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Apple’s attack on Adobe Flash, it’s all about online video.

May 5th, 2010 · 180 Comments

The FUD Apple has been able to generate about flash is amazing.  As a developer myself that uses Flash in front end interfaces, this battle of words has made me sick to the stomach.  Not because either side is wrong, but because Apple is printing lies and falsehood about flash.  And, I tend to dislike those who lie.

Lets study the “Thoughts about Flash

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.

Let’s get this straight.  Neither Apple iTechnology or Adobe Flash are OPEN.  They both use open and freely available standards. They both use proprietary standards such as H.264.  Steve Jobs claiming that Apple iTechnology is Open is a subjective point.  But let’s look it from another angle.

Free is usually associated with Open.  To use any of Apple’s iTechnology you have to purchase their hardware and be a registered($) developer to run software on them.  For Flash, you can use any computer using any operating system, obtain the Flash player for free, then download the open source compiler.  This is all free and Open, however the Player is closed source. (Or you could use the open source Flash Player called Ganash).

So comparing both, I can use Adobe flash technology and build workable results without paying Adobe a cent. I have access to all the source for the tools that make the swf files. Not so with Apple.  So who is more open again?

Apple has many proprietary products too. Though
the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad
is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards
pertaining to the web should be open. Rather
than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and
JavaScript – all open standards.

The issue here is not the openness of the web, but
the tools and costs to get you to this open web.  For
Apple you have to purchase expensive iTenchnology.
For Adobe, you get a free Flash Player.

Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power
implementations of these open standards. HTML5,
the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple,
Google and many others, lets web developers
create advanced graphics, typography, animations and
transitions without relying on third party
browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely
open and controlled by a standards committee,
of which Apple is a member.

Has anyone bothered to tell Steve that HTML5 is a “developing standard” and is not slated to be completely ratified until 2012?   HTML5 is by no means a technology we should be putting out there on a large scale yet as the standard is likely to change.   Every time it does, every website using the current Draft and prototype example implementation will have to change their code to suit.  Any web developer pushing hard into this now is being foolish at best. Potential Darwin awards member of the web community at worst.

Second, there’s the “full web”.

The full web, to me, would mean the most common technologies, Open or otherwise. But let’s keep reading..

Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile
devices cannot access “the full web” because 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. YouTube, with an estimated 40% of
the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all
Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps
the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience
ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook,
ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time,
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports
Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many,
many others. iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t
missing much video.

Ok, let’s be specific here.  Flash, way back since Flash Player 9 Update 3, released on December 3, 2007, Flash has been able to play back any standards based MP4 container with H.264 and AAC video, all the way up to HD 1080.  (HD performance subject to Hardware acceleration, ie not on Mac).  Since then, any Video website would have likely switched over to H.264 media files. (Better utilisation of bandwidth  $$$)  Meaning EVERY website would be using them now.  Moving a Flash based Video site to the <video> tag would only take days of development. (No transcoding needed)

Flash has never claimed to be a video container.  It is what has made flash so popular, but that is not its core purpose.  So, cool, Adobe was actually not that bothered, IMHO, about this.   The <Video> tag has its purposes.  But then again Video in flash also has its purposes too.  Both will do some video interfaces better then the other. It depends on the application.  The <video> tag will in general do for 95% of what the web needs.  Adobe has never disputed that.  They have only tried to make it more innovative to keep it as relevant as possible.

Another Adobe claim is that Apple devices
cannot play Flash games. This is true. Fortunately,
there are over 50,000 games and entertainment
titles on the App Store, and many of them are free.
There are more games and entertainment titles
available for iPhone, iPod and iPad than for any
other platform in the world.

This is obviously a comparison between thousands of free flash games and thousands of $ games on the iTechnology platform.  It is a blatant admission by Steve Jobs that Apple would rather you pay for Games from the store and they get 30%.  And really, why the hell not.  Apple made these wonderful iTechnology products.

Steve, please come clean and do not make up false accusations and mislead consumers.  That’s bad form.  This is the core of why this fight is so high profile IMHO.

Third, there’s reliability, security and performance.

This is where it gets good. Steve has a point here, but chooses to leave out a lot of detail.

Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having
one of the worst security records in 2009.
We also know first hand that Flash is the
number one reason Macs crash. We have
been working with Adobe to fix these problems,
but they have persisted for several years now.
We don’t want to reduce the reliability and
security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by
adding Flash.

Here Apple starts pointing the finger. Yes Adobe has security flaws. But so does your OSX and iTechnologes.  If Apple was so perfect, why can’t they stop the jail breakers?  How come they send out security patches on a regular basis?  Apple is also known for being one of the slackest when it comes to security fixes.

Yes, Flash has had some security issues, but like all complex tools, no more than its fair share.  Apple, you are just as guilty.  Again bad form Steve.

In addition, Flash has not performed well on
mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to
show us Flash performing well on a mobile device,
any mobile device, for a few years now. We have
never seen it. Adobe publicly said that Flash would
ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the
second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010,
and now they say the second half of 2010. We
think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we
didn’t hold our breath. Who knows how it will

Lets look at the facts.  There are over 200 apps on the AppStore known to be made from the FlashCS5 tool set. (Probably more but developers are not willing to say.. for good reason as Steve will probably kick them off)  These Apps passed the TEST to go onto the Apps store.  One would expect the test involves looking at performance issues.  One would expect Steve has likely looked at these apps as there are Blogs and articles all over the Web about them.  So are we supposed to believe that Steve has simply not bothered to have a look at them?  The statement above is obviously misleading.

Fourth, there’s battery life.
To achieve long battery life when playing
video, mobile devices must decode the video
in hardware; decoding it in software uses too
much power. Many of the chips used in modern
mobile devices contain a decoder called
H.264 – an industry standard that is used in
every Blu-ray DVD player and has been adopted
by Apple, Google (YouTube), Vimeo, Netflix and
many other companies.

I recommend you have a look at “HTML5 versus Flash: Animation Benchmarking” (See video explanationComparison of performance of Flash Player 10.1 and HTML 5 on Mobile Devices) in which Flash is 200-500% more efficient then HTML5 running on webkit on an android phone.  Meaning it would use less power then HTML5.  Ie, Steve Jobs’ suggestion that HTML5 has better performance is misleading and obviously not true.

Although Flash has recently added support for
H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites
currently requires an older generation decoder
that is not implemented in mobile chips and
must be run in software. The difference is
striking: on an iPhone, for example, H.264
videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos
decoded in software play for less than 5 hours
before the battery is fully drained.

This is really good spin. Steve is right in that the very OLD version of flash before 2007 (3 years in internet time is a VERY LONG TIME), version 9, did use a CPU based codec.  But as stated above, H.264 is now the standard and all sites using flash are now using the same H.264 files in flash as is compatible with the Hardware accelerated decoders.  As such, Flash 10.1 is as efficient as it can possibly be on these mobile devices.  Steve implies Flash cannot do H.264 Hardware acceleration, which is again deceptive and untrue.

But lets get into the OSX story here.  Apple like to blame Adobe for the poor video performance on OSX.  Unfortunately, again, Steve has failed to supply the full story.  The reason Flash on OSX is so slow and buggy is as follows.

1. Video: Apple has refused to, until recently, supply the API required to implement it.  Flash 10.1 for OSX will have Hardware acceleration as, the API has only just been made available.  Steve conveniently failed to mention this. (See Adobe will accelerate Flash video using new Apple API)

2. General flash animation performance: Again, this is because those APIs available for rendering animated content on a web browser are old and not suitable.  Adobe has been waiting for better and supported APIs to become available.  Again, only recently because of the advent of HTML5 in the browser has Adobe now been able to implement Core Animation for use in Flash Player 10.1  The FlashPlayer development team say OSX flash player is likely to be even more efficient then the Windows version.

Looking at the facts, we can see it is Apple and not Adobe that is responsible for a lot the the problems Steve likes to blame Adobe for.  This, however, does not really make up for the stated CRASH level of Flash on OSX.  I personally have not had a lot of problems.  And this crash issue is likely more to do with authoring issues than the player itself.  Still, it’s an easy mark, and why has Adobe let it become such an issue?  I would say, simply because Apple has shown little interest in helping Adobe make a reliable and efficient Flash Player and as such, Adobe has shown little interest in fixing these issues.  A tool like Flash Player is only as strong as the foundations they sit on.  FlashPlayer OSX sits on the OSX API’s and as such, Apple, by definition and by action is partly responsible.

When websites re-encode their videos using
H.264, they can offer them without using
Flash at all. They play perfectly in browsers
like Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome
without any plugins whatsoever, and look
great on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

This sentence is obviously misleading as it’s a non-issue. As mentioned above, Flash Video migrated to H.264 over 3 years ago.

Fifth, there’s Touch.
Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not
for touch screens using fingers. For example,
many Flash websites rely on “rollovers”,
which pop up menus or other elements when
the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot.
Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface
doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept
of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to
be rewritten to support touch-based devices.
If developers need to rewrite their Flash
websites, why not use modern technologies
like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?

Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it
would not solve the problem that most Flash
websites need to be rewritten to support
touch-based devices.

This is a very good example of misdirection.  HTML/CSS sites are just as likely to use roll overs as Flash is.  And like HTML and the use of it in the Javascript apps for the iPhone, flash is just as usable in an interface designed in flash.  Flash 10.1 also support multi touch and pinch.

Sixth, the most important reason.
Besides the fact that Flash is closed and
proprietary, has major technical drawbacks,
and doesn’t support touch based devices,
there is an even more important reason we
do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and
iPads. We have discussed the downsides of
using Flash to play video and interactive
content from websites, but Adobe also
wants developers to adopt Flash to create
apps that run on our mobile devices.
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.

There is some truth to this but, like all tools, you use the right tool for the right job.  If I am writing a Game, best to use the most low level code using the highest possible performance API’s available.  But if writing a simply end user App in that people read, input and view data.  This is completely WRONG.

The performance hit of cross platform tools that build tools for input and viewing of data (Anything but games mostly)  have little performance differences.  They save the developer massive amounts of money.  This is why cross development tools are so popular and expensive.  They are very important development tools that can make the difference between a tool being worth while doing or not.

This is a obvious attempt to lock in the developers and to get them to invest money into the closed Apple platforms.  As the more Apple can get them invested, the more power Apple can bring over them.

As a developer, Steve, you turn my stomach.  But at the same time, if that is where the money is, that is where the developer will go, even if he is selling his soul to make his living.

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.

This goes both ways Steve.  But obviously in your mind, Apple is the only company that can “Inovate”.  My stomach turns over again.

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.

“It is their(Adobe)  goal to help developers write cross platform” Yes exactly. As a developer, that is exactly what I want.  HTML5/ Object C, they are all just more languages.  We have so many languages because like having a tools box full of many different tools, Hammer, screw driver, spanner, we use the right tool for the Job.  Imagine a tool box with only a Hammer in it.  That is what Steve is trying to justify here.

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.

What a great company statement.  The only problem is that, there is no reason why Flash Player could not be part of that statement apart from the deceptions mentioned above and the business model that places Adobe as a threat.

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice.

The C programming language is one of the earliest languages created. Even today it is one of the most common languages in use.  Just because it is old does not make it out dated.  This statement is obviously bate for the general user, not developer type, to relate to.  Like how your older cars are not as good as new ones.  That does not hold water in this case and neither does Steve’s letter.

Flash is a successful business for Adobe,
and we can understand why they want to push it
beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low
power devices, touch interfaces and open web
standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

That is your opinion Steve. Unfortunately facts appear to indicate Flash will be a very usefull cross platform technology applicable for mobile to browser.

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. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App
Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens
of thousands of developers to create graphically
rich applications, including games.

As long as everyone uses the web as Steve has dictated. Yes. Selling Apps in which Apple gets 30% or everything, yes.

Sorry but this is absurd.  The web is about using whatever works for you.  Be it open or closed.

Flash has a right to exist just as Apple has a right to sell locked down iTechnology.  However, Steve does not have the right to deceive and slander another company.  This is where Apple stepped over the line.  Adobe, on the other hand, has tried to follow Steve’s unrealistic laws and write the FlashCS5 Cross compiler. This has been slapped down with anti-competitive practices of changing the ULA for reasons that do not hold water.  This has never been about what Steve says.  Its about business models.  The CEO of Adobe is very right in saying that this is a smoke screen and this letter is nothing but FUD to try and justify anti-competitive behaviour.

New open standards created in the mobile era,
such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and
PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on
creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and
less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Again, deception.  Adobe have not criticised Apple.  Adobe employees and specifically Flash evangelists who are most likely working on the Flash to iPhone tools did.  Can you blame them?  They put long hard work into following Steve’s ULA.  Implementing a method of making Flash Technology on the iTechnology platform while keeping to the conditions in the ULA, only for Steve to change the wording just before launch.

HTML5 is only a small part of this.  Steve knowns this but is using it as a magical platform, that for all intensive purposes in not real yet as the standard and implementation are only still in early implementation and subject to change.  Because of this unknown potentaial of HTML5, it is the “Fix All pill” we hope will come along and fix those issues we all dislike about the Web.  The truth is, its not going to be anything like that..  Exactly the opposite in reality.

Why Do We Hate Flash

Flash is the Advertisers big stick they hit us with to make us take notice.  Like everyone, we hate being hit by this big stick.  What we have here is similar to the slogan “Guns don;t kill people, people kill people.” which equates to “Flash does not annoy the web surfer, the advertisers making the Flash content annoy the flash user.”

The issue here is that the Web Surfer cannot see past the ad, so they focus on Flash.

The performance issue is a group effort.  FlashCS4 does not lend itself to optimised programming but for real programmers its not difficult at all.  The Advertisers using flash want active and very eye catching ads jumping around attracting your eye.  This of course kills your battery and annoys the user.  Flash can be programmed to archive better then javascript and HTML5 type performance.  The biggest problem here is that it is not generally commercial for web developers to do this.  And this will be true for HTML5 as well.

Every programming language can be programmer poorly.  Even ObjectiveC, C or C++.  Adobe is guilty for letting this get out of hand.  Actionscript3 has brought this back in line a lot as it is far more programmer centric.  You need to understand the code much more.  You cannot simply cut and past into the time line in AS2.  However, at the same time, this has reduced the number of flash programmers as many AS2 users say it is too hard to use now.  Its a double edged sword.

Performance on OSX does SUCK.  Its Crap.  But as mentioned above, Apple is just as responsible if not more then Adobe.

HTML5 is not what we hope it to be

One of the biggest misconceptions of many Flash haters is that HTML5 will save their battery and stop the crashes.

Unfortunately this is WRONG.  The big issue here is that once HTML5 replaces flash, and as a flash developer, I would expect it to. Those who enjoy the ad free internet by using an Ad Blocker or Flash Blocker..  That will be impossible once HTML5 is adopted.  The browser will not be able to tell the difference between an ad and the website.  Ads will be proxied directly into the application, as if they are part of the website.  The ad-blockers will simply not be able to tell the difference.  This is why Google and now Microsoft (with its announcement to drop flash from IE9) are so into HTML5.  No more blocking the premium animated and most profitable ads.  Its obvious any company who makes money from online ads will want flash to disappear from online ads ASAP.

As the “HTML5 versus Flash: Animation Benchmarking” (See video explanation Comparison of performance of Flash Player 10.1 and HTML 5 on Mobile Devices) indicate, those ads you will no longer be able to block will be running all over your open web pages eating up more battery then Flash 10.1 would.

The HTML5 future everyone is hoping for is exactly the opposite of what it will deliver.

