Expect Big Changes If Adobe's Apollo Takes Off

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You may have barely noticed the news that could totally change the way desktop applications are built and function.


Last month, Adobe released an alpha of a new technology called Apollo. It lets you build Web software that can also be used as a desktop application for when you're not connected to the Web.


Okay. Another cool doo-dad from Adobe. That's nice. We're sure the graphics people will be thrilled.


And that's exactly how it happens - the next big change slips by you and before you know it, you're playing catch-up.


Victoria Murphy Barret, a columnist for Forbes magazine, believes Apollo could be more than just another interesting development tool. After all, she points out, Adobe has a history of creating technology that quietly becomes standard, such as Adobe Acrobat and Flash, for example - both of which, by the way, play a role in Apollo.


Barret makes a good point. Duly chastized for my dismissive attitude, I read on to find out what changes Apollo could bring.


Barret spoke with Kevin Lynch, Adobe's chief software architect, about his expectations for Apollo. Lynch said Apollo is designed to make application development cheap, easy and even disposable. It's a challenge to Java and .NET.


Apollo purports to bring Web functionality to desktop applications, but without the java-drinking, code-crunching, Tylenol-popping, 20-person development team we've all come to expect and love.


But as Barret points out, this change won't be a revolution that happens with a bang overnight. It will happen quietly and slowly - an evolution that begins with Apollo's release, but quickly spreads roots beyond any one company or developer. And, like Acrobat and Flash before it, it may do so through the graphic designers, instead of the IT division.


How can we know for sure? The Magic 8 Ball says, "Ask again later."