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Adobe Drops Linux Desktop Support For AIR

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  • #16
    Well F*** you too, Adobe!

    The only AIR client I've ever used was the Pandora client, but they have a good-enough flash player in the browser anyway.

    AIR is little more than the Flash platform running in a desktop window, anyway. And they only ever supported 32-bit, and there were frequently issues with sound not working, and missing libraries. Gee, and you wonder why so few people downloaded it? Maybe because you didn't provide platform-native installers (deb, rpm) with 32-bit and 64-bit support, and keep up with platform changes?

    Adobe really has no idea how to distribute software for Linux. And what frustrates me the most is that they still (in 2011) think that 64-bit support is exotic or a luxury, when in fact it's the norm (moreso on Linux than other platforms though).

    Other than the performance speedup in computationally-intensive code, it's stupidly easy to tear through 4GB of virtual address space in a 32-bit process. Ever wonder why people hate 32-bit Photoshop so much? Because open a few big images and Photoshop blows the 32-bit VAS and comes crashing down. Flash isn't quite so RAM intensive, but if you have complicated apps running inside it (spreadsheets etc), it could be.

    Adobe is mismanaged by people who would drop support for their own dying mother in exchange for some money. This is simply not how you behave as a top-tier software development company. Supporting all the major platforms out there isn't an option; it's mandatory. You eat the cost regardless of how many people you have on that platform.

    I don't care about AIR in particular as a platform, so I won't mourn this loss, but I still think that Adobe's management style of "get a lot of downloads for your platform or we will stop supporting it" is completely unprofessional. Especially if they market the platform as a cross-platform solution for years, and suddenly pull support for one of the major platforms.

    This just proves that big red doesn't understand how free/open source software works, at all. Linux isn't just another platform; it carries with it the necessity of understanding a completely separate development methodology. Adobe seems incapable of grasping this, so they drop the platform instead. Amazing that such a large company can learn so little about a completely open community over the course of a decade.

    If this is the beginning of the end of Linux support for Adobe's other products, such as Flash and Adobe Reader, I say good riddance. We didn't need your 32-bit buggy shit either, Adobe! No one will care about your insignificant little company when Flash is obsoleted by HTML5, anyway. Google, Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft -- those four companies are all heavily invested in HTML5, and HTML5 is the Flash killer. Adobe: If you want to commit suicide, then please go ahead and die!

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    • #17
      "Adobe is dropping the Linux desktop client so they can focus on mobile platforms such as Android".....
      And of course, Android **IS** Linux, so running the Android client on any other Linux shouldn't be too much trouble... unless they release ONLY ARM blobs. In which case it would obviously be necessary to run the stupid thing in the android emulator.

      Are they really so lazy that they can't build it for Linux?

      Oh well.... its just another bullet they've decided belongs in the middle of their brains. Won't be missed by many.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
        "Adobe is dropping the Linux desktop client so they can focus on mobile platforms such as Android".....
        And of course, Android **IS** Linux, so running the Android client on any other Linux shouldn't be too much trouble... unless they release ONLY ARM blobs. In which case it would obviously be necessary to run the stupid thing in the android emulator.

        Are they really so lazy that they can't build it for Linux?

        Oh well.... its just another bullet they've decided belongs in the middle of their brains. Won't be missed by many.
        Android doesn't use any of the desktop APIs though.

        Desktop GL? Nope.
        VA-API? Nope.
        X11? Nope.
        Xv? Nope.

        Even if you could run the ARM binary in a linux-elf-arm-EABI to linux-elf-x86-64 binary translator (a la ndiswrapper), it wouldn't work at all with desktop technologies. AFAIK you can write a native NPAPI plugin for the Android browser, but that's where the similarities end.

        Still, if they exclude desktop Linux from the Flash 11 release train, I would rather use wine and some hacks to run the Windows Flash plugin for Firefox inside of a native browser window. The good news is that we already have the binary translation technology we need to run a Win32/PE executable on Linux; we don't have the tools needed (outside of qemu or bochs) to run an ARM binary "by itself" on x86 Linux. We don't have an ARM emulator (that I'm aware of). And even if we did, no one has proposed integrating the Android APIs into the standard Linux desktop.
        Last edited by allquixotic; 06-15-2011, 10:47 AM.

