Today you may have heard some bad news about AIR on Linux. I want to set the record straight.
Right now, the vast majority of Linux utilization of Flash comes through the Flash plug-in itself. Not AIR.
Putting it bluntly, most Linux users don’t appreciate, let alone need AIR. It costs Adobe a ton of time to support an AIR runtime that the Linux community simply does not need. Why? Because Adobe’s AIR runtime has to support every app, and stay secure. That’s a huge effort.
That does not mean AIR on Linux is dead however. Adobe is simply offering the same code base up to Open Screen Project developers to morph into their own needs. Thus, if you really want to ship an AIR app on Linux, you’ll have the same APIs and code base that other platforms have… you’ll just have to get your AIR runtime from a third party.
This is a good thing, in my opinion. Great innovations in Flash will continue on Linux, with more effort being put into making the Flash plug-in run awesomely. And, developers who need AIR on Linux will be able to network and build better relationships with Adobe, thus making AIR on Linux stronger.
And by keeping the code in-check on Linux behind the scenes, when demand does rise (and I’m betting at some point it will), Adobe can return.
This isn’t the first time Adobe has done this. Look at Flash on Windows Mobile. Adobe is still trying to re-emerge that on Windows Phone 7, despite usage of Flash on Windows Mobile cratering completely.