Here comes the DOJ

Considering the level of deception and properganda Apple is generating, the DOJ would have to get involved at some stage.  Apple is being anti-competative while also producing large amount of misleading and false information to the general end users.  This is of course hurting Adobe.  In Australia, if Apple was located here, would be in very deep trouble.  Anti-competative behaviour is illigal no mater if you are a monopoly or not.  In the US, these DOJ investigation, altho on the surface, has no real merrit in US law, the DOJ will be compalled to do some type of investigation.

Apple is being anti-competative.  If this behaviour is seen to effect any area Apple is deemed to monopolise, Apple is likely in trouble.  This being such a complex area with so many subjective views, this is unlikely to go any where.  However, the bigger issue here is   “Steve has been seen deceiving end users.”  Ie lying for his own gain.

This establishes that Steve is deceptive.  Where does this stop.  The end user?  The investor? The government?

The DOJ is compelled to have a closer look now.

Why does Apple want to displace Flash?

Finally we need to look at why Steve is pushing this issue so hard.  They want to displace flash as a dominant platform on the web.  I have seen a number of interesting post looking at very holistic reasons. This one is especially interesting but essentially wrong. “A good problem to have“.

Apple/Steve is very smart.  The one market he has not been able to dominate to the degree you would expect is ONLINE VIDEO. The online video owners, unlike the music industry, are a bit more aware of what Apple is trying to archive.  As a result, they have fragmented the industry as much as possible to ensure no indeviduel company can gain enough control as to start dictating to them the conditions.

Steve is trying to manuvor the online video industry into a position in which they have no option but to sell their soul to Apple.  To do this they have looked at the future trends of video. Producer to consumer.

Producer to consumer with subscription or paid to view will be the future.  However, this future will need a transaction system and a video distribution system.  Currently we have two options.  Apple and Adobe.

Its quite simple. Take out Adobe before its Flash platform really starts to shine in this area.  With hardware playback, better then javascript/HTML5 performance, the best authoring tools on the net, cross platform agnostic (Run on anything from a mobile phone, computer, TV) DRM, for those who want it (And all big content owners WILL) AND.. built in TORRENT technology.

Once Flash materialises this technology coming in 10.1 towards the use of video distribution on the net.  Apple will not be able to catch up..  Its all out WAR now.  Crack and kill the egg before it hatches.

I am very much behind Adobe/Flash on this mainly because Adobe is a tools company.  I will be able to purchase the tools to distribute to my consumers directly. I will control my future.  I will not have to ask Apple/Steve permission to distribute my content through his gateway and toll booth, the iTunes store.


In conclusion, as a developer who likes Flash, to tell the truth, I can respect the business decision by Steve to not allow Flash on their iTechnology platforms for good old competitive reasons.  What is wrong here is that Apple is on a campaign of deception.  They are not happy to not use flash, but are also producing FUD to displace Flash as a relevant web technology.

As a Apple user who may be reading this blog entry (And congratulations if you got this far), consider your relationship with your Apple products.  You have just been told your friend is deceptive and will lie to you to get what he wants from you.  How would this go down if this was your partner or best friend?

Let me finish with a video of Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch.  Here is a simple and honest view of where flash fits.  I could not agree more with what Kevin says.

Tags: Adobe · Apple · Development · DRM · flash · flex · google · IPTV · Microsoft · P2P · Silverlight

180 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Is Apple’s Attack On Flash Really About Video? | JetLib News // May 6, 2010 at 1:01 am

    […] Is Apple’s Attack On Flash Really About Video? May 5th, 2010 05:49 admin Leave a comment Go to comments Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress Pluginjamiegau writes “Here we have a ‘very’ long and in depth blog post analysing the faults in Steve Job’s Letter about Flash. The writer concludes with an interesting idea that it is all about online video.” […]

  • 2 Bill G. // May 6, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I cancelled my order for 5 iPad 3G devices after realizing that it will not support Flash. I’ll wait for the Android tablets coming out in the Fall.

    Apple (and, by definition, Jobs) has grown too big for their britches and need to be taken down a notch of two. The best way to send a message to Apple is to boycott their products and services; I am.

  • 3 pikalek // May 6, 2010 at 1:11 am

    “(Or you could use the open source Flash Player called Ganash)”

    I think you meant Gnash, the GNU Flash movie player.

  • 4 Jim // May 6, 2010 at 1:15 am

    This has to be the most illiterate, incorrect, and patently incorrect crock of sh!t I’ve ever bothered to read.

  • 5 Shaun // May 6, 2010 at 1:17 am

    I agree. Please, for the love of jebus, learn the difference between “then” and “than”.

  • 6 TO // May 6, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I believe an error here:
    “Looking at the facts, we can see it is Apple and not Adobe that is responsible for a lot the the problems Steve likes to blame Apple for.”

    should be:”Looking at the facts, we can see it is Apple and not Adobe that is responsible for a lot the problems Steve likes to blame Adobe for. “

  • 7 Eric // May 6, 2010 at 1:19 am

    While I agree that some of what he said is misleading, the point is very relevant and true. We need an open source alternative to flash. I don’t care if it is flash, but we need one for sure.

    Most in the technical field have the same annoyances with flash, even if our motives are not cash as you suggest Steves is (and it may very well be… but it does not make the argument any less potent)

    As a security advisor, I have seen many problems with flash. Huge, long standing backdoors that few knew about. I am sure that there are still if one were to reverse engineer it.

    As a part time designer, flash has its place. However, how can you try to make a technology standard yet not support PowerPC CPU and others, which rules out older computers and some mobile phones. In fact, without source code, this can’t be implemented on many of these new devices.
    To make things worse, many of these sites are completely unusable because they have been (poorly) implemented in flash.

  • 8 Steve (Not Jobs) // May 6, 2010 at 1:20 am

    You should probably re-read your article. I see a lot of grammatical errors and wrong words used.

  • 9 Eric Zylstra // May 6, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Flash _constantly_ crashes my browser on OS X. I don’t need that on my phone, too.

  • 10 Mortal // May 6, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Hey guy, you should really fix the quotes having horizontal scrollbars, and do some spell checking before publishing this otherwise insightful post.

  • 11 Darren // May 6, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Dude, seriously you need to take a 3rd grade English course. Your article is full of typos and poor grammar.

    That being said, I agree with most of your points, but your poor grammar and lack of attenttion to details defuses your argument. Your case will be stronger and your opinion will reach farther if your copy is more professional.

  • 12 Rob // May 6, 2010 at 1:32 am

    “Lets get this straight. Nether are OPEN. They both use open and freely available standards.”

    What are you comparing? Flash content with iPhone apps? You are completely missing the message here. Jobs is talking about Web content and the comparison is between Flash and HTML5 standards.

  • 13 james // May 6, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Great article – I enjoyed you dissecting Jobs’ argument, point-by-point.

  • 14 Troy // May 6, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Hmmmm…. Have you ever used Flash on a Mac platform?

    A lot of analysis, but it is easily erased by reality. Flash sucks on the Mac, and always has. Adobe/Macromedia have had years to fix it and haven’t. It the last week, watching hulu, flash has crashed safari 5-8 times on just my one computer. Everything else is rock stable.

    Looking at performance. Watch the same video in flash takes 105% CPU (dual core), while in quicktime it take 25% CPU. Enough said.

    This is a easy decision for Apple to make. On a limited performance machine like a iPad/Phone – flash would drag down performance, responsiveness, and battery of the whole machine. And because flash is closed, there is nothing apple can do to optimize it. But they can optimize HTML 5. Basic engineering choice.

  • 15 The Apple-Adobe War | escartistlab.com // May 6, 2010 at 1:42 am

    […] Apple’s attack on Flash […]

  • 16 santa // May 6, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I’m an Apple fan boy. I work in tech support. I use a Mac and loathe Windows. But I don’t own an iPhone because of the disconnect between my politics and AT&T – at least in part. And I don’t own an iPad because of Apple’s stance on Flash – at least in part. What I want is freedom to choose. I refuse to let Apple decide if I can use Flash or not and I refuse to let Apple decide if I want to use this or that App. Apple’s tyrannical need for control via the App store is touted as being in the user’s best interest. I disagree in the only small, meaningless way I can. With my pocketbook. I use the Mac OS in SPITE of the lack of choice that results. While I prefer Mac OS by along margin, it’s not a religious belief system!

  • 17 Brian // May 6, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I had to stop reading your garabage half way through. To any one who looks at comments first before reading articles don’t bother reading, its a one sided Adobe fan boy post full of ranting. Nothing important in it.

  • 18 Prabhu // May 6, 2010 at 1:43 am

    ok firstly do you have a mac?

    Have you watched quicktime videos from apple site or those movie trailers? Have you watched a flash video and have wondered why the heck your processor is suddenly crazy and your machine as hot as possible?

    The api that you mentioned is for a specific mac. What about the machines before that? Why is the current version of flash performing extremely bad when compared with say silverlight for mac?

    Forget the mac. Take linux. When was the last time you really had a smooth flash experience with flash on linux. Well, the last time I saw a smooth playback was a android tablet flash demo which I eventually watched from a windows machine. I stopped counting the number of times my FF crashed with flash plugin activated.

    Good luck with your career.

  • 19 flsahSnarff // May 6, 2010 at 1:43 am

    WOW!!!! Really WOW. I knew Steve -O was blowing smoke but never analysed it, Great work!!!!! I don’t use Apple products because I don’t trust Apple to “Control my Experience”. Personally I believe that Apple is making a big mistake with this move. HMTL5 will have a place and may be the future of web video but trying to bring down Adobe to get it there is the wrong approach. IMHO Apple is the new Evil empire.

  • 20 iBrent // May 6, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I for one am impressed with how awesome HTML5 runs on the iPad. Check out this video demo I did –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbZkqORX4


  • 21 Rich Morey // May 6, 2010 at 1:45 am

    “So compare both, I can use Adobe flash technology and build workable results without paying Adobe a cent. I have access to all the source for the tools that make the swf files. Not so with Apple. So who is more open again?”

    Exactly!! Thank you for pointing this out. I was interested in developing for the “i” platform but the SDK only works on OS X so I’d have to buy another PC to develop on? No way!

  • 22 Ben // May 6, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Poor analysis. You have some good points, but you obscure them with FUD of your own.

  • 23 Tom // May 6, 2010 at 1:55 am

    This is a great article.

    I had suspected the same things regarding performance and optimization issues, but I haven’t had the ability to do the research…

    FYI, you might want to re-read the article and fix the spelling and grammar errors. The most well reasoned out argument loses steam fast when you say “there” instead of “their” and “programmer” instead of “programmed.”

  • 24 Blad_Rnr // May 6, 2010 at 1:57 am

    How is Apple being anti-competitive? In what realm? They don’t have anywhere near a monopoly in smart phones, let alone cell phones in general. They also don’t have a monopoly in touch devices. Yet they do allow Flash on millions and millions of Macs (which is a resource hog that Adobe refuses to fix because we Mac users are a tiny minority). So I just don’t see why they have to allow a technology that they don’t deem as a good user experience on “some” of their devices. I don’t see how this is any different than other devices, like Xbox, PSP, PS2/3, Zune, Wii, etc. They all have most of the control of their environments and developers.

    In the end, as an iPhone user, I don’t care if Flash doesn’t work. I simply don’t care. I enjoy the “walled garden” approach and it certainly is making a lot of money for countless developers, though certainly not all. And I have many games for my iPhone that I haven’t paid for. Every game for the iPhone/Touch/iPad is not one that has to be bought.

    Apple will not be taken to court by the DOJ. This scenario is nowhere near where MSFT was a decade ago. Not even close. MSFT was forcing competitors, like Apple, to use their technology and almost forced Apple to take Quicktime off the market with an inferior video technology. But Apple didn’t budge. What Apple is saying now is, we don’t want a certain technology on our devices, but feel free to go elsewhere if you don’t agree. And that “elsewhere” has plenty of other options, i.e. Zune, Google phone, Android, Nokia, RIM, WinMo, Motorola, etc.

    If what you claim about Flash was true, and really getting in the way of a great user experience, then I doubt 50 million+ people would be using an iPhone or iPod Touch. How can you argue with that? Isn’t Apple supposed to provide a great user experience for their customers? You can’t argue with success.

    Again, why should anyone care when people have a choice? Don’t like the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad? Then don’t buy it. Pretty simple. Let the market decide.


  • 25 Matthew Chaboud // May 6, 2010 at 1:59 am

    -cough- It’s “libeled” rather than “slandered” when it’s in writing.

    Other than that, though, I’m with you. Steve’s rant is pure BS, but it’s BS that works on the Apple faithful. It’s no different than an evangelical church (and I grew up in the south, going to evangelical churches), where the absolutely absurd will be believed without question, with such fervent dedication that it boggles any sane mind.

    So Steve’s a liar. Sadly, this is definitely not the first time, and it’s unlikely to be the last.

  • 26 Kash Pande // May 6, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Ugh, all the spelling mistakes in this article make me question whether it’s well thought-out or just dribble from someone that’s pissed at Apple..

  • 27 Station Grey // May 6, 2010 at 2:11 am

    I started reading this article with interest, but without wishing to sound too petty I found the horrible scrolling text boxes and poor grammar & spelling made it too much like hard work to continue.

    That said, I got as far as the first major point about the restrictions and associated costs with developing for Flash as opposed to Apple products and think that you missed the point rather badly.

    How do you compare making a Flash movie (“I have access to all the source for the tools that make the swf files. Not so with Apple”) with developing for ‘Apples iTechnology’ (” you have to purchase their hardware and be a registered($) developer to run software on them”)? They’re virtually unrelated.

    Why don’t you compare developing a Flash movie with making an interactive website that can be viewed on a Mac? Or else compare devloping an iPhone app with developing an Android app or Windows app?

    Comparing development costs and environments for a Flash movie against a full-blown app for a specific device is all but pointless. Either you’re talking about standalone native apps or you’re talking about interactivity within a website. Please choose which!

    Yes, Flash is under threat from advancements in HTML and CSS. This affects websites. To make the assumption that you’ll then have to buy Apple’s development tools from them and be forced into a life of writing apps for Apple’s gadgets is a wild one. You do realise that these devices show websites, right?

  • 28 Dru Richman // May 6, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Jamie – To say you have more than a vested interest would be an understatement. Nonetheless…

    Apple doesn’t want Flash-created apps on the App Store for a simple reason: It reduces the iPhone to a lowest-common denominator platform, and at that point Apple loses all control over the iPhone OS experience.

    Once developers can create an app in one development environment—Adobe’s—and compile it to run on every smartphone (or Tablet) known to humankind, many developers will decide to save themselves a boatload of money and stop developing native apps for the iPhone, Android, and other platforms. They’ll just develop once, for Flash, and let it run anywhere.

    Sounds good, but the develop-once-run-anywhere philosophy is something that makes more sense to bean counters and development-environment vendors than it does to platform owners and discriminating users. In the ’90s we were told that Java apps would be the future of software, because you could write them once and deploy them anywhere. It was a disaster.

    Apple doesn’t want apps that don’t feel like native iPhone apps on the iPhone. It doesn’t want Adobe to aid developers in creating a world where App X for iPhone and App X for Android are indistinguishable from one another. Apple doesn’t want to introduce new iPhone features and then watch as nobody takes advantage of them because Adobe hasn’t updated its development system yet. Or, worse, watches as Adobe refuses to adopt them because the other operating systems don’t support those features.

