Chapter 21. Introducing Adobe AIR

Flash began life as a program for creating cool animations in files small enough to send over the Internet. Flash has evolved since then, gaining the ability to create interactive animations using ActionScript. During the same period, the Internet grew up, and the line between desktop applications and web-based services has blurred. The next step in Flash's evolution is the ability to create desktop applications. After all, not all computers are connected to the Internet all the time. Better still, desktop programs don't have the limitations of browser-based apps, which are, for safety's sake, restricted in the ways they can read and write to files on your computer.

And so Adobe developed the open-source AIR system for creating applications that run outside a web browser. AIR lets you develop powerful applications using your Flash and ActionScript skills, and do it quickly. This chapter introduces the concepts behind Adobe AIR and shows you how to create a bare-bones AIR application. You'll learn how to convert your existing Flash animations into an AIR desktop application. Throughout, you'll find tips explaining where you can learn more about AIR and how other developers are using it.

Meet Adobe AIR

If you're interested in developing desktop applications or applets that can run on Windows, Mac, and even Linux computers, read on. AIR stands for Adobe Integrated Runtime. In programmer-speak, a runtime, sometimes called a runtime environment, works sort ...

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