Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software Apple

Adobe's iPhone Hail Mary 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-you-believe-in-miracles dept.
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions whether the move to port Flash to the iPhone isn't a last-ditch effort on Adobe's part to remain relevant in the quickly evolving smartphone market. By allowing developers to compile existing Flash apps into native binaries, Adobe believes it has found a way around Apple's requirements that no non-Apple API interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an app, a clause that has also prevented Sun from porting JVM to the iPhone. The resulting apps will be completely stand-alone, with no runtimes and no Flash Player required — if Apple lets Adobe get away with it, no small feat given how protective Apple has been about its app market. But as much as Apple has at stake here, Adobe may actually have more, McAllister writes. 'Already the idea of using Web languages and tools to build smartphone applications is taking hold. Palm has built an entire smartphone platform around the idea. Apple supports the use of Web technologies like AJAX to build applications based on the iPhone's Safari browser. And developers will soon even be able to build Web-based applications for BlackBerry handsets, thanks to a new SDK from Research in Motion. As late to the game as it is, what Adobe needs now is to convince developers that Flash is better than the other options — and that could be a tough sell.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Adobe's iPhone Hail Mary

Comments Filter:
  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday October 10, 2009 @08:13AM (#29702787) Journal

    Flash might be great for action games, but I'd really like to see support for PHP in some mobile phone. There's already PHP-GTK [php.net] and several other frameworks that let you do it in Windows/Linux. Powerful, and still easily learned and used language would make wonders in mobile development (man does Symbian C++ suck) and because PHP has so many functions and api's build-in, it would be easy to program lots of things quickly for your phone.

    • Flash might be great for action games, but I'd really like to see support for PHP in some mobile phone. There's already PHP-GTK [php.net] and several other frameworks that let you do it in Windows/Linux. Powerful, and still easily learned and used language would make wonders in mobile development (man does Symbian C++ suck) and because PHP has so many functions and api's build-in, it would be easy to program lots of things quickly for your phone.

      There are many problems with PHP in the scenario you describe (and many others):

      1. The existing implementation is very slow. Heck, it's slower than Ruby, much less Python or Perl! On the web, this can be kinda-fixed by caching, but for a desktop application there's no such dirty tricks available.

      2. Its "many built-in functions and APIs" are an extremely inconsistent mess. Part of it is to blame for the lack of namespaces until recently. Another part is for the fact that most APIs are really, really old, and

  • by nahdude812 (88157) * on Saturday October 10, 2009 @08:15AM (#29702791) Homepage

    It's not a "last ditch effort" to remain relevant. It's just Adobe continuing the tradition of ubiquity of their platform. Apple won't let them put a runtime on the phone, so they'll deploy native code instead.

    Apple supports the use of Web technologies like AJAX to build applications based on the iPhone's Safari browser.

    Sorry, but there's a big difference between an AJAX app and a native app. Try writing a browser based graphical game on the iPhone; it's going to fall on its face pretty quickly.

    for BlackBerry handsets, thanks to a new SDK from Research in Motion.

    Hmm, convince developers to learn a whole new SDK for a single platform, when they can stick with a mature language and toolset they already know, deploy it in the browser, on the desktop (via Air), and on basically every phone on the planet that can run custom apps, including the BlackBerry?

    Sorry, this whole article is bunk. Adobe isn't struggling with relevance, they're just making sure it doesn't start to slip, as Apple is so strongly trying to make it. In fact, this probably backfired on Apple a bit - Flash apps running as a native binary will probably have access to device functions which the normal Flash runtime wouldn't have.

    Adobe needs now is to convince developers that Flash is better than the other options — and that could be a tough sell

    I'm guessing this sale has already been made. A lot of developers like working in Flash. Actionscript is a surprisingly elegant language. Based on the number of Flash apps which already turn up all over the web, a whole new segment of developers are seeing this as access to a development platform which was previously closed to them.

    • by ojintoad (1310811)
      I agree with most of your skepticism of this article.

      Sorry, but there's a big difference between an AJAX app and a native app.

