There currently aren’t any options for true multi-threading in Flex or AIR. Apparently, Adobe thinks that every app that exists is nothing more than a webapp that needs one or two desktop capabilities. Projects such as Merapi prove that developers greatly desire much more power than is currently being given to us. For my own application WCAP, I need to do some pretty heavy-duty computations and matrix manipulations to analyze a schematic. Right now, I’m simulating threading by breaking up the calculations into chunks and updating the UI with a progress bar between each chunk. This always uses only one of my two processor cores and ends up taking a significant amount of time because my software is crippled. I don’t use Merapi because it’s not easily deployable/updatable along with my AIR app.

It’s also not feasible for me to put the calculation logic on a server and have it calculate remotely. This software needs to be able to run out in the field or at the job site where a net connection may not be available.

I made a video (click the picture above) of my software just so folks can get a good understanding of why this is really needed and not just a want.

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Posted by Andrew, filed under AIR, Flex. Date: January 15, 2009, 9:24 am | 8 Comments »

8 Responses

  1. Jason Langdon Says:

    Have you had a look at pixel bender? – http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/pixelbender/

  2. Peter Alvin Says:

    I’m starting to develop a large app in AIR. Looks like you are a really experienced developer with Flex, etc. In your opinion, is AIR ready for prime time?

  3. Brian Bishop Says:

    Maybe you could have a C# app with a httplistener listening for calls on a localhost port. Flex could then send HttpService requests to this pseudo-server, which could carry out the logic. I think.

  4. Andrew Westberg Says:


    I’m probably going to end up writing a native C++ app to handle the calculations once AIR 2.0 is released. Although, that really defeats the purpose of AIR being cross-platform. You then lose the capability to use the AIR updater and you have to compile for windows/mac/linux separately.

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