Harman (Samsung) take over AIR runtime and SDK

Announced here
https://services.harman.com/partners/adobe

ADOBE SOLUTIONS FOR MOBILE AND DESKTOP PLATFORMS

HARMAN provides support on behalf of Adobe® for the Adobe AIR® software and the AIR SDK, and extended support for Adobe Flash® Player for enterprise customers. HARMAN’s offerings also include consultancy, support and migration services for companies looking to move their applications away from Flash technologies over to HTML5 via solutions such as Angular, Apache Royale and other JavaScript based frameworks.


Experience New and Enhanced Capabilities

Starting in June 2019 with the release of AIR 33, HARMAN will be providing the platform support and feature development for the AIR runtime and the SDK. AIR 33 will support 64-bit Android devices and will be available on a commercial basis. Further details will be released shortly, please check back here or email us at adobe.support@harman.com to be informed when these are available.

HARMAN will also provide bespoke and embedded versions of Adobe AIR for other platforms and products, where the distribution does not meet requirements of the SDK license agreement. To know more, please contact a HARMAN representative at adobe.support@harman.com


Drive Uninterrupted Business Outcomes

Adobe Flash Player will no longer be supported by Adobe or by any standard browsers beyond 2020. However, if the enterprise customers require Flash Player, then HARMAN will be able to offer them a solution that combines the regular Flash Player with customer’s SWF application. This will allow for a useful stop-gap for existing applications to continue to be used with little or no modifications, whilst long term plans for migration away from the Flash content are put into action.

HARMAN also offers alternative deployment and licensing models for Flash Player, for companies wishing to embed Flash Player into their own hardware or software products.


Migrate Seamlessly

For companies wishing to move away from the Adobe Flash technologies, HARMAN offers expertise in web application development and specifically in the migration of Flash-based content to JavaScript and TypeScript frameworks. For applications that are developed using the Apache Flex framework, HARMAN has expertise in Apache Royale which allows the application to remain with an MXML/ActionScript3 codebase and promises a lightweight responsive framework with relatively fast timescales for application migration.

HARMAN also provides migration of Flash applications using Angular and TypeScript, and can leverage their expertise in the ActionScript and SWF technologies to accelerate conversion of the codebase and assets over to the HTML frameworks. Please contact your local HARMAN sales representative, or adobe.support@harman.com, for an initial consultation to help determine the most appropriate migration path for your application.


Trusted, Long-term Partners

HARMAN’s partnership with Adobe started in 2006, although prior to this HARMAN had already been working on the integration of the Macromedia Flash Player onto Symbian-based mobile devices. HARMAN had been a key system integration partner within the Open Screen Project and also continued to work on the integration, extension and optimization of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for many customers in domains including automotive, digital home and consumer electronics.

During our continued partnership, HARMAN provided over 33 million licenses for the Adobe software across embedded platforms such as Linux, Windows and Android and on chipsets including 32- and 64-bit ARM, Intel and MIPS architectures. Now that Adobe are transitioning the ongoing support and maintenance of AIR, HARMAN is looking forward to working with the AIR developer ecosystem to drive the success of this cross-platform framework.

or here a screenshot of the page (in case this got edited later)


So … the heart of the thing is basically that

Starting in June 2019 with the release of AIR 33, HARMAN will be providing the platform support and feature development for the AIR runtime and the SDK. AIR 33 will support 64-bit Android devices and will be available on a commercial basis. Further details will be released shortly, …

In short, it seems, Harman dev team will replace Adobe dev team to maintain and update the AIR runtime and the AIR SDK.

Good news is they announcing that AIR 33 will indeed support Android 64-bit (so all the conspiracy theorists can go back crawling under their rock)

Bad news, seemingly, I may interpret that all wrong, is that Harman will provide those updates on a commercial basis; so AIR that was free all this time will not be free anymore?

“Further details will be released shortly, …” so let’s wait and see,
now I’m waiting for the official press paper / release / announcement from Adobe


Very personal comment

as a dev knowing all the advantages that AIR bring I don’t mind paying for it, but still it depends on the pricing, the licensing model, and many many things … it can be done very well as it can be done very wrong

I feel a bit sad that this pricing might stop newcomers using it as a kind of “stop gap”

So it is not an EOL, someone else will keep updating it, this also show that Adobe do not plan to open source it, yeah I will wait more infos on all that.