      Certainly, this is true, but that doesn't mean the technologies of an AJAX app can't be used to develop an app on a native platform. Appcelerator's Titanium [appcelerator.com] is a platform that specifically compiles down javascript, css, and html into an application that can run on the Android or the IPhone, with promises for more platforms on the way. I actually found that to be a glaring omissio

      • by nahdude812 (88157) *

        Javascript is an OK language, but it doesn't really have anything ActionScript doesn't have. They're both based on ECMA Script, so the syntax is similar. They both have event systems.

        ActionScript has strong typing as an option (though you can elect to go with weak typing if you wish), implicit getters and setters for properties (eg, function get foo():String { return this._foo; } function set foo(newFoo:String):void { if (newFoo != 'bar') this._foo = newFoo; }) which allow you to start adding data validat

        • by ojintoad (1310811)
          Can't figure out a way to Private Message, I guess Slashdot doesn't have a system for that. Would be curious if you have any recommended ActionScript reading/reference? Or would the nearest O'Reilly book do? (Yes, I could google, but personal inquiry is the shortest distance to a quality resource; google could give me anything.) Was not aware that ActionScript had those features.
          • by Ilgaz (86384)

            Adobe shipped "Adobe Media Player" on Air platform and they recently converted it to "Adobe TV" which gives free videos/TV shows to Developers, designers and so on. I just checked and it has some Actionscript stuff.

            As Adobe Air is available for all OS, better check it out http://www.adobe.com/products/mediaplayer/ [adobe.com]

          • by nahdude812 (88157) *

            Yeah, there's no PM system here. I'm sorry to say I don't have any dead tree books to offer advice on. I learned ActionScript in the 1.0 days and have advanced my knowledge each time the language advances mostly through either in-program Help files or online documentation.

            Today I'm working on connections to and passing data around in Flash Media Server. I'm working my way through examples in the documentation that comes with Flash Media Server, and Googling for more details on specific methods and their

        • by mad.frog (525085)

          On a side note, not sure why my parent post got marked as Troll; I'm guessing someone has a beef with the politically based comments I posted yesterday in a different thread, and is trying to punish me here.

          Nah, more likely it's because Adobe is a company that it's currently fashionable to bash in the open-source community, and on Slashdot in particular.

          And it's *definitely* unfashionable to say good things about Flash -- heavens, it's not open source!

    • by jo42 (227475)

      In fewer words, all Adobe is doing is greatly reducing the bar for 'developers' to put even more crap on far more devices. No frikkin' thanks.

      • by gaspyy (514539)

        I'm sorry, but based on the quality of quite a few offerings currently on Apple's app store, I don't see how it could get any worse.

        As for lowering the bar... sure, if it were by me, I'd made a requirement for all code to be written in assembly but I don't see how it's Adobe's fault for creating a platform fun to develop on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      Indeed. Whilst Flash and Java may have some drawbacks, the advantage of cross-platform applications is huge. With desktop computing, we had to go through the painful ordeal in the 80s and 90s where every platform were incompatible, making it a pain both for developers and users. Finally we've got to a stage where most platforms run the same code - but only due to having a monopoly platform of Windows, running on only Intel CPUs or clones; not because of any standardisation (well, PC hardware is now standard

      • by ensignyu (417022)

        I think part of the appeal of the iPhone to developers (not me, I don't like the iPhone personally) besides the large market, is that when you develop an app, it looks exactly the same on every iPhone. You don't have to worry about screen size or hardware capabilities. There's some divergence now since the iPhone 3GS is considerably faster than the older iPhones, but it's not nearly as big a difference as other phones.

        Android has a similar problem to the old JavaME model. You have to design for the lowest c

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by beelsebob (529313)

      The whole premise of the article is bullshit too. The article seems to be suggesting that apple are trying to restrict the APIs you write apps with, what they're actually trying to do is to stop you downloading random malicious code and running it, without it going through their checks.

      I'm pretty sure apple will be rather happy about the fact that now *even more* developers can write apps for the iPhone.

    • Try writing a browser based graphical game on the iPhone; it's going to fall on its face pretty quickly.

