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Programming Software Linux IT Technology

Adobe To Port AIR To Linux 218

unityofsaints writes "Up until now, Adobe hasn't done much in terms of porting its applications to Linux, as its only product to have recieved any kind of Linux implementation is Flash. This may be about to change because the company has announced a Linux port of AIR, its web application development software. No definite release date is mentioned in the interview with Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, just a vague 'later this year.'"
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Adobe To Port AIR To Linux

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  • by feld ( 980784 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @01:38PM (#22590086)
    where's our photoshop?
  • by DigitalisAkujin ( 846133 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @01:40PM (#22590110) Homepage
    Please fix Flash uploads in Flash for *nix.
  • by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @01:40PM (#22590114)

    Port the Adobe suites to linux.
    The funny thing is that at this point it would probably take about an afternoon for Adobe to port Photoshop to Linux.

    Yes, I'm exaggerating... but only slightly. Currently Photoshop runs essentially flawlessly using up-to-date versions of Wine. Remember that Wine is intended both as a run-time compatibility layer, but also as a set of Windows API libraries that you can compile your Windows code against in order to make a native Linux application. (Well, some people might debate that the resulting app is actually native since it relies on Wine libraries being installed, rather than the more widespread Linux toolkits like GTK or QT.)

    Given that the Wine project has already done 99% of the work, I can't imagine it would be very difficult to port Photoshop to Linux... The same is probably true for the rest of the suite. So, one wonders why they haven't bothered yet.
  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @01:44PM (#22590144) Journal
    I realize that Adobe's code can be... err, messy, to be charitable about it (at least judging by Acrobat Reader and FrameMaker).

    Question is this: is this a step towards (hopefully) Adobe going over their existing products and re-writing them so as to make porting easier? I know they're working with Codeweavers to get P-shop to work on a Linux platform (via WINE), but it would be cool to see some native implementations instead.

    I figure once/if Adobe can get things like P-Shop and Illustrator to work on a Linux platform, other graphics companies would have that final impetus to follow. While the higher-end CG vendors usually have Linux ports or Linux-native apps (Shake, Maya, etc), the mid-range, amateur, and pro-am ones usually don't (Modo, Silo, DAZ|Studio and Poser, Vue d' Esprit, Carrara, Bryce, etc).

    It'd be hella nice to see the CG/gfx companies take Linux seriously across the board, and not just as niche/custom items, or as "hey, that OS makes a great render farm node!" type of platform.


  • Re:Bzzt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Samus ( 1382 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @01:54PM (#22590242) Journal
    The AIR stack is essentially composed of two parallel environments. One being an embedded web browser (webkit) with javascript (ECMAScript3) bindings into the runtime. The other side is an embedded Flash 9 player with access to all that Flash offers as well as the additional AIR libraries such as sqlite. I believe FlexBuilder allows you to develop either one though I have only used it to do a Flash based AIR app.
  • by awjr ( 1248008 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:04PM (#22590370)
    Just to give some background on this. AIR is an equivalent to the Java Runtime Environment. Now unfortunately (or fortunately) Adobe also released Flex 3 Builder (application development for Flash 9) at the same time and made it the easiest way to deliver AIR apps. You could easily build air apps using Flash 9, javascript or even plain html but I can't see the point to this. There are certain things Air does provide that will be interesting to see how they are used: SQLLite engine and system resource (disk drive etc) access. The latter screams security risk however this the same risk as installing any app on your computer. To be honest there are a couple of big companies (e.g. Ebay) that are writing AIR apps, but I don't really see there being much need in that arena (searching for auctions). I think it's is going to shine when hooking up to business applications (which is also indicative of the number of financial institutions looking for Flex developers). As an example, I've written an air app that hooks into our servers and provides an easy way to managing our error log entries, and various data characteristics. Previously this would be a case of logging into the back end through a browser and finding this out from various reports. There may be a case that a better dashboard design would have made this simpler, however I can have an AIR app sitting in the background feeding this information to me, and most importantly, it took very little time, as it hooked into existing web services. Personally it has a lot going for it, but it really is going to shine in big business. Oh and please don't compare it to MS Silverlight. Compare Flash to Silverlight, but not AIR.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:11PM (#22590466)
    It is not technical it is financial. There have been versions of Photoshop that runs on Unix Systems, I rember seeing an add for Photoshop for Sun Work Stations. It is not a situation that they can't make a Linux Version it is more of an issue they Won't make a Linux version unless it takes 0 effort on their part. Linux is strong in the Server Market but in the Desktop Market and Workstation market they are not really there where at best guesses Linux is less then 1% of the market share. Then I would suspect about 25% of them are Open Source Zealots who will not use a BSA Backed Closed Source Tool on Linux no matter how good it was. Then you have by my estimate 50% people who are just to cheap/unable to afford to shell out a few hundred - a few thousand bucks for a software package. Now we are left 25% Now that leave the people who want or need photoshop so lets say less then 1/2 of the 25% that leave 12% Now we figure a 1/3 will pirate a copy so that is 8% of Linux Users Left... Then We can assume from that 8% left 3/4 of them would use an other platform to use photoshop anyways so that 2% out of 1% Market Share that would be new Customers so that means 0.02% change in new customers. Now if 1/4 of the World Population Uses Computers that can meet the system requirements. estimating 6 billion in population that will be 300,000 copies sold over a 4 year life cycle meaning an average of 75,000 copies sold a year. Creating 37.5 Million Gross estimating 25% margins on the copy making 9.4 Million Net. Which may be a lot for You or Me. For for a Company Adobe's size that may not be the best bang for the effort. Because effort towards Mac or Windows user for the same cost could Lead to much higher Sales perhaps 10 or 100 fold. Efforts in making Adobe Wine Compatible or close to it may yeald better results for less effort.
  • by Jhan ( 542783 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:34PM (#22590764) Homepage