    If iPhone apps are one of Apple’s greatest assets, a lowest-common-demoninator app world is Apple’s greatest nightmare. Apple wants the iPhone app experience to be created using Apple’s native tools by developers who are engaged with the platform and falling over themselves to support Apple’s latest features. These are the developers who were downloading and installing iPhone OS 4.0 on the day of it’s developer release and poring over the documentation, getting ready to dig in and start updating their apps for this fall’s release.
    It’s Apple’s ball. It’s Apple’s field. If you want to play on Apple’s iTurf, you’ll have to play by Apple’s rules. If you don’t want to/can’t/or refuse to play by Apple’s rules you’re free to develop software for any other platform.

    If Flash programmers are willing and can afford to walk away from 100 million potential customers, more power to them all. I know I couldn’t, nor am I willing to, do that.

  • 29 Tuviah // May 6, 2010 at 2:14 am

    I would make two big points

    1) I read that Adobe could not even supprt H264 playback with their iphone app convertor because Apple refused to document the hardware acceleration APIs!!!

    2) Anyone aware that HTML5 only does progressive video. This means every site like netflix who need to protect and provide random access to their content is screwed.

    3) I’m sick of developing in HTML,Javascript. Why not allow people to develop how they see fit and let the market choose. this is capatilism which made steve jobs so rich.

  • 30 Bob // May 6, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Quit being lazy. Learn a new technology. Flash is dead.


  • 31 markus // May 6, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Not to be picky, but thought I’d point out what appears to be a mistake.

    “Looking at the facts, we can see it is Apple and not Adobe that is responsible for a lot the the problems Steve likes to blame Apple for.”

    I didn’t have time to read all of it (I’m at work), but very interesting and informative.

  • 32 J // May 6, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Some interesting remarks here, but now that you’ve been slashdotted, I’d recommend additional editing. There are minor grammar mistakes strewn throughout, and repeated cases of misused words (“then” vs. “than” and “their” versus “there” to name a couple).

    You also hinge your “more open than Apple” argument on the existence of free third-party development tools for Flash (like an open-source compiler), but I’m not convinced that these are sufficient for much professional use. I could be wrong, but I’m under the impression that nearly all serious use of Flash still depends on the (very expensive) software package(s) from Adobe.

  • 33 EruIthildur // May 6, 2010 at 2:28 am

    First off, this is not a defense of apple, but you use worse logic than you accuse Steve jobs of using.
    Essentially, you say, over and over again:
    A says F is lacking quality X.
    A does not have a perfect answer to X.
    Therefore, F cannot be lacking quality X.
    In essence you are setting up ad hominem after ad hominem.
    Perhaps you can actually use what Steve said before tearing it apart and making yourself look like an idiot.

  • 34 vulpine // May 6, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Honestly, I disagree with almost every one of your counterpoints. In particular, I disagree with the concept of, “it’s all about the video.” Sorry, Jamie, it’s not. It’s about a middleware platform that in itself is unstable and unreliable–as well as insecure. I have played any number of Flash games on PCs as well as Macs; many of them quite popular on Facebook. The problem? They crash out at unexpected times, they’re laggy and honestly, some of them have pulled browser use so high that I had to quit the browser before it could freeze up.

    How do I know? Because I do monitor RAM and CPU usage frequently and have done so even more since this issue became so public. I used to not monitor the issue and while reading and commenting on certain tech forums that contained flash advertisements, the browser would unexpectedly hang and force me to use the task manager to quit the browser. Once I started monitoring my CPU usage, I noticed that with each Flash-containing page I opened, the CPU usage rose visibly and never went back down, even after closing the page and going to a different one. In other words, once opened, never closed. I’ve seen the same kind of event occur more often than not on Facebook and elsewhere, on both platforms. This is absolutely the fault of the Flash environment, not any specific browser or OS. A user that happens to keep dozens of tabs open in their web browser becomes even more susceptible since Flash could be on a large proportion of those windows and only multiplies as tabs are closed and new tabs are opened.

    And this doesn’t begin to mention how Flash has become the leading path for malware to enter the Windows environment specifically, since Flash can be (and is) used to download malicious applications while a video is playing.

    On top of all of this, the final point is that Flash has no capability of performing properly on any touch-based device, relying almost solely on mouse positioning and mouse clicks to do anything within a Flash operation, whether it be an ad banner, a game or even something as simple as a string of menu buttons on a corporate website. Flash simply does not work in a touch environment for anything [i]but[/i] video playback!

    Honestly, the SWF format was great when Macromedia first created it. It made animated graphics simple and relatively elegant. But since Adobe’s purchase of Macromedia, Flash has been used in place of good coding techniques and the issues have merely been hidden by ever increasing capacity of the technologies its used in. With the relative stagnation of computer advancements over the last couple years (more cores rather than faster processing) the issue is compounding and becoming quite the white elephant rather than an elegant solution.

    I have removed the Flash plugins from my web browsers on both my OS X and Windows machines. Since doing so, I have not encountered another stability issue in either platform.

  • 35 My Eyes Hurt // May 6, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Jobs is an idiot, but it’s hard to take you seriously as an interface developer when all of the blockquotes on your blog require horizontal scrolling to read…

  • 36 christoph // May 6, 2010 at 2:33 am

    i just wanted to point out that declaring the adobe cto’s opinion as the “simple and honest view on flash” is also not very good form.

  • 37 Devin // May 6, 2010 at 2:35 am

    You are insane if you think that Apple has security flaws as gaping wide and easily accessible as Adobe’s products.

    And I would hardly consider Apple’s regular security updates to be a bad point. Rather, it is a good thing. Especially considering how often Adobe does it.

  • 38 Grammar Nazi // May 6, 2010 at 2:40 am

    You might want to employ a spell-checker, or maybe just review your work before posting to Slashdot, chief.

  • 39 Matt // May 6, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Good article. I have been saying this all along to the “why doesn’t apple support flash crowd” it has nothing to do with performance and all about $$$$. Apple is NO LONGER a computer company. They sell and deliver content. To receive said content you purhcase one of their “devices”. By allowing flash on the iPhone and iPad, Apple will shoot themselves in the foot by reducing the need to purchase EVERYTHING you want and need from the App Store. Why pay .99 cents for a App version of a FREE flash game. As long as the Apple brand dominates everything it touches, this will continue indefinetly.

  • 40 Davide // May 6, 2010 at 2:41 am

    You’re confusing FREE with OPEN. They are absolutely not the same thing.

    Flash is not open, because Adobe controls the standards, the compiler, the player, and everything else about the Flash ecosystem.
    If there is a problem and they don’t have the engineers or skills to fix it, it will not be fixed.

    A true OPEN platform can have more than one implementation of each component. The standards should also be open for input from any party.

    Why should Apple users have to put up with trash like Flash? If it were OPEN standard, Apple could develop their own STABLE and EFFICIENT Flash player.

  • 41 Larry // May 6, 2010 at 2:42 am

    “This is where Steve’s argument really falls apart. What he says above could be true but obviously would not be the case. Ie, he could have refused to acknowledge flash apps he would have seen.. The statement above would be true but obviously misleading.”

    Am I the only person who got lost here?

  • 42 Anonee // May 6, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Thing to think about is how those ads are going to be replaced. So instead of crazy Flash ads, we are going to have HTML5 ads just start playing and wasting CPU cycles. I see the new plugin already block (i.e. Flash block)

    Another thing is if you made a Flash game and want it available on the iPhone/iPad money and time need to be invested to program it for Apple’s SDK, lamers.

  • 43 leef // May 6, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Dude, I patented responding to Steve Jobs, with the MPEG-LA h.264 licensing group, pay up.

    Flash really insecure. Stop giving him that. At best outdated versions are insecure. And really those are primarily only insecure on Windows. And on top of that theyre really only insecure on outdated versions of the Windows OS. Furthermore you had to be running an outdated.version of IE. So how safe were you on a Mac? Safer than dancing with Polar Bear. Even so Google is fixing this problem by automatically updating Flash Player in the background on launches of Google Chromes new beta.

  • 44 leef // May 6, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Flash really isnt insecure.

  • 45 Player_16 // May 6, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Stick it on, make it work. 12 years later; Open Screen Project. Apple won’t join.
    Yawn ….. ZZzzz zzzzz

  • 46 Johann // May 6, 2010 at 2:49 am

    “Flash does not annoy the web surfer, the advertisers making the Flash content annoy the flash user.”

    I disagree.. well, I don’t know about “the web surfer”, but personally I beg to differ:

    I’ve become very, very good at identifying and skipping ad areas. It’s a habit that grows naturally I guess. And it doesn’t matter if those ad areas, or actually, rectangles, are still images, text links, or whack the monkey. The placement and amount and coloring is what makes a site quick to navigate (i.e. not even glance at the ads) or painful (to me).

    I don’t hate Flash by any stretch. There are many wonderful and creative flash things – but only when they’re the content of the page, the centerpiece, instead of being interwoven into the site structure. 99% of the sites that use flash use it for eye candy and nothing more. Who cares about transparency, search engines, the sight impaired, etc. – this thing *needs* to slide and wobble… well, guess what, javascript is shaping up to give us loads of eye candy. I can’t wait!

    Flash for actual PROGRAMS: Yes, a thousand times yes.

    Flash as “html on steroids” or video player? Nope. The sooner that dies, the better for everybody.

  • 47 Binky Malone // May 6, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Let’s cut through all the bullsh1t: This entire debate has nothing to do with technology at all; it’s all about business. OF COURSE SJ is going to twist the facts in Apple’s favor; just as KL is going to bend them in Adobe’s.

    The one thing that I really disagree with in this post is the statement, “… the web is about whatever works for you.” I don’t believe the web is “about” anything. It’s a free-for-all in the realms of communication and media. Unfortunately, as has happened throughout time, it’s the victor who writes the history. Both Apple and Adobe (and Microsoft, Google, Oracle, etc…) all want to be the ones to write the history books, and they’ll use all their legal and business tactics to get there.

    I don’t believe the USDOJ is going to really be heavy-handed in this fight because they want to see who comes out on top later. I don’t see Apple as being really anti-competitive here… they just want to insure that they have control over their own processes and protocols(nothing illegal about that). If the DOJ wasn’t willing to really take care of Microsoft 10 years ago, they sure aren’t going to deal heavily with this minor issue that will resolve itself in the next 3 years anyway.

  • 48 Davide // May 6, 2010 at 2:50 am

    And to add some more to my last post.. If you think Flash is sloppy on Macs, try LINUX – Can’t blame Apple or any lack of APIs for that!

  • 49 Alex Geroulaitis // May 6, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Thank you for the article. Never liked Apple’s attitude of a superior being to all other “lesser” platforms, and your article re-affirms me in the decision to stay away from Apple products.

  • 50 Stewart // May 6, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Wow, that was a very long but accurate and informative post. While I thought the reason behind doing all this was anti-competitive against Google (no cross-platform tools), your take on online video is very interesting, and it seems like Flash, not HTML 5, not Silverlight, would be the clear leader moving forward. I am not a big fan on flash, but on Ubuntu Linux 64-bit, I have never seen a CPU spike or Firefox crash since the release of Flash 10 beta. Flash and its developers are definitely growing up, while Apple is doing a good job of running not only the iPhone OS platform into the ground, but also neglecting OS X while they try to eliminate any competition in the mobile space.

    I would also like to add that Apple did not create webkit as Mr. Jobs would have you believe in that letter.

  • 51 Shawn Rutledge // May 6, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Umm which iTechnology are you forced to buy to become a web developer? This statement seems to be a lie on your part. HTML5 is “open” in the sense that you can write it with a text editor, right? No compiler necessary. I don’t think too many flash developers are really using only the free tools, are they? Compiled languages often outperform XML-based ones (because whatever performance tweaks you may do, there is still the inescapable parsing to get the XML into machine-usable form), so it’s not surprising Adobe can continue improving performance when the APIs are available… that’s the good part. But for Flash to replace HTML it needs to be truly open.

    It’s wrong for Apple to block all cross-compilers though. And yes this is anti-competitive behavior and deserves gov’t intervention. I’m sorry for you guys that it has come to this.

    As for Apple wanting to make revenue by selling tools… well that’s what Adobe does too. However Apple could afford to do without that revenue because they make money in so many other ways. They should court the developers the way that Microsoft does rather than putting up barriers like that. Adobe probably cannot get by without making money from selling Flash though. I guess this is why Flash will never be fully open. Developers know this and it’s another reason Flash is not well-loved (not just the annoying ads).

  • 52 Don // May 6, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Respectfully, your self-serving (you make money from Flash) responses are as filled with FUD as were Steve’s just in a different way.

    You’re correct that Apple didn’t provide APIs for the use of the GPU. Instead, they insisted on good programming. If you make something that is so incompetent it requires extra power, you’re doing a bad job.

    You’re totally wrong (and historically challenged) in saying that Apple simply wants to make money themselves by getting eliminating Flash. The truth goes back to IE that didn’t follow web standards and introduced extra features. Apple built AND GAVE AWAY a free, standards compliant architecture called WebKit. Most modern web clients use it while paying Apple NOTHING. By making the standards…well…standard, Apple has assured that is remains a vital force in computing. Apple is standing for web standards and not closed, controlled, non-standard, poorly written software. Flash doesn’t qualify as a web standard.

    You’re correct that there are vulnerabilities in the Mac OS. So far, NONE have been attacked in the wild. Not one. However numerous exploits have been used against Flash. Your argument is theoretically true but meaningless in the real world.

    I realize that you’ve spent lots of time learning to use Flash and make money from it. Well, I spent a lot of time and made a bunch of money using Freehand before Adobe bought it and destroyed it. However, as soon as Adobe bought it I realized that this was going to happen, so I learned Illustrator. I’m doing great with Illustrator because I’m not a luddite and I embraced the future.

    I urge you to look at the future and start working with internet standards including the forthcoming HTML5. Already, the use of Flash is dropping faster than Lindsey Lohan’s career. If you’re sticking with Flash, you’ve already lost.

  • 53 linuxuser // May 6, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Your argument loses a lot of vailidity when it becomes apparent that you didn’t even try to edit it for clarity before posting it.

    While you make some good points, they are often clouded by typos and awkward sentences. I was willing to push past most of them, but had to stop when I encountered “for all intensive purposes”.

    Also, as a Linux user, I’d be more than happy to see Flash die out. Its performance is miserable, and it’s aggravating to have to use the crashy browser plugin to watch almost all video on the web.

  • 54 BoBthePhysist // May 6, 2010 at 3:26 am

    The article was mostly well written and the points are solid. I agree…but if you want people (especially the Apple rage cult) to take you seriously, fix your spelling. You got a crapload of spelling errors. Normally one or two are acceptable but you might want to calm the rage and run a spell check….and verify the names of the apps (like GNASH not GANASH a Hindu god) or NEITHER not Nether. ot iTenchology (vs iTechnology) Just a few of many spelling errors.

    Your friendly neighborhood grammar nazi 😀

  • 55 Fred Quimby // May 6, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Steve Jobs wants to be the new Ted Turner. He wants to control internet media 100%. I honestly cannot believe that Steve Jobs cares one iota if my Mac crashes, he just wants me to pay Apple for any video I watch that comes from the web.

  • 56 Steve // May 6, 2010 at 3:32 am

    I agree with most of your points. But, it is not a valid argument to blame flash plugin crashes on “authoring error”. The plugin needs to be able to gracefully handle bad input, without taking down the browser. I must admit that I have had my fair share of flash-related crashes on Firefox under Linux.

    I do agree with most of your argument, however.

  • 57 nobody special // May 6, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Meh. You have a few good points (especially the one about html ads being indistinguishable from the web page) but you misunderstand the fundamentals of a lot of things, especially the relationship between Free and cost. Also, it would be a good idea to do a little proofreading and to run a spell checker before hitting the publish button.

