Runtime Revolution vs Adobe Air

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Philhold
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Runtime Revolution vs Adobe Air

Post by Philhold » Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:30 pm

Hi,

I'm still like a kid in the candy store with too many options when it comes to IDEs, scripting languages etc. I've been playing around with RR and am very impressed, but I'm still not sure where I should invest my time, in RR or Adobe Air.

The application that I want to build that set me off looking for a development and programming environment contains a local database, Sqlite is perfect for this. Some of the data stored locally is used to pull specific data down from a server and this is formatted to provide information to the user. The local data will be stored long term and will only need periodic updating.

I'm hoping that folks here can help me to decide where I should spend my time learning to code.

Both Runtime Revolution and Adobe Air have Sqlite bundled with them.

I have Dreamweaver CS4 and Flash CS4.

The financial cost of Runtime Revolution Studio is not an issue, the main issue is where should I invest my time.

So what are the pros and cons of these two technologies and why should I choose RR over Air?

Many thanks

Phil

PS I've been fiddling with Filemaker for 10 years, know HTML, CSS and do a bit of Perl and Applescript coding

shadowslash
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Post by shadowslash » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:45 pm

well, naturally, since this is the runtime revolution forum, I would suggest you pick Runtime Revolution... Image
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Philhold
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Post by Philhold » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:07 pm

Surely there must be other reasons!

Maybe naive but I was hoping for a discussion something like this once comparing RealBasic with Runtime Revolution. http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/ind ... 48567.html

Cheers

Phil

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Post by shadowslash » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:29 pm

i'm not really close to knowing what the capabilities of adobe air is but if i ever had the knowledge, i would pick both of them, who knows, maybe you could even create cross-language programs.. (a mixture of air and rev!) wouldn't that be really nice? my dad often tells me "two heads are better than one".. the same goes for two programming softwares are better than one Image
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Post by FourthWorld » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:01 pm

AIR makes a great choice if you need to run specifically inside of a browser window, are already well versed in JavaScript, and/or need the sort of sprite handling that engine does so well.

While my own AIR experiments are too primitive to have much to say authoritatively, one of the folks I know who knows both Rev and AIR well says that where Rev outshines AIR is in making native-looking desktop apps.

Right now, AFAIK AIR offers little in the way of native-looking controls, and their implementation of standalones makes things like common document-centric apps more difficult than in Rev.

While Rev does have a web plugin in development, it's greatest strength will likely continue to remain in desktop productivity apps, where many dozens of profitable commercial products have been deployed with it.

FWIW, the Rev runtime engine can also be used on a server as a CGI, where its chunk expressions and other efficient ways of working with text make it a tremendously productive tool that often outperforms Ruby or Perl equivalents.

Rev is definitely a very different way of working, so expect a bit of a learning curve (or "unlearning curve", if you will <g>). But in my experience the investment in mastering its uncommon way of working is rewarded many times over by uncommon gains in productivity.

With a rich object model well-honed for modern GUIs, chunk expressions and other fast and graceful ways of manipulating text, reasonably strong multimedia support, very flexible graphics handling, typeless variables, and zero compilation time, Rev has been quite a boon here for this stuff I deliver for my clients and customers.
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Post by Troy » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:29 pm

FourthWorld wrote:AIR makes a great choice if you need to run specifically inside of a browser window, are already well versed in JavaScript, and/or need the sort of sprite handling that engine does so well.
AIR doesn't really run in a browser window - at least not in that context. AIR is a desktop runtime which leverages webkit to be sure, but it isn't like it is running in Safari, or IE.

AIR is a pretty spiffy technology, but it is also pretty hindered for a lot of desktop applications due to the fact that it has very restrictive security policies which prevent you from creating many types of software, particularly those that want deep ties into OS-level operations.

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Post by FourthWorld » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:05 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Troy. Maybe it's a nomenclature issue on my part, since of course the "R" in "AIR" is for "Runtime", but I had the impression things made with Flex could run in either the desktop runtime or with the browser plugin. Am I merely confused? :)

If not optimized for web-also deployment, and the desktop deployment is compromised in terms of file I/O and meeting end-user expectations for look-and-feel, then what does Adobe feel is its sweet spot?
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Post by Troy » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:45 pm

FourthWorld wrote:Thanks for the clarification, Troy. Maybe it's a nomenclature issue on my part, since of course the "R" in "AIR" is for "Runtime", but I had the impression things made with Flex could run in either the desktop runtime or with the browser plugin. Am I merely confused? :)

If not optimized for web-also deployment, and the desktop deployment is compromised in terms of file I/O and meeting end-user expectations for look-and-feel, then what does Adobe feel is its sweet spot?
It is true that both Flex, and Flash (plus Dreamweaver, and even Fireworks) can publish to AIR. But AIR adds its own set of capabilities to the resulting app... the SQLite stuff, and PDF display, for instance.

I'd say the sweet spot is a certain level of desktop app power, and offline capability. It can be used for data-driven apps pretty well, as long as you recognize that it is (mostly) operating in its own universe, with some overlap into supporting reading and writing of local files, and some other stuff not available to the browser under normal circumstances.

It does not have any real access to the hardware, and does not support things like shell scripts, or low level OS operations, due to its security policies. While this is often a hinderance, I guess it is meant to ensure that corporate IT departments are more comfortable with deploying it.

This means that while AIR does overlap in areas with tools like RR, it is not the same thing, and is more of a desktop/web hybrid.

Philhold
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Post by Philhold » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:54 am

Thanks for the replies, they have helped to confirm the Rev is the way to go for me. What really swung it though is the series of videos entitled from Jerry Daniels on "Internet Applications" here:

http://www.revmentor.com/?page=4

My idea is for an application that sits on your desktop and which allows you to store and interact with your own data and which uses that data to query servers on the Internet. Having seen what Jerry has done it is clear that Rev has everything that I need and can do it in a really neat way. If I can learn to use it at 10% of the level that Jerry does that is.

Thanks again

Phil

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Post by Troy » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:16 pm

Philhold wrote:If I can learn to use it at 10% of the level that Jerry does that is.
Phil
Well, that's probably true for most of us! ;-)

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Post by FourthWorld » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:00 pm

Phil, if you want to explore internet apps take a look in Rev at Development->Plugins->GoRevNet

That's all Rev, and fairly simple stuff. You're welcome to borrow anything from RevNet you find useful.
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Philhold
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Post by Philhold » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:58 pm

Hi Richard,

Many thanks.

Best wishes

Phil

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