Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Apr 2010 16:59 UTC
Editorial Holier-than-thou, an adjective, meaning "marked by an air of superior piety or morality". Everybody has moments in their life where they get into a "holier-than-thou" attitude, and I think Steve Jobs' open letter regarding Adobe, and Flash in particular, really fits the bill. There are three specific points I want to address to illustrate just how holier-than-thou, hypocritical, and misleading this letter really is.
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Not so sure
by elsewhere on Thu 29th Apr 2010 20:10 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

I don't know if I buy the licensing fee issue; I could see that in their dismissal of theora, but they still collect a license fee from Adobe for flash anyways. Besides, Apple is only one stakeholder in a very large pool and H.264 is relatively cheap to license, and capped, so while I imagine the royalty pool is not an insignificant amount of money, I suspect Apple's annual take is but a drop in their financial bucket.

Agree whole heartedly on the iTunes issue. I have always felt his stance on Flash and frameworks was hypocritical, since iTunes on Windows seems designed only to exaggerate the issue. Why am I importing OSX into Windows as a framework for a synching app? Why am I installing a number of different services running in the background? If this is part of an attempt to export the "OSX experience" to Windows users, it's failed miserably in my case.

And QuickTime? *shudder*

I see the benefit to HTML 5 and think it's ultimately the right direction to head in, but I also think that Flash is far more entrenched than people think and dismissing it is foolhardy. Most of the complaints about flash relate to it's abuse as an ad banner system, or poor unaccelerated performance etc, and are perfectly valid. But I've also seen Flash used as a framework for a number of in-house corporate applications, training software, etc. I've even seen Flash used as a Webex/Livemeeting alternative for conference calls, and it worked very well. It's a powerful tool when used properly and not abusively, and is a far more mature technology for developers.

I'm sure that many of the big content companies will bow down and start delivering video in an iPad friendly format, and that's not a bad thing. But I don't think the game designers, corporate developers, assorted media developers etc. are going to drop Flash any time soon.

The other thing that strikes me is that Jobs keeps referring to flash as a closed, proprietary technology. Proprietary, maybe, but Adobe has published the spec and Apple would be free to implement a "better" Flash if they wanted to, one optimized for OSX and providing a better experience. The reality is that they don't want any one outside of Cupertino leveraging the platform in a way they can't control. IMHO, that is the ultimate reason that Mac lost their first-to-market advantage to Windows, and the ultimate reason that they will wind up losing their first-to-market advantage with the iPhone/iPad. That type of control simply cannot scale to a larger market with more widely varying requirements.

Personally, I've never felt the need for Flash on my mobile. But with Jobs baring his teeth now, I'm actually interested to see how well it's going to run on my N1. *IF* Adobe can actually pull it off and have it perform well, it could give Android a significant edge as a development platform. That will be interesting to see. While I can see numerous areas where Android lacks the refinement of the iPhone, I can also see that it has substantial potential. Wasn't sure how I was going to like my Nexus, but I haven't felt tempted to pop the SIM back into my 3GS since I bought it, so I'm hoping to see it gain even more traction.

Just my 2c.

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