    Currently Photoshop runs essentially flawlessly using up-to-date versions of Wine

    Yes, but who wants Wine if you can get a native app? Photoshop was designed to be portable, and was released for SunOS and SGI IRIX [wikipedia.org].

    Amusing side note: In the nineties several popular programs were ported to Unix for reasons I didn't understand then, and don't now. In addition to Photoshop also MS Internet Explorer [wikipedia.org] and Outlook. Imagine my disbelief and horror when I found that nasty couple installed on a production HPUX server...

    I wouldn't think Adobe has just thrown away the source portability. After all portable code is expensive to create in the first place, but once you're there it's pretty cheap to maintain portability. If this is the case then they have probably had a Linux version of Photoshop, and perhaps other products for years, they just don't feel like selling them at this point.

    The point I want to make is that yes, indeed, Adobe could probably release Photoshop for Linux tomorrow. Wine wouldn't be necessary. It would be the real deal, a fully native Unix/X11 application. Unless of course Adobe hasn't done criminally stupid things to the code base in the past decade...

  • Don't forget about (Score:2, Interesting)

    by armanox ( 826486 ) <asherewindknight@yahoo.com> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:32PM (#22591718) Homepage Journal
    Adobe on IRIX. I personally am running Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat Reader on IRIX 6.5 (on an SGI O2)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:27PM (#22592474)
    > Yeah, it couldn't possibly be a massive undertaking to port almost 15 years of built up code, working across an entire suite of interconnected programs, to a completely differnt set of APIs. They should get on that right away!

    Windows NT vs. Windows 9x? Naaw, let's just stick with the core of 9x.

    OS X vs. System 9? Naaw, too much work.

    Sometimes you really do have to start over. Or you end up like BeOS, AmigaOS, or in the applications side, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, and Corel.

  • by businessnerd ( 1009815 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @05:33PM (#22593218)
    I agree with you, it would be great if Adobe would start supporting Linux natively. I was even thinking that once Photshop is better supported under WINE, they may have a better picture of how many people use their products in Linux. Unfortunatly, Photoshop would not be able to accurately report back what systems people are using. This brings me to the OT rant. Some apps report back what system the user is running, essentially a survey so the company knows their market better. I encountered this with Steam. I have Steam running under WINE on Fedora 7 right now. When it asked to report my hardware, i obliged, hoping that it would detect a Linux system and someone at Valve would give a double-take. The hope being that if they keep seeing Linux in their stats, they might start developing for it. Unfortunately, WINE reports the system as Windows XP. Well that was dissapointing. I think it would be in the Linux communities interest if WINE had a way of reporting it more like "GNU/Linux with Windows XP compatibility layer" or something like that. No biggie, but maybe it would help get the word out to some of the game developers that Linux gamers do exist.

BLISS is ignorance.