Steve Jobs on Flash: Correcting the Lies

Apple has posted Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Flash“. There are a lot of lies and half truths. No one will care. The article has enough valid points that people won’t check up on them.

That said, here’s my attempts to correct the lies.

Lie  #1: “Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary.”

The Flash IDE, yes.  The Flash Player, no.  Here is a list of technologies open sourced/published by Macromedia/Adobe that are in the Flash Player ecosystem:

  1. ActionScript 3 runtime, called Tamarin.  Given to Mozilla to hopefully utilize in future browsers.
  2. RTMP (and it’s ilk), the protocol for real-time video & audio streaming as well as data (AMF).  Yes, many want “more” open sourced.  Red5 and Wowza seem to be doing just fine with what is there currently.
  3. The SWF format itself, which is what Flash Player plays/runs, has most of it’s spec published in case you want to generate SWF files.

This street goes both ways, too.  Macromedia/Adobe has adopted open source technologies into Flash Player with the hopes of embracing standards, not just the de-facto ones.

  1. ActionScript 1, 2, and 3 are all based on EMCAScript.  Yes, it’s not as compliant as many would like.  Additionally, Adobe did participate in many ECMA Script discussions/debates.  Yes, 4 didn’t turn out so well for Adobe.
  2. The XML parsing is based on E4X, ECMA Script for XML.

I’m not saying Adobe’s open sourced a lot of the Flash Player.  There’s open source, there’s published, and then there is open source.

Regarding their products, he’s wrong there too.  The Flex SDK, one of the biggest boosts for the Flash Platform in the past 4 years, is also open source (yes, the real kind).  Most utilize Flex Builder, built on top of the open source Eclipse.

Using a blanket statement saying Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary is a lie.  It paints an incorrect & negative picture over all the wonderful things Macromedia/Adobe have done in open source around their products.

Lie #2: “HTML5 being adopted by Google”

Google created the first browser to fully integrate plugins, and continues to work with Adobe to do so.  Google also utilizes Flash Player in Gmail for both file uploading, and configuring your web cam.  Google utilizes Flash Player in their online maps product for street view.  Google Finance utilizes Flash Player for a lot of their charts.  Their video site, YouTube, utilizes Flash Player for their videos.

Google didn’t start out with Flash.  They started with text, AJAX, and later Flash.  They’ve done a lot of forays into HTML5, yes, and will continue to do so.  Saying they are “adopting” it, and only it and not Flash Player, is incorrect.

Lie #3: “…75% of video on the web is in Flash. What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads…”

Incorrect.  If a video is H264, that doesn’t mean it can play on the iPhone.  If you look at the iPhone specs, you’ll see the only support a subset of what H264 offers, specifically 2 major components to quality video: Using a maximum of the Baseline profile, with Simple for higher bitrates/resolutions, as well as 2.5 for maximum (ish) bitrate.

Not all H264 videos conform to these specs.  YouTube converted a lot of their Spark (Flash 6/7) videos to H264 to support iPhone because there was money to be gained in the large investment.  Even so, not all YouTube videos work on the iPhone, in part because of the aforementioned reasons.  There is a reason why when you upload a H264 video to YouTube, they’ll often re-encode it.

I’ve been in web video for 7 years.  Getting video to work in the browser is the easy part.  Setting up video encoding farms to support thousands/millions of users is not.  It’s hard and expensive.  Not everyone has the resources (read money and time) Google has, and that’s why companies like Brightcove are trying to capitalize on this problem.

Most importantly, HTML5 currently has no universal DRM solution.  That is why Flash Player’s RTMPE, and soon HTTP Streaming via Project Zeri, are the de-facto standard today.  Those who deploy video content they either own or license the rights to will not utilize HTML5 because it cannot be protected.  There is a reason you rent videos in iTunes using their <strike>ACC</strike> MP4 format vs. straight H264.  Legally, those videos CANNOT be utilized via HTML5.

Also, and others aren’t using H264, they’re using On2’s VP6.

