4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2009 5:16 PM by mixersoft

    Is AIR the right platform for photo management app?

      I need to build a web-enabled photo management app with the following features:

      • server sign-in and authentication
      • photos fetched from server via REST API/XML
      • tag, rate (i.e. 1-5 stars), and edit properties for photos, with data updated on or sync-ed with server
      • all the RIA UI goodies, like multi-select, drag/drop, AJAX-style auto-complete, overlay icons on thumbs,
      • all the photo management goodies, like fast scrolling, histograms, resizeable thumbnail
      • able to handle 1000s of photos in 1 album (server is on a local LAN)

      One key issue is how the platform loads an album with 1000s of photos in the background, and scrolls through pages of thumbnails. I tried before to build this in Java and all the threading issues were too much for me.

      I have good experience with CakePHP & MySQL and some experience with Java, but I am resigned to learning a new platform/libs. I just need to know where to invest my learning time.


      Can some experienced users pipe in on whether AIR the right platform for me to build on? Should I use Javascript etc, or learn Flex?


      Is there anything out there I could just build on? I'm also considering building on Yahoo YUI or Google GWT as an alternative.






        • 1. Re: Is AIR the right platform for photo management app?
          Michael Borbor Level 4

          I would say


          • yes
          • yes
          • yes
          • yes
          • yes
          • I'm not so sure about performance loading a thousand pics even photoshop gets huge in system memory when you load 200 pics at a time, I'd rather load them at runtime if the server is in a Lan then that wouldn't take too much time or I'd generate a shadow copy on the local user folder.


          If you know a technology deeply and you like it keep on it, but you can switch to Flex if you want to learn something new and it's a tech that is great to work with.

          • 2. Re: Is AIR the right platform for photo management app?
            Joe ... Ward Level 4

            To handle 1000s of photos, you would probably have to create a paging system so that only a subset of the images are loaded in memory at one time. But that would be the case with any technology. Flash/AIR doesn't expose threads to the application developer.

            • 3. Re: Is AIR the right platform for photo management app?
              Level 1

              Let me clarify the issue of 1000s of photo. I the app would need to load thumbnails for 1000s of photos, but only open the full size photo when the thumbnail is clicked. probably 120px max dimension, pre-rendered on the server. I have tried to open 1000 thumbs in a plain html page, and the photos come quickly - as if from the local file system - but it does seem to slow the UI until everything is loaded.


              Is there a way for AIR to load the thumbnails is the current "view port" immediately, and the rest in the background? YUI has an imageLoader class that does something like this. Could I use this within AIR?


              The other requirement is to manage a DB of tags ratings, and other attributes for the photos, but I can't imagine that is a big challenge. right?

              • 4. Re: Is AIR the right platform for photo management app?
                Michael Borbor Level 4

                Yes you can catch images, with no problem. And the DB stuff that's not