Wednesday, December 23, 2009

cross platform web runtimes

I must admit, it was fun learning a bit of AS, but one thing that always bugged me about AIR-it is basically closed, and boy getting a eclipse setup without buying the IDE from adobe (eclipse already set up with their own plug-ins) was, lets just say a challenge and made the AS seem like pun intended:

  • WYSIWYG editing of the MXML(OK),
  • Action-script with code completion(semi OK, missing look-ups of external libraries for code completion)
Things to like about AIR is the encryption, signing and remote update of apps are well though out.

While I was looking at getting another project going in AIR after a work induced hiatus, I found some information about Titanium. Basically whats nice is:
  • Mostly JS based, with support for PHP/Python.
  • A good (Apache style) license I can probably trust.
A very good intro between Titanium and AIR was one not specifically aimed at exploring that angle, rather explaining the advantages of web run-times in general in for desktop apps on: "air-titanium-and-webos-10-things-you-cant-do-in-a-browser".

Now I'm intrigued and wanna see how easy porting from AIR to Titanium will be for my simple app... Will be reporting back soon (unless work kidnaps me again a few weeks!!!)

Just tried to run one of the sample apps and here's my 2c:
  • (very) few sample apps: Tweetanium,
  • a 2.3Mb download! for a Twitter webapp??
  • On Kubuntu remember to set the http_proxy environmental variable before running the "installer" (Air detects it from KDE/desktop settings automatically!) then
  • It proceeded to download (more than the 2.3Mb!?) - this seemed like the support libraries for titanium, networking, disk access etc. After getting that sorted,
  • It would not run in any way. Or be killed except to kill -9 the process.
  • There is no encrypted package, all the JS of the app is clearly visible/editable before install - security seems lacking although I don't know if its only for some of these example apps, but then why are they on the "featured" list?
From my quick dive into titanium it seems people like the tech it provides a lot more than it is ready for production use (compared with what I've experienced with AIR). sorry.