Lie #4: “users aren’t missing much video.”

Every time a user see’s a blue lego instead of the video they wanted to see, they are missing a video.  There were so many people seeing the blue lego, including Steve Jobs himself on stage demoing the iPad, that they removed the blue lego as a PR effort to make it seem like there was something wrong with the website itself vs. the iPhone/iPad.

…thankfully, Grant Skinner added it back.

Lie #5: “…Flash has recently added support for H.264…”

Incorrect.  It’s been there since August of 2007.  That’s almost 3 years.  That’s a long time in technology.

Lie #6: “…must be run in software…”

Not entirely correct.  Apple FINALLY gave Adobe and others access to hardware for desktop systems, which Adobe has recently utilized.  The #1 criticism for Mac’s & Flash video is lack of hardware acceleration.  This move by Apple will go a long way to improving video experiences, not just for Flash, for browser based video.  Meaning, cooler Macs and more battery life.

For mobile, Safari/WebKit is using H264 hardware decoding just fine.  They just won’t expose it, forcing yet again, Flash to utilize a sub par video experience for iPhone (having to launch a URL to utilize the iPhone’s default video player vs. incorporating the video into the experience).

Lie #7: “…When websites re-encode their videos using H.264, they can offer them without using Flash at all…”

See #3.  Also, not all Flash video is just a video block on a page.  Some are immersive experiences, games, or involved in compositing with other objects (alpha channels, easier particle systems, etc).  HTML5 does not currently support some of these features.

Finally, not all video is pre-recorded and progressive.  Live and streamed events are currently done using Flash Player and Silverlight.  Yes, I’ve seen systems that can do live H264 via progressive with only seconds latency over CDN’s, regardless, they aren’t what’s being used en masse today.  This includes DVR like functionality that both technologies offer, including Adative Streaming capabilities to ensure you can see un-interrupted video regardless of your internet connections’s integrity.

Lie #8: “…Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers…”

Incorrect.  The whole reason Flash Player has continued to stay ahead of the curve is because Macromedia/Adobe innovates it.  There are gesture & touch API’s in the Flash Player; I and many others have used them for the iPhone resulting in a 100+ apps on the App Store.

Lie #9: “For example, many Flash websites rely on “rollovers”, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot.”

Incorrect.  This was already discounted 2 months ago by Mike Chambers.  Additionally, I tested both MouseEvent.CLICK, MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN, and MouseEvent.ROLL_OVER, and all 3 worked just fine on my iPhone.  Additionally, I’ve seen video of a Nexus One using the native Flash Player 10.1 that plays a Flex website I made just fine with no code changes to support touch.

Lie #10: “Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover.”

Incorrect.  There are roll over states for buttons on the iPhone/iPad because you can click/touch on something, which shows the roll over state, but then drag off to not trigger the up, thus canceling your button click if you didn’t meant to touch something.  Works the exact same way as a mouse does.

Lie #11: “Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices.”

Incorrect, see Mike Chambers’ post in #9.

Lie #12: “If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?”

Those same JavaScript Developers need to do the same work Flash Developers need to do: Nothing.

If both wish to utilize Gesture or Touch events, then BOTH need to re-write/adjust their content to support these events.

Lie #13: “The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content.”

Incorrect.  See #3.  Media companies will have to create players like Netflix did to support those devices; these aren’t HTML5, they’re Cocoa.

Half-Truth #1: “Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.”

iTunes, flagship Apple software product enabling the success of the iPod, selling over 1 billion songs, and empowering digital movie rentals, isn’t Cocoa.

Gruber, the same guy who Apple apparently used as an example of why Flash doesn’t belong on the iPhone, was quoted, when referring to why Apple hasn’t ported iTunes to Cocoa:

What really matters are features and user experience, not the developer technologies used to make them.


