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What will I use Adobe's Apollo for?

At last Friday's Apollo Camp, I was interviewed...on camera! To my frustration, when they asked me what I would build with Apollo, I blanked. Must have been the bright lights, and the late hour. Of course, as soon as I was off-camera, the ideas spontaneously regenerated in my tired brain. What's a geek to do? Blog it!

Apollo is a bit more than a desk-top Flash player. There are number of features that have captured my interest:

1. Apollo applications sit on Apollo Runtime, not the operating system, freeing the developer from choosing which operating system to develop for. This is the reason I first got into Flash.

2. Apollo desktop integration means applications have local file access, and can make use of system clipboard and drag-n-drop...think how easy it will be to add your local photos to online applications!

3. Apollo applications can run in the background. When I heard this, the first thing that popped in my head was distributed computation projects.

4. I can use my existing web dev skills. According to Kevin Lynch, anything that works in HTML will work in Apollo.

5. Apollo also has online/offline detection events. This has a lot of interesting possibilities...preparing content, and then publishing, all in one application...checking for updates...

With the ease of web-services integration into Flash and Flex projects, and a force of developers who think web-enabled, I think we'll see some very interesting applications in the near future.

I'll probably start with something that will make my own life easier, like a bookmark manager.


Right off the rip? Every Flash/Flex admin panel I wrapped previously in a commercial wrapper will transition over to Apollo. I haven't had to place a single admin control in the webspace for quite a while and with Flex, Flash and Apollo all being under the same Adobe roof...I see this as a win win for me personally (as well as everyone into that game). Nothing beats a pack and go admin. Granted the runtimes will be a smoother ride (inline install) at final for .air benders but we have to start migrating now I say :)

Second...I'll probobly stuff a Flex forum system I just built into Apollo just to have some fun....generate interest to newbs and test Apollo with standard server models (MySQL,PHP). This lets me take the heat off the server since instead of multiple downloads as an online board it will be a one timer download and the server can focus on the server side hits (which are much less demading on band for revisits).

Once html comes onboard for the next release...who knows....Apollo really does some things no wrapper does so it should be a fun year :)

I'd have some project I'd like to use it for... but it doesn't seem to have real datastore yet. Bundle in SQLite or the like, and you'd have a real killer app.

The first thing that came to my mind when I read item 1) on Kristin's list was: release the source or at least the specs for the runtime!
Develop the runtime for Linux as POSIX-compliant as possible and release the source or at least the specs. Give ppl the chance to port it to BSD and other OS's, let the community help with bugs/glitches/performance etc.
It will not increase the userbase in a significant way but it will give Adobe more credit in the OSS community, it will help take Apollo to higher levels, it will be more cross-platform and with the possible huge increase in developers Apollo & the runtime might move forward at a faster pace as well...

I realize right now Adobe wants to market Apollo and make sure it succeeds and all that, but one can dream... I think Apollo has huge potential and I'll definitely work with it, no question about it. I just think there's potential for more and more and more with this runtime idea :)