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Air is Dead

Explorer ,
Dec 26, 2013 Dec 26, 2013

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Let's face it guys. Air is Dead.  Look at the feature list for 4.0.  The pace of development and bug fixes have slowed to a crawl.

It's presented to us as a mobile development platform but you can't pick a video from the Gallery, read the Contacts database or Play a movie.  The forums are full of bugs and when Adobe rarely chimes in it's to ask us to vote.  Shouldn't you just fix bugs?

It's touted as a cross platform mobile environment but it's not listed in a single article comparing them.  No new developer in his right mind would program in Flash at this point. I did for ten years but I'm done. Tired of spending hours on bugs and workarounds.

I wish Adobe would spin out the two or three guys still working on it and open source it.  Maybe they could call themselves MacroMedia.

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Advocate ,
Jan 02, 2014 Jan 02, 2014

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play movie can be done easy using native for device mp4 or all flash formats

contacts can be received using native extensions the same as video gallery. or u dont know what is native extensions?

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Explorer ,
Jan 02, 2014 Jan 02, 2014

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"or u dont know what is native extensions?"

- i would better ask if he knows how to fix bugs.

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Explorer ,
Jan 02, 2014 Jan 02, 2014

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Gentlemen, I too have coded in Flash for a decade. Declaring me a poor coder does nothing for your case.

I've used a handful of ANEs and they all have issues.  Show me one that allows you to pick a movie from the Gallery. I've used two of the ones that purport to.  The Fresh Planet ANE throws lost context states when it starts and stop - four amateur screen flashes with each video pick.

The VideoRoll version throws errors if you use it with Actionscript (works better for Flex) but has a long list of bugs reported.  Read the forum post on this feature request and you'll see developers begging for this simple upgrade for well over a year.

As for video, you can't put Starling or conventional Flash elements on the same plane as StageVideo.  Face it guys, it's Mickey Mouse tools in 2014. 

In my career I've programmed in C, C++, VB, Java and Flash.  The fact that no professional market has emerged for Adobe ANE proves it has no following or future.  If you're writing enterprise apps, you need professional tools and support.  Adobe has farmed out the most important elements to a couple of outside projects (Starling and Feathers).  If you have experience in tech you know that you must bring core elements inside.  It shows that they want to keep collecting the coins but they don't want to spend any. 

The elements I pointed out (there are ten more that I didn't) are fundamental to the two mobile platforms that matter.  How can you argue for not being able to pick, play and share a movie from your phone?  It's the most important pieces of the most important platform.

Let's face facts, we're programming in tomorrow's ColdFusion.  It's a shame because I love(d) Flash.  The abstraction level and the paradigm of a programmable movie is brilliant.  They had a ten year lead on HTML5 but conceded the fight without throwing a punch.  When the sole owner of a proprietary tech gives up, it's over.

Turn the lights out when you leave.

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Advocate ,
Jan 02, 2014 Jan 02, 2014

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Show me one that allows you to pick a movie from the Gallery.

In my career I've programmed in C, C++,

Pantera, why you can't write it yourself? It's not so hard as you think. I don't know C/C++ but this don't limit me for ANE developing. Go to Freshplanet ANE-ImagePicker - it's seems to allow pick a video. If it have a bugs - just fix it. Google will help you.

If you know C/C++ - why not write natively?

If you're writing enterprise apps, you need professional tools and support.

I think if you have critical bug in Adobe Air - you must not only report it but asking for quick fixing it over forums and ask people to vote for it. Adobe Air is free and Adobe is not your client so in this case you can't just say 'Adobe give me a coffee and fix that bug".

How can you argue for not being able to pick, play and share a movie from your phone?  It's the most important pieces of the most important platform.

In some cases I agree with you. But you not limiting in Native programming without Adobe Air Jack want play movie, Sara wan't buil-in physics, Dave asking for something else... Adobe can't develop all this for all inside Air. Today flash it's game oriented as the Adobe Air. It's good for 2D games. If 7 app it's games and 2 it's Enterprise app and this 9 without Camera usage and only your 1 / 10 use Camera - you must understand that Adobe will not hurry with this just for you.