I agree with everything else the article says.  While the spin is HTML5 is better than Flash, Apple wants you developing with Cocoa, not HTML5; that’s where the money and good user experiences are.  While many have said that the PR person responsible for writing that article is doing Apple a disservice, I disagree.  Yes, they do lose creditability writing that many lies, and yes, this just fuels the fire for many developers, not just Flash Devs, to focus on Android instead of iPhone.

However, iPhones and iPads still rock.  While Apple is “only the 10th” largest phone manufacturer, they are the only mobile platform people care about right now in the USA (unless you’re a pissed off Flash/Flex Dev).  Their app store, combined with the user experience, is un-matched.

Me?  I’m still trying to learn Cocoa so I too can participate in building applications for these wonderful devices; devices whose sales won’t be hurt by that article.  My colleagues in the industry?  Most are heading towards Android along with Adobe.  Those moonlighting in Flash & iPhone development simultaneously don’t say much, beyond correcting & helping me with my Objective C knowledge on Twitter (y’all rock!).

…oh yeah, and someone cast Cure 2 on Adobe.

158 Replies to “Steve Jobs on Flash: Correcting the Lies”

  1. Love this, especially that you tempered it with the concessions that Apple is an amazing platform. I was a big evangelist for Flash, and now I’m a big evangelist for iPhone OS. In the end, I just care about making awesome user experiences, and I’m agnostic as to the actual tools necessary to make that happen. I can’t make a streaming video event on the iPhone. I couldn’t tell you how to make a cool-looking tween on the iPhone.

  2. No matter what is said over this or that language, the graphical abilities of flash outway all others!…and i’m only scratching the surface.

  3. To all HTML5 rockytops: Where is the proof behind your mouth? Where is a single HTML5 that is even “half as good” as a Flash site? Where?

    It will literally take years for people to upgrade to an HTML5 capable browser… 9.19% still use IE6! The browser and version dictates the code environment. No serious web developer even cares about HTML5 right now, because 54.3% of the browser population wouldn’t even be able to see it.

  4. @André Not sure; whatever Adobe converted it to in their iPhone packager. You can listen for touch events, gesture events, and mouse events. Maybe they convert a MouseEvent.ROLL_OVER from a TouchEvent.TOUCH_OVER/WITHIN???

  5. @Caleb Like I said in my conclusion:

    I agree with everything else the article says.

    I agree, performance sucks, and has sucked for awhile. I’m trying to be positive about the Nexus One, and other Android devices.

    While Jobs may be referring to the player, yes, the iPhone packager has in my opinion the same problems. It DOES run good, better than Flash Lite did, but I guess I had extremely high expectations going from 1 meg in the past to the iPhone’s 64 with a better processor.

    Regarding examples :: shrugs :: maybe Chroma Circuit?

  6. I understand the technology arguments. We could argue for weeks what constitutes “open”.

    Re-read the SJ’s post again. It reads like a “I’ve been hurt and moved on.” email. This seems to have very little to do with technology, and more to do with relationships. If you notice, the CEO of Apple is directly addressing “Adobe” – and the lack of Adobe leadership (weak CEO) is apparent. Would John or Chuck let this pass for so long by letting their lackies respond in blogs? I think not.

  7. @brad The only thing that is obvious is that you don’t know anything about me or the extent of my experience. I’m not about to post a résumé here or attached to every comment. As for Apple, they likely know more about Adobe, their suite of products and their hardware-OS interactions than you or I. Other than that, you’re imagining me in an argument that I haven’t made a case for.

    @Nolan Mike Chambers referred to it as a simple question; I was parroting. I’m well aware it was a rhetorical question. Out of all the things the Principal Product manager for the Flash Platform could be responding to, or addressing directly, he descends to snark at that one comment. It was evasive, petty and belies the smokescreen claims that the Flash platform is “open”. Apple and Adobe fighting over which platform is more open, or which components of the platform, is a pointless pissing contest.

    @Gordon Mike Chambers didn’t come to offer help. He came to take a potshot at an observation that could just have easily been ignored, if not responded to seriously. The thing I am flabberghasted at is, like I’ve said, the belief amongst a select crowd of single-platform developers that Apple owe their pet technology active support on Apple hardware and software. When you have a hammer every problem looks like a nail and they think they have a right to hammer screws into Steve Jobs’ car because they really like that hammer.

