wish-apollo

We announced this during the keynote at FlashForward, but I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of it.

We have created a wish-apollo mailing list to allow developers to submit ideas, feature requests, and bribes to the apollo team.

wish-apollo@adobe.com

What is Apollo? Apollo is a cross platform / device runtime that will allow developers to deploy applications that leverage Flash, HTML and / or PDF to the desktop.

We are in the early stages, so now is the perfect time to send in your comments.

25 Responses to wish-apollo

  1. Is it essentially going to be a browser with better/native support for Flash and PDF or run inside existing browsers?

  2. mike chambers says:

    No, it is not a browser (although you could theoretically build a browser on top of apollo).It is a desktop / device runtime.mike chambersmesh@adobe.com

  3. Gareth Edwards says:

    I’m a little confused, you want us to tell you what features we would like in a product we know very little about?CheersGareth.

  4. Hey Mike,Will Apollo be another public alpha/beta launch or is there a way for the old Central folks to get in on this in the early stages?

  5. Kristin says:

    Mike,Could you explain a little more about what is meant by “desktop/device runtime”? Is it basically a stand-alone player that handles various web formats, especially Flash? Is it a virtual engine? Is it Central revisited?Will applications for it be html docs with Flash embedded, Flash with html parsing, both?

  6. Oz says:

    I posed this wish to the speaker at FF06 in Seattle – I forgot his name – who introduced us to Apollo: Could Apollo be used on a Linux machine to create an interface for the OS?I’m a Flash developer/designer so my understanding of OS architecture is limited. Most of what I know came from Neal Stephenson’s “In The Beginning Was The Command Line”. My understanding is that a machine must have a BIOs so that the OS can talk to the core system. Then the OS can provide an interface – not GUI – to the system hardware such as the video card, hard drives, Ethernet, et al. On top of the OS is the GUI.How cool would it be if Apollo could be the engine that we used to create the GUI for Linux?Kevin Lynch spoke about how Flash was the perfect tool to bring developers and designers together. Wouldn’t it be great if we came together to create the most robust and stable OS in the world that also has an easily adaptable interface and as a bonus just happens to be free?

  7. mike chambers says:

    >I’m a little confused, you want us to tell you what features we would like in a product we know very little about?Yes. We want you to help us define the features.mike chambersmesh@adobe.com

  8. mike chambers says:

    >Will Apollo be another public alpha/beta launchWe are currently planning for both private and public releases (via labs).mike chambersmesh@adobe.com

  9. Martin Kristensen says:

    I want it to generate me some PDF moneybills, that i can use to buy at ticket to the commercial spaceshuttle trip to the moon.(The spaceshuttel that was entirely designed in Apollo in about 2½ hours!)Thanks

  10. Giles says:

    I think you have some pretty good benchmarks to work to for core desktop functionality with the likes of Zinc, SWF Studio and mProjector.But:[list][*] Seperate windows for each app (i.e. not like central) are a must, as are chromeless windows with full alpha blend transparency support.[*] I think that it should work on Linux, may have certain dependencies (like the new X Server windowing system enhancments from Novell) but the linux people are used to that sort of thing.[*] I think it needs a lot of thought going into enterprise deployment – I work in e-learning and can see a lot of potential in this area. Great if it could be installed without needing admin rights.[*] Integrate the PDF and XHTML into the flash view. It would be great if they extended MovieClip to so we could use the filters etc.[*] Have PDF/XHTML components. Make the components “smart” so that the XHTML could re-size/flow/etc as the flash is interacted with at runtime.[*] A standard api for working with the PDF/XHTML DOMs as we do now with basic XML.It would be great to create a new PDF/XHTML, then put in text and graphics from the library/file system/made in code/etc. These could then be saved out as files or just used internally as objects.[/list]

  11. Sönke Rohde says:

    Will Apollo be a direct competitor of swf2exe applications like SWF Studio or Zinc?

