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
John Gruber, which offered to justification for the move.
think John Gruber’s post is very insightful and not
was shocked to receive a response, but quickly replied:
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.
Jobs responded yet a second time (within 3 minutes), stating:
been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and
the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the
progress of the platform.
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.
quote: I hope there is a large developer backlash.