  8. Final Cut is not Cocoa yet. Steve needs to take the plank out of his own eye.

    At the end of the day there is a reason they have the iPhone app approval process. If the app sucks, whether it was coded by hand or through Adobe tools, if it sucks it should be rejected. How they get from point a to point b is irrelevant.

    Jobs has become the 1984 that he was against when he launched the Mac. He has decided now that he is the arbiter of what is best for you and what you should see. Everyone should fall in line and be happy because this is better than the anarchy of choice and disorder of self-determination.

    This is what happens sometimes when the underdog becomes the big dog. I thought Steve wanted to fight against IBM, all along he just wanted to be IBM.

  9. Lying? it’s you whoe is lying. Yes, all the technologies you’ve mentiones are opensource, but not standard. Is not the same thing. Opera and firefox ara browsers, the first one is commenrcial, the second one is opensource. Both implement web standards. But flash, is not an standar, is a technology creates by a company. Opensource or not it doen’t matter.

    The best thing that adobe can do, is generating a web standard compliant output. Instead of a swf file, a canvas + svg + javascript.

  10. A lot of lies is what I first noticed in the article. I thought Steve Jobs was more knowledgeable that that. Assuming that he IS intelligent, how on earth would he think the fanboys (let alone the rest of the world) would read his comments and not know better. On second thought, I did say ‘fanboys’ didn’t I? Is Apple some kind of cult, or something?

  11. “The Flash IDE, yes. The Flash Player, no.” So you’re saying he means both? but the quote continues “Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe,…”

    thus you shouldn’t have this labeled as a lie.

    your real issue is with the final sentence there, where he says “By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.”

    this should be the quote next to “Lie #1”

  12. Good article. Thank you for calling him out on these lies. I spotted them right away, too, and have been frustrated by the shallow response of most of the developer community.

    When a company begins to blatantly lie, it’s time to start damage control by avoiding their products as much as possible. Both as a user, and as a developer.

  13. @JesterXL As someone who has developed Flash content for both iPhone and Android, I can assure that AIR for Android is lightyears beyond the Packager for iPhone. It’s pretty damn clear that Google worked together with Adobe to make sure Flash runs awesomely on Android devices.

    @Marcus Considering that the FLA format has been open for mere hours, I’m not surprised that there aren’t many third-party tools that can read and edit it yet. In Flash CS5, just released on Friday, Adobe chose to open the FLA/XFL format as a plain-text representation to give third-parties a better opportunity to create competing developer tools. Mike Chambers probably mentioned text editors because previous versions of the format were binary only, and he might not necessarily be familiar with the very few existing third-party tools that exist for this newborn file format. I doubt it was a snarky comment at all, but simply evidence that FLA files are more accessible than they were previously. By the way, if you want a better example, a company named Flypaper spoke at Adobe MAX 2009 in October about their tool which created FLA files that could be opened with a beta version of CS5. On their blog, they said, “when Adobe asked if we’d be interested in being the first third-party application to support it we jumped at the chance.”

  14. Personally as a user as far as I’m concerned only when adobe releases a full fledged flash player that runs any and all flash content smoothly and seamlessly without any of the problems mentioned for any other mobile platform can they than say to Apple “look we can do this” Until then its all moot.
    And as for Adobe wanting to use flash to author apps once and compile to various platforms, I find that a very slipshod way of writing apps. It may be good for productivity and efficiency but frankly I think that this way the apps will perform similar across all the platforms that its compiled for and probably will not take advantage of specific aspects of the device I’m using. An extreme example would be if I’m using an iPone 5G with holographic projection I will probably only get some kind of a 3D picture which craps out my entire iPhone 5G user experience. So what Apple advocates is for developers to build the best native apps they can think of with its native tools. Unless of course all the developers is interested in is to make quick bucks by porting the same game to 10 different devices.
    The other reason that I can think of for Apple not wanting to allow third party development tools is when I think of the time that Adobe declared that it was going to develop all its apps on Windows and port them over to other platforms. After they started doing that the feature set on Premiere Pro on the Mac lagged the Windows by several version and was not updated for a long time. Desktop publishers replaced Pagemaker for Mac by Quark Xpress. Photoshop ran slower on the Mac and only recently became a native OSX application 10 years after OSX was released!!!
    So in light of all this I can understand just why Apple is not going to allow some third party to dictate the future of the apps on their newest and most promising platform yet.

