RIA Minibook Prologue-RIA迷你书序言
Rich Internet Applications, or RIAs, have truly revolutionized user experiences online. When Macromedia first coined that term a decade or so ago, most thought it was a typo. But in a few short years, RIAs have proven to be the logical next phase in application development, and we’re all better off as a result.
RIAs are the combination of several technologies, all working seamlessly and transparently to create a better user experience. RIAs leverage the reach and ubiquity of the Internet. RIAs help unleash the power within computers and devices by intelligently pushing appropriate functionality to the client. RIAs break away from the loosely coupled page model that has restricted the web, replacing it with a user experience that more closely models traditional desktop applications. And most of all, RIAs deliver a better all-round user experience.
RIAs can be powered by an endless array of backend systems and technologies, from commercial to open source, legacy to cutting edge, sophisticated to simple, and everything in between. But what really makes RIAs work is the client side, and realistically, developers have two usable choices here. The Flash Platform (including the in browser Flash Player and the desktop AIR client) helped define the RIA space, and remain the leading option for most scenarios and developers. More recently, with the emergence of Ajax (exposing previously underutilized web browser capabilities) and with the gradual move towards HTML5, the web browser itself has also become a viable platform for RIA development.
It is important to note that HTML and Flash are both invaluable development tools, and they are designed to complement each other. Flash's job has always been to do things that HTML does not. Flash extends the web browser, it does not replace it, and developers needs to learn both, including how they can be used together to solve problems that neither can solve alone.
Adobe (which merged with Macromedia several years ago) dominates the RIA space. The Flash Player remains the single most downloaded piece of software available. And now that it runs on all major platforms and most devices, RIA development in Flash is an obvious choice for many developers. With products like Flash Professional for the designer types, Flash Builder for coders, and Flash Catalyst to simply the application workflow, Flash’s position as the RIA leader remains clear and undisputed. At the same time, Adobe fully supports and encourages HTML based RIA development, be it with Dreamweaver, our (yet to be named) upcoming design tool for HTML interaction, our work with jQuery, and more. Adobe is committed to creating and enhancing the tools that empower developers and designers to build the future Rich Internet Applications, especially those that target desktops and devices at the same time.
Adobe（几年前与 Macromedia合并了）占据了RIA领域的主导地位。Flash播放器仍然是下载次数最多的独立软件。现在Flash可以运行在所有主流平台和主要设备上，很显然，基于Flash进行RIA开发是很多开发人员的首选。有了针对设计人员的 Flash Professional、针对开发者的Flash Builder、针对简单应用工作流的 Flash Catalyst 这一系列产品，Flash在RIA领域的领头羊位置是无可争议的。同时，Adobe全面支持和鼓励基于HTML的RIA开发，类似 Dreamweaver功能的、我们即将到来的HTML交互设计工具（还未命名），基于jQuery的工作等等。Adobe致力于创建和提升开发工具的功能，使得开发人员和设计人员能够更有效的构建未来的富互联网应用，特别是那些目标桌面系统和相关设备。
However, as committed as we are, we can’t do it alone. While Adobe creates, and will continue to create, the best tooling for RIA development, we have to rely on the community to help to define and create the body of knowledge needed to help developers and designers to be successful.
Which is why I am so pleased to see the minibook project, a highly focused effort to help train and equip developers with the skills they need to be successful in the highly competitive and in-demand RIA space. Over the past few years I have been fortunate enough to visit China frequently, and have gotten to know local developers and designers. With each visit I walk away more impressed with the skills, the abilities, and the passion demonstrated in each venue and meeting. Considering how huge the Flash and web development communities are in China, it is gratifying to see publications like this one filling such an important need.
Adobe Systems, Inc.