Adobe leaves Linux AIR users vulnerable
A few months ago, Adobe announced a slew of vulnerabilities in its Flash Player, which is a critical component of Adobe AIR:
Adobe recommends users of Adobe AIR 2.6.19140 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux update to Adobe AIR 188.8.131.528.However, looking at Adobe's instructions for installing AIR on "Linux" systems, we see that it is impossible for people running a free desktop OS to follow Adobe's own recommendations:
June 14, 2011 - Bulletin updated with information on Adobe AIR
Beginning June 14 2011, Adobe AIR is no longer supported for desktop Linux distributions. Users can install and run AIR 2.6 and earlier applications but can't install or update to AIR 2.7. The last version to support desktop Linux distributions is AIR 2.6.So on the exact same day, Adobe said "we recommend you upgrade, as the version you are using is vulnerable" and "we offer you no way to upgrade".
I'm left with the conclusion that Adobe's aggregate corporate message is "users of desktops based on free software should immediately uninstall AIR and stop using it".
If Adobe's software was free, and they had a community around it, they could turn over support to the community if they found it too burdensome. Instead, once again, users of proprietary tools on free systems get screwed by the proprietary vendor.
And they wonder why we tend to be less likely to install their tools?
Application developers should avoid targeting AIR as a platform if they want to reach everyone.