Today Adobe unveiled the alpha release of Apollo which Adobe’s Mike Downey describes as a “cross operating system runtime that allows users to install desktop applications built using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript and Flash.” In layman’s terms, Apollo enables web developers to create applications for your computer using the web technology they already know and work in. Mike Downey provided a glimpse of what the Apollo system could do using a demo created for/by eBay. The eBay demo provided an impressive glimpse of a desktop application simply installed from eBay and then operated in a slick interface on the desktop; just like any other program installed on a computer. What I was most impressed with was the offline capabilities built into the program; the runtime works autonomously from the Internet if you happen to be without an Internet connection. Obviously there are limitations without a connection but you can setup new products to sell, totally configure them, and even take photos of the products directly from within the program with a webcam. When the computer reconnects, the system automatically synchronizes with eBay and voila, your new products for sale are online. So what are the implications of such a system? Well the fact that applications can be developed from HTML, JavaScript and Flash is extremely alluring. After all, as an amateur web designer I know I would rather not learn yet another web programming language. That said, I am mostly curious how Apollo would offer any benefit to someone designing a website using less complex technologies (Adobe Flex is no walk in the park). If Apollo can promise ease of creation, implementation and maintenance I think it will be a rocket ship. It is extra impressive to me that it maintains the general integrity of the Internet by being cross platform. Full report: http://news.stepforth.com/blog/2007/03/adobes-apollo-offers-intriguing.php

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