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Why Merapi was Created
Merapi was created to extend the capabilities of applications built on the Adobe AIR™ platform.
Adobe AIR™ has been recognized a revolutionary step forward in "next generation" software design and development.
With AIR's launch, the massive community of Flash, Flex and AJAX Web developers were provided the ability to build desktop applications using the tools and technologies with which they are already familiar. Using the Adobe AIR™ API, their "Web" applications can become integrated with the user's desktop operating system.
AIR is a framework that does most of the hard work for you. It enables applications to run locally, connect to Internet services, store data locally, and access information stored on the usre's file system. It's great, and the team that founded the Merapi project are huge proponents of the Adobe AIR™ platform, as well as Flash, Flex and other Adobe technologies.
We are passionate software designers and developers, with a primary goal of pushing the possibilities of user experiences.
In order to provide the best user experiences, we often find ourselves in a postion to try and push the limits on available technologies. When coming up with ideas about cool applications that could be build on the Adobe AIR™ platform, some of the most innovative concepts for "Rich, Connected" desktop applications were even outside the capabilities that AIR™ was able to provide.
One of the biggest benefits of Rich applications developed using Adobe technologies is the ability to provide killer user interfaces and what we consider to be "next generation" user experiences. Professionally, most of the members of the Merapi Project team do this every day for clients.
While AIR™ is a huge jump by itself, we found ourselves asking:
- Could we connect an AIR™ application to a wii remote?
- Could we use AIR™ to talk to a phone plugged in via USB?
- What if we wanted to do TWAIN Capturing of Video or Images from a camera or scanner?
- Could we control robots with an AIR™ application?
- What about sending MIDI signals to instruments over a network using an AIR™ application?
- Could I build a social-networking AIR™ application that controlled hardware devices?
Adobe AIR™ doesn't allow for these things natively. We realize that Adobe might do this in the future, and make Merapi obsolete. While it would represent an end to the value our open source project, it would be for the best! It would mean that we could build bigger, badder, and bolder desktop applications using Flex, Flex Data Services, LiveCycle, and other Adobe products... and we'd be able to do so without having to "build the bridge" to the OS, which is what we've done with Merapi.