Apollo, they got it this time!
I have noticed around the community there are still many that don't quite understand why Apollo is such a major breakthrough technology, and why it will be so important. For those that are still in the dark, let me offer an explanation,
but before that I just want to point out a few things:
An old post of mine on Central
Man, that was a while ago and alot has changed. I really think that from what I have seen and heard regarding Apollo, that they are on the right track with it.
A $100,000,000 investment budget for Apollo applications though takes my breath away. In the Central model, they wanted to charge us(and our clients) for deploying apps, now they are going to invest in us to do it! Brilliant, sign me up!
The first thing one has to realize is that Apollo is not Central at all. Apollo is an enviornment for building desktop applications with technologies that are familiar to web(like) developers. Apollo is NOT a tool to run your web applications on the desktop. While this can be done, and can be cool, it really is not the focus of the initiative.
The best Apollo applications will likely be the ones that take traditional desktop applications, and make them easier to:
For those familiar with Actionscript 3/Flash Player 9, you would know that we now have access to data at the binary level. There is not one filetype that you cannot read and write! So, the sky is the limit, and the focus is the desktop.
Web Applications can do alot these days, but the sandboxed constraints of the web browser stop us from being able to do great things without powerful server technology. Apollo allows us to start at the desktop with real data to read and write as we see fit, and leverage server technology in support of the primary desktop feature set. We will do this all with tools that we are familiar with as web developers.
If making an Apollo Chat Client, or Flickr Image Viewer, or News Aggregator for the desktop is all you can imagine, then expand yourself. Start with a Bitmap Image Editor, MP3 Player, Document editor, SWF compiler, Web Browser, Vector Illustration program, etc. Time to bust out file format documentation for the thousands of file types out there!
It is important to note that Apollo is the competitor to Windows Presentation Foundation. Remember those apps MS released a year ago built with Sparkle? It is funny that the app they released was called MAX!:
This is the class of application that Apollo apps will compete with.
Adobe intends to cut Microsoft off at the pass, by releasing a robust runtime that works accross all desktop operating systems at a fraction of the size.
This will lead us to a world, where operating systems become irrelevant, and applications are always available for everything everywhere. (Sounds like the Java promise..... but hey I'm optimistic)
So the Apollo project introduces a new class of application that will be indistinguishable from a regular desktop application, it is not meant to be an extension for Rich Internet Applications.