What about StageVideo - maybe it's because it's not Air plays it? As I see - StageVideo and Stage3D it's a Native rectangle with Native content and you can't work with it as with default Flash.

Totally I agree with you that Adobe slowdown Air and Flash improvement how this looks like from users side. But It's not dead and I think it have the future. Let holydays ends

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Explorer ,
Jan 03, 2014 Jan 03, 2014

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You have made my point eloquently.  If you want to develop in mobile Air apps, you need to write everything yourself.  I've moved to native java and objective-C.  Yes, I'll need to write each app twice but I'm now focused on my app logic and not doing the work Adobe won't do. 

I'm tired of posting and voting.  Google and Apple have real staffs and are advancing their SDKs.  Not giving the illusion of control by letting users 'vote'.  Many of the issues on this board, and one that stopped me cold, are bugs! You don't vote on whether or not to fix bugs.

Notice that Adobe is absent on this post and most others.  They have very little staff dedicated to Air.  They make their money from PhotoShop.  Air has become like ColdFusion for Adobe - put two guys on it for life and keep taking the subscription money from the entrenched developers who hang on by their fingernails and (as you said) write their own pieces of the missing library.

Adobe?  Are you out there?  Tell the good people how many developers are working on Air!

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Explorer ,
Jan 03, 2014 Jan 03, 2014

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I don't think you have much of a point at all.  Development time is increased significantly when you have to completely re-write in 2-3 different languages.  I have found AIR a very viable platform.  Select video, play video, push notifications, dropbox integration, barcoding, and many other features I have been able to successfully implement using air for 3 different platforms (android, ios, and blackberry), with very little added development time.  If you are upset that you have to create native extensions then of course go native, but don't think that you are saving yourself any development time.  Because you are NOT.  The beauty of AIR is that you have one code base for almost everything.  98% of our code is actionscript/flex and I love it.  Have to fix a bug in your program?  Only change it once and it is fixed for 3 platforms.  There are trade offs for any development decision.  Understand that there are MANY people who enjoy and love developing in AIR for mobile, and have had a lot of success at it.

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Explorer ,
Jan 07, 2014 Jan 07, 2014

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Honestly, I have also developed in Adobe Air for over five years and unfortunately my impression is that the technology is dead. Want an example: look at Unity. Not the best technology on the market, but it has robbed many developers own the Flash ecosystem. All blogs evangelists Abode only talk about html5. It is unbearable. An example: http://blogs.adobe.com/flashpro/

So the noise that Unity makes your product, this makes it reliable for developers. And Adobe? Supports formally Starling / Feathers (by the way, are great frameworks) and only speaks of html5 and javascript and its tools, like someone bought some software from Creative Cloud to create websites! Adobe Air could be the best tool for mobile and desktop, but Adobe does not care about this, unfortunately.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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72Pantera wrote:

Gentlemen, I too have coded in Flash for a decade. Declaring me a poor coder does nothing for your case.

I've used a handful of ANEs and they all have issues.  Show me one that allows you to pick a movie from the Gallery. I've used two of the ones that purport to.  The Fresh Planet ANE throws lost context states when it starts and stop - four amateur screen flashes with each video pick.

The VideoRoll version throws errors if you use it with Actionscript (works better for Flex) but has a long list of bugs reported.  Read the forum post on this feature request and you'll see developers begging for this simple upgrade for well over a year.

As for video, you can't put Starling or conventional Flash elements on the same plane as StageVideo.  Face it guys, it's Mickey Mouse tools in 2014. 

In my career I've programmed in C, C++, VB, Java and Flash.  The fact that no professional market has emerged for Adobe ANE proves it has no following or future.  If you're writing enterprise apps, you need professional tools and support.  Adobe has farmed out the most important elements to a couple of outside projects (Starling and Feathers).  If you have experience in tech you know that you must bring core elements inside.  It shows that they want to keep collecting the coins but they don't want to spend any. 