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        • #19
          Ah yes... Ye Good Ol' 1% - The apologist's best friend!

          Blam! 5% here! With a steady increase too, no less.
          How did they gather those figures*? Don't know, don't care, merely throwing in random pretty tables and graphs that will support my points. Anyone can do that, try it! It's fun!

          * Yes it's only for the w3schools website and they're more likely to attract developers, just bear with me on this one.

          But, to quote Jeffrey Hammond of Forrester, “There are already 100M Linux devices, it just so happens they’re running Android.”
          Yet the Netmarketshare data pins Android at 0.76% share. That would put the total market size in terms of units at roughly 13.15 billion. Remember those are computing devices on which users actively consume web services, so no servers.
          World population is close to 7B http://www.prb.org/, of which 1.2B live in developed countried http://www.unfpa.org/pds/trends.htm, let's round that up to 2B to include parts of developing countries where life standards are high enough to matter here.

          Over 6 computing devices per head? Please tell me my math is completely off, because something doesn't add up here. A desktop, a laptop and a mobile, both at work and at home?

          Was (is?) AIR any good at all?
          Last edited by PsynoKhi0; 06-15-2011, 11:02 AM.

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          • #20
            I've never used AIR so won't miss it. Most Gnu/Linux users probably never heard of it anyway so no loss there.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
              Android doesn't use any of the desktop APIs though.

              Desktop GL? Nope.
              VA-API? Nope.
              X11? Nope.
              Xv? Nope.

              Even if you could run the ARM binary in a linux-elf-arm-EABI to linux-elf-x86-64 binary translator (a la ndiswrapper), it wouldn't work at all with desktop technologies. AFAIK you can write a native NPAPI plugin for the Android browser, but that's where the similarities end.

              Still, if they exclude desktop Linux from the Flash 11 release train, I would rather use wine and some hacks to run the Windows Flash plugin for Firefox inside of a native browser window. The good news is that we already have the binary translation technology we need to run a Win32/PE executable on Linux; we don't have the tools needed (outside of qemu or bochs) to run an ARM binary "by itself" on x86 Linux. We don't have an ARM emulator (that I'm aware of). And even if we did, no one has proposed integrating the Android APIs into the standard Linux desktop.
              There was something called the "Android Execution Environment" that wrapped android into desktop linux natively.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
                If this is the beginning of the end of Linux support for Adobe's other products, such as Flash and Adobe Reader, I say good riddance. We didn't need your 32-bit buggy shit either, Adobe! No one will care about your insignificant little company when Flash is obsoleted by HTML5, anyway. Google, Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft -- those four companies are all heavily invested in HTML5, and HTML5 is the Flash killer. Adobe: If you want to commit suicide, then please go ahead and die!
                Actually that could be why. HTML5 might be starting to eat their lunch so they don't have the resources to develop on too many different platforms anymore. Linux just so happens to be hit first.

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                • #23
                  Adobe AIR was doomed to fail on Linux anyway, or even in general. Most of the installations on Windows are probably thanks to bundling the malware with their other software or by having it pre-installed in new PCs and laptops. They didn't even release a 64 bit editions for any operating system and they are slow as hell with updates.

                  I intended to learn how to develop AIR apps in the past but chose for Java instead, AIR apps may be very sexy if you put some effort in it, but they are slow ass hell and they lack a lot of essential features. In my eyes this isn't even suited for enterprise use.

                  I hope there will come an end to AIR & privacy unfriendly flash in the near feature. Both are unneeded. HTML5, webGL, JavaScript for the win! And Microsoft, you can keep your damn Silverlight too.

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                  • #24
                    "So, with Desktop Linux, we see a basically flat growth curve hovering around 1%. And since the release of AIR, we’ve seen only a 0.5% download share for desktop Linux."
                    I have a hard time believing that one Linux desktop in every two has Adobe AIR installed.

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                    • #25
                      Focussing on one thing is hard...

                      Given the company has 9000 employees. Hell, how should they focus on anything!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by PsynoKhi0 View Post
                        Was (is?) AIR any good at all?
                        The platform is/was extremely buggy and error-prone to get started, especially if trying to run it on a 64-bit host. Lots of missing libraries, sound that sometimes didn't work, etc.

