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<Adobe Apollo is dead on arrival ⁄ >

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After reading an essay by Bruce Eckel about how great Adobe Apollo was going to be, I had high hopes for the product. But after reviewing the alpha release, those hopes were quickly dashed.

Apollo represents a new breed of applications that erase the line between desktop and web applications. For lack of a better name I call these "Webtop" applications. In theory, you could write an application once and deploy it on the web and on the desktop with minimal modifications. Speaking as a developer, this sounds great. Unfortunately Adobe's implementation leaves much to be desired.

The biggest problem is the licensing. Apollo is a closed, proprietary system by intentional design. The runtime is closed, and the tools are expensive. While there is a free toolchain available, any serious development will most likely require the commercial tools. And don't hold out too much hope for significant open source competition. Adobe's licensing terms, which you have to accept to use their runtime and SDK, specifically prohibit it:

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