The elements I pointed out (there are ten more that I didn't) are fundamental to the two mobile platforms that matter.  How can you argue for not being able to pick, play and share a movie from your phone?  It's the most important pieces of the most important platform.

Let's face facts, we're programming in tomorrow's ColdFusion.  It's a shame because I love(d) Flash.  The abstraction level and the paradigm of a programmable movie is brilliant.  They had a ten year lead on HTML5 but conceded the fight without throwing a punch.  When the sole owner of a proprietary tech gives up, it's over.

Turn the lights out when you leave.

98% percent of advanced functionality can be had for $200 from Distriqt: http://distriqt.com/native-extensions, including your mutli-video selector (current for iOS only, but Android soon).

Considering AIR is a free platform, spending $200 still puts you FAR ahead of competitors like Unity or Corona. And if you think the grass is always greener, go try out some competitors... you think you've seen Mickey Mouse, you haven't seen anything yet. Corona and Unity are pretty solid, but their API is extremely limited and really only suitable for games. The rest of AIR competitors are a joke, especially HTML5.

This statement "I've tried lots of ANE's and they all have issues" makes you sound completely out to lunch. Clearly you haven't tried very many. Purchase any ANE from Milkman games (http://www.milkmangames.com/blog/), or Distriqt, and you get the pleasure of extremely well-designed API's, rapid bug fixes, excellent documentation and email support.

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Advocate ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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esDotDev +1

If 72Pantera can't do something it's not mean that Air is bad. Yesterday one man tell me that InAppPurchase don't work for it. After 2 hours of researching he found that he provide wrong product id. But during this 2 hours he twitted many times that Adobe Air is bad and etc. And after he find solution he changed own position and undersand main viewpoint - if he had ugly hands it's not mean that is adobe done bad Air.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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Also, if you need something, be pro-active, don't just piss and moan. I needed a multi-image selector for iOS, I contacted Distriqt and offered $500 if they would do this for me. 3 weeks later, I have an ANE that does the trick perfectly without a single bug, and took me about 2hrs to implement. Now everyone in the community can get this selector for free included in the main Distriqt package, win-win-win!

We will all get an Android version soon as well as soon as they finish it off.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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You continue to make my point.  To select multiple images you have to hire an outside firm? 

I think it's great that good programmers can continue to push forward using duct tape and popsicle sticks, but ANEs that don't support both platforms and may not be around tomorrow are not the recipe for professional software development.

For all of the continued Air fans, look at the Distriqt component list and tell me why Air should not have all of those as native objects?  A couple of guys in Australia see what's missing but Adobe doesn't?

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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I agree with @ Panther. These native extensions should be supported natively by Adobe Air, or should come directly from Adobe. But Adobe is more focused on their products with HTML5. There have even a hope in relation to Adobe Air for Windows Phone, while the Unity already has support for it. Adobe Air could be more fantastic than it already is, but this rate of development, do not believe it to last long.

Look at these thoughts, and tell me if Adobe is certain:

http://thonbo.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/where-is-adobe-going-with-flash-after-max-conclusions/#commen...

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Advocate ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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http://translate.google.com.ua/translate?hl=ru&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://gamespoweredby.com/blog/2013/12/... it's how to work with mobile and with Air.

Unity3D and Air - it's two Engine that never was Native and never can it be. If  you need everything more than Air or Unity3D - go to Native and stop writing here and scarying anyone.

Adobe invest funds into Flash/Air and never ask you any dollar back. You are using Adobe Air for free and telling us that is bad. Ok, may be it is not cutting-edge technology, but it's allows make money for everyone who without ugly hands. I saw and continue watching how many apps goest to the top's of AppStore. Their developers receive funds and they don't telling us "Your Adobe Air is dead". If it dead - please ignore it. It's so hard?

