Archive for July, 2008

Adobe AIR on Linux: Call for Pre-Release Users

We’ve been actively working on features that weren’t present in the alpha release of AIR for Linux – system tray icon, keyboard accelerators, PDF & SWF in HTML, encrypted local store, multi-monitor support and more.
To iron out as many issues as possible before coming out with a public beta release on Adobe Labs, we’d like to invite users to help test pre-release builds. If you’re interested and comfortable working with pre-release software, please send an email to the AIR Linux program manager at ashish – dot – baweja – at – adobe – dot – com with answers to the following questions (picked from James Ward’s post before the first Labs release):
1. Will you be able to submit bug reports on issues that you find back to our development team?
2. How many hours a week can you spend testing on Linux?
3. What is the primary distribution of Linux that you’re using? If you are using more than one distribution, please list.
4. Will you be developing applications on your Linux machine (as opposed to writing on Windows and testing the applications on Linux)?
5. What other operating system are you using, if any (Mac, Windows)? Can you compare the behavior of AIR for Linux with AIR for Windows and AIR for Mac OS?
6. Are you working on an AIR application today? If so, please describe.
Please include your name, email address and your company’s name.
kuler-ubuntu-804-pre-beta.png

AIR apps and HTTP proxies on Linux

With the alpha build of AIR on Linux, setting up an HTTP proxy for use by AIR applications requires exporting environment variables AIR_PROXY_SERVER and AIR_PROXY_PORT with appropriate values.
We intend to do away with this and use something that’s standard on Linux. The problem is that there is no standard. GNOME and KDE use different mechanisms. Individual applications use their own mechanisms.
We’ve decided to use the current desktop environment’s proxy settings, with the option of having these overridden with an environment variable.
On KDE, proxy settings can be set using kcontrol (KDE Control Center). On GNOME, these can be set using gnome-network-preferences (or directly using gconf-editor). The following gconf keys are involved:
a) /system/proxy/mode – A non-‘none’ value indicates that a proxy has been set (recommended value = “manual”)
b) /system/http_proxy/host
c) /system/http_proxy/port
Most browsers too use these values to figure out system proxy settings.
These settings can be overridden with an environment variable http_proxy (with its value in the format http://hostname:port). This variable is the most common one used by applications on Linux. apt-get and wget, for instance, use it.
I’m looking forward to freedesktop.org’s shared configuration system as one standard, desktop-agnostic mechanism for managing such per-user configuration settings. (It’s currently in the planning/requirements-gathering stage.)

Introduction

Hi and welcome to my blog. I’m an engineer working on Adobe AIR for Linux operating environments.
Through this blog, in addition to providing updates about releases (and pre-releases), I’d like to discuss Linux-specific issues that pertain to Adobe AIR – troubleshooting tips, feedback about what features and distributions you think are most important, what issues you face, how certain features work (or not) under specific desktop and windowing environments. I may also solicit inputs from you to help us decide how we should proceed on specific issues.
If you haven’t yet tried it, I encourage you to go get AIR and check out your favorite app on Linux. Details of what does and does not work in the alpha release on Adobe Labs are available in the release notes. (If you find problems, the best place to report them is the labs forum).