2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2008 3:53 PM by DavidBPrice

    AIR hobbled into widgit / toy category?

      I was very excited about AIR until I started trying to write involved applications for it. In my opinion, there are two design choices that severly limit what AIR can be used for.
      1. Allowing only a single instance of any air application to run at a time. This sounds like something the designers did to make it easier for the developers of AIR, rather than for AIR developers. A major irritation, but not a show stopper.
      2. Not being able to load / communicate with third party swfs. Sure, you can use the cross domain "bridge", but this only allows passing by value and only of simple objects. This is a show stopper. This means that you can't write an application that allows third parties to create a swf that would create an ArrayCollection or XMLListCollection and pass to the parent application for display / use.

      Of course, there are various ways to get around these problems, but really, this reduces AIR to a Browser application that one can launch from the desktop, not a serious desktop application tool
        • 1. Re: AIR hobbled into widgit / toy category?
          duncanhall Level 1
          1. No, it is simply up to you to develop your applications in such a way that when an Invocation event is received, your application responds in a suitable manner. For most applications, the idea of having to prevent multiple instances would have been a headache for developers. Instead you can simply listen for attempts to open a new instance and act accordingly (If your application is developed in a sensible manner this should simply be a case of creating a new instance of your main application window). This seems to me like a sensible choice by Adobe.
          2. This seems a bit convoluted. Are you really claiming that getting ArrayCollections etc out of a 3rd party swf is the only way to load 3P/User content? As you say, there are ways round this, but more importantly, there are more sensible methods to begin with.

          AIR is a lot more than a 'browser application that can launch from the desktop'. Perhaps you havent looked at the Filesystem API or the embedded SQLite support? And I'm not really sure AIR is 100% attempting to be a "serious dekstop application tool". If that is what your after, why not join the C++/# leagues.
          • 2. Re: AIR hobbled into widgit / toy category?
            DavidBPrice Level 1
            1. Yes, you can design the application that way and control the windows. But the developer should have been given the choice on how to do the design. Also, this way, if a run time problem is encountered in one of your windows, the entire app gets blown out of the water. Not a good thing.

            2. Not talking about the "only" way to do things. But we already have Flex applications that let our clients create swfs that communicate and pass data to our application that then displays them in useful ways. This is not a security threat. They speak in a defined interface that both sides know and understand. This is already working. Now, in air it is broken and for no good reason.
            And I must disagree with your "more sensible" response when you didn't mention what you think is more "sensible". There are usually several valid ways of developing complex applications and the best approach can differ based on may factors.