OK, I hear so much about Adobe Air., I have to try it out. Air is
Adobe's way of letting us build rich desktop applications.
The unfortunate thing about using Air is ... well, the cost. It
looks as if you can get the Air runtime and the SDK for free, but
Flex Builder 3 costs. And I think you really need Flex Builder 3 to
do anything for real.
Flex Builder 3 is an Eclipse plugin, but it's not clear from the
Adobe site what versions of Eclipse are supported.
You can get Flex Builder as a standalone (I guess it comes with an
integrated eclipse) or as a plugin (but you can't move beyond Eclipse
Even worse, Adobe says that Flex Builder does not work on Snow
) ... or is not tested on Snow Leopard. The web seems contradictory
on this point.
Even so, Flex Builder is a deprecated term. The new deal is Flash
Builder. I went to this website: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/.
So I'm going to try and install the beta 2. There's a 60-day time
limit on this beta. This is also unfortunate. Flex or Flash Builder
is just too expensive for me to use.
Reading This Book
I'm reading Teach Yourself Adobe Air Programming in 24 Hours
by Michael Givens. Now I know that the Teach Yourself series gets a
lot of bad press on the net ... comments like it takes a lifetime to
become a software engineer or how a little knowledge is dangerous or
other such pompous comments. It is an unfortunate naming convention
... agreed, you can't learn Adobe Air, Java, C++ or anything else for
that matter in 24 hours. But these books are structured as a series
of short exercises, each with a clear solution. They take you through
installing, configuring, and running simple examples. They're like
“get up and running” books, and I like them.
Here's my complaint, though. It's the latest book I could find
(2009 copyright), but it still discuses Flex Builder 3, which as much
as I can figure out is a defunct name and a defunct version.
Downloads and Installation
You know every time I go to the Adobe site and download something,
it seems I often go to a different place.
Here is what I downloaded (Note the dmg extensions ... I'm on a
Mac Book Pro with Snow Leopard).
You know you got it installed correctly if you type adl (this stands for Adobe Debug Launcher) and you find it. Like ...
descriptor file not specified
( -runtime <runtime-dir> )? ( -pubid <pubid> )? -nodebug?
<app-desc> <root-dir>? ( -- ... )?
Download Flex Builder 3 Trial version from
It seems you can get this from two places in the Adobe world. Here's
in Hour 2 of that Teach Yourself book. It doesn't tell me until Hour
4 that it recommends using Flex Builder. But I think when that time
comes, I'll try the Flash Builder beta 2 because of Flex Builder's
issue with Snow Leopard.
You can download a zip with examples for this book from
The book also lets you download examples for each hour separately
from another site. The examples for Hour 2 are
You need the one with a certificate to package the example for
distribution (certificates are discussed in Hour 3), but you can run
it with adl without a certificate.
I don't think it's right to show the xml and html here. It's not
my code. It's easily downloadable form the links I gave.
ted$ adl hello_world-app.xml
Dec 27 15:21:42 newtricks adl <Error>: The function
`CGContextSetFontRenderingMode' is obsolete and will be removed in an
upcoming update. Unfortunately, this application, or a library it
uses, is using this obsolete function, and is thereby contributing to
an overall degradation of system performance. Please use
Now that message about the obsolete function. I get that if the
<content></content> in hello_world-app.xml contains an
html filename (I typed in the html file listed in the book). I don't
see that message if the content contains the swf filename that came
with the examples download.
ted$ adl HelloWorld-app.xml