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
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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.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not so sure
by nt_jerkface on Thu 29th Apr 2010 20:36 in reply to "Not so sure"
nt_jerkface Member since:

Personally, I've never felt the need for Flash on my mobile.

Really? I can't count the number of times that I came across a website that had a Flash video as part of the content. This is especially true for news and blog sites.

The funny thing is that I would still buy itunes games and movie rentals if I had Flash. It's a very convenient service and has a great library. So I'm a little insulted that Father Jobs wants to protect me from Flash content under false pretenses.

I'd also like to get iTunes off my computer at some point so I'm waiting for the phone 7 series. The Zune software is great, one of the best reasons to own a Zune actually. Too bad MS has slacked in the phone department in the last 5 years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not so sure
by Morty on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:15 in reply to "Not so sure"
Morty Member since:

And QuickTime? *shudder*

Definitely, and it was a blessing to all Internet users that it did not become de facto standard system for multimedia streaming, when that technology war was running way back. Both Microsofts offering and that particular DRM ridden crapware from Apple lost, to RealPlayer as it were. Adding video capabilities to Flash combined with wide distribution, made it possible for it to sweep in and snatch the lead position for video with RealPlayers decline. Again denying QuickTime.

Good thing Jobs is not known to carry grudges, other wise one could be led to believe it was more than economic motives behind his attacks on Flash. Ehh sorry! That should have been: concerns for the user experience.

Reply Parent Score: 4