In the beginning there was the browser, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee said â€œIt is good.â€ Now fast forward fifteen years and we are all tired of just surfing, we want to actually do things. Itâ€™s the new millennium and we are ready for a paradigm shift!
Thankfully one has been brewing all along. Back in the early days of the web a company named Macromedia released this toy called â€œFlashâ€, and sowed the seeds of the next revolution that we now call Rich Internet Applications.
Rich Internet Applications are applications that run mainly on a server on the Internet but pieces of it run on your local computer. Usually the server does all the heavy lifting while your computer only has to run the user interface.
Our overlords at Adobe have embraced RIAs and given us tools like Flash, its cousin Flex and its other cousin AIR with which to build them. AIR is the real gem as it allows web developers to build desktop applications.
For web programmers this means that they can now write applications that run outside of the browser. (Technically AIR has an integrated browser but letâ€™s not spoil the fun.)
To get you started, try downloading a program called Spaz. Itâ€™s a twitter client written in HTML that runs on your desktop. Compare that to the traditional experience of going to twitter.com and you will begin to see what all the excitement is about.
My name is Cal Evans and I am your sixty second tech.