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Author Topic: Steve Jobs tells us how he really feels about Flash...  (Read 3266 times)
JavaJones
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« on: April 29, 2010, 11:34:01 PM »

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

Steve wrote a letter that gives a really thorough rundown of his issues with Flash.

Betanews' take:
http://www.betanews.com/a...hy-Flash-sucks/1272557127

I think Betanews misses some of the subtleties in what Steve is saying, but I essentially agree with their breakdown as well as many of the comments that follow. Steve is basically serenading us with a familiar - and deceptive - tune. It doesn't surprise me that Steve is being a bit misleading and deceptive; I expect it. But I have to wonder, if Adobe addressed most of these questions, would that change Steve's mind? I doubt it.

The real question for me is whether he's right, in the end. Whether not having Flash in the iDevices is better overall. Not just from a product sales and success standpoint, but from a practical perspective. Of course we'll probably never know what would happen if Flash were available in the iWhatever, at least not until and unless Flash actually wins, or evolves into something even more compelling that they decide to allow.

What we will see though is a competing platform with rapidly growing strength having a complete implementation of Flash, fairly soon. And as that platform matures and becomes a better and better direct competitor for Flash - and it will - then we'll be more and more able to directly compare the perceptions, reception, enjoyment, use, market share, etc. of these platforms, and hopefully determine to some degree the impact of Flash in that mix. Yes, I think Android will really tell us if Apple is making the right decision.

Update: Good old Joe Wilcox weighs in, and I sort of agree with him for once:
http://www.betanews.com/j...-is-just-smoke/1272565882

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 11:45:55 PM by JavaJones » Logged

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CleverCat
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 02:00:08 AM »

So how would you rate this?

http://www.samsung.com/za...d_detail&tab=features
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010, 05:26:46 PM »

The funny thing in his letter to Adobe is that you can replace Adobe with Apple and it still works.

Quote
Apple's products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Apple, and Apple has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Apple's products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Apple and available only from Apple. By almost any definition, OSX is a closed system.

Well...  cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 06:28:37 PM »

Quote
We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.

(Completely Flash-less iPhones were banned at how many hacking conferences due to security (being swiss cheese) problems...?)

Did anybody else pee themselves laughing when they read this line?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010, 06:15:39 AM »

Quote
Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

Actually that is blatantly untrue - I have Flash CS3 on my computer BUT I also have applications from at least 3 other, independent software houses that also write Flash authoring software (XARA and AutoFX to name two).

Whilst Adobe is a closed proprietary company (as are most commercial software companies) that doesn't mean Flash is a closed system - there are lots of other comapnies producing Flash compatible authoring software.

I also think the mouse versus finger interface of PCs and touch sensitive screens is a bit disingenuous - Flash works fine on other finger pointing devices. If Jobs wants to build in artificial restraints into his operating systems he should admit it rather than blaming it as a limitation on Flash.

As for video decoding - why should the entire world recode videos just so Jobs customers can see them on an iPad? If he prefers hardware decsing to software why not add a hardware decoding system to his devices?

Whilst HTML5, CSS and JavaScript are open and standardised (although that is debateable when you look at how Javascript is implemented in different browsers) Jobs conveniently ignores the fact that HTML includes embedding commands etc. precisely to add content such as Flash.

Steve Jobs should be honest  - it is purely being done to lock out the competition - which is why they change developers licenses without warning and why they won't open iTunes to comptetion etc..
« Last Edit: May 01, 2010, 06:23:33 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

app103
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 06:43:04 AM »

Something about this really bothers me and this is supposed to be the most important reason. This same argument could be said about a number of cross-platform developer tools, Lazarus/freepascal for example. Are they going to ban apps from OSX written with that, next?

Quote
We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.

Flash is a cross platform development tool. It is not Adobe’s goal to help developers write the best iPhone, iPod and iPad apps. It is their goal to help developers write cross platform apps. And Adobe has been painfully slow to adopt enhancements to Apple’s platforms. For example, although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.

