AIR Applications I'm Using

Posted by Aaron West at 8:30 AM in Adobe AIR

So there's this new thing called AIR. No I'm not talking about what you breathe or what gets compressed into scuba tanks for divers (like me) to inhale while exploring the depths of the ocean. Of course, the existence and release of Adobe AIR isn't news to you unless you've been hiding under a rock since June 2007.

While attending the annual Adobe Community Summit last year (in June) I got my first real peek behind the curtain of a pre-alpha product called Apollo. I'll admit it, I was a skeptic, especially considering Apollo wasn't Adobe's first try at creating desktop applications that were "Web-aware." Previous to Apollo/AIR, Macromedia had created a product called Macromedia Central that didn't get beyond version 1.5. Nor did it ever really get released into the wild. And while we could ponder for hours why Central didn't work Adobe's AIR is destined for greatness. The real success of AIR will come not only because of it's ubiquity in being a multi-platform runtime, but also because of it's accessibility and ease of entry to the developers of 2008. Using the tools, code, and paradigms we're already used to developers actually want to get into rich Internet applications on the desktop. In some cases I've seen programmers almost salivating at the thought of extending their application's reach to the desktop. If you don't believe me, just check out a few of the "Why AIR?" testimonies on

Over the next few days I want take some time to show you Adobe AIR. What better way to do this than to discuss a few AIR applications that I'm using on a day-to-day basis. It really hit me the other day when I noticed I had 3 AIR apps running on my desktop. The realization that AIR had staying power was extremely evident in that moment. Not only was I running "for fun" applications - like the one discussed below - but I was also running productivity and communications applications. These types of apps are what really pull you in because once you've used them you can't imagine losing the rich experience that adds so much to what might be a miserable one.

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About a month ago I received an e-mail from Roman Villarreal, founder and CEO of Lumenbrite Training, an Adobe Authorized Training center. Roman was writing an article for the Adobe Development Center and he wanted to mention my name in the article and link to my CFEclipse snippets. Well, Roman's article is now out and you should give it a read if you are new to Eclipse or CFEclipse, or if you need help with any of the following:

  • installing CFEclipse
  • configuring your development environment
  • setting up snippets
  • integrating with a SnipEx server
  • using CF8 extensions
  • using the Tasks panel
  • using RDS and the Visual Query Builder
  • using CFC Wizards