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Adobe® AIR™ Bible by Jeff Yamada, Ryan Taylor, Benjamin Gorton

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Chapter 1. Clearing the AIR

The goal of this book is to teach you how to use Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) to create desktop applications. You can use JavaScript or ActionScript to develop AIR applications, and you don't have to purchase any software package from Adobe to get started.

From the user's perspective, AIR is similar to the Flash Player, but for a desktop instead of a browser. Immediately after users go to Adobe's site to download AIR, they are able to install and run any AIR application. AIR applications run on PCs as well as on Macs, and a run time for Linux will be available soon. Once installed, an AIR application behaves the same as any other application you have — it has an application-specific desktop and shell icons, windows and themes, and uninstallers.

From the developer's perspective, developing for AIR is very similar to developing for the Web. You use familiar tools to create HTML, JavaScript, and ActionScript. However, instead of deploying them to the Web, you generate an application install package for distribution. AIR provides an API to add additional behavior to JavaScript and ActionScript, so that you can work within the desktop environment. This includes reading and writing to the file system, customizing shell window appearance and functionality, and creating local databases.

Why Use AIR?

If you are a Web developer, then you have probably been having a bit of a panic lately. It isn't that things are changing — change is the bread and butter of Web developers. ...

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