Apollo – first impressions

Very interesting posts around the place concerning what people have seen today of Apollo. There have been a number of huge steps that seem to have been made from what I’ve previously seen. But this ability, to have working websites as Flex DisplayLists, is awesome. Shame the only two plugins they’re going to support are Flash and Acrobat – One of the key aspects of using html in Apollo is going to be script bridging, a more tightly integrated solution than External Interface. By using script bridging actionscript will be able to communicate with JavaScript and vice versa. And the calls to functions across the scripting bridge will be synchronous.

The HTML renderer that’s been adopted by Adobe is very interesting. They’ve opted for WebKit, an open source browser engine with an open source Mobile solution as well, possibly enabling the same feature on both platforms?

Adobe are enbracing XHTML and AJAX as part of the solution, not a rival technology, as I’ve seen many developers on the AJAX world do. Adobe are acknowledging that there is a geniune purpose for XHTML & AJAX combined with the rich media features offered by the swf format.

In the presentation Adobe’s chielf Apollo engineer talks of combining the text render engine in both the WebKit renderer and the swf player, known as Saffron and currently part of the Flash player 8 and above feature set, in order that the user is unaware of the makeup of the app.
Oh, and one other thing I found out after watching this presentation about Apollo, is that crossdomain policy files will not be required in order to access information on different servers.

The bottom line from my point of view is that Apollo offers a solution in which the Interface becomes the most important aspect. We’re actually getting to a point where we’re able to think more about why we’re creating this particular solution, instead of “wow, look what we’ve done – It nearly killed us achieving it, and it’s not a great expereince, but isn’t it impressive!”

I don’t beleive that Apollo is going to be the right way to go for everything. But I certainly feel there will be a type of interface and set of functionality for an Apollo app which may work very well in partnership with a mobile and web interface solution.

Update – this got sent to me just today – It’s a recording of the Apollo session at Max last week


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