At the end of the 2013 Adobe switching Flash player to PPAPI (old was NPAPI) and this is not fast and simple job. Each update of Air show much better performance. They not only supporting your functions that you like. They work on Flash Player Lite and the rest not "Adobe Air only" projects. Also they need to update Adobe Air for new API and xcode5 for iOS. This is not so simple job. So when you telling "Air is dead" - it's not true. You know nothing as I see. May be Air can be better - but currently it have everyting that can reach you as developer. Stop panic and go to your job.

As my friends telling - when one saying the rest doing.

Peace.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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72Pantera wrote:

You continue to make my point.  To select multiple images you have to hire an outside firm? 

I think it's great that good programmers can continue to push forward using duct tape and popsicle sticks, but ANEs that don't support both platforms and may not be around tomorrow are not the recipe for professional software development.

For all of the continued Air fans, look at the Distriqt component list and tell me why Air should not have all of those as native objects?  A couple of guys in Australia see what's missing but Adobe doesn't?

Again, go find something that's better and let me know what it is. (HINT: It doesn't exist). So have fun maintaining 3 code-bases, coding in multiple languages, and doing all of this hard work by hand.

$200 is an amazing deal for all this functionality. You're looking at $3000 MINIMUM to publish iOS/Android from Unity, and you can forget about using your Windows box to dev. Corona has a tiny fraction of the API's offered by AS3, not to mention Distriqt.

As for people complaing about Facebook ANE's. Not sure what you guys are "buying", but spend $60 with Milkmangames and you get an exhaustive "Getting Started" guide, and full complete documentation and excellent email-support.

To simply READ XML in Unity, you would need to purchase a $45 package, same with SharedObjects, same with File API's, another for Facebook, another for GameCentre etc etc etc. Want a good SoundManager? Yep, that will cost you too. You guys have no idea how good you have it. This is the problem with what's left of our community, a bunch of entitled whiners who have no clue about the realities and challenges of other middleware platforms. Throwing stones @ Adobe and whining all over the place when they hit a few bumps, newflash: Every platform has warts, deal with it, or go write Native Code and maintain multiple code-bases for each product you want to deliver.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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72Pantera wrote:

You continue to make my point.  To select multiple images you have to hire an outside firm? 


You continue to miss the point. With relatively little effort and cost I was able to get the exact functionality I need, it's tested, it's robust and I can simply continue to develop my app. My workflow was not impacted, and the entire thing turned around in less than a month. That is a success story you would be hard-pressed to find on any other platform.

This is better then waiting for monolithic Adobe to add the API, usually broken and with a crappy API because they are designed by Engineers and not developers. The Distriqt ANE's are updated routinely, have excellent API design, and are extremely affordable. WTF are you complaining about again? Spending $200?

Go pay Corona $50/mth if you think that's better, for a fraction of the API's. Or Unity @ $1500/platform/seat/year + another $500 in extensions to get some parity with the AIR api's.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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The question is that when we undertake to do something, we must do better and better made possible, and this seems not to be the face of Adobe, which go to sleep, saw Flash was crucified, when he could have developed Action Script 4 and the new Flash. Anes are just the tip of the iceberg.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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novoasaoooo wrote:

The question is that when we undertake to do something, we must do better and better made possible, and this seems not to be the face of Adobe, which go to sleep, saw Flash was crucified, when he could have developed Action Script 4 and the new Flash. Anes are just the tip of the iceberg.

This is the main risk for sure. Clearly Adobe does not care much about AIR anymore, so apps made with it are not as "future proof" as we would like.

But, it's a matter of weighing the potential for short-term gains and profits, with the risk of your app one-day becoming obselete.

On the good side:
1. When iOS7 came out, Adobe had a working version of AIR extremely quickly.

2. They are actively trying to fix performance related issues on IOS7

3. The industry is using AIR more and more,  we're seeing players like Ubisoft, Disney and Nickelodean using AIR, which (to me) means that Adobe can't really drop support.