  15. To me its simple.

    If Flash makes it to every mobile device then it is going to become the standard for making cross platform applications rather then HTML/CSS/JS.

    Why in god’s name would we want that? Is it not better for open standards to become the basis for cross platform development.
    I think it is and thats why I side with Apple on this.
    Flash has a limited presence on mobile right now so its the perfect time to cut it.

    Adobe is pretending to take the high road in this matter but they are completely full of shit. Their end goal is for Flash to become the defacto standard to develop mobile applications instead of HTML/CSS/JS.
    That doesn’t make good business sense to anyone but Adobe and Flash developers. Its definitely not good for the web because if Flash becomes the standard then big lazy companies are going to use it and open standards will never take off. Mobile browsers won’t update as often and we will be stuck in the same rut we were in during the first half of the 2000’s being dependent on Flash to do anything cool on the web.

    Not to mention that every mobile site you visit thats dependent on ads is going to be using Flash and no matter how efficient Adobe makes mobile Flash its still going to be less efficient then using no plugins at all.

    Good luck to Android but if they are going to allow a Flash browser plugin its going to be a long time before Android reaches the 10+ hours of battery life that the new iPhone is likely to have.

  16. The biggest enemy for HTML5 is not Flash, it’s the browser. HTML5 will suffer greatly over the next 5 years while it patiently waits for people to upgrade their browsers. Right now the HTML5 non-capable browser share is IE6, IE7, IE8 for 47.89% | Firefox 3 for 3.80% | Firefox 2 for 1.31% | Opera 10 for 1.42% all of which totals: 54.42% of the global browser population that cannot utilize HTML5. The share of HTML5 capable browsers is still a minority in Firefox 3.6 for 15.66% | Firefox 3.5 for 11.46% | Safari 4 for 5.09% | Chrome 4 for 6.46% which totals to 38.67%.

    The historical numbers and updating patterns show that people are “very slow” to upgrade their browsers and because of that, HTML5 will be slow in its deployment from developers. Even when IE9 eventually comes out it will take years for people to upgrade their browsers to it and HTML5 needs the 47.89% IE group to upgrade to IE9. The problem is this, even though IE8 was released in March 19, 2009 (still a solid year later) only 24.67% of the global browser share is owned by IE8. And 23.22% still use IE7 and IE6, which were released almost 4 years ago on October 18, 2006 and almost 9 years ago on August 27, 2001 respectively.

    So because HTML5 is solely dependent upon people upgrading their browsers, it will literally take another 5-6 years before developers will have enough of an HTML5 capable, browser share before they can really start coding for it. And five years from now the Web and Flash will have grown into something entirely new! At the moment there is not a single HTML5 web site that can even “half way” compare to the functionality of a Flash site and being able to play simple video and audio is hardly anything to shout about. The problem is that professional developers are not going to deploy HTML5 code when less than half of the browser population can’t even see or utilize it. Scream all you want about HTML5 being the future or even a Flash killer, but the future will demonstrate that the speed of HTML5 to the game will be too little too late.

  17. One other lie to be corrected *must* be Job’s statement that Mac users buy roughly half the Adobe CS packages. That math just doesn’t add up (i.e. ~20% of Mac owners would have to *buy* CS for every every ~1% of the PC community).

    Don’t want to put Flash products on your devices, Steve? Fine, its your company and you make the decisions. Just don’t insult us by lying or pretending it is in our own best interest.

