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Adobe Releases Cross-Operating System Runtime 297

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the playing-nice-with-everyone dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention that Adobe released the first public version of their new cross-operating system runtime today nicknamed 'Apollo'. "The software relies on HTML, JavaScript, Flash, and Adobe Flex. The alpha version, which presently works on Windows and Macintosh, can be downloaded for free at http://www.adobe.com/go/apollo. Once the Apollo apps are created, users can launch them from their desktops, without using their browser or connecting online. An Apollo application can connect automatically to online data or services when an Internet connection is detected, with new components automatically downloaded and integrated. The user needs the Apollo runtime to run the apps, just as a Flash player is needed to run Flash animations."
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Adobe Releases Cross-Operating System Runtime

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  • Translation... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidbrit2 (775091) on Monday March 19, 2007 @02:52PM (#18405145) Homepage

    "The software relies on HTML, JavaScript, Flash, and Adobe Flex."
    Translation:

    "It's slow."
    • by sammy baby (14909) on Monday March 19, 2007 @02:55PM (#18405203) Journal
      Could be worse.

      Could be Java.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:09PM (#18405385)
        Could be even worse.

        Could be .NET.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Frymaster (171343)
        Could be worse. Could be Java.

        actually, it sounds suspiciously like xul (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/xul/) with some flash thrown in. mind you, i've not read the article or played with any of the apps so i'm just guessing wildly.

        • by Em Ellel (523581) on Monday March 19, 2007 @04:23PM (#18406341)

          Could be worse.

          Could be Java.


          actually, it sounds suspiciously like xul (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/xul/) with some flash thrown in. mind you, i've not read the article or played with any of the apps so i'm just guessing wildly.

          There is no Appolo, just XUL....;-)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by h2g2bob (948006)
          I agree, Flash + HTML + Javascript sounds very much like a web browser.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jamshid (140925)
      Hope that unlike the HTML/Javascript/CSS soup we have now, this technology is designed from the ground up with security in mind.

      I guess Flash/Flex/ActionScript/whatever the heck this stuff is turning out to be, is the Next Big Language? http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2007/02/next-big-l anguage.html [blogspot.com]

      I just hope it works on mobile phones, it has to be a better solution than Sun's J2ME/JavaME mess. Is OpenLaszlo going anywhere?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)
        Sorry, as per the license, you are not permitted to install the software on embedded devices [slashdot.org]. They explicitly talk about PDAs. They don't specify which part of the software that applies to, so it must be assumed that it applies to both ends.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by x2A (858210)
          That's the end-user license agreement. That's not to say that there aren't or won't be other available licenses, such as licenses for OEMs to install it on embedded devices, available upon negotiation.

        • Re:Translation... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Zonk (troll) (1026140) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:24PM (#18405595)
          Don't forget about this part:

          13. Compliance with Licenses. If you are a business or organization, you agree that upon request from Adobe or Adobe's authorized representative*, you will within thirty (30) days fully document and certify that use of any and all Software at the time of the request is in conformity with your valid licenses from Adobe.

          http://www.adobe.com/products/eulas/players/flash/ [adobe.com]


          * Ie, the BSA which Adobe is a member of [wikipedia.org].

          This is one of the reasons I despise Flash. Hopefully someday Gnash will be a good replacement for it.
      • by omeomi (675045)
        Hope that unlike the HTML/Javascript/CSS soup we have now, this technology is designed from the ground up with security in mind.

        Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

        [breath] Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

        Okay, sorry. I'm done.

        I just hope it works on mobile phones, it has to be a better solution than Sun's J2ME/JavaME mess.