  • 58 flappingstuff // May 6, 2010 at 3:36 am

    “Has anyone bothered to tell Steve that HTML5 is a “developing standard” and is not slated to be completely ratified until 2012? HTML5 is by no means a technology we should be putting out there on a large scale yet as.. The standard is likely to change.”

    Actually, the standard very is unlikely to change when it reaches candidate recommendation stage.

    “The Video tag has its purposes. But then again Video in flash also has its purposes too. Both will do some video interfaces better then the other. It depends on the application. The video tag will in general do for 95% of what the web needs. Adobe has never disputed that. They have only tried to make it more innovative to keep it as relevant as possible.”

    What purposes would Flash have that HTML5 video couldn’t cover?

    “Steve is trying to manuvor the online video industry into a position in which they have no option but to sell their soul to Apple.”

    And how is he going to do that? How is promoting HTML5 video putting anyone in a position to sell their soul to Apple?

    “Once Flash materialises this technology coming in 10.1 towards the use of video distribution on the net. Apple will not be able to catch up..”

    Why not? And you are forgetting that it’s not just Apple vs. Adobe here, but Adobe vs. the rest of the industry, including the likes of Microsoft and Google (who both fully intend to support HTML5 video).

  • 59 Paul // May 6, 2010 at 3:36 am

    I think the issue is that Flash is not open its owned by Adobe and only Adobe can effect changes to the source code behind Flash. That would put Apple at Adobe’s mercy, when they update their hardware, Apple would be dependent on Adobe to make that feature available to developers. Why should Apple allow that to happen?

    The problem is you are seeing this only from a Flash developers point of view, not Apple’s and not Apple’s users.

    I think your view is biased, why can’t you learn objective c?

  • 60 Todd Smith // May 6, 2010 at 3:40 am

    I agree with some of your conclusions Jamie and applaud you for reiterating many of the thoughts already present on the net in regards to Job’s letter on Flash.

    I think a few sticking points that counter arguments really need to be pointed out are:

    1. Core Animation was introduced in 10.5 close to 3 years ago. The API’s for using the GPU have been available since then.

    2. Flash on OSX was and is still not up to production standards. I admin over 50 OSX and 1000 linux boxes and 90% of the crashes and freezing problems come from either Flash or CS.

    3. Adobe has offered no public response to the Mac community on why or when Flash will get better (we still don’t have a launch date for 10.1).

    4. The company paradigms are different. Adobe boasts the cross-platform “anyone can use/develop for it” paradigm. This is the approach I have watched Microsoft struggle to implement well and has consistently caused user frustration across the board. Apple’s closed paradigm is more akin to “use our system it just works” and this is definitely the line Job’s is still trying to tow. Moreover its a system that has kept many users happy with their products.

    If you look at Apple sales its not about software, its not about video, its not about the App Store. Those are all corollaries to keeping hardware sales high.

    The truth is mobile hardware sales are driven by the end user experience. If the end user experience fails, you will not get follow through sales when you upgrade the hardware year after year. Moreover the mobile experience what is driving the cool-factor of a device, and cool-factor is a large selling point in mobile markets.

    Now let’s keep it simple. Apple is going to do their best to include everything you need to have an amazing mobile browsing experience in iOS and mobile Safari. Obviously this would include Flash and would certainly include Apple engineers doing their best to make sure the *whole* web is available to their end users (otherwise this would go against the Apple paradigm). Its a given that Flash is horrible on OSX. Its a given that Adobe has taken an immensely long time to produce Cocoa and 64bit CS (if you haven’t followed why that is then there’s some research to do). Its also a given that Adobe has promised a better Flash but not delivered it (still).

    So the debate really comes down to: does Apple support a product that breaks their paradigm and puts their highest profit center at risk by doing so to give their end users the *whole* web experience, do they wait for Adobe to release a Flash player that will operate well within the confines of the mobile web experience, or finally, do they bring their revolutionary product to market and publicly push Adobe into making a better Flash experience by excluding it from their phone?

    I too believe that there is still a market for Flash, but to state anything other than the vastly obvious about why Flash is not included in its current incarnation on Apple mobile products is heresy.

    Adobe has also been deceptive here. It is playing the innocent when in fact it has been very clear to them from the outset that Apple did not want Flash in its current incarnation on its mobile platforms. I’m sure the inclusion of the CS5 flash compiler for iOS was a large attempt (as others on the web have pointed out) to force their hand into that market, of which, given the ease of development in Flash and cross-platform nature of, it certainly would become a dominant force. This leads us to multiple applications on iOS using a runtime binary to implement non-native code. Guess what – each of those applications would have to run their own memory bound copy of that runtime, because it is not included in iOS. Guess what else. Mobile devices are memory bound. Thus this would lead to a massive performance hit in both the current iOS and any future version that would enable multitasking. Again it is simply not in the best interest of the device (and thus the highest profit center) to let this happen UNTIL Flash has proven itself to be efficient in the mobile space. When that happens (and it will hopefully this year), then Job’s can eat his words. Until then however there is no reason to not push the web harder in the direction of JS/CSS and to a much lesser extend HTML5.

  • 61 eliotw // May 6, 2010 at 3:40 am

    So much inaccuracy in your article I can’t force myself to read it all…a couple biggies:

    Most FREE browser support HTML5. It isn’t all Apple iStuff.

    The Core Animation framework was available with Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” in 2007. Adobe’s had a long time to implement it. Not “only recently” as you state. Adobe is slow and lazy.

    And remember to date Adobe doesn’t have a full function flash player released for a mobile platform. That might change soon but until then it’s all vapor-ware. Battery impact is TBD.

    Time to brush up on your HTML5 skills…clients are going to be asking for it instead of Flash because i$$$ from iBuyers matter to them.

  • 62 Matthew // May 6, 2010 at 3:41 am

    I think the argument is more that Flash is not a good mobile web technology, not that it’s not a good web technology. Flash has yet to prove that it works well in a touch-based mobile capacity with modest power usage. If it can prove that with Android and other platforms, that will pressure Apple to capitulate and include it.

    As for excluding 3rd-party compilers for iPad/iPhone apps, I see Apple’s point that if they add new features, and Adobe decides not to implement them in their system, then if many people are using Adobe’s system, these features won’t be available to programmers, and the programs will suffer.

  • 63 Paul // May 6, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Secondly why should Apple or any other company allow Flash to produce multiplatform applications that have the same poor interface across multi-platforms, when Apple’s strength is its user interface.

    You are asking Apple to compete with others and give up its core strength.

    Multi-platform production only helps developers, but it robs users of taking advantage of platform specific strengths.

    As a user that is what I want. Flash takes that experience away from me and I am reduced to have to use a user interface that has to work across the board. Its crap.

    No Flash on my computers, even if its free as in beer.

  • 64 brooklyn binary // May 6, 2010 at 3:53 am

    This is a lot of points, some of which are legitimate, many of which are not.

    The fact is that there are mobile platforms other than Apple’s. They don’t have any of Apple’s restrictions. Yet they don’t have Flash either – why is this? You can blame Apple for the fact we don’t have Flash on iPhone, but the argument rings hollow when Adobe has had every opportunity to produce a viable Flash client on other mobile platforms, and simply hasn’t. How is Apple responsible for this?

    Second, to the point that flash is more open – please cite any example of a rich media website that was uses swf and that was not at any point touched or developed with proprietary Adobe software. I’m not denying that it’s possible, but I don’t think it actually happens. Ever.

    Ironically anyone can code in Obj C. You may not get your apps distributed by Apple – but compare this to the notion that you really do have to pay for the Flash development environment if you want to develop in Flash. Of course you get free distribution.

    Finally, the idea that Apple wants to control video on their platform is probably true, but at the end of the day, they have embraced HTML5 – which allows browser-based video that doesn’t generate revenue for Apple with a %30 percent cut. They’ve also approved *free* apps from Netflix, ABC ,and others that stream live video – which pretty directly undercuts an argument that Apple is somehow resolved to be the one-and-only provider of video content (via apps) on their platform.

  • 65 Flo // May 6, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Not getting into the Adobe vs Apple debate – I do not have much love for either company and their products – but your take on HTML5 is rather questionable to me:

    “The browser will not be able to tell the difference between an ad and the website.”

    It will learn to make that distinction. Fast. A lot of the legwork has already been done in mail spam filters. Adapting this technology to websites will take some time, but it will happen. The arms race between advertisers and the annoyed “audience” will continue, just as it has since the advent of mass media.

  • 66 Matt // May 6, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Perfectly put. Apple is the new Microsoft and Apple no longer represents the underdog minority. I’m not sure if Apple truly represented their “different” brand image before but nowadays it’s clearly a rouse to represent a false lifestyle product. “Think Different” no longer applies. Jobs doesn’t want you to think at all, just do as he says, the way he says it and keep buying shit.

  • 67 Grimwolf // May 6, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Dude, you have so many spelling and factological errors, that I couldn’t finish reading that.

  • 68 Foo // May 6, 2010 at 4:18 am

    If you don’t like Apples products, don’t buy them. If you can only program Flash, iPhone/iPad/iPod are not for you. Get over it, move on, next topic, STFU already.

  • 69 rec9140 // May 6, 2010 at 4:29 am

    As a user who hates flash, and as a developer who despises flash to no end….

    As a non appleboi and actual applehater as far as no flash…. I am 100% in agreement. As for the other nut ball things apple does, no thanks. Their walled off world is one reason apple is not an approved vendor and never will be.

    As for moving to a better online video standard, YES PLEASE ANYTHING ELSE BUT FLASH or h.264! I am with opera and mozilla.. Ogg Theora. Just say NO to flash and h.264! The mpeg gestapo thinks they are about to pull the coup of the century off by hoodwinking the lame sheeple… No! h.264 is more of mess than flash!

    apple, flash, and h.264 can just go the way of the dodo bird and no loss.

  • 70 Paul Avery // May 6, 2010 at 4:30 am

    All I know is that we used flash to create eLearning content only to have it “broken” when Adobe upgraded to Flash 10. They could have cared less but it left us with lotsa work to fix things for our customers. For that, I do not trust Adobe so your biased answers to Jobs biased points fall on deaf ears.

    Punditic ramblings will always lose to actual experiences.

  • 71 Simon // May 6, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Straight to the heart of this issue. Well argued! Web video and this h264 issue is not going away and as Steve Jobs, Adobe, Google all can see there is a lot of money at stake. And courting and controlling that revenue stream is what they are after. Steve Jobs has shareholder to look after, I can’t fault that. But to resort to outright mistruths, FUD, and the murkiness of this h264 codec license scheme, he’s crossed the line.

  • 72 James // May 6, 2010 at 4:32 am

    You are obviously a Flash developer; you don’t care about all the crappy little scroll boxes and don’t know HTML. Try

    next time. is for stuff that cares about white space, like code.

    We real web developers (and the visually impaired, and those who can’t use a mouse, and those who care about battery life, and those who care about the fate of the free Internet, etc) will keep cheering Steve for driving HTML5 adoption and killing Flash. Who cares how Apple handles native apps?

    Also, check your grammar before you self-promote on Slashdot.

  • 73 Your Mom // May 6, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Dearest Jamie,

    You should have come upstairs and let me proof-read your article. The grammar is horrific.


  • 74 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 4:38 am

    The issue here is not the openness of the web.. But the tools and costs to get you to this open web. For Apple you have to purchase expensive iTenchnology. For Adobe, you get a free Flash Player.

    Apple development tools: – Xcode, Interface Builder, Dashcode & many HTML5 authoring tools are free. Your argument doesn’t hold water.

  • 75 E.J. // May 6, 2010 at 4:39 am

    ” this future will need a transaction system and a video distribution system.  Currently we have two options.  Apple and Adobe.”

    There’s nothing stopping anyone from developing a transactional system based on web standards that will work fine on any device from any manufacturer.

    Develop for HTML5, and Apple and Flash are irrelevant, as is any hardware war.

    With Quake running in a browser with HTML5, it’s pretty clear the only thing Flash has over HTML5 are dev tools. And I know Adobe will have those soon enough, because if they don’t, someone else will.

  • 76 Fred Deis // May 6, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Let me tell you why I don’t think Steve lies. As a Mac user and engineer, I hate and despise flash, it makes my lap burn everytime I hit a web page with flash ads, it crashes my browsers either Safari or Firefox, for most of developers, you have to buy the Adobe suite, how many do you think can write flash code and compile? pleez! Flash sucks, Adobe has not put enough into updating or debugging it. I’m better without it.

  • 77 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 4:44 am

    “1. Video, Apple has refused to, until recently, supply the API required to implement it. Flash 10.1 for OSX will have Hardware acceleration as, the API has only just been made available. Steve conveniently failed to mention this. (See Adobe will accelerate Flash video using new Apple API)”
    This API is relatively new, and Apple has been using it internally for less than 9 months, there were many alternative apis Adobe could’ve taken advantage of, but didn’t.

    “2. General flash animation performance. Again, this is because those API;s available for rendering animated content on a web browser are old and not suitable. Adobe has been waiting for better and supported API;s to become available. Again, only recently because of the advent of HTML5 in the browser has Adobe now been able to implement Core Animation for use in Flash Player 10.1 The FlashPlayer development team say OSX flash player is likely to be even more efficient then the Windows version.”
    Core Animation has been available to developers for almost 3 years, Adobe has just adapted it. WOW. As you said yourself – “3 years is really long time”

  • 78 BayouMan // May 6, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Both Adobe and Apple are software companies vying for customers. Apple is also a hardware company, something Adobe is NOT. Of course Apple is going to push its customers toward its own solution. And it really is under NO obligation to adopt Flash at all. Why should it be? Flash is wholly owned by Adobe. It is 100% their revenue source for licensing.

    On the other hand, C, C++, and Objective C are NOT owned or licensed by Apple. They are the required languages. Enabling developers to write once, use anywhere isn’t necessarily in their interest in fact. Apple only has 14.4% of the smartphone market. Total. Yet they’re being attacked as if they are the big dominant player in the US and shutting everybody else out. Well, NEWSFLASH 14.4% is < 85.6% for the rest of the market. The apps are written for 14.4% of the market. Period. It is a different platform with a different OS.

    There are so many things wrongly assumed here. Oh, and not to mention a really wrong word in the 2nd paragraph under Why Does Apple Want to Diplace Flash section: e online video owners, unlike the music industry, are a bit more aware of what Apple is trying to archive.

    Shouldn't it be "achieve"?

  • 79 john k // May 6, 2010 at 4:48 am

    whoa dude, you are really heated. your bias is obvious, and no less deceptive and misleading than that you accuse ‘steve’ of. e.g., if symantec claims that flash has ‘one of the worst’ security records, it’s probably so, yet you flippantly claim without citation that ‘Apple is also know for being one of the slackest when it comes to security fixes’. i can’t claim that i’m dying for html5, because i’m not. i’ve had an iphone for almost 2 years, and haven’t missed flash because i hated it from previous experience. there is no greater web turnoff than going to an all flash-based web site with hidden icons and completely unintuitive interface. or its annoying flash-based ads. flash is for glam not for function, but apple can make it beautiful without the headache of flash.

  • 80 Lee Chisholm // May 6, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Apple’s advantage right now is it’s exclusive apps, and Adobe is threatening to take away the exclusivity. That’s the bottom line in my opinion. If all the best apps are available on all platforms then I don’t see as much reason to purchase the iPhone.

  • 81 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 4:48 am

    “I would say.. Simply because.. Apple has shown little interest in helping Adobe make a reliable and efficient Flash Player and as such, Adobe has shown little interest in fixing these issues.”
    That’s too bad for Adobe, they should’ve tried harder if they take Flash seriously.

