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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: This is about stopping apps for other platforms
By kobymu on 4/13/2010 2:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
I agree.

Of all possible explanation (that may or may not be mutually exclusive), I think the vendor lock-in argument is probably the most likely reason (and/or the heaviest in weight).

quote:
I hope there is a large developer backlash.


There is already _first order_ backlash from this, i.e. vocal dissension. In the long run, it is the second order dissension that is going to hurt Apple.

It is very difficult to sustain vendor lock-in. It usually requires en ecosystems in which there is justification for significant initial, and/or accumulated over years investment.

And iPhone and iPad are not mainframes! Quiet the opposite. they are in the "shake it or lose it" type of market.

At a certain point in time, the market(s) in which the iPhone and the iPad plays in, will stabilize, and from that point on, unless Apple will command a very substantial market share, developers will simply shift their attainment to the other platforms where they will be able to consolidate efforts.

This decision will hurt Apple in the long run, one way or another.

koby


By kobymu on 4/13/2010 2:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
^ lots of spelling mistakes there.


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