        I doubt it would help much. In my experience, the problems with J2ME have less to do with the language itself, and much more t
      • Re:Translation... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:26PM (#18405621) Homepage

        Hope that unlike the HTML/Javascript/CSS soup we have now, this technology is designed from the ground up with security in mind.
        I find that most of the time, the security problems don't come from anything to do with HTML/CSS/Javascript, but have more to do with web programmers who don't understand the implications of putting a database driven application online for anybody in the world to use, when contrasted with an application that runs on your local computer. Take a simple application that stores a list of movies you own. If the user is running it locally on their own machine, there's much less to worry about in terms of security. The worst that could happen is the user may delete their own data. When you take this application and put in online, then there's a lot more stuff to worry about. Ensuring that a user's movie list remains private, Making sure there are no SQL injection attacks, and lots of other security related issues. Applications on the internet are less secure because there's a lot more to consider as far as security goes, and most people who program these web applications don't take the proper precautions.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mad.frog (525085)
        Read over the EcmaScript 4 work-in-progress proposal and see what you think:

        http://developer.mozilla.org/es4/ [mozilla.org]

        (Basically, imagine ActionScript 3 + JavaScript 1.7 + lots of other goodies.)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560)

      "The software relies on HTML,
      Okay..

      JavaScript,
      'Kay...

      Flash,
      Ugh. Screw that noise.
      • by metalpet (557056)
        The use of Flash is optional.
        You can write an Apollo app entirely in HTML/js/css.

        The HTML renderer is WebKit.
        I wonder if it supports the tag.
        Now *that* would show Flash.
    • Re:Translation... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Speed Pour (1051122) on Monday March 19, 2007 @04:56PM (#18406799)
      Yes, slow....and....

      Let's add the security concerns of javascript running natively (without proper sandboxing, as Adobe doesn't like the concept, see Acrobat Reader for details). Anybody doubting this point, just remember that any bugs/weaknesses/flaws in this implementation of javascript will be limited to Appolo and similarly, those discovered to be fairly universal will also require Adobe to fix their own implementation (read: Adobe known for slow response time). For completeness, let's not forget that this will support Flash, adding yet another round of stumbling security concerns.

      Also to consider, this is basically a browser app that only runs web standards AND Flash, but happily disregards anything written by anybody else. This means, in Adobe's typical approach to evil, if anybody wants anything done/improved/added, Adobe is the central source of everything. Just like Acrobat, it's a completely closed "standard".

      No Linux support, who are they kidding? Grow a pair and learn to program...Do they even realize they released a runtime that just rehashes existing technology, and it doesn't even run on as many platforms as it could already be used on? Carlos Mencia said it best, Deet Dee Dee!

      Finally, why even re-invent the wheel? When Mozilla did it, it was in preparation to compete with IE, which makes sense. And Mozilla aimed at building a nice, large, open development platform that could continue to grow. Adobe does it, and their entire goal is to build something that will never grow very large? Anybody who can call this a good idea and hold a straight face while they do it...well, they've also got a bridge to sell ya'
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mad.frog (525085)
        without proper sandboxing, as Adobe doesn't like the concept

        You must speak from a complete lack of knowledge of working in Flash, which is strongly sandboxed.

        only runs web standards AND Flash, but happily disregards anything written by anybody else

        And what other "anything" are you currently using for web apps?

    • Although frankly, the extreme sluggishness expected from Apollo ranks well behind my complaint that it won't run on my platform. And from the extreme hostility Adobe has displayed towards non-win/mac/linux users, it probably never will either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HermMunster (972336)
      No linux no go. There are probably 2-3 times as many linux users are macintosh. No linux, no go.
  • Wrapper (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Monday March 19, 2007 @02:53PM (#18405163) Homepage Journal
    So in other words it's a wrapper for existing technologies? It could be useful I suppose, but I'm thinking it's being hyped up already by Adobe. Abstraction of the underlying technolgies is good in some cases, but I can just see the horrid things people will do with this. Flash alone is bad enough as it is the way it's often implemented.
    • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Monday March 19, 2007 @02:59PM (#18405237) Homepage
      Anyone who has ever had to make a cross platform GUI application that works identically on Linux, Mac, and Windows, can tell you what a nightmare it is. Even if you use a good cross platform toolkit like Qt or wxWidgets, the apps are still not *identical*. And you have to build them and test them for every platform. And you have to account for the myrid of possible library combinations the users my have installed. Etc etc.

