Is Adobe AIR still good option for mobile?


#1

Hi,

I have used AS3, Flash Player, Adobe AIR since 1998.
Until 2013 - when i moved to iOS native application because the company was not happy about using “cross-platform compiler” or any other hybrid technology like Adobe AIR.

I want to check if Adobe AIR can still be a valid solution today as 2013.

  1. What is the best app development in Adobe AIR for mobile?
  2. How many developers in this group will start a new application in Adobe AIR today instead of “native code” or ReactNative?
  3. what about stability and crash of Adobe AIR?

I have tried to take a look on Adobe website - but I don’t see any “great announcement” as big brand adopt Adobe AIR or big mobile app is based on Adobe AIR.

It look really like Adobe AIR is soft and slowly dying.


#2

Hey Darez,

well… the question in itself is a bit strange and unfair

Why Adobe AIR would not still be a good option for mobile?

wait … you had to stop using AIR

because the company was not happy about using “cross-platform compiler” or any other hybrid technology like Adobe AIR.

just there, there is a problem

it is not to the company to make that kind of choice, it has to be a developer

it is like with these kind of convo:

  • company: “how long do you think it gonna take?”
  • dev: “hard to say, you gave me a vague description and no spec, it could take 3 months”
  • company: “not good enough we want it done in 1 month”

see there is what the company want: low budget, short time
and what is in reality possible

the same way there are good and bad developers
there are also good and bad companies

or let me rephrase that, there are companies, no matter what you do and how you do it,
where it will always be a very bad environment to build an app

so about those questions

  • What is the best app development in Adobe AIR for mobile?
    it does not really matters, I would say it is whatever the developer decide he/she need to use

  • How many developers in this group will start a new application in Adobe AIR today instead of “native code” or ReactNative?
    it does not matters, 1000 dev could thrive building apps with XYZ, that does not mean you would

  • what about stability and crash of Adobe AIR?
    see the post Nothing works. Everything is broken
    Adobe AIR is stable and does not crash enough to build apps with it
    but if it does crash then it is your job as a dev to find the solution to the problem

I know it does not help
so follow my drift a little bit

Who is building the app? the developer

so the developer should decide about the tools, estimate the time, etc.
not someone else, and especially not someone who is not a developer

it does not matters whoever else says this or that is better, because right now there are not in your shoes

technology stack like Adobe AIR is just a tool, something you use

it does not guarantee anything, it does not guarantee more stable or less stable code
that depends on how the developer does it

I get it, why you ask those questions
you must have faced other people, who are not necessarily developers, who said things like
“but Flash is dead, using Adobe AIR based on Flash tech would be bad”

or some variant of it

myself I got this kind of smart asshole who never ever write a single line of code but who feels on their own right to impose their view on how the development of an app should be done.

“Oh we heard that React is all the rage now so you gonna build this app with React, but if it fails, if there are bugs we will still blame you for anything and everything”

so yeah company with a bad environment for developing apps do happen
and as a developer it put you on a tough spot

if you are in this environment where everyone around is against use Adobe AIR
but you still push for using AIR, it put on you a tremendous high pressure to not fail

so here a little bit of what I know and experimented along the years

it is very very easy for an app to fail, in fact 80% of apps fail
because it is hard to build an app

so the basic, from my point of view, is that:

  • time:
    how long do you have to build the app
  • budget
    how much money do you have to build the app
  • quality
    how good the finished product (app) have to be

and in general it works like this

  • if you have to build something on a short time, the quality will go lower and/or the budget will go higher
  • if you have to build something with a low budget, the quality will be poor and you will need more time
  • if you have to build something of high quality, you will need both lot of budget and lot of time

those 3 basic things kind of fight each other

The high quality is in general non-developer people or the company who want an app build but then they ask features after features, etc. and you end up with an expectation of an app which gonna do a hell lot of things

So I would say, as a developer, first control the number of features, learn to say no or at least be clear where it has to stop, because for people not actually building the app for them it is very easy to just add things, they do not realise that maybe that “little feature” they just ask gonna add 3 months of development.

