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Adobe: AIR on Linux beta, better now?

Somewhere in a quiet corner of San Jose last week, Adobe snuggled up a little closer to the open source community by releasing the beta of AIR on Linux. Those sneaky little guys over at Adobe Labs don’t always put out formal press releases to announce things like this, but it might just be interesting news.
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor on

Somewhere in a quiet corner of San Jose last week, Adobe snuggled up a little closer to the open source community by releasing the beta of AIR on Linux. Those sneaky little guys over at Adobe Labs don’t always put out formal press releases to announce things like this, but it might just be interesting news.

The company is surprisingly open about the fact that many features were not completed with the alpha that was released earlier this year and says that the beta is near feature complete and the majority of AIR applications that have been running on Mac and Windows will now run on Linux.

Note: majority does not mean all, but the figure is apparently high.

The community is, I think, unquestionably interested in this technology as much has been written about Adobe AIR on ZDNet.co.uk already.

The company is openly requesting feedback and is hedging its bets on a new level of interest from a variety of developers, in particular those focused on the Mac. According to Adobe, “Apple developers that have never been exposed to Linux, can now deploy desktop applications to Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora to run the same on Mac and Windows.”

Note: Apple developers that have NEVER been exposed to Linux? That’s not many is it? Surely Mac OS’s heritage and evolutionary links to BSD Unix would mean most Mac application developers know their onions when it comes to Linux…. and Leopard is more like UNIX than ever before if you look at areas like security etc… Anyway, enough already.

So what’s new in beta land then? Features like full screen and system tray are now available in the beta and in general the company has made it clear that developers should regard the current download as a more robust proposition all round. It is targeting the end of this year for Adobe AIR 1.5 of Linux.

What’s not fixed yet then? Adobe Labs says that, “There is a compatibility issue with the Seamless Install feature that that will be resolved with the Flash Player 10 release. Also, the content protection capability for video is not fully implemented. This affects the Adobe Media Player and may affect other applications.”

I’m hoping to follow this technology more closely in the next couple of months as one or two events are on the horizon and no doubt we’ll see the company shipping its key execs over to Europe to give us the full spiel.

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