In this edition…
- About this Newsletter
- What is Larry Thinking => Introducing Adobe AIR
- Book Giveaway: Building a Web Site with Ajax: Visual QuickProject
- My Book News
About this Newsletter
First, my thanks, as always, to those that provided feedback on the previous newsletters. Your comments really help to make this newsletter useful. Please keep your questions and suggestions coming.
My apologies for the delay in getting this one out. It’s been over five weeks since the last edition. The delay is in part because I’ve been burning the midnight oil writing the third edition of my “PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide”. Secondarily, I knew I’d be receiving my copies of my most recent release–“Building a Web Site with Ajax: Visual QuickProject”–and I wanted to give those away.
Besides those two pieces of information, which are both elaborated upon later, this newsletter addresses the continuing topic of avoiding spam (which cannot be discussed too frequently) and finally contains a little bit about an exciting new technology, Adobe AIR.
What is Larry Thinking => Introducing Adobe AIR
Since March (I think), I’ve been working on a Visual QuickPro Guide on a new technology called AIR, released by Adobe. I think it’s very exciting technology so I wanted to provide a little introduction to it here. I’ve already seen a fair amount of confusion as to what AIR is or is not, so I’ll try to make this as short and simple as possible. (As an aside, in its alpha release, AIR was known as Apollo.)
First, AIR is a technology for creating desktop applications. It is not a server technology and it doesn’t run in a Web browser. You create graphical programs in AIR, ones that can interact with the filesystem, perform networking tasks, and much, much more. Second, AIR creates cross-platform applications. With only a few exceptions, the same program you develop on Windows can also run on Mac OS X and on Linux (Linux support is expected to be enabled in version 1 of AIR). The cross-platform support is a great advantage of AIR, as anyone that’s created applications in other technologies–C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, etc.–understands that this is a major hurdle, if not downright hard.
How AIR Works
For those of you that have heard of either Google Gears or Microsoft’s Silverlight, both are interesting comparisons. These technologies extend Web browsers by adding application-like functionality. However, both are still browser-based. A closer comparison to Adobe AIR is Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). As far as I can tell, WPF is fairly similar to AIR, although it only runs on Windows.
Adobe AIR: Visual QuickPro Guide
Book Giveaway: Building a Web Site with Ajax: Visual QuickProject
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My Book News
As already said, my “Buildling a Web Site with Ajax: Visual QuickProject Guide” is now available. It’s a different style of book for me, with more direct instruction and less explanation and theory. The code, I believe, is quite solid and reusable, which should result in a reliable Ajax experience for the end user. It looks like Amazon is selling it for $13.59 (as I write this), which is a good deal (one of the many reasons I like writing for Peachpit Press is that it’s nice to have good computer books available for under $20).
And my Adobe AIR book is in progress. Chapters will be posted in rough format for download through Peachpit’s Rough Cuts series. More on this when I have details.
Finally, I’m pleased to report that I’ve hit the half-way mark of my “PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide”. The book uses PHP 6 and MySQL 5, so should be the book to have for the future of both technologies. Most of the new material focuses on new features in both technologies. Overall this means making more universal sites: supporting multiple languages, multiple time zones, and so forth. One new example chapter is being added, using a forum/message board (a popular request). The book is on schedule to be out by year’s end.