      This is why so many companies are embracing web applications - but web applications can't do it all. Some things you just *need* to do client side. This Apollo thing could be a really great way to do it.

      And what may make it even more killer, would be the fact that you could perhapse share GUI code between your web applications and your client applications - so a user could run his UI over the web *OR* locally. Excellent.

      I will definitely be taking a close look at this.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MaggieL (10193)

        Anyone who has ever had to make a cross platform GUI application that works identically on Linux, Mac, and Windows, can tell you what a nightmare it is.


        Then they can tell Adobe, because Apollo doesn't run on Linux.
      • by wall0159 (881759)

        While I agree with the gist of your post,

        "the apps are still not *identical*"

        I don't think apps _should_ be identical on different OSs. My (somewhat naive) uderstanding is that wxWidgets causes different behaviour on different systems, so that various users' disparate expectations are met. That Photoshop behaves differently on XP to OSX is a Good Thing, IMO...

        Anyway, it'd sure be nice for some more commercial apps on Linux.
      • by zsau (266209)
        Even if you use a good cross platform toolkit like Qt or wxWidgets, the apps are still not *identical*.

        That's the point. I don't run GNU/Linux so I can pull out my hair trying to run Windows apps on a different platform; I run GNU/Linux so I can run apps that aren't even similar to Windows apps. Mac OS X users are the same.

        If this goes any way towards making making GUIs even more consistent, I hope it crashes and burns. I'd rather have fewer better citizens than a lot of bad ones.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Brandybuck (704397)
        This is why so many companies are embracing web applications

        Yesterday: wondering if the software will run on our platform

        Tomorrow: wondering if the browser/plugins requried by the software will run on our platform
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iangoldby (552781)

        Even if you use a good cross platform toolkit like Qt or wxWidgets, the apps are still not *identical*.

        Macintosh users will not thank you for making their applications identical to their MS Windows counterparts. Identical functionality - yes - but identical UI - no way.

        I'm sure the same argument applies in the opposite direction. Windows applications that don't attach their menu to the top of each window are just plain annoying (the GIMP excepting of course).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jlowe (907739)
      It is not exactly a "wrapper" for existing technologies. What the Apollo software will allow is people accustomed to writing rich web-based applications, using various technologies such as AJAX, flash, and plain ole HTML to port those applications to the desktop. No need for internet connectivity, no need to have a web server or internet browser. All the user will need is the runtime environment. I believe this will open up the applications that are available for users across windows, linux, and osx.
    • Re:Wrapper (Score:4, Interesting)

      by namityadav (989838) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:02PM (#18405275)
      I will take notice of this technology (or wrapping of technologies) when Adobe gets their own cash-cows (Read Photoshop et al) run on this platform. That is perhaps the only way Linux is going to get these Adobe applications running natively. Going by the number of people who use "Photoshop" as a reason not to switch to Linux, I think this will be huge.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jlowe (907739)
        From here: http://news.com.com/Adobe+ponies+up+for+Apollo/210 0-1012_3-6129403.html [com.com]

        "During a press and anlalyst briefing Wednesday, Adobe's senior vice president and chief software architect Kevin Lynch said Adobe will build its future products using Apollo."
      • Re:Wrapper (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:13PM (#18405431) Homepage
        People are just looking for an excuse not to use Linux, so they say Photoshop. Most home users don't need photoshop, probably haven't paid for it, and could do just as well with GIMP. For professional graphic artists, I guess can see a need for Photoshop, but those are the extreme minority of users. Even some professionals could probably get by with only using GIMP. I don't think that having Photoshop on Linux would do anything to increase the number of people using linux. People who say they need photoshop are just looking for something to complain about.
        • Re:Wrapper (Score:4, Insightful)

          by sumdumass (711423) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:36PM (#18405743) Journal
          A lot of the time it is just the extream minority of users telling the rest of the people what to use. It looks different because it cascades into other areas and eventualy looks as if every one is doing it for different reasons.