  18. And H.264 is a proprietary codec, owned by MPEG and with no explicit licensing guarantees beyond 2016, if I recall…

  19. In “Thoughts on Flash“ Post, Steve Jobs forgot to enable a very basic web ability:


    That alone shows you how that guy see the web.

  20. Thank you again for responding to me. However, I again want to clarify my position. I am coming from the angle of a user and not a developer.

    Flash has been nothing but frustration for me. In my firm, we have many offices and often have to use VPN, sometimes with old computers. Flash slows things down considerably and is a resource drain, often for nothing more than garbage, resource intensive ads and crappy games. There is a reason people install click2flash and flashblock. Flash simply makes a terrible experience for a lot of people. Since switching my firm from windows mobile to the iphone, I have yet to have one of the attorneys come up to me and say “gee, I really wish this could use flash.”

    I certainly do understand how frustrating it can be to have to learn an emerging technology, one that still has to have the edges worked out. To be honest, despite my love of computers I did not go into that field do to my fear that I could learn a technology really well only to have it disappear.

    Microsoft has now thrown its weight behind Apple’s position, calling HTML5 and h.264 the “future” while calling flash the “present.” More surprisingly, Microsoft will not be incorporating flash directly into its browser. I am sure one of the major reasons for this is the terrible security issues with flash, which Adobe, despite your claims otherwise, really hasn’t been that good at responding to concerns. Speaking of responding to concerns, where is my 64-bit version of flash player???

    WIth both Apple and Microsoft behind HTML5/h.264, it is inevitable that amazing developer tools are just around the corner as there is so much money to be made there. Moreover, with both of those companies considerable assistance, I think it will develop faster than you think.

    At the end of the day, all of this is Adobe’s fault. They did not take the launch of the iPhone seriously, and have failed to produce a viable mobile flash platform in a timely manner. If they had come out with mobile flash (that doesn’t drain the battery and is stable) even a year ago we wouldn’t be here right now. HTML5/h.264 has evolved just enough that it is allowing Apple/Microsoft to make the break.

    I also think that Microsoft and Apple will work out the differences in compatibility quicker than you think. The companies have been able to make thing like activesync and word files work cross platform, and I am sure they will work this out as well. After all, they have a lot of incentive to oppose Google and Google’s new ally Adobe.

    Microsoft has never liked other companies setting the standard, and Microsoft was quite adept at opposing quicktime for example. Apple does not want a repeat of the past whereby another company can set the standard and dictate the development of their technologies. I don’t think this is unreasonable. Microsoft can’t be happy about the security issues and Apple isn’t happy with the stability issues. At the end of the day Adobe brought this upon themselves for failing to have come forward with a good mobile product in a timely manner, even on more open mobile platforms.

    As a last point, coming from a user, I really don’t necessary want all of that “cool” stuff on my websites. I want to go to a website to get information. Websites like Coca-Cola that try so hard to be cool I avoid as they use excessive, pointless, unhelpful, slow, buggy flash animations. I like that on my ipad websites load crisp and fast without all of that. I am much happier with static images on my nyt pages, with the option to click on video when I actually want it. When I do want some cool features, I prefer to just get an app. I realize that some of this is a problem for you, since you clients want to be dazzled and that is how you can separate yourself. It just makes for a needlessly and pointlessly complicated internet, and is just as likely to make people move on to a different website.

  21. @aleemb E4X is a standard. By adopting it, people immediately know what E4X is and it’s capabilities, and that Flash Player has it. If they learn it, they know it in other technologies to. Third, it also shows Macromedia/Adobe is serious adopting standards and believes in them.

    Faster Flash? Seems good to me, open or not.

    Using HTML5 is a means to an end as well. Having the ability to more easily re-use content is great. However, having something “just work”? Yeah, that’s great too.

    My point wasn’t that he said Google wasn’t adopting HTML5; my point was he phrased it in such a way that Google was adopting HTML5 and dropping Flash. Their new rental service and other things they are doing right now all use Flash. The reality doesn’t match up with what he said.