      I'm wondering if HTML5 SVG support is going to change that? Also, I'm wondering if HTML5 is going to have a stripped down version of HTML5 on mobile phones (just like Adobe has Flash Lite -- a stripped down & older version of Flash to put on mobile phones)?

      One thing that Flash does have is excellent video-codec support... I'm sure that this isn't about to change soon, but even there I'm wondering, some of the browsers-makers have been hard at work trying to build better video support directly into thei

    • I've got a question that I haven't seen raised yet, maybe I've just missed it.

      The company I work for produces online training courses, usually written using Flash. We've delivered some of our courses in the past for use on PDA devices.

      If one of our customers asks for their course to be delivered to the iPhone, what are our options? Is the only way to get one of these loaded to post it in the app store? Would it be possible to load a Flash course like this onto an out-of-the-box iPhone without making the

      • by nahdude812 (88157) *

        You're wandering out of my area of expertise, but the way I understand it, if it's a corporate deployment, it's possible to have an internal corporate app store, and I think it's even possible to push apps to phones (so they'll have an icon on their springboard for the training without having to go explicitly install it).

        If you're talking about a public deployment, then you could push your app through the App Store like any other.

        With Flash, you should be able to have it load training materials from an Inte

    • by rsborg (111459)

      Sorry, but there's a big difference between an AJAX app and a native app. Try writing a browser based graphical game on the iPhone; it's going to fall on its face pretty quickly.

      Sorry, this is hyperbole. Lots of decent (though not immersive) games written for iPhone in-browser use before the iPhone SDK came out; During that time I had my iPhone2G, my sister would often play these web games and said there were better than anything on her blackberry phone as far as gaming went.

      And that was back in 2007 befo

  • Adobe has to scramble now because otherwise the gadget makers will invest in GNU gnash [gnu.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Yes, that would be a real shame for Adobe. People would be replacing a free Adobe product with an open source program to run content created with... Adobe's $700/seat authoring tools. The only reason that Adobe spends money developing the Flash player is so that they have a platform that runs (almost) everywhere and works with their authoring tools. If Gnash (which can't even handle relatively simple things like iPlayer yet) achieves 100% compatibility with Flash Player, then it just saves Adobe money su
      • And if when we have software to play the format, do you think it will be long before we have software to write it?

        Oh, but free software will never have a desktop, ah.. graphical web broswer, ah.. office suite, ah.. Flash player, ah... Flash writer. Yeh, that's the application that progress will never reach.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ojintoad (1310811)
          Adobe controls the spec. They keep on adding on new functionality in a way that has to be reverse engineered, so that there is a lag time between when they have developer tools for it and the free software makers have developer tools for it. That has a direct impact on first to market opportunity for new functionality for developers, meaning that the free software version is mostly irrelevant if developers want to stay competitive. Does that sound possible?
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @09:09AM (#29702995) Journal

          The Flash specification has been open for people writing authoring tools, but not people writing players, for over ten years. There are a few other flash authoring tools besides the Adobe ones. Hardly anyone uses them, because Macromedia / Adobe Flash is much better, and for most Flash developers / artists it doesn't cost much in terms of hourly rate (and can be offset against income for tax purposes anyway).

          Flash is in the same sort of market as Photoshop. The GIMP does more than the average user needs, but it doesn't do what the person willing to pay $500-1000 for a piece of software needs. There will almost certainly be open source things for creating flash apps (there are a few things that output flash already), but none are in the market where Adobe is and wants to be.

      • Just to let you know, I recently became aware of Silex [silex-ria.org], a competitor to Adobe's Flash creation suite. It appears to have recently gone from commercial license to Open Source. I'm not a Flash developer, no have no idea how good it is. Anyone?

    • I have, had to use Gnash on PPC Linux, on a very high end PPC G5 (quad G5) with 4+ GB of RAM. In fact, that was when I lost my hope about PPC/Linux. That Linux distro I used was entirely designed for PPC/Apple for almost a decade so I can't really claim it was badly packaged etc.

        Are you serious that Gnash is/can be an alternative to Flash? Ever used/experienced Flash Lite 3 on a high end ARM Symbian phone such as N95, new N97?