          People don't like change. I know women who stay in semi-abusive relationships because they are afraid of changing it (the most certaintly can). I remeber when working at resaurants as a kid, they would change the menue or recipies or even just how things were made (IE from scratch to seasining packet) every 3 or 4 years. Almost everyone in the kitchen fought it. After the change, they eventualy embrace it and fight against the next change using much of the same arguments as how good the current way is.

          So yea, I would say your right. But bringing Photoshop over and having it look the same, work the same, or yahoo games look the same, or whatever, will remove some elements of this change. I think it would remove some of the barriers to change. I think more people qould be likely to change to linux.

          A short note. A friend's computer blew the mainboard and she didn't have the money to replace it. I have/had (it is still mine but she has it now) a computer running mandrake that i wasn't using and it was about the same speed. I offered it to her until she got another one. Of course I have updated it to take advantage of new features and had to come over and fix things that didn't work that way she expected. But after about a year and a half, she got a new computer (actualy her dad bought it because he couldn't figure out how to make a few changes when he came over). Now, she tells me how much she hates using the other computer which is XP and faster. She cannot point out exactly what she doesn't like but tells me she ends up unpluging it and hooking the linux back up when she does what she cannot do in linux(some active X thing with school).

          This isn't a testement on how much better linux is, It is a testement to how people dislike change. I belive the majority of people are this way.
          • I actually like Windows. I have a bunch of Linux servers, I even manage a bunch at work - and I'd pick Linux for a server any day over Windows, but every time I have tried to use Linux as a desktop its actually the small things that drive me nuts. Is it alt+c, ctrl+c, or does the selected text just copy itself to the clipboard? Or maybe the clipboard doesn't work at all in the app I'm in. Getting 3D support on my display adapter isn't fun either. Then there's all the bugs in the various applets that come wi
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by MeNeXT (200840)
              I don't know what distro you're using but what you described sounds like windows to me.

              How do you stop one user from deleting shortcuts from another users start menu on Home edition? Why can't I print out some popup windows? Why does the system slow down as time goes on until I reinstall it? Why doesn't software uninstall when running the uninstall command? How do I copy from a PDF?

              These are all questions that regular Windows users ask me to help them with. It's just that some things you come to take for gr
          • by nagora (177841) *
            This isn't a testement on how much better linux is, It is a testement to how people dislike change. I belive the majority of people are this way.

            And that's exactly why Microsoft spends a small fortune every year bribing officials and politicians around the world into turning a blind eye when they strongarm OEMs into preinstalling Windows.

            TWW

        • Re:Wrapper (Score:5, Funny)

          by ZombieRoboNinja (905329) on Monday March 19, 2007 @05:14PM (#18407013)
          GIMP is great until you need to, say, draw a straight line. Then you get bounced around their website to a highly sarcastic tutorial [gimp.org] that makes it sound like ANY moron should know their weird shift-clicking technique with no explanation. And then OSS people say it's unfair that they have a rep for not being "user-friendly." /rant
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by suv4x4 (956391)
            GIMP is great until you need to, say, draw a straight line.

            Or a rounded rectangle. There are highly evolved plugins developed for GIMP for this purpose, where you can feed it scientific information and it'll draw an ugly aliased rounded rectangle for you. The Joy!

            GIMP shouldn't be used as an example for Photoshop replacement at all. Even something as basic as the grid, doesn't work properly. I'd rather use MS Paint than GIMP. And I don't speak just like that: I have GIMP installed here, as there are some us
        • Re:Wrapper (Score:4, Insightful)

          by westlake (615356) on Monday March 19, 2007 @06:29PM (#18407987)
          People are just looking for an excuse not to use Linux, so they say Photoshop. Most home users don't need photoshop, probably haven't paid for it, and could do just as well with GIMP.

          Home users have other choices than the GIMP.

          Paint Shop Pro has been around since 1992. Street price $60.

          Older versions, retail boxed, with a thick printed manual, can be found almost anywhere -- and are arguably the less painful choice than learning the GIMP UI.

          The user isn't always as addicted to piracy as the Geek choses to believe, nor is all commercial software priced like Photoshop at retail list.