  22. @WarrenEBB I’m not sure. There is a reason Adobe is more aggressive in defending their brand then Macromedia was. For example, “Flash Studio Pro” was forced to be renamed to “Zinc”, as well as other sites and products. This is to help ensure others don’t profit on the Adobe brand, nor confuse customers.

    A prime example here. When he says “Flash”, is he referring to “Flash the IDE”, the “Flash Player”, the “Flash Platform”… or… a mixture? Based on context and history, I can only assume both. It’s his duty to clarify, not mine, thus it’s incorrect to lump those technologies together and say they aren’t open source.

  23. @Joe I get what you’re saying, but it’s not as simple as that. It’s a very complex issue with a bunch of goals, pro’s, con’s, etc.

    Having standards compliant technology on mobile devices doesn’t intrinsically make them good. It doesn’t necessarily imply they are easier to develop for. It doesn’t imply they have less risk to develop for. It doesn’t ensure projects that are created have a higher chance of actually succeeding.

    I do agree that any company that has a monopoly wouldn’t have a motivation to make it better. I don’t think Adobe would necessarily do this because I don’t think that reality would happen. They’ve always been hounded by something since I’ve been here (Microsoft with Silverlight, browser vendors with AJAX, etc). The realities are, whatever success they enjoyed would have to be immediately defended. I agree, though, about “to what degree” and “for how long”. Java/J2ME was THE WAY to build mobile apps (well, excluding all the great C and C++ work I’ve seen). Are they on iPhone? Nope. Oracle dropped the ball, too, not just Adobe.

    Bottom line, Flash makes it pretty easy to make applications that aren’t that sophisticated. A lot of times that’s all users need. Not allowing that is a shame: to users, to Adobe stockholders, to Apple stockholders, to me, to my clients, etc.

    Adobe isn’t completely full of shit, although, I’ve yet to see any acknowledgment that they dropped the ball, and those religious zealots who have given them the benefit of the doubt regards to their mobile strategies have suffered for doing so for so long.

    Additionally, there are a ton of things Flash cannot do. For me, the metric has been the more text, the less likely you’ll need Flash (Gmail, news sites, etc). The “web” as you describe it is an amalgamation of technologies; it just so happens that right now, HTML/CSS/JS are the dominant technologies with Flash for video. Even that is an oversimplification. My point here is that Flash Player cannot become the de-facto standard for mobile, and I don’t feel like Adobe has pitched it that way.

    Adobe just wants our community, known for laying the funk, to have the ability to do so on mobile.

  24. @Mike Yeah, I have FlashBlock & AdBlockPlus installed as well. Because of the power Flash Player has, some use it for evil. Sucks, but it is what is.

    If you’re attorney’s say that, CLEARLY they don’t have kids, or kids who use the web. Yes, my iPad has allowed her majesty and I to get our iPhones back from ours a lot more, but not having and others on the iPhone/iPad is a shame; it’d certainly give us a lot more peace, hehe.

    Well, learning tech is different. Like, just because I have a learn a new language, it won’t take 8 years like last time. Once you learn a lot of the core concepts, learning new technology stacks is a lot easier and quicker. That, and you tend to have to be a little ADD and/or love to learn to do new things, constantly, in this industry. So, it’s not that bad. That said, the first few months can be pretty bad if it’s totally alien, backwards, and old skool.

    Microsoft is being good at marketing, and using this opportunity. They don’t embrace the web; look at IE. They’ve done wonderful jobs with IE8 and IE9, involving industry standards experts in helping along the process. That said, there isn’t a lot of money in it for them. The money is in controlled platforms; in fact, they’ve validated Flash Player, and cross platform runtimes in general years ago when Silverlight 1 finally made it to market. If you go watch some of the MIX videos from 2010, they’ve clearly put their weight into Silverlight big time with their future, specifically the way to build applications for desktop and their mobile play. So… I’m not saying it’s disingenuous for Microsoft to say that; they’re big enough they can do both. However, it’s not entirely true either; they make bling from making enterprise web apps, and hope to make it from web and mobile RIA’s via Silverlight as well. Using Microsoft as a validator for Apple’s web statements isn’t really valid.