    “A tool like Flash Player is only as strong as the foundations they sit on. FlashPlayer OSX sits on the OSX API’s and as such, Apple, by definition and by action is partly responsible.”
    By definition? Give me any platform, i’ll write a crappy app for it, and “by definition” it will be partly platform vendor’s fault.

    OSX API’s are quite robust and can compete with any APIs on any other platform. Be more objective please.

  • 82 ricky // May 6, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Good golly – you have written the equivalent of every crappy Flash animation on the web.

    Just goes to show, Flash itself may not suck, but the people who use it do.

  • 83 T Hughes // May 6, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Why the world allows that dastardly, dishonest villain Steve Jobs to hoodwink the masses into believing outright lies is hard to fathom. It’s just not right !

    Adobe should prove Steve is wrong once and for all by immediately releasing their super efficient, world class Flash player for mobile devices.
    That would be the software that never crashes, has zero effect on battery life, and makes Flash apps and video streaming the most efficient on the planet.

    Adobe has the means to free us from Apple’s tyranny, and bring new meaning to the open and free web.

    So deliver it, Adobe, and free us from this nightmare!

  • 84 pphilipday // May 6, 2010 at 4:56 am

    First off – now not attacking you personally – learn to use a spell checker and grammar checker. I’d have an easier time believing you were a developer – not a tinkerer/hobbyist if you could get basic punctuation right (this tells me you are not using a Mac by the way, as that is built into the core Mac OS). If you code like you write…
    Straightforward questions:
    Is Flash a copyright patented product of Adobe Corp? -Yes

    May I modify the source code for Flash?May I download and use Adobe branded tools for free and create Flash apps? – No

    Has Adobe shown Flash running on any mobile device at all and capable of running practically any Flash site/app (including Flash lite?)
    – Flash is NOT open – it is just widely available. (Players don’t count)
    HTML is open source. No-one stated that HTML 5/H264 is robust, ready to go and ready to replace Flash. However, everything needs a starting point – and that time is now.
    You mentioned the “C” language – don’t use it, do you? C moves between X Box, Mac, Win,Wii and
    iPhone/iPad maintaining 90% of its code – some minor additions and a recompile and my iPhone app is on the XBox – C is open source.
    There are so many factual errors in your rant, I don’t have time to dissect them all. However, calling someone a liar instead of providing direct supporting evidence doesn’t help your position. You are entitled to disagree with decisions companies make, but it doesn’t mean that the decisions are incorrect or illegal. It’s Apples party, if you don’t want to come, no-one is making you. By the way, I have not seen a statement that the DOJ et al are investigating Apple – just “rumours”. Making factual errors ( and stating people are liars – which can be taken as libel or slander – doesn’t help either.

  • 85 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 5:05 am

    “Yes Flash has had some security issues, but like all complex tools, no more then its fair share. Apple, you are just as guilty. Again bad form Steve.”

    Apple has security issues, true. But if something goes wrong, they can fix issues themselves, don’t have to rely on Adobe to do that.

  • 86 NotTellinYou // May 6, 2010 at 5:05 am

    I welcome your view and perspective but as a Mac user I suffer through flash issues every day. On the rare occasion Safari crashes the log shows it was the Flash plug in. Last night in fact I was going through some old humorous TV ad videos I collected though the years, MPG, MOV, WMV, and FLV and sure enough soon after I opened the single Flash movie on my 4 GB Core 2 Duo and soon enough my fans were going full blast. A minite or so after closing the video things when back to normal. Now you have the development experience and I won’t argue that but as a user I’ve always found Flash to be a pig, which may just be a Mac OS issue, but it is an issue for me.

  • 87 An interesting rebuttal of Steve Jobs’ anti-Flash letter » | marked | // May 6, 2010 at 5:22 am

    […] full post: Apples attack on Adobe Flash, its all about online video. (via […]

  • 88 Edward // May 6, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I didn’t need Steve Jobs to tell me flash is horrible and I navigate away from any site based completely upon it. Using flash for video is tolerable, but anything else has always been unacceptable in my book (and every developer I have ever met). The only people that prefer to develop in flash are people who graduated from school with a major in art or photography.

  • 89 Mike Cohen // May 6, 2010 at 5:27 am

    My objection to Flash is the cost of developing with it. XCode & Objective C is free (or $99 to join the developer program). Flash costs at least $500 to buy the necessary software to develop with it. There are no free or less expensive alternatives if we want to write Flash applications.

  • 90 SteveS // May 6, 2010 at 5:31 am


    You claim to be a developer, you seem to have a hard time grasping the difference between a codec and a wrapper container. You’re attack on Apple is based on strawman arguments. For example:

    1. Flash is BOTH closed and proprietary. It is of no benefit to anyone if Flash uses H.264 in some instances as the wrapper is enclosed in a proprietary format which prevents others from implementing it properly.

    2. You complain about having to have a Mac to develop for the iPhone/iPad. Yet, you don’t complain about having to purchase software from Adobe in order to develop in Flash. Apple gives their software tools away for free, but charges for the hardware. Either way, you’re paying for it.

    3. You claim “The issue here is not the openness of the web.. But the tools and costs to get you to this open web. For Apple you have to purchase expensive iTenchnology. For Adobe, you get a free Flash Player.”

    That’s simply wrong. Apple is advocating HTML 5, CSS and Javascript on the web. None of which require “expensive iTechnology” as you call it. Basically, you are lying and twisting the argument where it suits you. If you have an issue with the App store, then make that your issue. If you’re going to defend the use of Flash on the web, then you can’t lie about the requirements to support alternative solutions.

    4. “Flash has been able to play back any standards based MP4 container with H.264 and AAC video, all the way up to HD 1080.”

    True, but the reverse is not true. Meaning, nobody else can play Flash based content because it’s enclosed in a proprietary format. That’s why people don’t want Flash on the web. Vendors don’t want to be dependent upon Adobe for supporting their new OS or web browser, etc. Apple’s position is perfectly valid here.

    5. Regarding efficiency, let’s be honest here. Only very recently has Adobe even “started” to care about performance. As such, yes, 10.1 has made remarkable strides in the right direction. It’s capable of hardware acceleration “in some cases”. But, that’s the problem. Having a proprietary format means each hardware manufacturer is at the mercy of Adobe for gracing their product with such optimizations. Why is it so hard to comprehend the reason companies like Apple wish to take matters into their own hands with performance related issues? Historically, Flash has been horrible in terms of CPU utilization as compared to other equivalents. Pointing to the latest strides where some cases of Flash 10.1 performing competitively is a bit disingenuous considering how long this anti-Flash movement has been going.

    6. “Flash has a right to exist just as Apple has a right to sell locked down iTechnology. However, Steve does not have the right to deceive and slander another company.”

    Yes, Flash has a right to exist. Put it in Kiosks, etc. use it wherever you want, except on the web. Web based content should be OPEN. Period. I don’t want proprietary Apple technology on the web any more than I want proprietary Adobe or Microsoft technology. How would you like it if much of the web migrated to Microsoft’s Silverlight instead of Flash? Oh, sure, then you’d be all over the open content on the web movement. However, since you are a Flash developer, your motives for defending Adobe is quite different. Sorry, you’re a bit transparent here.

    7. “This is a very good example of miss direction. HTML/CSS sites are just as likely to use roll overs as Flash is.”

    You obviously missed the point of the Job’s statement. ANYTHING written for the rollover concept would have to be re-written for touch. It could be re-written in Flash, it could be re-written using standards based tools. Job’s comments were that if you’re going to have to re-write at all, you might as well use that opportunity to embrace open standards. Seems reasonable to me.

    8. “Again, deception. Adobe have not criticised Apple. Adobe employees and specifically Flash evangelists who are most likely working on the Flash to iPhone tools did.”

    Oh Please… spare me. Adobe employees openly blogging about about Apple’s position negatively doesn’t count as Adobe criticizing? What world do you live in? That’s why most companies have blogging policies.

    9. “Flash is the Advertisers big stick they hit us with to make us take notice. ”

    Wow, that’s stooping pretty low. Rather than actually defending why something is right or wrong, you’ve resorted to blaming advertisers??? Pathetic. If that’s the case, you should be praising Apple for changing the rules here and freeing you from this burden.

    10. “One of the biggest misconceptions of many Flash haters is that HTML5 will save their battery and stop the crashes.”

    No, no, no… Once again, but not surprisingly, you’re missing the point. The advantage of HTML 5 / CSS / Javascript solutions is that vendors of web browsers are responsible for their own performance and stability rather than relying on a third party. Flash has had a HORRIBLE track record on both accounts. If one browsers performs poorly, they will be called out. Best of all, customers will have more choice. If I don’t like Explorer’s implementation, I can always use FireFox’s, Chrome’s or even Safari’s, etc.

    11. “Considering the level of deception and properganda Apple is generating, the DOJ would have to get involved at some stage.”

    Umm… no. What you mean to say is that Adobe has formally requested the DOJ (check the news today) to investigate the situation. Given their utter incompetence with handling Microsoft, who’s behavior was completely anti-competitive, I wouldn’t hold your breath on this one. If anything, the focus will be on Apple’s iAd advertising related concerns.

    12. “Steve is trying to manuvor the online video industry into a position in which they have no option but to sell their soul to Apple.”

    Okay, at this point, I have to think you are completely delusional. Yeah, Apple’s push for OPEN STANDARDS on the web somehow equates to selling your soul to Apple??? WTF??

    In Conclusion… I completely get it how you are a Flash developer that sees your livelihood threatened by your skills becoming obsolete. Really, I get it. However, your blog post is short on logic, facts or even common sense, but filled with emotion, deception of your own and strawman arguments.

    In the end, you are essentially trying to make the case that open standards are bad and proprietary content is good on the web. However, as I’ve stated before, if the movement was toward something like Silverlight instead of HTML 5, etc. you’d use the same arguments because you’re just trying to protect your job and all that you know.

    As I’ve very easily demonstrated, your arguments just don’t hold up under examination. Flash served it’s purpose, but its days are numbered. You’re going to have to deal with it. As for Apple, if they were really so threatened by Flash as you suggest, they’d simply buy Adobe and scuttle Flash themselves and still have another $20 Billion+ in the bank. Obviously, they’re confident they don’t need to do that as the market will do it for them. For example, I was just looking at hotels recently for an upcoming trip. What I thought was a Flash animation turned out to be a Javascript dissolve transition for pictures, etc. The change is already happening.

  • 91 Dick Applebaum // May 6, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I posted the following to another forum, but it seems to apply here, too!

    Some additional thoughts on Flash programming for iPhone
    I just started playing with the Flash app and the process of using it to develop and test apps on the iphone.

    Here are some thoughts:

    1) AFAIK, there is no way to test a Flash iPhone app in the iPhone simulator
    2) That means the Flash iPhone must have access to the iPhone SDK (at least for certificates and provisioning profiles)
    3) You compile and save the Flash program to an iPhone ipa file
    4) You drag or double-click to install the app in iTunes
    5) You synch your iPhone to install the app
    6) You may need to manual delete a prior version to get a new version to install
    7) that can be kludgey if you have more apps on the iPhone than can be shown on the display (160 programs)
    8) There is a remote debugger, but I haven’t been able to get it to work
    9) When you start the app on the phone (with the debug code included) you must enter the IP address of the Computer running the Flash Debugger
    10) There doesn’t appear to be any way to write or test an iPad app or universal app (even if Apple did allow Flash)
    11) The Flash iPhone app includes a SWF and an XML file
    12) It is not clear if this is just a regular Flash app (with all the downsides) running on the iPhone
    13) It doesn’t appear that Flash uses the SDK at all (maybe under the covers)

    Steps 3-9 are rather cumbersome for the developer– compared to a single-click to compile, install and debug with the SDK.

    At any given time, there are, likely two versions of the iPhone SDK– the release version and the beta version of the next release.

    By using Flash instead of the SDK, the developer is putting himself at a disadvantage.


    — SDK developers can code for new devices like the iPad or new iPhone before they become available
    — SDK developers can develop test and debug their apps on beta code and have them ready to go when the release is made available
    — Flash developers can only code for released devices (No simulator)
    — Flash developers can only code for the released and supported (by Adobe) version of the iPhone OS
    — Flash developers must wait until the hardware and software are officially released before they can even begin Testing
    — As has been mentioned by others, Adobe [too] must wait for these official releases before they can update (if ever) the Flash IDE to make these new features and devices available to Flash developers.

    The following iis from one of the Flash CS5 help files:


    Some typical iPhone features that are not supported are:
    • Photo selection from file system
    • Contact selection from the address book
    • Camera
    • Cut/copy/paste
    • Accessory support
    • In app purchase support
    • Peer to peer
    • Maps
    • iPod library access
    • Compass
    • Push notifications
    • Audio recording
    • Video recording
    • Parental controls

    Of course because of the huge amount of work involved, and lack of public API access from Apple we have to drop a few Flash features too.

    • Embedded HTML content
    • RTMPE (this was our call)
    • H.264 Video (you can use URLRequest)
    • Dynamically loading SWFs (containing AS3 code)
    • PixelBender

    Finally, my overall impression of using the Flash development system was one of unease. The system appears slow and bloated:

    — There are too many bits and pieces (download manager, install manager, application manager, Flash CS5, Air, Information (help)
    — For example, I selected help, a dialog told me an update was available, clicked update– some app hung the system for a while, then crashed
    — The system reminded of Mac OS 9 (cooperative multitasking– the Flash IDE would hang the system (2.8GHz Core 2 Duo with 4GB RAM). I didn’t see a lot of system activity, but it just seemed to hang
    — When you click the Flash IDE “About Flash”, it scrolled through a list of about 60 main developers… that concerns me
    — What, with meetings and pre-meeting meetings, when do they find time to design, code, test and debug Flash?

    The packaging and interaction of the CS5 Suite makes the entirety appear like a poorly-constructed OS… the individual pieces (apps) may be OK, but the whole is less than the sum of its parts.



  • 92 tlatham // May 6, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I am in agreement with a lot of those things, but I will say MS said it is focusing only on HTML5 in the next iteration of IE so looks like we better bust them out as well.

  • 93 Eric // May 6, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Sorry, but you are twisting the facts to such a tortured degree that your accusation of Apple lying is the height of irony. There’s a difference between opinion and objective reality ( not to mention straw man constructs such as those above).

    BTW, I’m a Flash developer too.

  • 94 Alys // May 6, 2010 at 5:46 am

    The article would have been a lot easier to read if the quotes weren’t embedded in code that requires a horizontal scrollbar. I gave up reading halfway through because I got sick of scrolling repeatedly right then left then right then left… for every quote! Can you change your formatting? Such an inconvenient user interface doesn’t inspire confidence in a blog about digital technology and media.

  • 95 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 5:53 am

    “In Australia, if Apple was located here, would be in very deep trouble. Anti-competative behaviour is illigal no mater if you are a monopoly or not. In the US, these DOJ investigation, altho on the surface, has no real merrit in US law, the DOJ will be compalled to do some type of investigation.”

    Don’t speculate, you’re not a lawyer. Last time I checked, Adobe wasn’t selling any phones or computers, they don’t compete with Apple.

  • 96 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 6:01 am

    “Lets get this straight. Nether are OPEN. They both use open and freely available standards. They both use proprietary standards such as H.264. Steve claiming to be Open is a subjective point. But lets look it from another angle.”

    You missed his point. HTML5 is open, because it’s developed by independent body, not by a single corporation. Flash is not open standard, as only Adobe develops and maintains it. Noone else can add to Flash standard.