Our motivation is simple – we want to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to our developers, and we want them to stand directly on the shoulders of this platform and create the best apps the world has ever seen. We want to continually enhance the platform so developers can create even more amazing, powerful, fun and useful applications. Everyone wins – we sell more devices because we have the best apps, developers reach a wider and wider audience and customer base, and users are continually delighted by the best and broadest selection of apps on any platform.

Do they think cross-platform developers don't know this?

What makes them think that the decision of what tools and language to use should be theirs? Should not the developer have the right to make that decision?

Should the developer not have the right to create apps that have consistency across platforms, so that no matter what OS you are using, the app looks and works exactly the same for the user? Would it not be better for the developer to use one single tool to accomplish this, instead of writing a different version in another language, duplicating only what the version for other platforms have and nothing more?

Just because you give unique features, no matter what Apple says and does, it won't mean developers will use those extras, especially if they are going for consistency across the various platforms.

The end result is that more than being unfair to Adobe, they are being unfair and creating more work for developers.
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Eóin
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 01:14:21 PM »

Interesting follow up, Adobe confirms plans to move away from Apple

Quote from:
Adobe has posted a short response to the letter Apple boss Steve Jobs has written about Flash technology.

In it, Adobe said the legal terms Apple imposed on software developers had led it to shift its focus away from Apple.

[snip]

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that "when you resort to licensing language" to restrict development, it has "nothing to do with technology".

The article is well worth the read.
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 08:57:19 PM »

On a related note, Uncle Sam may soon tell us how he really feels about Apple.

Quote
Sources are reporting today that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are wrangling over which one of them should lead a preliminary antitrust investigation of Apple. The action was spurred by Apple's new developer agreement which forces app designers to use only Apple programming tools. The inquiry may be launched in a matter of days, and will seek to determine if the policy damages competition in the mobile app space.

Links:

http://www.maximumpc.com/...trust_investigation_apple

http://www.nypost.com/p/n...pp_buvCWcJdjFoLD5vBSkguGO

 Cool

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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 11:29:12 PM »

I hope the anti-trust gets them.

But it won't help even if Apple is forced to reverse itself. Apple will still ban all software not made with Xcode from the App Store. They will need to force Apple to allow downloading and installing from other sources in order to make any decision against Apple stick. THAT would be nice to see. I'd rather sideload anyways. Then I have the app safely backed up.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2010, 04:00:16 AM »

It will be interesting to see if the EU take the hit too ...
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Eóin
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 06:51:32 AM »

They will need to force Apple to allow downloading and installing from other sources in order to make any decision against Apple stick. THAT would be nice to see.

Plus that would have the knock on effect that MS would be forced to do the same with their new Windows Phone 7. The conspiracy theorist in me mused that MS might have been copying Apples tactic just to force a case like this eventually.
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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 07:31:56 AM »

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

In many ways, Apple's Xcode requirement isn't much different from arguments that embedded device manufacturers have used for years to justify requirements that developers purchase and use their proprietary SDKs.

Apple could argue that the iPhone and iPad are embedded devices, and that their restrictions are no different than those placed on many game box, telephone hardware, and industrial control developers by other hardware manufacturers.

One key point is that Apple has always insisted on calling itself a hardware developer. And even more important, has always insisted their hardware remain a closed system. So this is one instance where an argument that they are not trying to influence or control anything other than their own hardware platform could gain legal credence by the fact Apple always rabidly defended its proprietary base. Far from trying to go outside their domain, they've actively and routinely discouraged 3rd party hardware and system level software being integrated into their products. And they've absolutely forbidden the use of their software on anything other than their own devices.

So the only argument that can be made is that the simple marketplace success of the iPad/iPhone is actively hampering competition from similar devices because Apple requires its developers to use tools it alone provides - even though such tools are intended for exclusive use with its own hardware.

Yoiks! That's gonna be a tough one.