    I wouldn’t say Adobe’s responses to the Flash Player bugs have been bad. Slow? Yes, but bad, no. Like Microsoft with their OS security issues, they’ve done the right thing and released patches when they’re are ready.

    Same with Microsoft, the reason they are insecure isn’t entirely the fault of developers’; it’s that it’s popular. If people use it enough, it’s a prime target for hackers since they know they can snag users with it; aka fishing in a small pond with a ton of a fish. Mark my words; as more people use OSX, for both desktop and mobile, we’ll start to see more and more security issues with it as well. It’s just that they have a small market right now and the hackers don’t care yet.

    Regarding 64 bits, sadly, they aren’t getting much help on the Linux front from the very same open source people asking them to be open source. However, they’ve made a ton of progress. Not sure what’s up with Mac/Windows; more details at Tinic Uro’s post and Scott Byer’s blog.

    I hope you’re right about around the corner. The feeling’s of the Adobe developer community was that Adobe was the #1 company we all thought would build said tools, is that HTML5 is a no starter. That sucks; now we have to wait for someone else to build someone innovative, and see who buys them first. There are a lot of tools now that rode the AJAX wave 4 years ago so they DO have a major head start. Hopefully something will jar Adobe into taking the initiative themselves… or maybe they don’t see it as profitable, creating tools for HTML5… I don’t know.

    I somewhat agree with your iPhone statement. Yes, Adobe totally dropped the ball. Many articles cite unnamed sources, but I believe them: That half the mobile management had iPhones, yet they continually ignored iPhone/iTouch. However, Adobe HAS tried; they do have a profitable mobile industry in Japan, and other countries since 2006 (or before, not sure when it was on their quarterly reports as profit for OEM licensing). A lot of phones are built using Flash vs. the traditional Symbian, etc. As you say, though, none of that is in America/Canada/UK/Oz, which sucks. It’s a wonderful market they’ve (well, Macromedia then Adobe) tried for almost a decade, and failed.

    Regarding deployment issues, well, that’s not really a big deal for Enterprises. While big companies HAVE made great strides to start adopting technology employee’s bring to work (ie they now offer Macbooks OR PC’s when new employee’s start vs. using a PC at work and a Mac at home), for deployment scenarios, a lot of companies I’ve worked with have controlled environments. The consumers, however, are varied. This is where the multiple browsers is a big issues for HTML5 deployment.

    You’re last statement is clearly uninformed of what Flash and Flex can do. It’s not you’re fault; there is a lot of horrible things still out there, like animated websites that serve no purpose, make it hard to find the content you need, etc. Most Flash/Flex developers today do not create that content, and decry it whenever comes out. Many make the joke “that stuff died in 2002”, yet here it is 2010, and many sites still do it.

    I do not make Coke websites. I do not “dazzle” my clients. I am an software consultant who works for Enterprise companies, often doing application architecture and programming, a lot behind a corporate firewall that consumers will never see (payment systems, content management, visual charting dashboards for executives, etc). Some of the apps I create are extremely boring looking, and have no multimedia (those that I fix, not the ones where I’m in charge of UX/design). Many question “why” we’re using Flash Player in the first place when we aren’t taking advantage of the multimedia capabilities. The answers: ubiquity, speed of development, lower risk.

    So no, it’s not a problem for me. I don’t make websites, I make applications.

  25. Most of the animosity between Apple and Adobe stems from the whole 64-bit CS4 Carbon fiasco. Apple screwed Adobe over hard and Adobe has not forgotten. Apple probably felt a little hurt by the lack of faith in Cocoa displayed by Adobe, but Adobe was far more hurt by the complete ass rape committed by Apple when they decided to leave Adobe in the dark about dropping 64-bit support.

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