Thoughts on Apple vs. Adobe

By on April 30, 2010 8:43 am

There’s really no obvious “winner” in the Apple vs. Adobe spat. While both sides make some good points, they miss the mark on many details as well.

First, Steve, we appreciate your bold Thoughts on Flash, but a few comments:

  • Steve, Apple did not invent WebKit… you rewrote Konqueror and KHTML. Give credit where credit is due.
  • H.264 is not truly open.
  • Your app store review process is anything but open.
  • Tools to generate source code that can be deployed to the app store should not be discouraged. Either the app passes or fails in a quality review process that you need to open.
  • Flash exists because while the open web is great, it’s not perfect and there are still things that are easier to do with Flash’s development tools (this from a major open web supporter).
  • The lack of true APIs for native features on the phone for web developers has been holding us back for three years. Camera, GPS, geolocation, native graphics acceleration, address book, etc. iPhone OS 4.0 helps a bit, but it’s way overdue.
  • Give open web developers access to the things they need to make the native app development process less important.

Unfortunately, Adobe’s CEO did himself no favors in his Interview with the Wall Street Journal:

  • Developers already have multiple workflows.
  • Don’t make excuses and pass the buck on Flash’s performance problems on Mac OSX. Where’s the proof?
  • One set of developer tools but support for all platforms is convenient for Adobe or Microsoft. Real developers mix and match tools rather than locking into a single vendor stack.
  • Your tool stack isn’t open, so you really can’t complain. Unless you offer a decompile option, it’s hard to judge the quality of your generated application code. Your history of quality generated code leaves me skeptical.
  • Flash being an open spec. is a misuse of the term open. Where’s the competing plug-in?
  • The Adobe stack should innovate to support the open web as another platform, per your logic, and my advice. See PhoneGap as a great example of working more openly to solve similar problems.
  • Overall, your view is that everything you deploy to should be open, except for your tool stack. We disagree.