Getting Started with Adobe Air (or, trying to)

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Credit: Wikipedia

Recently I had cause to play with Adobe Air, which I missed when it was popular and it’s been pretty hard to find out what is actually going on with it as much of the information is out of date, other than Adobe’s corporate PR engine.

It’s supposed to make it really easy to create apps that work on the web, desktop, iOS and Android. Which is a cool story I’m sure I’ve heard before.

The first step was installing it, but after much confusion I discovered I had just installed the runtime, and not any way of actually creating apps. So in spotlight I find the installed, and the uninstaller, but not the actual thing.

OK great, so now I just need a development environment. The first recommended one I found was AptanaStudio. Except Air is not supported in Aptana 3, the latest one (I discover this, of course, after I have downloaded, installed Aptana and it is refusing to close on my machine – good feelings).

New way: install the Aptana Plugin for Eclipse and then separately the Air Plugin. This might be the Flash Builder plugin, but given the last mention of this is from 2008, maybe not. More research uncovers that Flash Builder plug in doesn’t work with versions of Eclipse above 3.6. Eventually I find that the Aptana Plugin has it’s own set of plugins, once of which is the Air plugin. But Aptana again barely works.

I end up downloading a trial of Adobe Flash builder. I’ve realised that the bit on the Adobe site that says you don’t need to buy tools from them to develop Air is a lie. Because Air is out of favour, only Adobe is updating their dev tools. Unless you are on Windows, where you can use FlashDevelop apparently.

Luckily they have a one month free trial.

In all, my instructions for getting started with Air:

  1. Don’t.

One reply on “Getting Started with Adobe Air (or, trying to)”

You can also develop fully right Flash Professional from Adobe… yes it’s not free, but you can import graphics, animate or draw freehand in the environment. Add some bits of interactive code and publish to all of the advertised platforms. You’re review is a half-hearted attempt at using a robust and mature development environment.
The link is an interactive application environment in full 3D environment I developed in two weeks using Flash and Flare3D.

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