Now for all those assholes toxic fucking mother fuckers who complain every day about stupid shit, here you are happy I guess, you will be able to complain and pay for it now, and the more you complain the more they gonna make you pay for it, that will serve you well.

At least we have an example of what trolls and a toxic community can do to a project :nauseated_face:

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Well said, let’s see how the commercial thing goes… :man_technologist:

I am sad to hear this. I still use as3 with Animate. I wonder if it is also the end for Air Animate support

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Hi @Alex and @gabri, welcome to the forum

it is a bit too soon to be sad or happy, just wait for more informations
it could go both way

either huge terrific news and plenty of good stuff to come
or alarm bells and catastrophic events

we just don’t know yet
June is around the corner so let’s be a bit more patient see what happen

2 Likes

Wow, huge news. Adobe effectively killing AIR support

Wow ! what an incredible news ! Let’s see what happen now…

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Will the AIR 33 SDK still be downloaded from the Adobe website when it’s available?

Andrew Frost comments indicate that they will send beta to some people
and that they will have a dedicated site to distribute the AIR SDK

so my guess is AIR 32 and further updates will be downloadable from Adobe web site
and AIR 33 and future versions will be downloadable from HARMAN web site

1 Like

So let’s add a bit more, this time with the Adobe comments, or more exactly from Chris Campbell

chris.campbell Employee May 31, 2019 9:30 AM

I understand the disappointment in our/my lack of communication. This partnership with Harman and the Runtime team was a long time in planning and execution, and unfortunately also required us to remain silent on the topic of the roadmap, Android 64, etc on the forums. The great news is that the community now has a long term solution for AIR with Harman. Andrew and his team care deeply about the runtime and I don’t think we could have found anyone better to help steer it forward.

and

chris.campbell Employee May 31, 2019 10:22 AM

marcanw wrote

Thanks for chiming in Chris.
Could you elaborate about the work distribution between your team and Harman?
Will you still work on Air?
Best

The Flash Runtime team will be responsible for providing security updates for AIR on Windows and macOS until EOY 2020 via our v32 branch. Harman will provide all other new features, compat fixes, bug fixes, etc. for both desktop and mobile (v33 & higher). Our team will also be providing additional eng, documentation, etc. support during the transition as necessary.

Harman will dictate the roadmap for AIR, based on what makes sense for their business and the communities needs. I’ve encouraged developers to provide feedback to the Animate team if they’d like to see continued integrated support with that tool. Communication between Harman and Animate is separate from the Runtime team, and may have a different level/timeframe of involvement.

and to someone commenting on

marcw86259022 Jun 1, 2019 9:41 AM

Hi Chris!

and unfortunately also required us to remain silent on the topic of the roadmap, Android 64, etc on the forums.

May I ask WHY that was necessary? I can imagine a lot but not why a simple “We work on it.” could harm anything. That kind of behaviour scares me because it makes you and also Harman unreliable. Some users here are just happy that SDK 33 will come out but if the responsible persons behind a technology are so uninterested in the developer community to leave them for months in fear of the future just for a crazy idea that it could be a minimal advantage from the point of business development to quit any communication to the whole community then this is a frightening mismanagement. What kind of partners do you think to be now? Partners with too much risk for me at least. For the staying AIR developers I can only hope that the managers who made that decision will not have any influence for the AIR project in the future.

Sure, I may be wrong and there is really a senseful reason for your behaviour. I am open to be convinced.

Best regards
Marc

got that reply

chris.campbell Employee Jun 1, 2019 12:12 PM

Hi Marc,

I won’t get into the details, but the best possible outcome was achieved. Those developers that want a long term solution now have it. Harman has shown themselves to be more than capable technically, and their team truly cares about the Runtime and this community.

I’m sorry it took so long for this to occur, our team was very aware of the impending Android situation and everyone involved wishes the process could have been quicker.

