue to work with it for browser-based applications. I just don’t see the need for it on the desktop.


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