Then know your resources, or the budget, are you a solo dev building the app? is it a team?
what if you need to hire someone to do something the dev team can not do?
what if you need to build a software to help build the app?

finally, try your best to estimate the time it would take, then go ahead multiply it by 2
this is not a joke, this is what happen

Most of the time people will ask you to build something you did not already build before,
so you already don’t know

it is very easy to over-promise, to get carried away with what can be done
but then if you don’t re-align people expectation then off course you will not deliver on time or on budget

Building an app is more about managing time, budget and quality in relation to those not-building the app expectation, whatever the technology you use Adobe AIR or anything else

here a little scenario:

  • company: “we want an app that does those 20 features”
  • dev: “ok, well I should be done with it in 3 months”
  • 2 weeks pass
  • company: “add those 2 features”
  • dev: “huh? OK…”
  • app fails to deliver on time

vs

  • company: “we want an app that does those 20 features”
  • dev: “ok, well I should be done with it in 3 months”
  • 2 weeks pass
  • company: “add those 2 features”
  • dev: “OK but then you need to add 1 more month to the deadline”
  • company: “but no we want it sill done in 3 months”
  • dev: “No, either I add the features and you give me more time to do it or we don’t”
  • app have a slightly better chance to get delivered on time

I have 1000s of example like that

programming, and especially programming an app, is not a cheap commodity

So I do believe that choosing Adobe AIR vs something else can help a lot
but it not gonna solve all the problems

the real win when you use AIR is the speed of development thanks to AS3 and the already nice API you have in AIR, but you still gonna have to manage the memory because on mobile this resource is always something you have to fight for

technically there is nothing you can not do, but do you have a budget to buy $200 worth of ANE or do you plan to build all those extensions by hand ? because even if AIR have tons of API there are still things you gonna have to add that are not there “by default”

if you accept to build an app with 50 features without any specification and promise to deliver it in 1 month,
Adobe AIR not gonna save you from that, what about cutting out on the features and select 5, build that, then see if people want to continue and build a v2 with 5 more features ?

You were talking about stability and crash, ok … do you plan development time for that?
as far as I know you will always have bugs, crashes, and other things that slow down the development
so when you plan to build a feature in 5 days, is it 5 days of development or 3 days of dev and 2 days of debugging ?

People want an app build for iOS but your workstation is Windows, is their a budget to buy a mac mini or something ?

Do you have a prototype / test exploratory phase before even building the app?
is it planed in the time required to build the app?

a lot of things can go wrong while you are building an app
the best you can do is put yourself in a good setup

personally I see building an app as a race and usually I say “I don’t play to lose, I play to win”
but “winning” (that is deliver an app of good quality on time and on budget) is something hard

it is very easy to say “yes” and then realise the next day you set yourself to fail

so a bit more advices, before even the phase where you define the time/budget/quality
you should definitively define a specification, or simply put a document that describe what the app is supposed to do, and when you got that spec then you will know better about the time it will take to do all that.

well don’t hesitate to continue with follow ups, I’m just sorry your questions can not be easily answered


#3

thank you for your reply - any other opinions from someone else is well accepted.

D.


#4

I will only add, that if you have a library of existing code [especially, of your own] then AIR is just fine to build things with today.

I still use Flash CS6 Pro to compile with – (as I refused to be forced into the Creative Cloud nickle-and-dime you path), but AIR is still being updated and apps built with AIR 3.4 SDKs still compile just fine with the 20+ AIR SDKs.


#5

yeah sure

so you come here with a conclusion

and you’re not happy with my answer?

well… that’s too bad

I can almost guarantee you that whatever problems you are facing
is not related to the use of Adobe AIR


#6

Hei zwatan, don’t be upset If I like to have other opinions.


#7

I read 315 messages in this thread:
https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2362234

It really looks strange the Adobe position on AIR platform.

Adobe is not pushing AIR (marketing and development) but just keep the SDK updated because there are developers that is still using it. The showcase/gallery page has really old game developed in AIR and most of them has a casestudy linked on a 404 page…

The numbers of jobs in Adobe AIR is very few compared to ReactNative (as example)…


#8

I’m not upset at all I just tried to give you what I believe is “good advices”

when you have issues, problems and difficulties with a tool
maybe it is time to look beyond the tool and question yourself
about how you build software

all the things I mentioned: time, budget, quality, how you plan it, how you organise it, etc.
are important thing and yet they are completely unrelated to the tool itself

take an artist, you can give him/her the best canvas, the best colors, the best sceneries
and yet it will not make that artist more or less creative


not strange at all, read that other post AIR Roadmap Update

everything is perfectly clear, but to this day (more than 1 year after this post on Adobe forum)
there are still people who are questioning Adobe commitment to AIR which is ridiculous

so let repeat, in July 2017, Adobe officially say that

Let me start by saying that today’s announcement was not about AIR, and instead focuses entirely on Flash Player and the browser plugin environment. Adobe remains committed to AIR and we believe it continues to be a great desktop and mobile development platform.