Thanks,
Chris


So why the lack of communication ?
simple, business as usual

when you’re in a big company like Adobe or HARMAN, such big change automatically goes through different states, and one of those states is legal

while legal take care of the contracts and stuff usually what is imposed to everyone is “do not talk about it publicly”, that’s it

the back and forth between the two legal teams can take months, endless meeting, approvals, etc.

it is normal to not talk about something that is not yet validated or fully vetted
that’s just how big businesses work

That said, from previous comments from Andrew Frost and repeated few times in Chris Campbell comments, this change is for the long term

And yeah that’s normal, who would spend that much times in negotiations, legalese, license fees, etc. to then “drop it” just a couple years later? nobody, that would just be bad business

So not being too optimistic, based on those comments, we can fairly assume that

  • this is for the long term
    min 5 years, maybe (probably?) more
  • HARMAN will decide how AIR evolve in term of features/support/etc.
    it seems they are mainly interested by Android
  • but they did port AIR for QNX and embedded Linux for their own needs
    so good news could be
    this might bring back AIR for Linux, maybe not a full featured AIR 33
    but just an AIR 2.6 for Linux that work for 64-bit would be nice,
    maybe an AIR 3.0’ish for Linux that add ANE support could happen
  • bad news could be
    if another big update (like 12.1) is needed for iOS it could happen but just slower
    as it seems they have a little less interest in iOS
  • medium news is it will take some time
    if the Adobe dev team had a regular schedule of releasing every quarter
    the HARMAN dev team might need to change that
    either time to adapt or different schedule/strategy/need

so concretely, AIR 33 beta will happen in June, AIR 33 release will happen in July
and so the 1st August target to update to Android 64-bit should not be a problem

Personally I wish dev would be less immature in their requests to update AIR,
things like bringing ActionScript 4, or publishing to Playstation, or bringing abstract class or arrow functions … really? some people should grow up

Even if HARMAN do a good job at updating/maintaining/supporting AIR
they will be limited in time and budget like any other dev team

eg. asking reasonable things like fixing a bug this and there is fair
but asking tremendous work so some dev (very few) can have a new free toy to play with is careless

and one more thing

someone posted the Adobe announcement on Hacker News
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20056926

and it seems that the HN crowd do not care one bit

A detail aside: The Adobe Animate team apparently intends to work with Harman to maintain the possibilities of AIR packaging for Android and iOS in the software. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2626759

2 Likes

My suggestions:

- Publish a Road Map as soon as possible

- Make payment strategy clear and concise. 

- Organize a Flash is Dead "Hackaton" with focus on adobe AIR. ( I  can provide more ideas and support if required)

Herman replay:

Thanks for the suggestions – I’m getting the impression that publishing a roadmap is something that people are looking for, we are still finalising plans but the focus is on getting all ready for the Android 64-bit support! Following this we will definitely try to get the marketing message and plans out there more.

Payment strategy is going through internal approvals and yes, we’ve simplified it considerable from our original thoughts!

I’m not sure “Flash is Dead” is quite the right title for that … as it’s not, we have the ability to support Flash Player for many more years yet and there are some companies interested in this as an alternative to migrating their content away from SWF formats!

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AIR hackathon looks like a very interesting idea, I might help, I coordinate Global Game Jam in Ukraine.

so Andrew Frost comment on Adobe’s forum confirm
an AIR beta release by the end of next week

https://forums.adobe.com/message/11110666#11110666

We’ll notify about the beta via the mailing list of people who have registered their interest via the email address or website contact form, if all goes well then we’re aiming for this to be released at the end of next week but it’s dependent upon a successful test run! - first time we’re doing all of this so there may be sudden issues, but I’m conscious that it may still be better to release a beta with known issues so that the community can start testing too, and updating ANEs etc.

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If it proves to be a bad investment, they absolutely could and would drop it. They are commercializing AIR. Once it’s no longer financially sustainable, it will be abandoned, for sure.

Will iOS support continue when Samsung sells Android devices? Killing off iOS support would effectively kill off many apps which would then only be available on Android devices. May give a competitive advantage (though it might also be an anti-competitive action).

What about Animate publishing to AIR? With AIR no longer part of Adobe’s concerns, would they continue to have AIR as an option in Animate? Doubtful. Hopefully they negotiated a fee-free option to allow them to continue.

And lastly, to the person who said AIR was not the same as Flash Player: Yes it is. It is a glorified Flash player in the form of an executable “container” app. Flash Player security issues are very much also AIR security concerns (maybe not 100% across the board, but there is certainly some overlap).