  • 97 geabbott // May 6, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Geez, all the people who have spent their energy and angst on this issue. Betting that soon there will be a golf foursome of Apple and Adobe engineers at the behest of the money people and VOILA! an amazing solution for iPhone software and Flash that’s probably been in R&D for months.
    Heh, CEOs = Hot Air

  • 98 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 6:09 am

    “This is why Google and now Microsoft (with its announcement to drop flash from IE9) are so into HTML5. No more blocking the premium animated and most profitable ads.”

    Wrong again. Google doesn’t drop flash (their browser supports flash, and from what i’ve heard it does a better job, than Adobe’s plugin). Google & MS don’t have to drop flash to avoid ad blockers, they just have to tell advertisers to deliver their adverts in HTML5. Simple.

  • 99 edward.nortonek // May 6, 2010 at 6:13 am

    “Producer to consumer with subscription or paid to view will be the future. However, this future will need a transaction system and a video distribution system. Currently we have two options. Apple and Adobe.”

    Owners of Netflix would tend to disagree, as would owners of Spotify and few other services. It’s possible to have paid content in your app without having to pay Apple 30% share of every transaction.

  • 100 Joe R // May 6, 2010 at 6:22 am

    As a fellow developer, I couldn’t agree more. Jobs is spreading lies all over the place, and he’s doing so trusting that his cult will follow wherever he leads. I honestly believe the landscape is different now than in 1990. I believe the folks using Apples aren’t Jobs’ pawns any more. They started using Macs and iPods because they were good at what they did…. it was a great turn around. However, I think that in the final analysis they’ll turn on Jobs for this one. Flash it ubiquitous, powerful, and useful for developers. Objective C and the embryonic standards Jobs is pushing are none of these. APPLE LOVERS UNITE, revolt against Steve on this one!

  • 101 Peter Neal // May 6, 2010 at 6:23 am

    As an Apple user I only know one thing, when flash is activated on a site I visit my CPU goes wild. When I use a Flash Blocker I don’t have that problem.

    Oh and I am using the new 10.1 beta version of Flash, I’m willing to try anything, but to be honest its not made a significant difference.

  • 102 Edward Rudd // May 6, 2010 at 6:25 am

    What I love about Steve’s statemnt that Flash is not “open” is that Apple uses a heck of a lot of PDF support in their OS and applications. Built in PDF viewer, built in PDF generator (probably the best integrated into the print dialog).. And who controls PDF? Wait for it.. Adobe. But Adobe has the specification “open”.. And Adobe even has the specification for Flash “open”. That’s how the several Open source flash viewers and compilers came to be..

    Apple could write their own stinking flash viewer if they wanted to, but they prefer spouting off FUD like this.. I’m one that doesn’t like flash much at all, but this distorted reality field that Steve is trying to push is just ridiculous and unfounded as you have very eloquently pointed out in this article.

  • 103 Web App // May 6, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Lengthy and insightful article, I do agree with the idea Apple crossed a line justice should be watching.

  • 104 M.Derezynski // May 6, 2010 at 6:33 am

    “Imagine a tool box with only a Hammer in it. That is what Steve is trying to justify here”

    This sentence alone made reading this article worthwhile.

    Thank you for this post.

  • 105 DrKoob // May 6, 2010 at 6:34 am

    So why is Flash the number one reason my browser crashes or slows to a crawl and sinse I have installed Click to Flash it has pretty much stopped crashing. Flash is crap. Unfortunately, it is the only crap most of us have.

  • 106 jmz // May 6, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Hi, as someone who has dabbled in both HTML 5 and Flash development, I think you are hitting the nails on the head. However, call me a pedant, I am disappointed that the article often uses “then” when it means “than”. Otherwise, I applaud you for speaking out on the issues. Thanks!

  • 107 Regg Messer // May 6, 2010 at 6:57 am

    What a nice un-bias view for someone with a vested interest. :-)
    It’s gratifying to know that only Apple ever lies or shades the true nature of things and that any company that is, not Apple, is automatically operating in the public interest.

    In the late 1990’s it seemed like all video on the WWW was in REAL formats. Then the Microsoft DRM and encapsulation shortly dominated. And then FLASH/Director. In each case the method that gained the greatest audience was the method that presented the greatest variety.
    HTML 5 is just the next step along that path. Adobe could adapt even now, but chooses to fight because it does not match it’s corporate strategic plans.

    That’s too bad. But I hold out hope that people are waking to the fact that the information they have and the information that they are trying to gain does not belong to the “railroad” in the middle.

  • 108 fustian // May 6, 2010 at 6:58 am

    It’s hard to take you seriously when you start with:

    “Not because either side is wrong, but because Apple is printing lies and falsehood about flash. And, I tend to dislike those who lie.”

    I mean, clearly you must think one side is wrong if they are “printing lies and falsehood”.

    For myself, I hate Flash video. I hate Flash pop-ups, and I find Flash applications unsatisfying, non-standard, and least common denominator.

  • 109 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I am dyslexic, and do my best. Please see through my issue for the content within.

  • 110 anonymous coward // May 6, 2010 at 7:04 am


    This is a very stupid article, you, Adobe lover. It’s obvious, when reading you, that you just don’t understand what an open standard mean. Flash, in no way, is open, and will never be. That’s one of the reason why Ganash has so much difficulties to get on track and be 100% compatible. Shall I remind you that Adobe Flash EULA contains some anti-reverse-engineer clause?

    Job’s a jerk, we know it. It’s been YEARS that we just discard his crap without reading/listening. That doesn’t make Adobe any better, flash any more open or the like. And like it or not, Adobe has the worst security record of all the industry. If Flash is slow on Mac, it’s really THEIR fault (same on Linux, as it doesn’t support any of the available API that does hardware acceleration like OpenGL / SDL / etc.). Saying crap and lies like you do about Adobe wont help anyone.

    You’d better read what the FSF has to say about this issue. It’s so much more well written thAn (with an A, not an E) your piece of shit.

  • 111 morgan // May 6, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Great article, I couldn’t agree more.

  • 112 Brian M // May 6, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Both sides have in fact been using FUD.
    There have been negative comments about Apple, when not all of Flashes performance issues are due to lack of hardware acceleration APIs (ie in non-video playback cases).
    Some of your indications of deception/lies from Steve Jobs are not… at least in the case of the UI design of flash apps… a Flash engineer from Adobe made the same statement about many Flash UIs needing to be redesigned for Touch use.
    The development standpoint… Apple has been there before, when a 3rd party set of tools was required for Mac development, they didn’t always keep up with Apples technology (of course, even now, Apple doesn’t always keep up with their own technology, like Final Cut Pro being out dated) They are not against common code bases (which Objective-C can handle other languages within a project), but a write once, compile to other platforms usually does result in software that doesn’t feel at home in any system (at least I’ve not yet seen any such program that is compiled for multiple OS at the same time without making UI/API changes for each OS, I’d be happy to see a good example of such.)
    I haven’t in fact viewed Adobe’s CTO response because it was posted only in flash.
    I actually don’t mind advertising, and actually like targeted advertising, but have used clicktoflash to cut out Flash, and with a handful of exceptions a week, it just isn’t needed for most of the web that I visit.
    As for performance and battery life of HTML 5 content, this will be something that all browser makers will have to improve, just as they have in the past. And many of the ad block plugins already parse the HTML code, this will not change with HTML5, look for advertising shaped definitions, and block it.

    Your final comments may be partially right about Apple wanting to control…but HTML5/H.264 really doesn’t help Apple control video content on the web. It would only help Apple if they tried to keep video out of HTML spec, so people were more likely to use the iTunes distribution.

    I do think Adobe will make some great HTML5 development tools, no reason to suspect they won’t continue their production of great tools for production professionals, be they print, web or video. I can see a great merging of Dreamweaver & Flash down the road for HTML 5 production.

  • 113 john // May 6, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Great essay. I think you nailed the issue to a degree that I have not seen elsewhere. Of course when people can’t argue against your logic then they will quibble about typos.

    I don’t think MS is dropping Flash in IE9. The above link only states that they will support HTML 5 video. They could not get away with dropping Flash while pushing Silverlight.

    Other than that, thanks for the non-hysterical look at the issue.

  • 114 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Yes, I am dyslexic and I cannot see them. I took up writing a blog to try and improve in this area by doing some writing on a regular basis, however it has not helped much.. How do you think I feel.. being dyslexic make a lot of people give you a hard time.

  • 115 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 7:47 am

    done, thanks. I wrote this late one night and just put it out there.. Thanks for all the comments. Seems to have hit a cord. I did not expect people to read such a LONG post.

  • 116 RasMATaz // May 6, 2010 at 7:49 am

    You make some excellent points but your link doesn’t say that IE9 will not support flash and there are enough typos to be distracting.

    Good article, good read!

  • 117 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 7:50 am

    See this Comment everyone.. Obviously he did not bother even reading the article. Just says the same dribble all over the web in comments about this topic. I wish these people would take the time to actually listen.

  • 118 eatapc // May 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

    You’re wrong about H.264 replacing older forms of Flash. I’m a video editor — TV spots. I continue to get FLV requests asking for On2 VP6. Made 4 of those just this afternoon. My own company’s web people won’t use H.264. I know it’s stupid, but it’s true. Three years is NOT a long time in the IT world. I have big clients that still can’t play Quicktime because their IT departments won’t install it.

  • 119 Jadd // May 6, 2010 at 7:55 am

    “Those who enjoy the ad free internet by using an Ad Blocker or Flash Blocker.. That will be impossible once HTML5 is adopted. The browser will not be able to tell the difference between an ad and the website. ”

    That is so wrong. Ad blockers easily block image and text-based ads already, there’s no reason why they couldn’t block HTML5 ads as well. Ads are usually served from a third-party server, and that’s how one can filter them out. It would be trivial to filter out elements or elements from third-party sites.

  • 120 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I know exactly WHY flash does not play well on a Mac. That is WHY I find Steves Letter turns my stomach.
    Linux is another story where the unsuitability of so may API;s and lack of vendor support is the cause.
    Proprietary OS like OSX and Windows do have a purpose. They go out there and make sure stuff works on it the best it can paying developers to wite the code full time. Leading to the best possible result. Linux does not have that. So linux is poor performance.
    We all have our place, proprietary and open source. Embrace it for what it is.

  • 121 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I just had a quick look. Its a good demonstration of how SLOW HTML5 runs. Flash would burn it. What can I say. If you wanted to make those demos run faster, flash would be a good chose on a web platform. Silverlight would actually be better still..
    I would like to see Silverlight on iTechnology too. As it is better then Flash in many ways.

  • 122 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Please point them out. I am open to different opinions.

  • 123 Yrcimim // May 6, 2010 at 8:13 am

    JamieG, don’t let the grammar- and spell-fanatics get to you. It’s a piece worth reading and I mostly agree with you. The few comments on the issue at hand had no technical merit. The case you mention still stands. Nicely written.

  • 124 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Changing a ULA simply to block a competitor who was working within Apple’s already difficult conditions then stating unfounded and untrue reasons. Thats anti-competitive. Has nothing to do with market share.
    I have never said Flash has a right to be in iTechnology. Thats not my issue. Its Apple’s SPIN and untrue statements. Like I said. Apple can choose to not support flash. But attacking the Flash platform with lies and SPIN is WRONG. Let the best tool win. Let the best business model win.
    I prefer the end user come into this with their eyes open and not blinded by Steve marketing trash pretending to be “good for the end user”. Its dishonest.
    I never said the DOJ would take Apple up on this. But it does set a precedence that could change the way Apple is perceived by the government that would be very bad for Apple.

  • 125 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:20 am

    If you want to make a iTechnology App, you HAVE TO PURCHASE A MAC. Period. If you have a mac fine. You have already paid the Apple tax.
    Flash, any computer and any OS will do. No charge.

  • 126 KatieB // May 6, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I enjoyed reading this. Contained some good nuggets of information and summarized the issues pretty well I thought. People who are desperate to feel superior to those around them like to pick on spelling and grammar. If only they knew how foolish and petty they seem to the rest of us. I feel frustrated that after buying a fairly pricey piece of hardware I’m actively prevented from running the software I want on it (without repeated “jail breaking”). I like the Apple phone, but I will replace it if a competitor comes along that offers as nice an interface without forcing me to go through iTunes and the AppStore to get the software I want. Android may be the thing. We’ll see. As for Adobe, they are here to stay. They make development and creative tools that people need and will continue to need for the foreseeable future.

  • 127 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Please read the post again. I never said I think Apple should allow Flash on the Platform. It is their choice. Any many of the rasons like you say above have merit.
    It is the untruthful statements I have an issue with.

  • 128 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Point 3.. Right on.

  • 129 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:30 am

    When HTML5 is comparative to flash I will. The right tool for the right job.. Learn more tools mate. I have programmed in
    HTML, CSS, javascript, Perl, Pascal, C/C++, Actionscript/Flash/Flex, unix shell, Java. I use the technology that best suits the project.
    HTML5 will only be another tick. And again, it will not completely full the space Flash/Flex fills. To deny this is a sign that you do not completely understand development.

  • 130 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I’ll get it looked at thanks.
    Yes the Adobe IDE tools, FlashCS5 and Flash builder are costly IDE’s. There are also other free and commercial based tools independent of flash that can build apps that work under Flash Player.
    The Free compiler will take your source and make a SWF from it. The point being here is that you could, if you wanted, build upon this to do anything you want. Build a full app, build your own tools etc. Adobe does not have total control as Steve like to put it. That is the point.

  • 131 Kendall // May 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Deep article JamieG, very thought provoking.

    Good points and its true that there is more to this than performance… however I have a hard time believing Apple purposefully kept Flash performance on OSX poor to hide some secret APIs…

    Surely poor flash performance has reflected badly on the platform??

    Both are as bad as each other, Adobe was likely too lazy due to the small market share of Mac, producing something barely passable… now wants in on all the mobile market growth.

    Even on PC flash is a hog it cant be denied. Even if HTML is no better someone needs to come up with MUCH more efficient techniques IMO.

  • 132 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Sorry? Really? I find it very refreshing when a company who obviously has an interest in a technology they sell are willing to say that when its time is up, they will move on. Its honest and reasonable. Completely the opposite of Steve’s letter.

  • 133 W. Anderson // May 6, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Thank you for addressing each individual point made by Steve Jobs open letter, which those of us in the know find disturbing in mis-representation, outright falsehoods and crass technology propaganda, especially if one wishes young people to learn the truth in this arena of technology.

  • 134 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:50 am

    In Australia, if you print statements in the general media that can be proven to be untrue and misleading. You get fined by a government organisation called the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) http://www.accc.gov.au Has nothing to do with market %. You lie, you pay, even if your a small corner store.
    If you are a BIG company, you pay BIG.

  • 135 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I am not interested in learning a programming language that only works on one vendor platform.
    Its a waist of my time. Our applications need to work across platform so learning Objective C is very unlikely.

  • 136 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 9:06 am

    You make a good point in that Adobe is not perfect and has issues. I agree about your comments.
    But again, like many seem to get from the post, I am not saying Steve should allow Flash. Just that he’s reasons for not allowing it are nothing but an attempt to displace flash. They are untrue, misleading.
    I am pleased to see Apple push forward competitive technology to flash. Great. Just don;t lie. Let the best technology win.
    I look forward to seeing what they can do.

    If Apple was a reasonable and this was about what Steve says it is, they would lay down specific levels of acceptance for Flash. Ie, must archive this performance. Fix these bugs and security issues. This has never been done and never will as if it was, Adobe could then archive this level and Apple would be screwed in regard to their smear campaign against Adobe.

  • 137 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Yes mom.

  • 138 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I don’t think the OSX performance issue was planned on either side. Apple and Adobe has history, and a lot of it not great.
    Its has just been overlooked. And is not a convenient topic for Steve to SPIN.