                        But, once you got it running, there are some decent free AIR apps, like Pandora. Still, it's nowhere near as promising for desktop apps (that's what AIR provides; desktop apps) as other things like Qt4.

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                        • #27
                          Well, that's slightly annoying. I use TweetDeck for twitter and Facebook which is an Adobe Air program. It's still head and shoulders above any of the other clients I've used. I guess that means switching to TweetDeck in Chrome instead. Beyond that it's never seemed like there was a killer app for it, though Air itself has always seemed to run well. Apps install all self contained in /opt, and the update procedure was always straight forward and simple. Air's support for linux has been pretty reasonable provided you're running only a deb or rpm based distribution. You could get it to work on others but it was a pain in the neck. Oh well. Annoying but not the end of the world.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by movieman View Post
                            I have a hard time believing that one Linux desktop in every two has Adobe AIR installed.
                            They probably meant that 0.5% of their downloads were for Linux.

                            If that's the case, it's hard to justify continuing support from a financial perspective.

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                            • #29
                              I wouldn't get too worked up over this. Adobe AIR wasn't downloaded much because it sucks - i tried it with well over a dozen applications, all of which sucked. Why would anyone want this app on their desktop UNLESS they are developing apps for mobile???

                              Another interesting thing is - Adobe is basing their statistics around 1 entities statistics (NetMarketShare) to whom Microsoft is probably their biggest partner, as well as apple and many other proprietary companies.... I think these statistics might be a bit stacked.

                              especially when you visit other sites like W3Schools, or even wikipedia pages to do with web / OS statistics that have no vested interest, seem to suggest higher numbers than NetMarketShare seems too, for Linux usage (based around the exact same kind of statistical information).

                              I wonder how many times Adobe Flash has been downloaded by Linux users??

                              I tend to think Linux Desktop is in wider use, being as a few years ago, i knew almost no one (personally) who was running a Linux Desktop - and very few who had heard of Ubuntu or Linux in general (aside from my IT / geeky friends) and now i know a slew of people running a Linux desktop. (mostly ubuntu).

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ninez View Post
                                I wouldn't get too worked up over this. Adobe AIR wasn't downloaded much because it sucks - i tried it with well over a dozen applications, all of which sucked. Why would anyone want this app on their desktop UNLESS they are developing apps for mobile???

                                Another interesting thing is - Adobe is basing their statistics around 1 entities statistics (NetMarketShare) to whom Microsoft is probably their biggest partner, as well as apple and many other proprietary companies.... I think these statistics might be a bit stacked.

                                especially when you visit other sites like W3Schools, or even wikipedia pages to do with web / OS statistics that have no vested interest, seem to suggest higher numbers than NetMarketShare seems too, for Linux usage (based around the exact same kind of statistical information).

                                I wonder how many times Adobe Flash has been downloaded by Linux users??
                                The problem is that Adobe can't properly gauge Flash installations on Linux. There are tons of distros that support installing Flash through their own package manager, because they have a license to freely redistribute Flash (or they don't have a license and they don't care).

                                Adobe will continue to foolishly judge user adoption by who downloads stuff off of their central website, when in fact many downloads happen from other servers on the web (e.g. softpedia) and from package managers.

                                To be fair, I don't think any package managers (legally) distribute Adobe AIR, but unless Adobe are completely blind, I think the numbers for Flash use on Linux are much much higher -- some 90 - 95% of desktop Linux users probably use Adobe Flash. Even if that entire market segment is conservatively marked up as 1%, that's still 1 in every 100 users suddenly hating the guts of your company -- hopefully Adobe is wise enough to avoid that situation.

                                Originally posted by ninez View Post
                                I tend to think Linux Desktop is in wider use, being as a few years ago, i knew almost no one (personally) who was running a Linux Desktop - and very few who had heard of Ubuntu or Linux in general (aside from my IT / geeky friends) and now i know a slew of people running a Linux desktop. (mostly ubuntu).
                                Yeah. I work on an indie game that only runs on Windows (we inherited a huge codebase from another developer and it uses DirectDraw, and we only have 2 developers, so give us a break), and even within our tiny community of about 100 people, 5 of them are itching to get us to make a Linux client and/or improve the game's functionality under wine.

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