Successfully dominating a market because you have the product people want isn't, in itself, a violation of law. And for some to argue they can't afford to develop for multiple platforms because they need to concentrate their efforts on developing for the market leader doesn't make the market leader culpable for their lack of resources.

Right now, the FTC and DOJ will have a pretty tough case to prove if it comes to that. I think of this more as a the government putting Apple on notice they're beginning to look at some of their business practices in a different light than previously. Apple will no longer automatically be viewed as an underdog going forward. This is just the proverbial warning shot across the bow.

In the end, the real battle will likely come down on the lock-in with AT&Ts network. That would have a lot more traction in court because the success of a hardware product combined with its lock-in to one network provider does have ramifications beyond the device itself. Especially when the designated network provider's bandwidth can't adequately support the full capabilities of the device.

Of course, Apple already has an inkling of that looming threat, hence the leaks about the iPhone possibly going to additional carriers "real soon now." And note how that rumor only talks about the iPhone - not the iPad. Cute!

Smoke and mirrors... Cool

« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 11:10:14 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 09:42:15 AM »

40hz dropping some knowledge knuggets!
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Eóin
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 10:14:20 AM »

I admit that the connection between the iPhone/iPad approach and say game consoles always niggled at the back of my mind. But I think there is a big enough difference here that such an argument won't work.

The precedence in the mobile phone and pocket PC markets was always one of openness, Apple have only been able to go against that because of their market dominance and so the case for stifling competition to me seems very real.
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40hz
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 12:00:46 PM »

Precedence for openness has little legal bearing on the matter. Unfortunately.

And while precedence may have some bearing - on "this side of the pond" it still doesn't pack the wallop it does in most civilized countries. Heck, the US often prides itself on just how little respect it generally has for precedence and history.

US antitrust and anti-competitive restrictions have traditionally only been invoked to enforce some level of open competition in emerging markets. Once a market has reached a level of sustainability or maturity, US law backs off and lets the market decide who the ultimate winners will be. These so-called natural monopolies are usually left alone by US regulators unless some outside party can make a convincing argument that the dominant company is engaging in some form of anti-competitive behavior specifically forbidden by law.

Being so big and powerful that nobody else can compete in the monopoly's market is not sufficient grounds for government intervention. At least not in the USA.  Belief in the doctrines of "last man standing" and "to the victor go the spoils" has a long tradition in American business and law. US antitrust laws are not designed to enforce ongoing competition - only to prevent a company from securing an "unfair advantage" when a market is being created or a new industry is emerging.

To a certain extent, you can say that the US business model almost assumes natural monopolies will emerge once a market reaches maturity. This is viewed as both natural and, in many cases, a desirable outcome since economies of scale and cost efficiencies often result. Some see a further advantage in having a single dominant supplier because it tends to bring about product standardization which results in lower consumer prices and the creation of "add-on" businesses.

Or at least so the theory goes... Roll Eyes

( Yeah, right! Grin )

On the other hand, European antitrust regulations do seem to have the creation and enforcement of ongoing competition as part of their goal. So if I'm correct in that belief, Apple will likely have a much harder time with European regulators over Xcode.

And be far more likely to face sanctions in the EU.

Go EU!  Thmbsup

---------------------

ADDENDUM::

I forgot to add that I strongly doubt this will ever make it to court.

Apple has way to much to lose by pushing the issue. The minute it looks like they risk having a judgment rendered, they'll relent on the developer tool restrictions. The minute they do that, the issue will become moot.

There's also a lot they could do to Flash such that it could be allowed on the iPad without actually being workable once it got there. One way would be to wrap so many OS-level security 'safeguards' around it that Flash's performance and stability would drop right through the floor.

It's a long way from over folks.

This puppy isn't even the opening act.  It's more like hearing the overture music while queuing up for popcorn in the lobby...

(Butter on mine, please?)

 Wink  Cool

« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 02:48:28 PM by 40hz » Logged

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