then on Flash Player and Adobe AIR features list you can see

  • Flash Player 27 and AIR 27 (September 12, 2017)
  • Flash Player 28 and AIR 28 (December 12, 2017)
  • Flash Player 29 and AIR 29 (March 13, 2018)
  • Flash Player 31 and AIR 31 (September 11, 2018)

and some people are still here “well I’m not so sure Adobe is really committed because …”


You got it wrong, Adobe is not updating the SDK because few dev are using it,
they are updating the SDK because they have decided to do so. see above

Adobe remains committed to AIR and we believe it continues to be a great desktop and mobile development platform.

For the rest, Adobe can not build app for you, if you want the showcase gallery to be expanded with new stuff, build apps and then submit those apps to be featured there.


Yeah, nothing new here, you will find much more jobs in anything considered “hot” or"hype"
because 3/4 of the people in this industry don’t know what they are talking about

so instead of using technology on merits they use technology based on “what is the shiniest”

right now you’re mentioning “ReactNative” but what about Backbone.js or Knockout.js ?
those were all the rage few years ago and yet nobody use them anymore?
can you find a job that specifically use Backbone.js? I don’t think so


anyway I wrote yet again about that recently on the forum
all is here https://forums.adobe.com/message/10654449#10654449

and here my final thought, you are stupid morons

you gonna spend more time thinking on how much Adobe is committed to this or to that
instead of writing code and building apps

the continual questioning is really tiring, if you doubt so much the technology then get the fuck out
and don’t waste other people time

there are plenty of dev that yes are still using AS3 and AIR etc.
and they are not questioning this as if it was a daily life choice

The constant nagging and questioning … it has to stop

“well… you know… I want to build apps but before I can do that I need to have confirmations and guarantees that half a million other people were successful building the same kind of app with the same kind of technology otherwise I’m not doing it …”

then don’t do it and get the fuck off

then watch others building great app and come back crying in a few years
“oh but I could have built this app, only if Adobe have make a bigger commitment, it is all their fault …”

what the fuck do you need?

well… I get an idea, you want someone else to take the responsibility in case you fail building an app
if you got some bugs you want to be able to complain and says it’s their fault, not mine

this is childish and immature

grow the fuck up
take your own responsibility
stop asking for ridiculous guarantees


#9

After reading all the comments around the web - i decided to move to NativeReact.
Thank you Zwetan to have helped me to make the right choice!

d.


#10

Fucking troll, OK bye.


#11

Not a troll - I used flash and AIR from 1998 to 2013.

Just compared technology around the web, mobile, desktop even the possibility to find easily developers to hire. Starting a new project today in AIR can be a risk - better move to something more stable.

Personally - it’s sad to see Adobe in the position to have an incredibile tool and not pushing it on the market. An “swf => WASM” was something really able to change the match today - but Adobe decided to sleep.

D.


#12

Yes you are

classic troll tactic is to come to a forum that specifically talk about AS3/Flash/AIR and spread FUD

  • Fear
    as maybe AIR will not be available in the near future
  • Uncertainty
    as maybe Adobe will EOL AIR as they did for Flash
  • Doubt
    as maybe other tech are better for the job

so fuck you

so about your troll arguments, again to spread FUD

if any brain dead JS fan boy can pick up TypeScript within a day, anyone else can pick up ActionScript as fast or even faster

If I want to hire someone working on AS3 projects I could not care if they knew AS3 before hand
if they can not learn it or do not want to use it, well … that’s simple the job go to someone else

I could even argue that it is easier to teach AS3/AIR than to teach ReactNative or Flow or AngularJS etc.

tools do not make apps, there is no silver bullet

but man do I take great pleasure to grab contracts under the nose of JS folks simply because I can deliver the app in half the time vs whatever JS frameworks they are using

What you don’t understand is as soon as you go for WASM you are delegating the job to the browser runtime, and there are people who are educated enough to realise that, WASM or not, the web browser have also its own limitations and so they don’t automatically drink the kool-aid.