        • Re:Wrapper (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sabernet (751826) on Monday March 19, 2007 @07:31PM (#18408695) Homepage
          I must call shenanigans on this one. Photoshop's tools, especially the use of vector masks and blending effects, are damned handy in the graphics biz and is thought first thing in many graphics design courses. I used them myself quite often. I tried the Gimp. It ain't there yet. It's damned awesome for a free app. But:

          "For professional graphic artists, I guess can see a need for Photoshop, but those are the extreme minority of users. Even some professionals could probably get by with only using GIMP"

          Is like saying, "For professional cycle racers, I guess can see a need for sports bikes, but those are the extreme minority of bikers. Even some professionals could probably get by with only using a kid's BMX."

          Currently, nothing holds a candle to PS.

          Now, using it as an excuse to get away from Linux? Well with virtualization software as it is and Wine's ever increasing compatibility with it, I don't see PS as being a major reason(if I remember correctly, the movie Sinbad was done entirely with Linux stations running Wine for compatibility with PS).

    • by vertinox (846076)
      There is a video in the article showing you how ebay plans to use it...

      http://www.adobe.com/devnet/videos/apollo_demo07/i ndex.html [adobe.com]

      Looks very Apple OS X-esque with the interface., but to be fair they are running OS X in the video.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ucblockhead (63650)
      Apollo is basically "Flex" outside of a browser. Flex is basically a user interface UI using Flash...basically it allows Flash-like graphics using an API more geared towards a UI. It's an alternative to things like MFC/wxWidgets/qt, etc., except with a cross platform runtime.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BandwidthHog (257320)
      Okay, so how is this something other than Yet Another Widget Platform?

      Granted, the inclusion of Flash would make for a much, errm, flashier widgeteering system, but other than that, it sounds like essentially the same thing Konfabulator, Apple, and Microsoft have already shipped.

  • by KE1LR (206175) <ken@hoover.gmail@com> on Monday March 19, 2007 @02:56PM (#18405205) Homepage
    Hmm, why did I instantly think of cross-platform viruses/worms being early uses of this technology? Self-propagating flash-based avertising?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bat Country (829565)
      You're either an alarmist or a realist. Only time will tell.

      That's one of the first reactions to any new technology on Slashdot it seems, however - "What evil can it be used for?"

      Well, that and "Can it run Linux?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by beakerMeep (716990)
      You're assuming that web aps can somehow control the apollo aps. I think you're worry is in the right place but a bit alarmist. Adobe certainly has this in mind. In fact Macromedia and the flash devlopment team has always been big on security. The difference here is, these aps will function like desktop apps but in no way is adobe going to create any type of "fly by" web based intaller for the framework, or ever in a million years let the web flash apps connect to the desktop one. They already prevent
  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Monday March 19, 2007 @02:56PM (#18405207)
    Surely an architecture like this can't function without duct tape.
  • Why would we need another java or flash? TFA is very sparse on details what is so much better about apollo and why that can't be done with flash or java. But their little project is doomed since people will tend to refuse downloading/installing new software unless the added value is clear. So unless they can generate a massive switchover from a lot of websites/developers to apollo, this technology is dead as a duck in the water.
    • by Adambomb (118938) *
      Cmonnnnnn, you know you want to download bonzo buddy. I mean you ARE our 234628346245th visitor!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by j00r0m4nc3r (959816)
      Why would we need another java or flash?

      To sell books and support to developers, of course. It doesn't even really matter how few people end up using it, it's just another way to segment the computer world even further. If they get a few big companies to use it, it will sort of build and build. There was a time when nobody was using Flash, remember? Now it's pretty much everywhere. Just because Macromedia kept plugging away bit by bit, slow and steady...
    • by Bastian (66383) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:49PM (#18405927)

      Why would we need another java or flash?

      Because those products are ancient. They've been on the market for literally years, about a decade (!!!) each. How can you possibly make money selling a software brand that old? Adobe and Flash are the Chia Pet and Hula Hoop of the industry. Blah.

      TFA is very sparse on details what is so much better about apollo and why that can't be done with flash or java.

