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Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) Resources Roundup for Ruby on Rails Developers

By Hendy Irawan / June 16, 2007

Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), codenamed and originally named Apollo, is a cross-operating-system runtime environment for building Rich Internet Applications, using Flash, Flex, HTML, Ajax, that can be deployed as a desktop application.  

AIR has gone Public Beta, so does anybody use it? eBay does, Adobe has more, and who doesn't love twitter?

Here are some AIR-related resources (and alternatives) that might interest you.

Related Ruby on Rails AIR ResourcesWebORB for Rails by Midnight Coders can be installed as a plugin into any Rails application to expose Ruby classes as remote services. Mike Potter created Ruby on Rails RIA SDK which makes integration much easier.  

RIA pedia and Derek Wischusen's FlexOnRails.net have lots of useful resources on Flex and Ruby on Rails integration. Derek wrote about Flex-Rails Integration and Alastair has a good Flash remoting for Rails tutorial (although that one is a bit dated, but check out his newer Adobe+Rails articles.) If you're looking for a book, Peter Armstrong is already in the process of writing Flexible Rails, which will have extensive coverage of developing Rails apps with both Flex and AIR.

CodeApollo.com and OnFlex.org are great sources for general AIR/Flex articles and discussions.

Aptana IDE

Aptana, Inc. is quick to provide AIR support for the Aptana IDE (already a popular choice for developing Ruby on Rails applications with its RadRails plugin.) They also provided a very nicely done Aptana IDE + AIR screencast.  

Google Gears

Google Gears is an open source browser extension that enables web applications to provide offline functionality. It may be AIR's competitor, but Adobe's Kevin Lynch says that Google Gears API will also be available in AIR.  

Dojo Offline Toolkit has offline client-side storage support, which is currently being ported to use Google Gears API. Brad Neuberg has created a cool-looking screencast of Dojo Offline.

Firefox 3Firefox 3 will support offline web applications as defined by the WHATWG Web Applications 1.0 specification (which has been adopted for the current HTML/XHTML 5 working draft).  

Joyent Slingshot

Joyent Slingshot has been available for some time as a "native" Ruby on Rails alternative to AIR's offline capabilities. Joyent already has a free Public Release available and will be fully open sourcing this version later this month.  

Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight is a proprietary runtime for browser-based Rich Internet Applications, providing a subset of the animation, vector graphics, and video playback capabilities of Windows Presentation Foundation. As a bonus, it supports the Ruby language. Given the pressure from Microsoft's competitors, it's fair to expect Silverlight to have offline capabilities in very near future.  

Feel free to post your own findings (or articles you wrote yourself) in the comments.

Note: Linux users will have to be patient a little bit more as the current AIR Beta is available for Windows and Mac only.

About Hendy Irawan

Ruby programmer from Indonesia. View all posts by Hendy Irawan →

Comments

  1. Thijs van der Vossen says:

    A word of warning,;right now you can't easily talk to a RESTful Rails application from a Flex frontend running in a browser because of limitations in Flash http api. See http://www.fngtps.com/2007/06/flex-can-t-do-rest for the details.

  2. riki says:

    Tweeter, seems very similar Twitter. It would be easy for users to get them confused.

  3. Massimo Sgrelli says:

    Extending browser features to get offline capability could be very dangerous. In the past years many of us worked on client server applications. They were fast and their UI was simpler to code than Web UI. But software updates and change management procedures in general were a nightmare. We browser remains the only green oasis right now. You could find many technologies and vendors supporting successfully fat and smart client platforms. At the moment people can choose, knowing that browser based apps mean working online only, and this helps keeping system architectures as simple as possible.

  4. Rowan Hick says:

    Just got to your blog via catching up on the Rails Podcasts.... saw this post and thought I'd mention I wrote a quick example showing how to pull out items from a SQLite database into AIR to show that offline capability. Check it out ... http://work.rowanhick.com/2007/06/12/working-air-sqlite-datagrid-example/

    Cheers
    Rowan

  5. AnnoMundi says:

    So sad, there is no Adobe AIR for Linux to download.

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