Tools & Apps

nExtPanelOnAir

As mentioned in a previous post, I have been experimenting with Adobe Air and the result is a full conversion of nExtPanelGears to Adobe Air.
The application is feature complete and only required switching to ExtJS Adobe Air, adjusting some of the CSS and to switch the code from gears SimpleDB to Adobe Air SimpleDB.
nExtPanelOnAir can be installed as a desktop app and can be run under Apple, Linux and Windows PCs. It only requires an internet connection for the data syncronization, the rest of the time everything is handled by SimpleDB.

Working with Adobe Air is actually a lot of fun and I have been experimenting with both, Flex and the HTML/Ajax options.
While Flex comes with a handy visual editor, it also requires learning its meta language. Since it’s only for experimenting and not for an actual work related project, I decided to go the HTML/Ajax way.
Especially Aptana Studio’s Adobe Air support made things a lot easier to work with and I would definitely recommend giving it a try, if you start experimenting with Adobe Air.

The only downside is the lack of extended or advanced features documentation.
Don’t get me wrong, the basic details are all covered with hundreds of examples and online tutorials, but sooner or later you will run into some advanced topics, which are not covered and finding a solution to those issues can be tedious.
Make sure to signup for the official Adobe Air forums, as the community will most likely be able to help you out in such a case.

Overall I would definitely recommend Adobe Air for projects, where cross platform support is required or if you wish to create a desktop application without giving up your HTML/Ajax environment.