Everyonce in a while a technology comes along that makes sense. Adobe Flex 3 and Adobe Air are such technologies.
Flex is a highly productive, free open source framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications that deploy consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and operating systems. The Adobe® AIR™ runtime lets developers build rich Internet applications that deploy to the desktop and run across operating systems. The importance of RIA's, a term Adobe coined several years ago, is the promise in the near term to eliminate the usability and functionality boundaries between desktop and web applications. And more importantly, for the long term, RIA's promise to eliminate those same boundaries between mobile, desktop and web applications. The concept of coding an application once and deploying it everywhere, seamlessly running it as a web application, desktop application and a mobile application is quickly becoming a reality. I have a blog entry about the impact on mobile programming at RingTones, a mobility blog I write for DDJ, you can see it here.
AIR has been in the works for several years under the guidance of Kevin Lynch, recently announced as Adobe's Chief Technology Officer. Something that should bolster the confidence of developers, the company plans to build AIR versions of many of its Web applications. According to Lynch, "This is a very, very important time in Adobe's history. We've made some big shifts--Postscript, multimedia, the Web," he said. "Rich Internet applications is one of those important transitions."