  • 139 Peeved Slobs // May 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Thank you for an insightful post. It is unnerving as a consumer that my options are being dictated by Mr. Jobs. The usual pro-Apple retort is that we are free to buy something else. But why are we not free to see for ourselves how “horrible” Adobe Flash and CS apps are—and decide not to use them? Google, RIMM and all the companies rushing out tablets haven’t jumped on Apple’s bandwagon—I doubt that they’re too scared of Adobe’s clout. On a lesser note, if Jobs is so concerned about premium performance, why are Apple computers only middle-of-the-road for reliabilty?

  • 140 thinking // May 6, 2010 at 10:06 am

    So should all authors write their novels in Esperanto to maximize their audience and profit potential? Or do they risk having someone translate their novels into language they (the author) doesn’t speak?

  • 141 Dick Applebaum // May 6, 2010 at 11:09 am


    Would you post a few links of yours (or others) which you consider to be good Flash sites or Flash apps.

  • 142 Dick Applebaum // May 6, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Here’s an interesting link:


  • 143 Dick Applebaum // May 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

    @JamieG you say:

    “When HTML5 is comparative to flash I will. The right tool for the right job.. Learn more tools mate. I have programmed in
    HTML, CSS, javascript, Perl, Pascal, C/C++, Actionscript/Flash/Flex, unix shell, Java. I use the technology that best suits the project.
    HTML5 will only be another tick. And again, it will not completely full the space Flash/Flex fills. To deny this is a sign that you do not completely understand development.


    “I am not interested in learning a programming language that only works on one vendor platform.
    Its a waist of my time. Our applications need to work across platform so learning Objective C is very unlikely.”

    As others have mentioned. you can do the bulk of your iApp coding in C a language you already know, then tweak the UI to meet the requirement of ant target platform.

    One of Apple’s strength, especially in the mobile area, is a consistent, intuitive and predictable UI. In order to implement that UI you need to code a little Objective-C.

    By definition, Flash with compile-to-binary, does not allow to tweak the code for iApps… thus, unsettling the user of the app.

    Say, you wanted to write a simple notes app that would allow you to copy/paste from say a browser window, or an eMail. How would you do that in Flash for iPhone?

  • 144 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

    This video is old but an example of the Flash App used by our company to control hundreads of Cinema systems around the world. Ie, we are talking about very crash critical Apps. All I can say is thay Flash has ben increadibly stable. We have had some issues but its been more my coding then Flash.
    The interface is designed into the device/C application, but at the same time, you can enter the IP of that device on any web browser and have exactly the same UI experience.

    This Application is COMPLETELY TOUCH BASED. Which Steve implies is not what Flash can do.

  • 145 Dick Applebaum // May 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm


    That’s a very nice app.

    Oddly, the Flash part (the UI) looks very much like an iPad app– though Apple would likely ask you to change it to be more consistent with the iPad UI and HIG,

    I don’t think that Steve said that Flash couldn’t do touch. What he (and Adobe’s CTO) have said is that many Flash sites don’t work well with Touch because they are designed with mouseover, etc., that have no Touch equivalent.

  • 146 Bill T // May 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    all the proof you need re flash resource usage:

  • 147 JamieG // May 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    @Dick Applebaum
    Yes the UI does look a little iTechnology. Tho I created this a LONG time before iTenchology was around.
    ALSO, I have the issue. I want my Apps to be cross platform and LOOK THE SAME. I have just as much right as Steve does to demand this. He has taken that decision away from me.
    I consider that unfair.
    I don;t dictate how he should make his products for his customers. I DO listen to his standards.

    Its a little one sided. But you take iTechnology or leave it. It is up to the individual to decide.

  • 148 Nicolas G.O. // May 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    as stated by other comments, don’t let either fanboys nor grammar nazis get to you, if they can’t cope with spelling mistakes to read an insteresting article such as this one, its their loss, period.

    I agree with most of your points, both companies are in the money making business and they are are going to defend their models/push their agendas vigorously. I hate poor performance of flash as much as any other guy but having Steve dress up like the knight in shinning armour bashing the evil flash away from the iExperience and “pushing” forward a patent emcumbered standard like h.264 because it serves Apple’s needs better is also quite loadsome.

    Apple is all about the best (constricted) user experience and it’s a no-brainer that allowing flash is potentially (very) disruptive. Just seeing how Apple deliberately cripples hw via sw like 1st gen bluetooth or video recording arguing best insterest in battery life is an example, reasons enough for me not to touch it with a ten foot pole.

    Flash has made strides to improve performace, albeit late, but they are comming and if we think about it Nvidia, Google-Android teams, TI and even Intel are working to get it on mobile devices. We might even see them pull it off soon, leaving a lot of folks ( mostly wannabe-cool and hipster tough 😛 ) to reflect on why their iX won’t, regardless of the computing power.

    Bad habbits die hard, many might consider flash a bad habbit, but propper coded flash apps are great and hw accelerated flash for mobiles will come (hope sooner than later) and when it comes I’ll take it mr Jobs, wether you like it or not, because the thing is as a consummer I’d like to make my choices and decide what to run on my phone purchased with my hard earned money, not you.

    something is clearly rotten in the state of cuppertino, they didn’t use to play ball like this now did they?

    …besides best technology doesn’t always win. Betamax blew VCR out of the water but the porn industry and scale economics made VCR the standard.

  • 149 Doug Petrosky // May 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I must just be stupid, but I hate flash video because it plays poorly on my platform of choice and has for 2 decades. Worse yet, I know the data in the flash movie is h.264 which my system plays beautifully! Putting a flash wrapper around a h.264 file reminds me of idiots who copy jpeg into word documents before sending them to me.

    One other thing to think of is why do you think that in the past 3 years Adobe has finally started to make Flash suck less???? Could it be because the most interesting innovative smartphone refused to use it because it sucked????

    Just saying!

  • 150 Walt French // May 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    JamieG is RIGHT!!! Jobs is keeping Flash out of the iPhone browser for business reasons.

    However, you don’t go far enough: Eric Schmidt is keeping Flash out of browsers on Android. Rubenstein kept Flash out of the browser on Palm. Ballmer keeps Flash out of the WinMo6 browser and has said he will not put it into the WinMobile7 browser. RIM (sorry, who’s prexy since Hurd left?) has locked Flash out of Blackberries.

    The whole F**king mobile world is ganging up against Flash for business reasons (how outrageous!), and that reason is…

    Adobe hasn’t yet built a decent plugin that runs full Flash for a single smartphone. Because Adobe hasn’t deigned to produce a “reference design” that can be tested and adapted, smartphone engineers have to somehow out-Adobe Adobe, even though Adobe, with all its resources and incentives, really only makes a decent Flash for the various Windows incarnations.

    So, let’s say you’re Mark Hurd (HP prez). How are you going to amaze the world with your great new WebOS tablet? “Available today, and Flash when Adobe gets around to it, maybe in Version 2… or 3.”

    Consider the Google Nexus: Adobe is giving its engineers a Nexus, we hear, because Google is working hard with Adobe to get Flash on it (unlike “version 1” Android devices, for which Adobe will not attempt Flash 10.1— probably too little RAM and too few available CPU cycles, like 99% of all smartphones now in circulation). Seven months after the Nexus was made available, two things have happened: (1) Adobe has promised a closed beta version, to be followed REAL SOON NOW by the general release; and (2) the Nexus has become obsolete— Google has deprecated the device and is telling customers anxious for all the Google goodness to wait for the HTC Incredible.

    In other words, the smartphone world is so dynamic that top-of-the-line phones go without Flash over their entire lifetimes. Totally without any Jobsian interference.

    JamieG, Flash may look great to you as a developer, but you’re not looking at it from the handset people’s perspective: it’s virtually impossible at this stage of the smartphone business. There are maybe a billion smartphones in use, not one of which has a decent Flash browser on it, so your work ain’t gonna appear on a single one of them.

    Read Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma: (or see Wikipedia’s Disruptive Technology page for the my-time-is-more-valuable-than-a-CEO’s version. Disruptive devices are cheap, low quality and can’t accomplish the work of the devices they replace. Describes the smartphone web experience to a T: slow CPUs, tiny screens, almost no RAM for framebuffers etc, and being sold by the gazillions.

    Except that Apple is now in a race for survival against Google. Google, although a johnny-come-lately, sees how the world is ready for a 3rd generation of smartphone, and has acted in a way that RIM, Nokia, Microsoft and Palm either have not or could not. If you want Flash on Smartphones, better hope that Adobe does better than the stumbling efforts they’ve come up with so far. Apple and Google won’t wait, and with the possible exception of HP, nobody else is worth trying for.

  • 151 Walt French // May 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    My previous screed was about Flash in the mobile browser (not). Regards Flash a a development tool:

    Developers have to be committed to their development platform, and some people have focused on Flash. (My world is science & math; never tried it myself.) You want to leverage your skills.

    But that doesn’t make it a good platform for iProducts. Most importantly, Apple has long and unhappy experience with trying to move developers as their technology changed. Many developers overstayed their welcome in backward-compatibility mode, offering clients slower products that couldn’t exploit Apple’s latest technology. OSX. Intel. Cocoa.

    Adobe, as was alluded above, was one of the developers who practically told its Mac customers to switch over to Windows by offering Mac versions that were 3 years late in 64-bitness (huge speedup for large images), and have a foreign look and feel. Not to say it was a bad business decision by Adobe, but it sure wasn’t done with the thought of forging a forward-looking partnership with Apple.

    Apple, clinging to life, couldn’t do anything other than to offer extra support for that backward compatibility, at the expense of scarce resources to enhance their products. That’s a real killer on a small market share, since your costs are already too high.

    In 2010, the problem is creating new capability that gives them a competitive advantage in their market, not against the mature PC marketplace. And going back to the approach that squelched innovation and almost killed the firm is not just a bad idea: they’ll do hari-kari first.

    In 31 days, Apple is likely to introduce a brand new phone, or maybe three. Rumors have it that it won’t use the same CPU as today’s iPhone. Might not use the A4, whatever that is, that’s in the iPad. And if Apple has learned anything about transitions, their own code development tools (absolutely free for download, BTW) will be perfectly ready to generate compatible programs for the new devices, regardless of the CPU, RAM, screen resolution, new multi-tasking, camera resolutions, etc., WITH JUST A RECOMPILE at worst. In other words, no matter what changes in the next iPhone, there will still be 185,000 apps available for it, essentially on day one.

    Apple will not have to tell any third party their product plans, nor will they have to cajole them to adapt their tools for the new version, nor watch 10% of their store become unavailable for the new products. And Apple, as Jobs said and as you acknowledge, has had bad experience with this (CodeWarrior, a tool that I used) after Moto bought, then got tired of it: developers were left in the lurch and it delayed Apple’s product transition.

    Just as all the smartphone makers can’t afford waiting for Adobe to get Flash running, Apple can’t afford to have its next generation phones put back to square one of application support.

    I’m sure Apple would LOVE to be able to say, “we’re clever enough to get Flash on the iPhone, whereas Microsoft, Palm, Blackberry and the others are not.” That’d be a huge win for them. Same way, they’d love the extra 10,000 or 50,000 apps that it’d have if it let developers work in Flash. But Adobe can’t promise the timeliness and quality that Apple needs. Others only put up with Adobe’s performance because, like Apple in its desperate days, they have no choice.

  • 152 Oliver Lardner // May 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Taking a lot of flack from the Americans over SPELLING… you’d think that the .au in the domain name would be a hint :)

  • 153 Wes // May 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Wow, you’ve started a shitstorm. As an anti walled gardenist (if its not a word it is now) I don’t believe that any company should have the control over what goes on my device and what doesn’t. I feel like what you put on your device is limited by you and the developers that want to support your platform.

    If I bought a desktop computer and it did not come with a keyboard I would be pissed. Then if they were to say that I could never hook up a keyboard to it as the onscreen keyboard is all I will ever need, I would be more pissed.

    Also all you apple fans bashing his grammar, obviously you can’t find a good point to argue. Think about what you say before you become a grammar nazi.

  • 154 PizzaMan // May 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Great article. I have never used digg, but if this article could have been digged, i would have subscribed, just to be able to digg this!

  • 155 Pete // May 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    If Steve Jobs’ letter and Apple’s app policy decisions end up pissing off developers like you from developing for the platform, I am all for it.
    Stick to Adobe, and whoever chooses to support their junk on mobile devices.

  • 156 Matt // May 6, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    @vulpine (35)
    “And this doesn’t begin to mention how Flash has become the leading path for malware to enter the Windows environment specifically, since Flash can be (and is) used to download malicious applications while a video is playing.”

    That’s just plain wrong. Flash is not the most common entry point for malware at all, and never has been.

  • 157 Wayzom // May 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    You mentioned ganash (and meant gnash), which means you do not understand Adobe’s licensing restrictions…

    For whatever reason Adobe tolerates gnash dancing around their licensing, probably because essentially no one uses it. Adobe also ensures that they stay ahead on features.

    There is absolutely nothing open about Flash and the only way to have a current flash player supported on your platform is to have Adobe develop it or pay them to let you develop it. The rest of your article is irrelevant because you do not even have a basic understanding of Flash.

  • 158 Zac // May 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    I mostly agree with Steve. As well as Adobe, Steve has his business reasons but I agree with on the technical. Those that don’t are solely Windows users.

    You are a developer, I am an end user.
    Developers write for end users.
    I do not use Windows.
    I use Linux (Ubuntu) and sometimes Mac.
    So, I have had experience over 3 years of Flash on Linux and Mac.
    The facts from me: Flash implementation is poor. Certainly not the level of year 2010 technology should be at.

    Adobe has only recently getting the latest Flash for Linux, because they have seen a threat, but it is still poor.

    Adobe has concentrated development for Flash on Windows and it shows.

    Now Microsoft is going to help kill Flash with a two pronged assault: with HTML5 and Silverlight.
    Flash days are numbered. You’ll see shortly.

  • 159 Eric Carte // May 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    “Apple is printing lies and falsehood about flash. And, I tend to dislike those who lie.”

    “For Flash, you can use any computer using any operating system, obtain the Flash player for free”

    At this point, I realize that you are no better than Apple and stop reading because you, sir, are a liar. If you disagree, you can take up the argument with my BeOS PC and Nokia Maemo devices which I use regularly and are wholly unsupported for Flash today.

  • 160 Chris // May 7, 2010 at 12:43 am

    I don’t know how this made it to the front page of Slashdot. Well, I can, but it’s ridiculous that it did.

    Aside from your horrible grammar, how can you accuse Apple of finger-pointing when that’s what your whole post consists of?

    I thought this might be a thoughtful, unbiased article, but it’s just another whiny Flash developer crying on the behalf of Adobe. Flash is shit, it’s always been shit, and it’s finally caught up with Adobe.

    Above all, it’s not just Jobs dumping Flash. Soon it will be the entire web. Get with it or get left behind.

  • 161 NixGuy // May 7, 2010 at 12:45 am

    This is just a rant. You need to understand what Steve said and what it all means to us developers. I used to develop on Flash but have moved to Obj-C and C# for each of these platforms. the transition was not too hard. Fact is I look at it as an investment.

    Now about the Flash to iPhone compiler that Adobe proposes is but limited. It will not help play flash content, rather you will be able to develop some apps for the iPhone OS. As Steve says, Adobe will not build in the extended APIs that Apple includes in Flash as it does not make sense for them. Why would Adobe care to include the multi-tasking APIs or how will they do it even. That alone is a reason as a developer, that would keep away from Flash.

    Please stop your FUD and publish an apology to the development community. You are plain wrong.

