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This just in -- Steve Jobs HATES Flash. He expressed his dislike of the platform in a reply to an frustrated Apple developer.  (Source: Business Insider)
Jobs is drinking more Flash hatorade

The Tao Effect, an Apple-focused software company maintains a blog where they banter about programming and chime in about issues effecting Apple developers.  On Friday the site's Greg Slepak wrote a post blasting Apple's new policy (in the iPhone SDK 3.3.1 terms) that iPhone apps can only be developed in C, C++, or Objective-C, essentially disallowing direct (linker-based) ports of Flash apps to the iPhone.

Along with the post, Greg took the unusual move of emailing Apple CEO Steve Jobs  Jobs occasionally responds personally to Apple customers or the media, but it seemed unlikely that anything would come of it.  

Surprisingly, Jobs quickly replied, pointing Slepnak to a post by the
Daring Fireball's John Gruber, which offered to justification for the move.  Writes Jobs:

We think John Gruber’s post is very insightful and not negative:

http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/why_apple_changed_section_331" rel="nofollow

Steve

Slepnak was shocked to receive a response, but quickly replied:

Sorry. I didn’t catch that post, but I finished it just now.

I still think it undermines Apple. You didn’t need this clause to get to where you are now with the iPhone’s market share, adding it just makes people lose respect for you and run for the hills, as a commenter to that article stated:

"So what Apple does not want is for some other company to establish a de facto standard software platform on top of Cocoa Touch. Not Adobe’s Flash. Not .NET (through MonoTouch). If that were to happen, there’s no lock-in advantage.”

And that makes Apple evil. At least, it does in the sense that Google uses the term in “don’t be evil” – I believe pg translated “evil” as something along the lines of “trying to compete by means other than making the best product and marketing it honestly."

From a developer’s point of view, you’re limiting creativity itself. Gruber is wrong, there are plenty of [applications] written using cross-platform frameworks that are amazing, that he himself has praised. Mozilla’s Firefox just being one of them.

I don’t think Apple has much to gain with 3.3.1, quite the opposite actually.

Amazingly, Jobs responded yet a second time (within 3 minutes), stating:

We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.

So there you have it -- an official response from Apple's CEO himself on why Apple is disallowing Flash and other third-party intermediaries.  Ultimately, the response is pretty predictable, given Jobs' past rants about Flash being "buggy" and crashing Mac computers and vowing it would never touch the iPhone (or iPad). 

Furthermore, Slepnak was referring to Adobe's software that would directly port Flash Apps to a binary using iPhone API calls (with no Flash involved in the final product).  That makes it almost seem like Jobs is claiming the Flash development tools themselves (not just the implementation) somehow inherently yield inferiors apps. 

An Adobe employee has already responded to Apple, in an unofficial statement, telling Apple to "Go screw” itself.



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RE: we've been there before?
By geekforhire on 4/12/2010 10:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
Gentlemen,

After reading the Gruber post, I found that he makes some really good points. The responding posters are entitled to disagree with his points, but they unfortunately misrepresent the points that are made with plain language, and laugh at him as being a pinhead who makes stupid points as if their prose were some self evident truth that all the cool kids naturally get.

The problem with the "everything should be free" model is that it is difficult to be sustained beyond the fad phase.

You may not like the idea of content being placed behind a "paywall", but the fact remains that there is a cost in producing intelligent and interesting content that doesn't sound like an echo chamber. And the enterprise that presented that content needs to make a profit in order to survive, and thereby be more likely to again produce intelligent and interesting content.

Remember that Google is more than sustained by advertising revenue, by positioning itself as the simultaneous presenter of the advertisement, the collector of advertising fees, and payor of advertisement income at a lower rate.

Free Market forces can sometimes have interesting and unpredictable results.


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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