      You would clearly make a terrible manager.
      • by nietsch (112711)

        You would clearly make a terrible manager.

        Thank you for your wonderfull compliment. I feel so good now!
    • by Fozzyuw (950608)

      Why would we need another java or flash?

      I just watched the EBay demo video. What "Apollo" appears to be is a development platform that allows you to integrate HTML, Flash/Flex, and JavaScript to build internet connectable Desktop Applications. Flash, Javascript, and HTML are all technologies that rely on the mostly rely on a browser, while Apollo is a runtime that will allow you to build an application that does not need an internet connection, but is enabled to use the internet.

      In that sense, think

  • by rlp (11898)
    In a browser environment, the browser operates the app in a sandbox and controls access to the machine. Sure hope Adobe's runtime does the same (preferably with fewer security bugs).
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:01PM (#18405265) Homepage Journal

    The first reason, and the less sure one and more petty one, is that I feel that Adobe ruins all software over time. If you think carefully about this, and if you have sufficient experience with Adobe software, you will agree with me. The only project Adobe has not completely destroyed is Photoshop, and that is only because they move most cautiously with that product. If they screwed up Photoshop they would cease to exist yesterday.

    The other reason, however, and the one that I expect more support on, is the Apollo Runtime Licensing Agreement [adobe.com]. It contains such gems as "2.2 Distribution. You may not sublicense or distribute the Software.", "2.3 Backup Copy. You may make one backup copy of the Software, provided your backup copy is not installed or used on any computer. You may not transfer the rights to a backup copy unless you transfer all rights in the Software as provided under Section 4." And then there's "2.4 No Modification. You may not modify, adapt, translate or create derivative works based upon the Software.". Here's another fun one: "3.1 Prohibited Devices and Systems. You may not install or use the Software on any non-PC device or with any embedded or device version of any operating system. For the avoidance of doubt, and by example only, you may not install or use the Software on any (a) mobile devices, set top boxes (STB), handhelds, phones, web pads, tablets and Tablet PCs that are not running Windows XP or Vista Tablet PC Edition, game consoles, TVs, DVD players, media centers (excluding Windows XP Media Center Edition and its successors), electronic billboards or other digital signage, internet appliances or other internet-connected devices, PDAs, medical devices, ATMs, telematic devices, gaming machines, home automation systems, kiosks, remote control devices, or any other consumer electronics device, (b) operator-based mobile, cable, satellite, or television systems or (c) other closed system devices."

    Now consider Apollo in the context of actually using it; the only place you can install it is on a web server. The license does not even permit installation on a web server appliance! I am not making this up; you are prohibited from installing it on "internet appliances or other internet-connected devices". You cannot install the software on a PDA used as a webserver. You cannot use the software as the interface for a set-top box. You cannot, in fact, use the software anywhere other than a webserver (but not an appliance!) or pretty much anything running Windows XP (tablet PCs and media centers NOT running Windows XP are explicitly prohibited.)

    Avoid this software at all costs! It's just an attempt by Adobe to create lock-in. Use ANY alternative.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by ajs (35943)
      All software from Adobe is an attempt to create lock-in. Anyone still shocked by that should be sent to the short bus.
      • All software from Adobe is an attempt to create lock-in. Anyone still shocked by that should be sent to the short bus.

        Can't tell if you're agreeing with the GP or hounding him for making what you consider an obvious point. The assertion that most people aren't shocked by Adobe's attempts to create lock-in is a strawman... i.e. true, but only for the trivial reason that most people are oblivious. Trying to educate oblivious folks is a reasonable response.

      • I don't see how this is the case, as most of their formats are open or standard anyhow.
    • by Bat Country (829565) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:11PM (#18405405) Homepage

      1. Definitions. "Software" means (a) (i) all of the contents of the files (provided either by electronic download, on physical media or any other method of distribution), disk(s), CD-ROM(s) or other media with which this agreement is provided; (ii) related explanatory written materials or files ("Documentation"); and (iii) fonts; and (b) upgrades, modified versions, updates, additions, and copies of the the foregoing, if any, licensed to you by Adobe (collectively, "Updates").