  • 162 RogerWilco // May 7, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I’m quite an Apple user, but I have to agree with you here. I think Steve should not fight this war. Maybe it is about some nebulous future video market. I think that if Steve wants to shift iPads and iPhones now he should allow Flash and make it them the ultimate internet devices.
    They have iTunes, but fundamentally they are a hardware company and should focus on selling their devices.
    iPads not running Flash will sell a lot less than those that would.

    P.S. But please fix your spelling, it’s horrible. I’m not a native speaker and even I noticed.

  • 163 Dick Applebaum // May 7, 2010 at 2:36 am


    You said:

    “Yes the UI does look a little iTechnology. Tho I created this a LONG time before iTenchology was around.
    ALSO, I have the issue. I want my Apps to be cross platform and LOOK THE SAME. I have just as much right as Steve does to demand this.”

    I agree with this:

    You, for style, consistency or efficiency reasons want your apps to look the same across apps and platforms.

    SJ, for, the same reasons wants apps on the Apple platform to have the same look and feel as other apps on the Apple platform. He, likely has other reasons, but lets just examine the look and feel issue for the moment.

    I think you both have valid points and rights.


    1) There are certain apps that, by their nature, are mostly device and platform independent: Koi Pond and mGarden on the iPhone are 2 of these– Their UI is totally within the app and they display beautifully on all iDevices regardless of screen size. These apps are easily ported among the various screen resolutions and sizes with in the iPlatform, and should be easily ported to other platforms (as long as they have OpenGL and GPUs).

    2) Another class of apps does not scale well– the UI (mostly platform-provided) for a small screen doesn’t look good when magnified 2x for the larger screen. But, even then, the app needs to be redesigned to exploit the larger screen: For example: an eMail app (or any other drill-down app) has enough room to display 2 levels/columns, say a list of message headers on the left, and the selected email on the right. To make this consistent within the larger screen apps, Apple has provided an API that makes this easy to implement, whether the screen is displayed in landscape (2 side-by-side columns) or portrait (1 column with a popover). It is more difficult to make this app work within the iApp platform, it would be much more difficult to make this work across platforms.

    3) Still another class of app is depends on hardware features, UI constructs, or software APIs. For example, apps requiring a camera, compass, OpenGL version, etc. would not make sense to port to devices/platforms without the requisite features.

    Lets discuss #2 because they are the nub of the issue. One way to resolve the cross-platform issue is to write the code for the lowest common denominator– the smaller screen size with a single-column visible and each drill-down replaces the prior one. If you use the platform UI and APIs, this would work for today’s iPhones and iPod Touches, but not so much for the iPad. If you don’t use the platform UI and APIs, you need to do the heavy lifting within the app and then it would not be consistent with other apps within the platform. Both of these LCD solutions are what SJ wants to avoid– not exploiting the platform; inconsistent look and feel within the platform. As an aside, if these LCD apps were allowed, they would be at a disadvantage because they wouldn’t show/play well with other apps on the platform.

    So, lets look at what else you said:

    “He has taken that decision away from me.
    I consider that unfair.
    I don;t dictate how he should make his products for his customers. I DO listen to his standards. Its a little one sided. But you take iTechnology or leave it. It is up to the individual to decide.”

    I agree that, to an extent, he has taken the decision away from you– I f you want to distribute apps through the iApp store, you must make them look and feel like the other apps:

    But here, I believe SJ has every right to protect his platform and be fair to the thousands of developers who write apps that conform to the platform requirements, and millions of customers who use the appa..

    So, does that mean that there is no way to resolve this?

    Maybe so, maybe no.

    One option is to write the apps the way you want, and distribute them for JailBroken devices.

    But lets take the #1 case above– an app that is platform/device independent.

    Your d-Cinema Flash example [somewhat] fits this category.

    I could see an app like that running on a iPad.

    But, because it doesn’t conform to Apple’s recent requirements, you’d never get it through the app store approval process.

    What if the d-Cinema people came to you and said:

    We want to offer a portable version of our device, that could be used as:
    1) a wireless local or remote control for the full device
    2) a small device that could be used, in the field, to gather and display content.
    3) We want it to run on a iPad

    You might be able to use the Flash app (with some modification) if:

    1) the CS5 iPhone implementation supports everything you need in the iPad *


    2) you, or the d-cinema people became an enterprise developer (500 employees) http://developer.apple.com/programs/iphone/enterprise/


    3) you do ad hoc distribution outside the app store (limited to 100 devices)


    3) you write a compliant base app and do an in-app purchase of the Flash content (probably shaky ground here)


    4) petition Apple for special dispensation (app store or enterprise developer) — if you can show them what you want to do, and why, they may allow it


    5) Give in and write a compliant app
    —most of your design should apply
    —much of the ActionScript may port easily to C
    —Apple’s InterFace Builder component of the SDK provides a GUI to design the UI

    I admit that there are a lot of “ifs” here, but if it is worth doing, it is worth finding a way to do it!


    * I posted this previously, but here it is again for your vonvenience

    The following iis from one of the Flash CS5 help files:


    Some typical iPhone features that are not supported are:
    • Photo selection from file system
    • Contact selection from the address book
    • Camera
    • Cut/copy/paste
    • Accessory support
    • In app purchase support
    • Peer to peer
    • Maps
    • iPod library access
    • Compass
    • Push notifications
    • Audio recording
    • Video recording
    • Parental controls

    Of course because of the huge amount of work involved, and lack of public API access from Apple we have to drop a few Flash features too.

    • Embedded HTML content
    • RTMPE (this was our call)
    • H.264 Video (you can use URLRequest)
    • Dynamically loading SWFs (containing AS3 code)
    • PixelBender

  • 164 danny // May 7, 2010 at 3:34 am

    despite the fact that this reads like it was typed out on a smartphone, I nonetheless appreciated your analysis, thanks for sharing.

  • 165 Joseph Gier // May 7, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I thought the post was excellent however I do not agree with everything that was written. I do believe that Jobs et al have every right to decide what software that will be run on the devices he sells. The company will have to accept the consequences of his actions; good or bad.
    I don’t like the trash talking that is being done. It is not about standards or openness. It is about experience and reliability. There is a lot of bad flash programming done. I believe that most of the performance sapping flash is a result of poor programming practices. Good flash programs are mindful of it footprint in the programming space and are well behaved and stable.
    I do have another problem with the chorus of wannabe grammar and spelling police critical of the posts content because of a few errors; stop nitpicking and read the post. If you are intelligent enough to pick out the errors, you are intelligent enough to understand the content. Only then can you make an honest contribution in your commentary.

  • 166 JamieG // May 7, 2010 at 8:47 am

    @Dick Applebaum Thanks man. This is the type of stuff I would prefer to be hearing from Apple. Like I said, I think Apple has a right not to allow Flash, but the reasons given are not correct.
    The reasons above are much more resonable and stand up by themselves.

    Great Comment.

  • 167 Deception As Business Practice [Apple’s attack on Adobe Flash, it’s all about online video.] | myopiclunacy.com // May 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

    […] As a Apple user who may be reading this blog entry (And congratulations if you got this far), consider your relationship with your Apple products.  You have just been told your friend is deceptive and will lie to you to get what he wants from you.  How would this go down if this was your partner or best friend? via crafted.com.au […]

  • 168 Apple, Trying To Take Over the World // May 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

    […] a software developer, explains Apple’s intentions on his blog after dissecting Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts About Flash” letter: […]

  • 169 Nicksinthemix // May 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Christ people are real dicks about spelling and grammar here. This author is obviously passionate enough to write IN SERIOUS DEPTH about a topic dear to him. The errors increased towards the end, suggesting the fact that he was rushing and BUSY as opposed to simply pencilling in redrafts between wanks like a lot of the blogging world.

    JamieG I salute you. I’m no development expert but you’re describing something psychologically familiar and it fits in very well with Steve’s character. He’s been credited with having a tremendously special understanding of what the average person wants from a device and this is despite being very, very clever. But the fact of the matter is that he is not the average person.

    As a sickeningly intelligent businessman, Steve Jobs looks like he’ll manage to reshape the internet in terms of Apple’s commercial success. The result will be a different kind of internet. I’ve already mentioned the bloggers, well Steve’s recent statement that ‘people who want porn can buy android phones’ must raise eyebrows there. It might be your thing or it might not but the internet is the kind of place that just makes it available anyway. The rules are very loose, really. Complain about some of the more lurid elements if you wish, but it will all come down to a free speech argument. Our society seems to think it’s worth letting people use their voices even if that does sometimes create hassle. That’s not the world I see in Steve’s intentions.

    Don’t take this too literally. I’m not talking about rights to porn, I’m talking about the way the net has evolved to reflect a degree of freedom in society. Freedom in both the ‘free speech’ sense and in the ‘freedom not to pay sense’. As you point out Jamie, a lot of apple’s intentions stem from trying to change the way material is shared. But do we really want to go back to the days of radio when large swathes of people simply didn’t know about much music outside the charts? We have record companies moaning about loss of profits. What a pity that their ‘product’ has to change but if you want to sell shit to people how have to option to get something else then you deserve to go bankrupt.

    In a similar vein, how many people have launched careers through stealing high end software? If Steve has his way, more today than tomorrow and this will set a trend in reverse. Do these companies make their software to sell to the 90% of curious users who don’t make a career out of multimedia production? No, they sell to their industry, the size of which has ballooned since the advent of torrents made these avenues available.

    What’s really interesting is the clear call you make:

    ” “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.”

    This goes both ways Steve. But obviously in your mind, Apple is the only company that can “Inovate”.”

    That is an absolutely solid criticism and I think it really shows the man’s true colours. Jobs has a really interesting approach to development that involves young engineers dedicating 16 hour days for months in secrecy. It’s a proven formula that leads to high end products. They boast an impressively wide reaching ‘core functionality’ (as opposed to a chaotic Microsoft-esque multitude of ‘features’). Kudos to Steve. I pay a hefty bill for my iPhone because I find nothing else matches the UX. I appreciate that greatly but the internet will be fucking ruined if that’s the way it goes for everything.

    Be warned, Steve’s aim is to make the internet profitable for Apple in a way that means locking it down. It will be a new level of monopolisation. Horay! Video vendors will have more control over the rights to their content, but they’ll have to play ball with a fat 30% chunk to Apple. It will start to look more and more like a deal with the devil.

    But that’s will just be one stage in a cycle. Eventually, Apple will be criticised in the way Microsoft has been. Poor old Steve (God rest his soul) will probably be long gone. What remains to be seen is how far his influence will extend and judging by the type of deception here, it could get ugly.

    Thanks for spelling out these deceptions from the point of view of a developer. You’re absolutely right, this is a PR campaign aimed at the users who don’t experience the back end. I would say it is indeed frustrating.

    It’s a bit like the Wild West. The territory has been discovered and the goldrushes are happening right now. But when the fields of the republic are rolled out in full, will we have a dictatorship or a will we have a series of wars between superpowers? There’s always the possibility that cyberspace will remain as it always has been but Steve wants to bring it into the modern era. More and more private information will be on the line and if information is power, then lets hope it doesn’t end up in the hands of a small amount of a few psycho tech-geniuses like Jobs.

  • 170 Kettle // May 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm


    Never end a sentence with a preposition. As for the rest of the grammar police, it’s poor argumentation to draw conclusions about the subject matter from irrelevant causes. “His grammar is poor therefore the propositions are false” is a logical fallacy. Kudos to those who raised valid counterpoints instead of acting like raving Apple fanboys.

  • 171 JamieG // May 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for those who see the content for the spelling/grammar problems.

    But right now I would like to say to most who have responded that.. Bravo.
    Same fantastic viewpoints. Many that make me reconsider some of my own.
    This has been an amazing thread to read.

    Thanks for all the input.

  • 172 Taras // May 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Great article, thank you!

    Also, Steve banned Java together with Flash in their iXxx, it is an open source! Hypocrite!

  • 173 H.264 y HTML5, cuando todo comienza a tener sentido « alcordances // May 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    […] un post muy interesante de James Gardiner explicando por qué el verdadero motivo de Apple contra Flash no es otra cosa que el control del […]

  • 174 Maxi Sosa | H.264 y HTML5, cuando todo comienza a tener sentido | // Jun 3, 2010 at 4:57 am

    […] un post muy interesante de James Gardiner explicando por qué el verdadero motivo de Apple contra Flash no es otra cosa que el control del […]

  • 175 iOS 4 on 3GS: First Look | Smoji // Jun 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    […] And for all of you who thought Steve Job’s bashing of Adobe was a good thing…read this…please: http://www.crafted.com.au/blog/2010/05/05/apples-attack-on-adobe-flash-its-all-about-online-video/ […]

  • 176 Apple, Trying To Take Over the World » The Edge of Shadow // Jun 27, 2010 at 10:34 am

    […] a software developer, explains Apple’s intentions on his blog after dissecting Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts About Flash” letter: […]

  • 177 Christopher Kelly // Aug 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I think the Flash developers need to visit local computer stores. The majority of IBM compatible PCs have the 64-bit Windows pre-installed and set to run 64-bit compatible software (including the Internet Explorer – 64 bit versions). Many corporate clients have also standardised on this architecture.

    As Adobe have not and probably never will have a Flash Player for this platform, many Flash developers will find their work will dry up as their clients demand animations that run on the new 64-bit architecture and look for alternatives. If they want to preserve their jobs, they’d better stop wingeing about Apple and start lobbying Adobe.

  • 178 Michael // Aug 29, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Just to let you know, JamieG, you’re entirely wrong on AT LEAST one point (many more besides, not to mention, as one poster noted, your complete ad hominem attacks and lack of any sort of logic): Apple’s developer tools are COMPLETELY free, and while registration is required to download them (that’s if you don’t just install the tools from the install disk that comes with every Macintosh), it too is FREE. Therefore, developing for iPhone/Mac/iPad/whatever is completely FREE, with regard to the tools used to do so.

    On the other hand, how much is ANY version of Adobe Creative Suite? Photoshop alone is upwards of $500USD, and Flash CS4/CS5, while I’m not entirely sure how much it is, I’m sure it’s right on up there. So, which platform is free to develop for, and which isn’t?

    Also, Steve Jobs never even TRIED to say that Apple makes only non-proprietary tech. Adobe is the company that has been trying to present themselves as “open,” which they are obviously not, by any stretch of the imagination. Just because a product is ubiquitous, and because you can download a free player for it, does NOT make it FREE, OPEN, or anything of the sort. Also, I would like an example of ANYTHING free OR open (open source, perhaps) that Adobe creates. Apple both uses AND creates free AND open source programs and products. Who is closer to being open?

    While I understand the reasoning behind your ideas and points, most of them are completely misguided. You would do well to research Apple’s and Adobe’s history, and their motivations a little bit more, next time.

    I will say that (misspellings and grammar aside :) ), you do a decent job of getting your point across, and it’s not your fault that I don’t agree with it.

    — Michael

  • 179 errosseChonse // Jan 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Hypothecate, they expostulate on to be taught that filing lawsuits is not the perverted to overuse gamy piracy. Moderately than, it’s to footstep something satisfaction than piracy. Like placidity of use. It’s unqualifiedly a fortuity easier to employing iTunes than to search the Internet with danger of malware and then crappy righteousness, but if people are expected to restore as regards loads and lacuna preferably of ages, it’s not profit to work. They lone would sooner a squat heyday in deception of people generate software and Get on sites that fabricate it ridiculously insouciant to corsair, and up the quality. If that happens, then there specify be no stopping piracy. But they’re too discerning and nervous of losing. Risks suffer with to be bewitched!


  • 180 wso software // Mar 10, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Ι could not resist commenting. Well written!

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