The web is cool and all but it does not replace everything else, look at the biggest apps on the web:
Google regularly shut them down (oh excuse me, deprecate them LOL), Twitter is a farce, Facebook web UI is a total mess, and on and on …

Why do you think users do prefer native app on mobile? because the experience is just so much better than the web, that’s it.

Why do you think users complain about browser based desktop apps? because the experience is much worse.

Look at the other posts on this forum talking about JS, there are a lot of hype but the results are horrific.

So good luck with RectNative, come back in 9 to 12 months after you built your first app and realise that either this framework got replaced by something else or that it ended up being a big waste of time resulting in failure.

Oh and by the way, good luck finding JS dev who want to use old JS framework tech to maintain the app, after said JS framework is not anymore hype.

Read The Brutal Lifecycle of JavaScript Frameworks.

by the way, do you see a lot of marketing for Backbone.js today ?
'fraid not


#13

I put fact (315 messages on official adobe forum from developers that has doubt on Adobe AIR).

You put opinions (derived from your experience). Opinions is not enough - I need fact, and you don’t have (read my message and questions, you don’t have answer at 1 only question I asked).

If I ask “is Apple stopping XCode?” You can easily find a lot of documents that prove is not true.
As an example, they made Swift (big investment) and XCode is always under improvements.

Adobe is not making anything new since 2013 on AIR - just supporting the Community.

I don’t hate Adobe - for me will be painful to trash 10 years experience AS3.

But real file is different: Adobe is not pushing AIR (on LinkedIn you can see few employers working in Adobe on “flash” or “air” project) and is easily to understand because they don’t have “adobe air showcase” update since years…

If you already have a project in AS3 - then no worries, it will continue to work.
If you need to start from 0-to-deploy and also consider to hire people, then AIR is not the right choice because will be hard to hire people and a risk to use a technology that even ADOBE do not believe anymore.

PS: backbone is available on Github - you cannot compare to Adobe that is a commercial product.


#14

that’s the funny thing, you take into account the comments of developers
but you completely ignore what Adobe have officially said about Adobe AIR

that is

Let me start by saying that today’s announcement was not about AIR, and instead focuses entirely on Flash Player and the browser plugin environment. Adobe remains committed to AIR and we believe it continues to be a great desktop and mobile development platform.

I wonder what is not clear about that?

After reading that, I can read 1000s of comments from 1000s of dev telling me “ouh we are not sure Adobe is committed to Adobe AIR” I don’t care, I have the official word from Adobe, that weight much much more in the balance.


All the comments from the developers you have mentioned above are also opinions, not facts
there are even wild rumours and doom predictions which I call FUD

But would you have a direct answer from Apple themselves? nope

see that’s how fear works, you put the simple comment “oh I fear that Adobe is not committed to this”
and you add “I demand that they prove their commitment” and you are basically asking something that you would not even dare to ask to any other company.

Not a single company would answer to such ridiculous demand.


That is utterly false
you can list since 2013 dozen and dozen of new features in Adobe AIR

it is all listed there

the URL was posted earlier in this thread, how can you miss that?


You are trashing it yourself, not because of Adobe.

I build AS3 apps every day and I don’t feel let down by Adobe 1 second,
but I’m also a mature person and I don’t need a nanny to hold my hand for every move I make


Adobe is not responsible of the Adobe AIR’s job offers, if you want to blame someone blame employers, maybe they are stupid, maybe they are misinformed, who knows …

I already said it but I will say it again, sure if you want job security and be highly employable yeah stay away from anything related to ActionScript or Flash or Adobe AIR, but that does not mean the technology is bad or anything, it just means the job market is influenced by hype.

Now, take solo dev, indie dev and other small teams, if those use Adobe AIR they have a clear advantage on the competition, they can build great UI and UX, target desktop and mobile, etc.

Oh you need 10 dev to build that app with ReactNative? not a joke seriously?
well… let me show you how 1 dev can be as productive as you by making a different choice of technology

Now for the Adobe AIR showcase, what you say is not true, it is there and it is updated
mentioned here Adobe Showcase Gallery (in September 2016)

I just tested now that is pretty funny the web app is based on AngularJS and is not working either in Chrome, Firefox, or Safari … I got errors all over the place, who should I blame ? Adobe or Angular?