      "Software" doesn't mean products that you've created using Apollo, this EULA is explicitly referring to the Windows runtime of Apollo.

      This is the standard sort of CYA EULA put out by just about any company that releases a platform-specific runtime. Not saying that Adobe won't attempt to restrict creative use of the Apollo framework, just saying that this EULA does not mean what you think it means.

      Caveat: IANAL.
      • While I agree with you about most of the text, the prohibition against embedded devices, set-top boxes, etc., is likely designed to prevent you from using it in such a device; and you're likely to see the same EULA on the Linux version. I'm guessing that they don't want people developing set-top boxes based on this technology without licensing the technology from Adobe.
    • This statement is simply there to force appliance manufacturers to license the player - kinda like the way Sony licensed it for the PSP. Or phone companies/operators license it for phones.

      I've never read the Java license agreement, but I'm sure it has similar intent.
    • by Sokie (60732)
      Why would you install an end-user runtime environment on a webserver?

      Unless...you didn't understand what is being discussed here?

      Sure, Adobe sells Flex Data Services for the server side of a Flex/Apollo application, but it just talks XML with data sources. We use Rails as the data source for a Flex app we are developing. Just for instance.

      Apollo is basically Flex without a browser and it's actually kind of cool. Is it appropriate for everything? Of course not. But I think it does have it's niche.
    • Its an alpha release. I suspect the licensing, particularly the restriction on where you may use the software, reflect that. Imagine the damage to the product brand if some company included it on the kind of devices it uses as examples of prohibited devices (like ATMs or medical devices or set-top boxes), and it (as an alpha produce is wont to do) failed spectacularly in an unforseen manner.

      The license isn't made, I suspect, with individual hackers modding their own internet appliance, set-top boxes, etc.,
  • When they say

    An Apollo application can connect automatically to online data or services when an Internet connection is detected
    my spyware paranoia starts acting up. I really don't want my applications calling home and checking for updates without my explicit permission! I don't think I'd trust an auto-updater from Adobe much more than I'd trust Microsoft's "Windows Update" utility.
    • by larkost (79011)
      You've got the wrong idea. They are not talking about the Apollo runtime checking for updates, but rather the Application built with Apollo checking with the database behind the application for updates that happened since it last connected, and dumping down the changes made while the user was not net connected. If they can get this right and easy for developers to use then this will be huge.

      And despite everyone hating flash (because of annoying flash animation) there are some really great solutions using Fl
      • by Zinho (17895)
        You've got a good point. (josath says pretty much the same thing [slashdot.org], but I'm only going to reply once =)
        I see the value of that kind of thing, and it will have lots of great uses.

        My problem is that it still sounds like they've built a perfect spyware API, and they're not mentioning anything about the security model. As an end user I'm left to trust the application developer to not be evil, and I don't like that. Placing too much value on ease-of-use for developers is what led Microsoft to all of its problem
    • by merreborn (853723)

      When they say

      An Apollo application can connect automatically to online data or services when an Internet connection is detected

      my spyware paranoia starts acting up. I really don't want my applications calling home and checking for updates without my explicit permission! I don't think I'd trust an auto-updater from Adobe much more than I'd trust Microsoft's "Windows Update" utility.

      You realize that the application you used to post that message (a browser) operates in exactly the same way, right?

      That's reall

  • Ah. Cross-operating systems.

    Where's the OpenBSD version? Where's the DragonFlyBSD version?
    • by metalpet (557056)
      > Where's the OpenBSD version? Where's the DragonFlyBSD version?

      Hiding somewhere inside your linux compatibility layer?

      The real question is, where's the amigaOS version?
      Darn Adobe for not caring about the coolest OS out there!
  • Ria....gulp...a? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by monkeyboythom (796957) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:03PM (#18405299)

    From the site:

    Adobe said Apollo will make the development and use of rich Internet applications (RIAs) -- Web applications that have the interactivity of desktop apps -- quicker and easier. RIAs can offer more interactivity than is usually available via the Web. The San Jose, California company said upcoming versions of Apollo will run on Linux, integrate PDF, provide deeper Ajax support, extend support for mobile technologies, and enable media assets to be dragged and dropped directly into Apollo apps.

