Several weeks back, Adobe evangelist Greg Wilson and Flex guru Holly Schinsky demonstrated an early prototype of an application called Adobe AIR Launchpad that they were planning to release publicly. Launchpad, built using Adobe AIR, was designed to significantly reduce the time to development new AIR apps by generating useful code snippets common to many AIR applications.
For example, Launchpad allows you to set whether:
the default application window is centered
the default application window can be resized, minimized or maximized
the application supports automatic updating
the application detects network status changes
the application uses a default preferences file
the application uses native menus
In addition, you can add optional code snippets to your project to help get you started including sample code for:
Drag and drop
Detecting mass storage devices
Just a few weeks later, Greg announced on his blog that the application was available for download. Once you complete the application wizard and generate your code, a project file will be created that includes all the necessary files to build your customized AIR app. This project can then be imported into Flash Builder.
In addition, James Ward, enterprise evangelist at Adobe, recorded an excellent overview of Launchpad:
This is a very exciting concept and I look forward to seeing your feedback and seeing how Launchpad evolves over time. Hopefully it will help make many of you more efficient when you are starting the development of a new AIR application. Congratulations to Greg and Holly for building this out in record time!
The trick to writing a plugin architecture for AIR applications isn’t really so much plugin management (installing, loading, deleting, etc.) as it is plugin security. Plugins that are privileged enough to be really powerful also have enough power to be potentially dangerous, so before an end user installs one, he or she needs to know not only who wrote it, but also that the plugin wasn’t somehow modified prior to installation. That’s where code signing and validation come in.
The sample plugin architecture I wrote addresses both plugin management and security. The article contains plenty of background on plugin security as well as sample code for an application called "Pluggable SearchCentral" which you can see in action below:
Greg Wilsontweeted that Tour de Flex, a desktop application for exploring Flex and Adobe AIR capabilities and resources, was recently updated to include additional Adobe AIR 2 samples for mass storage device detection, DNS, and network information.
If you are not familiar with Tour de Flex, it is a fantastic resource for discovering code samples. The application is free, powered by Adobe AIR and used by Flex developers all over the world (check out this amazing data visualization that displays global usage of the application).
Both the web and desktop versions of Tour de Flex were recently updated to include AIR 2 samples. If you are not familiar with Tour de Flex, it is an extremely valuable resource for learning about Adobe platform technologies including Flex, Flash and Adobe AIR.
The new AIR 2 examples include:
Global error handler
Open with default application
For additional information on these examples, see Holly Schinsky’s blog post. Also, Greg Wilson informs me that more examples are coming soon. If there are specific examples you would like to see, please leave us a comment and we will relay your requests back to the Tour de Flex team.
Christian Cantrell, a member of the AIR team, also created an extremely valuable blog post that provides links to a number of articles, videos, blog posts and samples related to AIR 2.