Getting Drupal Airborne

Photo of Greg Harvey
Sun, 2009-03-29 22:21By greg

I have finally put pen to paper on my germinating ideas surrounding a Drupal module for publishing Drupal content and applications via Adobe AIR.

What's it all about? AIR allows you to build desktop apps - cross platform desktop apps - without being a serious hard-core application developer. You can use all sorts of common languages (including JavaScript) to build applications that can be compiled to run as Adobe AIR desktop applications wherever the Adobe AIR framework has been installed. And Adobe have made it available for Linux, Mac and Windows, so that's pretty much anywhere! =)

My plan, having been inspired by my cross-platform use of Twhirl, the Twitter app based on Adobe AIR, is to create a Drupal module that magically creates (via a wizard-liked interface), compiles and presents to site users an AIR app, based on dynamically generated JavaScript, ready to download and install. Drupal site administrators will be able to cherry pick from their content, key features and forms and other Drupal bits what they wish to expose via their app.

For example, the first step of the wizard might be "Do your users have to login to use this app?" Answer "yes" and the Drupal login/logout procedures are automatically included in their AJAX form, AIR-ready. You might then ask them which page should be presented on login (including Views). Then what content types users are permitted to create via the app. You get the idea.

It's very early days, but my research is very promising and I think the potential of this idea is huge. I have started a Drupal project page, and christened the project Airborne - and I'm quite pleased with that name, even if I do say so myself. You can read all about it here:
http://drupal.org/project/airborne

And please do get involved if you can! The more, the merrier!