    RIAs? So basically, you want me to not only have a wrapper agent on my system but also a network and system app layer that will have direct access to other remote like objects? Hmmm, gee, has anyone told Citrix this?

    So this won't fly in an Corporate Enterprise environment and for home use...well, does anyone want mySpace resource hogging your whole system and not just your browser's use of your resources? Uhm, no thanks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Skuld-Chan (302449)
      Would Citrix work for any user who downloads your applet off your website? No not really because with Citrix you'll need the client app, client access license (paid for annually) and a connection to a live presentation server.

      For a custom solution Apollo would eliminate all the cost/infrastructure surrounding Citrix.
  • "Once the Apollo apps are created, users can launch them from their desktops, without using their browser or connecting online."

    Sounds a lot like Microsoft's ClickOnce technology: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/netframework/aa49 7348.aspx [microsoft.com]

    And Microsoft "auto-updates" Windows machines (whether or not you want them to, it would seem) to include the latest frameworks and such. Regardless, how does what Adobe does improve on what Microsoft (and I'm sure some F/OSS alternatives) already do?
  • "Adobe says that Apollo will be easier to use, easier to install, more leading edge, and a more reliable and consistent platform" for creating [Rich Internet Applications] than existing solutions, she [DiDio] said. She expected the Apollo runtime -- essentially, a player -- to be available for free in its final release.
    ...
    A beta version of Apollo is expected this summer, with the first official release later this year. Prices were not announced.

    I'm sure the player will be free, the SDK not so free.

    I'm cu

  • Mozilla's XUL + JS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ccozan (754085) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:05PM (#18405325) Homepage
    isn't the same thing? i remember playing with a thingie called XULPlayer, i loved it.
  • I wonder? Oh, yeah, ActiveX.
  • by belg4mit (152620)
    What's the point? We have Mozilla's GRE (plus XUL), and Apache's whatever-they-call-it?
  • by mustafap (452510) on Monday March 19, 2007 @03:21PM (#18405547) Homepage
    they want java back.
  • In which way is this different from Java webstart? AFAIK that does about everything described above? Maybe it has more shiny graphics? PSSST, Adobe, hear this.... Make some software which makes it easier to develop forms on websites. Make it connect to and auto-update from your servers. If "Country" is needed, you guys supply a current list of all countries in the world. If the end user selects "Germany", you change the "Postcode" field automatically so it will only accept "D-xxxx" where x is a dig
  • Since I have to kill several rogue AcrobatReader.Exe processes every day for the last five years, I hope this NEW Adobe product will maybe have a built-in ctrl-alt-del button?

    Will save a lot of time.

  • > Adobe Releases Cross-Operating System Runtime

    Thanks Adobe. Porting my viruses to Windows, OS X, Linux, *nix, *nix, *nix is such a pain in the ass.

    Now I can do it in just one go! Oh sweet!

  • ... that's what I fear anyway. A solid cross plattform multimedia ready RIA enviroment with a reliable roadmap and good backing is what the world is desperately crying for. Flash could easyly be and stay king of the hill in that game. Java slowpocked to long and Flash has the largest installbase of any plattform ever.
    I wonder why they don't just continue to improve Flash/AS. Is it the Community that needs rebranding?
    Apollo could give the whole Flash/AS thing a fresh start and remove those psycho barriers an
  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday March 19, 2007 @06:11PM (#18407735) Homepage Journal
    Dont we have enough of these things already? How about lets all work on making one better, then just adding another to the pile?
  • by dtfinch (661405) * on Monday March 19, 2007 @10:08PM (#18409887) Journal
    It's kind of pointless if there's no Linux build. I wonder if it'll work in Wine.

    At least they're not using Microsoft's definition of cross-platform: It runs on Vista _and_ XP.

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