Adobe AIR

January 12, 2011

The STVM interpreter in Flash is code-complete and I have begun integrating it into the Adobe AIR desktop environment.

Adobe AIR is a cross-platform runtime environment that allows applications written in ActionScript or JavaScript/HTML to run on the desktop and have access to the local file system.

Adobe claims that there are more than 100 million installations of AIR worldwide; probably this is due to the fact that AIR is bundled with the Adobe Reader 9.x and above. When you install Adobe Reader, you are also installing the AIR environment at the same time.

This is the first time that I have used AIR and, so far, I am very impressed.

My first application of Smalltalk/AIR will be a code manager for the file repository at Also, Smalltalk/AIR will be the preferred development environment for building browser-based Smalltalk apps for Flash.

It appears that AIR is able to run a complete browser environment on the desktop. Which means that I should be able to connect to the Google ChannelAPI that I have used for the real-time Tic-Tac-Toe demo.

That would allow Smalltalk/AIR desktop apps to connect in real-time and pass Smalltalk objects between them. This would be useful for many types of collaborative applications such as project management or code development.

Another possibility is for applications where Internet connections are slow – starting the application from the desktop would only require using the Internet for updating data; the user could experience a Rich Internet Application interface even with a slow connection.

Smalltalk/AIR is now able to load a startup file from disk but there is still more work to be done on accessing primitives through reflection.

There will be a simple demo ready in a few more days.


One Response to “Adobe AIR”

  1. Chip Nowacek Says:

    This is amazing to watch.

    I hope whatever torpedo hit the Vista Smalltalk ship will either blow up in the tube, hit reinforced armor plating, or, most likely, have rusted into impotence. That said, I won’t leave it to idle hope. For where I am right now, I’ll be in the water fending torpedoes as best I am able. I think the best thing I can do to support the work is to create a killer app that brings attention.

    I believe you are doing something very important. With great respect for others, Smalltalk encumbers human thinking less than any language to which I’ve been exposed. We need our thinking to be as unencumbered as possible. Thanks for taking this on.

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