But despite this, which I assume is a temporary failure, between 2016 and now they did update the showcase gallery, I mean the content.


Off course it will continue to work, you could not say the same for project based out of a JS framework.

how many games and apps did I saw build upon JS that are now unusable, that do not even load because the browsers decided to change something … when I can still play a SWF v1 in any Flash Player or AIR version


No this is FUD.

I already cover the hiring of dev for AIR projects above, not gonna repeat it.

I already mentioned how Adobe clearly mentioned how they were committed to Adobe AIR,
so it does not reflect at all your rumour of “even ADOBE do not believe anymore”, that is total bullshit.

And finally I gonna tell you why you are here because every single time I see an ex-AIR dev crapping on AIR I hear the very same story.

You are here because you are afraid, you decided to move to another technology and you feel a bit alone out there, so you come to a forum that is pro-AIR to shit on it and tell everyone around how your choice is better.

Simply, you want to feel validated in your choices by other dev.

So yeah you are totally free to move on to any other technology but why don’t you go on those other forums and tell them how great ReactNative or whatever works so good for you?

Why do you even bother to come here?

People who are here they do know AS3 and Flash and AIR, they do know how much can be done with those techs, and no I’m not saying the tech are perfect, but it is certainly not as bad as you claim in your petty comments.

I could not give a flying fuck about those people who move to other tech, good for them,
why do they feel the need every single time to come on forums and make the very same kind of comments about the doom of Adobe AIR or whatever.

Do you really feel so insecure in your own choices to have this urge to crap on other tech?

I think I gonna call that the I-left-flash-tech-and-now-feel-insecure syndrome :smile:


#15

Seems like a lot of overkill and anger here.

The guy asked a question.

He asked for opinions from others.

Then you nuked him.

Hmmm…


#16

You already made your opinion long before posting your question


#17

Dead simple:
If you love Flash/AIR live it, if you hate Flash/AIR LEAVE it.

In the nutshell, nobody forces you to use certain technology. It is all your choices


#18

Hey darez81,

Im using ActionScript 3.0 and support Adobe Flash until Animate CC start from 2003 until now, never stop giveup about it, it your choice to go to ReacNative but with my experince i will tell this stories.

a company just interview me, and ask me what langguage that i know to create Mobile Apps, and i said ActionScript, and the interview staff tell me are you serious? you know Java? JavaScript? React Native? Android Studio? and i said no, i only do Mobile Apps using ActionScript langguage. He said to me what make you so confident that i want to hire you as mobile developer using ActionScript? i ask the interview, what you langguage your developer have right now? he said to me React Native, and i ask again, how many days/months/years to develop using React Native for one Big Project? They said to me for e-wallet they do right now it take 6 month to finish the project and i said to them, with ActionScript i can make it happen just for 1 month. The interview ask me again, are you sure? i have a e-wallet for the college to develop and you can make it just for one month? and i said to them, start hire me and i show you how good the actionscript are.

they start to hire me with 3 month probation, i start develop the big project for College Mobile attendance, e-wallet and mobile topup, i finish it 1 month with fully function mobile app Android and also IOS. They test it go make payment to merchant using e-wallet use the attendance and also topup mobile using e-wallet all success with happiness. They start launch the Apps with the huge success because they got 30,000 student and staff. it a big win for me, they offer me as a permanent staff 10% up salary and i got a great life, they are now open the eye of how Actionscript can manage this for so long tough the Actionscript is dead. i prove they wrong, i dont say that orhers language are bad, what is good for you that can help your company get the revenue it good enough.

Now they are starting hire actionscript here and also we work with ReactNative Developer they maintain the Apps what have done for me im maintain for College Apps. just got other new JOB for other College to develop :blush:

The apps you can search at Google Play and IOS is “MSU Mobile”


#19

great story @Lantui :slight_smile:

I would say it’s not that you proved them wrong but more that you opened their eyes to another tech that too few people use

the backslash against ActionScript is like people hating on PHP,
they can hate all they want it does not invalidate the tech itself

the ratio “dev in 1month” vs “dev in 6 month” is a killer argument
any business (small or big) will see a huge advantage in that

this 100%


#20

My advice here, do not waste your time… You know one of the first thing I learnt when it comes to coding : “Do not reinvent the wheel”