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

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Introduction

Introduction

Adobe Integrated Runtime, or AIR, enables developers to create desktop applications using HTML, JavaScript, and ActionScript. These applications are able to run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems, meaning that Web developers will be able to use familiar languages and tools to easily create desktop software.

A Web application can look the same to every user, on any computer, because the same code is being executed to create the interface. The browser application itself handles the differences between operating systems, which allows code to execute in the same way on a wide variety of machines. A desktop application, on the other hand, starts up quickly because it is run directly from the user's computer, accesses data quickly because it can store data locally, does not require an Internet connection to run, and is not constrained by the browser window.

Consider the current market of e-mail applications. If you use a Web application for your e-mail, you will be able to access the interface from any computer, and possibly even some mobile devices. These applications have become very popular as a result, but there are still drawbacks to using a Web application over a desktop application. For example, if you want to find an e-mail you received last week or last month, you often need to page through old messages to find the right place in a Web application. This is a necessity because the data is stored remotely, so the amount of data passed to the browser ...

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