Back to top

Is Adobe Air the New Java? Bringing bloated and slow cross-platform capabilities to the web-age

This image shows the memory usage (resident and virtual) for a variety of applications on my machine.

  • Firefox sits at the top (it's been open for a few days with thousands of tabs opened/closed each day)
  • In position 2 and 3 are Mac Operating System processes like the kernal and the WindowServer.
  • Eclipse (Java based, fairly complex application with 3 PHP Projects with several megabytes of code are all "Open").
  • TweetDeck - posts content to a webservice. Gets content from a webservice. Consumes a shit-ton of memory. Written as an Adobe Air application.
  • Safari (native Mac application that I use only lightly)
  •! Really! Less memory hungry than these other applications
  • Thunderbird - Based on the same code as Firefox...I use it for 7 e-mail accounts, and yet it's not all that memory hungry apparently...

I also used Twhirl for a while - it had memory usage similar to Tweetdeck. Which brings me to my conclusion:

Java is famous for being a slow/bloated (you can argue that's not true, but it is famous for it). Now that Java is old news and AIR/Silverlight/Prism are the new HOT - Is Adobe AIR going to be the next cross-platform bloated/slow language that we grudgingly use?

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


Adobe AIR

Hi Greg,

Thank you for the post. My name is Rob Christensen and I am a product manager on Adobe AIR. A basic AIR application today can take 30 MB's, but at that size, it's not likely doing anything very interesting. Some AIR applications can take 200 MB in memory -- it really just depends on what the application is designed to do. Just in the past couple of days, TweetDeck released a newer version that includes a fix for a memory leak. I would encourage you to check that out if you have not done so already. We are currently working on optimizing AIR so that it uses less CPU and requires less memory. We're working very closely with the developer community to address bugs in the runtime and also promote best practices so that developers can avoid common performance related pitfalls.


Thanks again for the note.

Product Manager, Adobe AIR

thanks for the note, Rob

Thanks for the note, Rob.

I am using the latest version of TweetDeck and that screenshot was from just after I started TweetDeck. Right now after a few days of usage it's up to 222MB RSIZE.

The fact that a basic application can be 30MB seems surprisingly high. I do hope that you're able to optimize the AIR engine and provide developer best practices to create lighter-weight applications. I can only imagine that if AIR becomes more popular and people have two or three AIR applications open at the same time each consuming that much memory it will become hard to avoid complaints about speed.

In coming few years,

In coming few years, everything is going to be changed. I was introduced with Java 8 years ago and I though it was the only language which is going to rule this world. Some people say it the revolution but now that was just an exception. I think we are going to have more and more.

All twitter tools are amazing

All twitter tools are amazing and I am surprised to use them because they add much more functionality to twitter which can't be imagined straight on the site. Regarding memory and resources, I think it doesn't effect on our systems because it is time to high specification PC's. Anyways if wecan have bigger application with low resource taking then there is nothing better than it.

As I can see firefox on the

As I can see firefox on the top in your image, I think it is the most memory consuming application I have ever used. I am wondering what do you do to optimize it for better performance. I am thinking to use Internet Explorer again .