Quality Reads

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Performance in AIR

If you're like me, you might have thought that Adobe AIR (formerly Apollo) would provide a more powerful computing platform for desktop RIA development. Well, you'd be wrong. After running a number of performance tests ranging from long-running financial calculations to CPU intensive UI effects, AIR and Flex executed at approximately the same speed (~2% in favor of Flex -- insignificant).

While I must profess a little disappointment, I don't think its a huge downside of the platform since Flash provides so many other core competencies. However, you need to take it into account whenever you are about to perform a lengthy IO operation. The user interface will freeze up when saving/generating multiple files. At Pier, we've been popping up a modal window just prior to all IO ops to keep the user from trying to interact w/ the UI during the freeze.

My suggestion is take the time to setup you IO framework so you don't have to code a custom modal on every operation.



Ryan Stewart said...

Hi Todd,

We haven't gone through and optimized AIR yet, so keep that in mind. I don't think that the optimization will affect that part of performance because we're using the same Flash Player that everyone else is, but we'll see.


Todd Cullen said...

I definitely understand that optimizations fall a long way down the list w/ a new technology like AIR. *Still* I was hoping the move to the desktop w/ bring some more horsepower along w/ it.

Thoughts of crazy 3d apps dancing in my head

Hopefully, I'll catch you when the AIR bus hits Boston.