Update: Adobe's Ichabod boosts Flash search

Company working with Google, Yahoo on effort to help search engines index Flash- and AJAX-based content

Adobe Systems has developed technology called "Ichabod," to better enable search engines to index AJAX-based content, an Adobe official said on Tuesday morning.

The Ichabod technology already has been released to Google, which is running it in indexing engines, said Kevin Lynch, Adobe CTO, at the AJAXWorld RIA Conference & Expo in San Jose, Calif. Adobe is working with Yahoo on the effort as well, Lynch said.

He stressed challenges in indexing content and that more needs to be done to reveal content to search engines.

"As people are starting to build AJAX apps, the content is getting more opaque," Lynch said. "It's getting harder to find with the search engine. You need to be able to still get to that information as a user."

Ichabod presents a headless Flash Player, as in one without a user interface. "We're enabling the Flash Player to run on the indexing engines at the search engine companies," Lynch said.

Content comes back to the search engine and is indexed. The search engine, for example, might find a button in an application; Ichabod will try to push the button and generate an event, which then might lead to an indexing of that content.

The technology still is in an early stage, Lynch said.

In other developments at the company, Adobe is getting ready to release its video tag technology, which enables developers to put video on a Web page easily using just an HTML tag, Lynch said. Video tag will be released as open source code in a couple of weeks, he said.

Also on Adobe's agenda in the next few weeks is the 1.5 release of Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime), which enables Web applications to run offline. It will include an update to the WebKit open source browser engine as well as Squirrelfish, a new update to the scripting engine in WebKit, Lynch said.

He also stressed the HTML 5 specification as an effort supported by Adobe to offer advanced authoring browser applications with such functions as vector graphics, offline cache, rich media playback, and data grid.

"These are all capabilities that we hope we can help standardize across the browsers," Lynch said.

Clarification: Adobe later said Ichabod actually pertains to searching of Flash content. Principles of Ichabod could be applied to AJAX search, according to Adobe.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.