4. They have recently tackled some major initiatives, including reduced iOS Packaging Time, and Mobile Workers.

On the bad side:

1. No Windows Phone Support, in the past this would've been a no-brainer, but since Adobe has de-funded AIR, it's not happening.

2. No evangalists or enthusiasm at all from Adobe. Mainly a perception problem, doesn't really impact us day-to-day

3. No apparent attempt to get AIR working well on Intel-x86 Android devices.

4. No apparent attempt to get AIR on PS4/XB1

So platform support is definately slipping, and that's a problem. In 2-3 years it may even be a serious problem. Today though, the number of platforms you can target is still quite impressive, representing well over 90% of the mobile market.

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Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2014 Jan 09, 2014

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Yes, Adobe Air is still one of the best alternatives for multiplatform development. But I think Adobe should invest more and do more marketing. That would be like giving a slap in the face of those who decreed the end of the Flash ecosystem.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014

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oh my god..

This is the main risk for sure. Clearly Adobe does not care much about AIR anymore, so apps made with it are not as "future proof" as we would like.

[..]

On the bad side:

1. No Windows Phone Support, in the past this would've been a no-brainer, but since Adobe has de-funded AIR, it's not happening.

2. No evangalists or enthusiasm at all from Adobe. Mainly a perception problem, doesn't really impact us day-to-day

3. No apparent attempt to get AIR working well on Intel-x86 Android devices.

4. No apparent attempt to get AIR on PS4/XB1

Guys, please, let me understand. In this 2014 I'm back (from 2011 end - yes, I have spent some years in the jungle) to develop my web+desktop+mobile "unicom" software suite. This work is a critical mission for my business model (and my home rent 😞 I do not develop games or apps that users use 'sometimes' (saying this of course with maximum respect for their developers). I'm working at a multiplatform enterprise-grade communication and management applications which my client and users will use 24h/24 365days per year on their desktops and tablets and their websites. The software I'm working on is a decade-long project starting in these days.

Of course I'm back on developing my app with my own application server and my loved Flash/AIR client framework.

Guys, Adobe, somebody can tell me exactly what is happening in Adobe to Adobe's plans about AIR/Flash?

I don't care "Yes, Adobe Air is still one of the best alternatives for multiplatform development"

I care "Yes, Adobe Air WILL ALWAYS BE AS USUAL the best...."

Chris? Adobe?

it's a serious issue for me: I'm facing a flood of little bugs or malfunctioning things as first re-approach to newer flash/air (I'm still testing new versions of flash runtimes) but I'm used to see continuous bug fixes and improvements.

And let's say the truth: it is not really true but I can no need more particular innovation on flash/air platform (Adobe work is great and complete today for my software need). what have been already implemented for me is enought to follow by business way (if it is going to be always up-to-date with new hardware and business ways the market offers and will offer). But it is true if it works and will work always perfectly.


Can't I rely on air/flash for next (possibly 2) decade??

Massimiliano Carli

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014

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ps .. and of course, I will need support for TVs / setup boxes

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New Here ,
Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014

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I agree with you. Anyway, I hope in FlexJS!

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 14, 2014 Feb 14, 2014

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.. let me understand. You hope in FlexJS.. "just" not to design your own UI components set?

I'm not ironic. This is a real question.

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Advocate ,
Feb 14, 2014 Feb 14, 2014

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 14, 2014 Feb 14, 2014

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thanks Anton, but oh yes, I know this document.

and this is my answer for Adobe: http://forums.adobe.com/message/6122119#6122119

At the same time, Adobe plans to continue its next-generation virtual machine and language work ...........  as part of the larger web community doing such work on web-based virtual machines.

what does it means?

(my god, let's trust in.. ehm.. Adobe. I want to suspect Adobe is 'speaking in silent' due to the strong competition against flash and their need to be supported. We have to be strong. I hope they understands the full potential of flash )

mc

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