Adobe Max Day One - Hands on: Deploying Flex and HTML/Javascript Applications to AIR

The title of the session was a bit misleading, as we didn't touch Flex what-so-ever. The session was all about getting started using AIR and writing an AIR application using simple HTML and JavaScript.

This session was lead by Jeff Tapper, a web consultant with clients including Harley Davidson, Toys R Us, IBM, Dow Jones, American Express, and so forth. He is an Adobe certified instructor teaching about Flex, ColdFusion, and Flash. He's also written and edited a few books too, including Flex 2: Training from the Source and OO Programming with ActionScript 2.0. This guy has quite a bit of credentials, but he apologized that this session really didn't do anything with Flex.

Since this was a Hands On session, the room was full of PCs ready for messin' with. Tapper lead us through 5 examples he had setup and ready to go.

Even though this was the first session I had attended at MAX, the focus of this whole conference was very clear: AIR. AIR is an acronym for Adobe's Integrated Runtime environment. It's their desktop VM you can run Adobe's web based programming languages against. It's rather revolutionary really.. being able to develop and deploy desktop applications with your knowledge of web development is quite an idea.

I was quite excited to dive into this stuff since it had been crammed down my throat all morning. I mean, how do you do this stuff?

All the computers were setup with Aptana, an Eclipse based IDE specifically developed for AIR development, which is free for download on Aptana's Website. You just create a new project, type out some HTML and some Javascript and BAM.. you've got an AIR app.

The five examples he brought us through were Copy and Paste, Drag and Drop, Network Connectability, and two others I don't really remember. This was all done in JavaScript calling methods from the AIR API. Pretty slick stuff.

Again, check out Aptana and play around with it for yourself. ^_^