  12. Joel Fiser says:

    Apollo should be a browser built around the Flash Platform. It should be able to handle HTML as well as current browsers do – but it should know that text is just a little piece of the pie in the New Web.Does anyone believe that The Web Browser as it’s currently defined is sufficient for handling what the web is becoming? The bubble of the 90’s is going to pale in comparison to what’s going to happen when the Internet becomes as entertaining and fun as it is informative. I don’t know about you, but where I live in Baltimore’s inner city, very few of my neighbors are on the web or even own a computer, but I guarantee they have 2 TVs and a $50 / month cable hookup. Apollo should be aimed at making them as loyal to the Internet as they are to their cable company. There are millions, no billions of them / us.Currently, only Flash provides the feature set and coding platform required to deliver an engaging multimedia online experience. But Flash remains a lowly plug-in – vulnerable to the whims of Microsoft, Mozilla and the rest.While basic functionality like the “Back” and “FWD” buttons and bookmarking are doable with the latest versions of the major browsers (see sympleton.com), the techniques used to achieve these functions are cumbersome and beyond most Flash designers. The lack of these features alone is a deal-breaker for many users and justifiably so. Flash will never be the mainstream web application platform it deserves to be without these basic functions. Apollo would, of course, fix this.Did I mention that the future of the Internet is FUN and Entertainment? Recognizing this, Apollo (and Flash for that matter) should gear itself toward more sophisticated handling of 3D graphics – as in Video Games and simulations.Nothing is more fun than Flash (well, almost nothing). With Apollo, providing an obviously more entertaining experience, word would get out quickly, users would flock, and Flash developers would thrive.

  13. Ahmad says:

    I want the same capabilities of zinc (pc,pocketpc,mac,linux) + smatphones.Plus sound and video recording.Enough?

  14. Bryan says:

    I’d like to have all the bugs in flash 8 worked out before going to a new platform. Things such as smoothing on imported images (since the quality function no longer works) and the millions of other little annoying bugs.

  15. If you’ve discovered bugs with Flash 8, rather than report them in blog comments, please consider reporting them via the Bug Report form here:http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

  16. Bob Connolly says:

    I would like to see Apollo work this way.A full screen PDF that you download from a site. You can view it on Viiv enabled computers because it will launch full screen. The video streams into the PDF or its embedded ( this is capable using Acrobat 6) The Flash that is embedded into the document allow for animation and connectivity to databases to allow for online purchases etc. ( this became possible in the reader 7.07 release.)The pdf is interactive using javascript so you can jump to pages and turn the pages in full screen mode. All of this is possible now using Acrobat – except for html.It would be nice to use acrobat to insert a text box that would easily load html text into the page. In that way, the pdf that was downloaded such as a PDF magazine can have a text box that updates via a link to an html web page just like you can now link to a video or a flash file. The conent of the PDF magazine can be updated on a web server and then there is no need to download the file again. The magazine is live on the desktop.This could be done in reader 8 I suppose. Acrobat/Reader 8 could be the code name for Apollo. The next upgrade of Adobe Acrobat 8 should allow you to use the link tool to draw an area on the PDF page to designate where html text will flow.Just like you can link to quicktime and now link .swf files since version 7.07 of reader was released ( after the merger) – allow us to link to .html files.This is true cross- media convergence. Using PDF as the container – it will get through the corporate firewall ( no one blocks pdf ) it has security, and it displays perfectly full screen even on the new hi-definition TV with Viiv computers and the new Mac mini that has video out. PDF can be higher DPI than 72 so when you expand it to full screen it will look perfect. Print the product high res at 120 DPI.The whole flash community can now just move the flash work from web pages and embed it inside the pdf instead of the web page. The Video producers can stream the video into the pdf and even launch it full page.As some might remember, in 2004 Microsoft lost a lawsuit to Eolas Technologies concerning a patent for “Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document”In short, Eolas holds the patent for how things like flash and quicktime/mediaplayer movies are added to a website – in any browser. Two days ago Microsoft released a preview of the ActiveX update for MSDN subscribers. This update is a workaround – or so Microsoft claim – to the patent, but it also means a very different approach to adding embedded content in Internet Explorer.What does it do?The ActiveX update makes a very simple change. It prevents you from automatically interacting with an embedded object – like a flash movie. When visiting a page that contains a slideshow, the slideshow will start and automatically skip to each slide. But, the caption bar does not appear when you mouse over the images, the thumbnails does not show up when you mouse over the slide numbers and you cannot stop, skip or use any of the controls by clicking on the them.Instead you have to first click on the flash object, which activates it, then you can use the interaction controls.The same happens for any site that relies on flash for navigation. The navigation bar just sites there inactively, until you click on it. Any fancy mouseOver effect, any button, or any slider you might have added does not work before the entire flash movie is activated.A similar thing happens to movies. Any embedded movie (Quicktime, Real or Media Player etc.) will start to play. But the buttons to control the movie – like a simple thing as the volume control is inactive.This is microsofts solutionhttp://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/workshop/author/dhtml/overview/activating_activex.aspSo we are dealing with embedded content in a web page in this situation. But flash inside of a downloadable PDF – that might be the next generation of rich media on the internet.