What ?

You are asserting things about which you know very little.

There is a lot of opinions about this whole thing and that is because we don’t have all the information. We don’t know and when people don’t know they respond in different ways and different attitudes. Pessimistic, optimistic, realistic. But we just don’t know.

  • We know that Harman has been supporting it for 10+ years already
  • We know Adobe supported AIR for 10+ years for already
  • We know people do things purely for commercial reasons
  • We know people do things purely for philanthropic / progressive reasons.
  • We know that not all products have to make money. These are called loss leaders.

Many companies have a mix of both commercial and free. Even though they are called “loss” leaders they are actually good will builders. They build loyalty. That loyalty results in return business.

Having a paid creative tool and then a free runtime that runs the creative tool process is one business model.

Adobe providing some tools for developers in the past was one reason many used their designer tools and one reason why many left when they focused on data analytics and design software.

Microsoft has Visual Studio but provides Visual Studio Code non gratis (and many many other software programs past).

There has been a trend to squeeze as much out of a customer as possible (see shady privacy practices today). That’s new (often flawed) economics and that flies in the face of thousands of years of market experience.

So things like, “The customer is always right” meant value your customer even if they are wrong because otherwise they will go somewhere else and if you value them they stay. Many businesses don’t seem to care about customers anymore and we now we have Worst Companies top ten lists with many Forbes 500 companies listed. The idea that businesses should only focus on getting money for investors is horrible. It’s short sighted and it’s psychopathic in that it ignores the whole range of human emotions and the way life works and people interact with the world around us.

Or they say, “price what the market can bear”. In other words price things as high as possible. What if that’s a survival good. That’s exploitation! But I would bet that any company that shows the least amount of concern for their customers and concern for the quality of their products will be ahead of everyone else today.

Based on everything Harman taking over AIR is a good thing but still not enough information yet.

What is not good in the whole situation, but is not new, is that developers cannot fix or upgrade AIR themselves. That is a loss of control. Open source may bring other problems but it would allow developers to add or fix any obstacles they have. And people have PTSD from having lack of control and lack of roadmap (see Adobe forums). One suggestion I would have is for Harman to address this somehow. I have some suggestions about this but I’ll save them for later.

You absolutely don’t know that, because first you don’t know how much Harman spent to be able to license AIR and you don’t know for how long they licensed it, and you don’t know how long they plan to make it commercially sustainable and if that is even a criteria.

so the “for sure”, nope you can not be sure of that.


Samsung is already selling Android devices and Harman, while being a subsidiary of Samsung, is still an independent company, eg. Samsung is probably not even aware (or care) about them licensing Adobe AIR.


That has already been answered, Harman and Adobe dev working on Animate are talking to each other and promised to keep it compatible, also Adobe confirmed they will not drop AIR publishing from Animate CC.

Animate’s future with AIR

Like I mentioned in another post, there is no change to the AIR-Animate workflow. The team is working with Harman on the way forward,

AIR export from Animate CC in the future

I heard back from the team, and there are no changes to the existing support for the AIR-Adobe Animate workflow. The team will work with Harman on the way forward.

Confirmed twice by Adobe, so I call your “Doubtful” bullshit.


No, you are wrong.

The Flash Player and Adobe AIR share a lot, in particular the AVM2, and yes when fixes are made on the AVM2 for security reasons related to Flash, they then end up getting applied to AIR too.

But the security context is not the same at all, Flash as a plugin HAVE TO be limited, while AIR does not suffer from such limitations (file system access, sockets, etc.)

Also, there are many key points that are different between Flash and AIR,
Flash reuse the socket stack of the browser, while AIR has its own full blown implementation of sockets, Flash sync its event loop based on its host (the browser) while AIR has its own independent event loop.

In fact, there a re many more differences, so, sorry not sorry, but no AIR is not just a glorified Flash Player.

And yeah it is done in such a way, that you don’t really see those differences, the same AS3 code, provided the API is available, will just work the same in both runtimes.

open sourcing AIR would bring more tears than solutions

it is very simple to test: go grab the avmplus sources here
try to compile it for Windows and then for macOS and then for Linux
and after you bang your head for a couple of weeks
imagine that compiling AIR must be something 10x harder than that