  17. Miles says:

    I’m not 100% sure of what Adobe / Macromedia’s intentions are regarding Apollo, but here’s a couple of things I’d like to see.Fully compiled stand-alone applications that the user downloads, installs and runs.Dynamic instances of streamed applications that are linked to from urls, either in web browser or from other Apollo apps. So, user can click on a link in a web site that opens an Apollo app.Front-end that can integrate with other application frameworks. I’m thinking, use Apollo as a front end that can integrate with a Java / VB / C# / etc app. Possibly via External Interface? Not sure if this would involve having to embed an instance of Apollo within the other application or would be better if other application, when starting, opens an Apollo app that uses the installed player. I leave that to you guys to figure out ? :)Apollo provides native, stand-alone playback of FLV files, FlashPaper files, and SWF files – although Flash plugin ought to provide all this anyway.Multi Window ApplicationsChromeless windows with transparencyFullscreen applications – over which other Apollo app windows can still be openedInter-application communicationFull right-click mouse controlBoth local and network privileges.Security model that doesn’t involve connecting to Macromedia site to adjust settingsAuto-update mechanism that would allow users to easily check for, download and install any updates for all Apollo apps they may have installedSome kind of layout flow component structure that would help developers create flexible layouts that can adapt to various different window sizes, possibly using the scroll pane?That’s all for now. Thanks.

  18. Mike Potter says:

    Apollo should have the ability to debug AJAX applications easily, possibly integrating with Eclipse’s debug, as I can currently do now with Flex applications.Mike

  19. rishi says:

    Apollo should have the following utilities, I assure this will boom and Microsoft will have to think once.1) To record Video/Audio options on Desktop. Convert video/audio image formats.2)Image cropping utility at desktop as in Image Magick.3)It should be able to connect to database without an intermediatery script or depending on Microsft tools.4)A direct Access to Com/DCOM object.5) Direct access to printer without displaying the Select printer dialog Box.6) Font embedding at runtime from fonts folder.7) Direct access to all advance protocols like SMTP/POP8) Of Course Export image quality should also be there.I’ll recommend these enhancements in flash player.Though there is no end to my wish list. Lets what we get in the end.—Rishi Raj SinghDeputy Program ManagerSebiz Infotech

  20. Bill says:

    How about making Apollo a branch and not stopping development of a THIN flash player. Don’t force me to adopt a complete platform if my target audience is in another world where a low impact, ubiquious Flash player continues to allow me to deliver exceptional content.

  21. >How about making Apollo a branch and not stopping development of a THIN flash playerDon’t worry. The Flash Player in the browser, and the Apollo player on the desktop are two seperate things.mike chambersmesh@adobe.com

  22. Marco says:

    I’d like to have a 3D API that takes advantage of 3D video hardware acceleration that’s in almost every PC today, including sharders and such.

  23. Erny says:

    Can Apollo insert a Windows media player 9 object and see an wmv streem format and play , stop ecc ?

  24. MikeActionscript 3.0 display lists access was a good start but now we need some kind of simplified 3d API providing us access to opengl (could be OpenGL ES without all extensions so you dont have to worry about portability of specific graphic chipsets). And if we could have a wider variety of CODECs (read H.264)…that would be awsome…Actionscript 3.0 goes a long way in order to structure Flash programming and help avoid what i call “impulse programming” when using the Flash IDE (the idea of throwing code at all objects and then forget about it because the visuals are taking over!)…

  25. Mayur says:

    Can Apollo record sound and flv without need for FMS?