  • It's about the tools (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @08:21AM (#29702827) Journal

    The flash player is a nice Smalltalk VM with a PostScript-like vector drawing model. It's a (very nice) incremental evolution of the Smalltalk 80 system. The Flash authoring app, however, is one of the best rapid application development tools on the market today. You can do everything that Flash can do with JavaScript, the canvas tag, and SVG, but there aren't (yet) any development tools that are anywhere near as nice as Flash for this environment.

    Adobe doesn't make much money from the Flash player; they give away the desktop one and sell the mobile one to OEMs quite cheaply. In contrast, they charge $700 for a license for the developer tools. A lot of money, but not much in comparison to the cost of the person using them.

    In the long term, the flash player will probably go away. They've already made some first steps towards this, donating the ActionScript VM to the Mozilla project, and producing things like AIR which let you run Flash apps as stand-alone binaries. I wouldn't be surprised if future versions of the Adobe Flash can target HTML5 as well as the Flash plugin, and eventually just HTML6 or a native environment.

    • by gaspyy (514539)

      You can do everything that Flash can do with JavaScript, the canvas tag, and SVG, but there aren't (yet) any development tools that are anywhere near as nice as Flash for this environment.

      Not only that, but based on some demos from Adobe MAX, the next version of Dreamweaver will support the canvas tag while Illustrator (and most likely Flash) will be able to output to SVG, so you'll be able to use their tools to create HTML5 content.

      They don't care what you prefer, as long as you're using their tools to del

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Illustrator has supported SVG for years. Adobe was one of the main companies behind SVGs creation. They completely dropped it when they bought Macromedia.

        SVG was infact, Adobe's plan to compete with Macromedia until they purchased them.

        Since then, Adobe has made it VERY clear they have no intention of supporting web standards, everything they do for the web is a proprietary version of an open standard. I don't think adobe did any of it first, unless you include postscript and pdf.

        They do care what you pr

        • by mad.frog (525085)

          Adobe has made it VERY clear they have no intention of supporting web standards

          [citation needed]

          Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop... all about as web-standard-supporting as it gets.

          Flash's ActionScript3 was spec'ed to an early draft of the (sadly torpedoed) EcmaScript4 spec.

        • Finally, SVG support in browsers sucks complete ass. ... Add animation or interactivity too it and you are in for a freaking world of pain.

          Eh, it's not that bad for interactivity. Simple things like the FindTheCountry [myopera.com] interactive geography quiz done entirely in one SVG file, and interactive map layers [carto.net] work in all good (non-IE) browsers. Animation through SMIL support seems pretty limited, but nowadays people are more likely to modify the SVG directly using DOM calls.

          The <canvas> tag gets all the

    • by Tanaric (868318)
      Very few people use the Flash IDE for serious development. Code is contained per animation frame which is absolute hell for anything more complicated than a single button banner ad, and Flash IDE files are completely unmergable via source control tools. The only people using the Flash IDE are banner ad developers and cartoon developers (of which there are surprisingly many -- even broadcast animations are often done in Flash these days, and then exported to Quicktime for delivery). If you're making games o
    • by ash211 (1177227)
      TheRaven64, I'm interested to find out that Adobe's Flash Player is implemented in a Smalltalk VM, but couldn't find any verification of this. Do you have any links showing the Smalltalk connection to the flash player?
      • ActionScript is a dialect of JavaScript adding support for classes. JavaScript is a based on Self, but with Java-like syntax. Self is a derivative of Smalltalk that removed classes. Once you strip away the syntax (which you do before you get to the VM level) from ActionScript you get something that is semantically equivalent to Smalltalk; a pure OO environment with auto-boxing of primitive types, single-inheritance for classes, dynamic, late-bound, message sending and garbage collection. The main differ
  • by AndyJ (5954)

    I was really struggling getting my head round the iPhone Dev Kit.

    In a fraction of the time, I have learnt Actioscript 3.0 and have workable code up and running. It is SO much easier.

    I, for one, can't wait for CS5 now.

    A.

    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      +1 insigtful You may call it a symptomn of irrelivance to be making a way to port your app for smartphones, but it does mean that flash-devs can make apps for many more people without needing to learn all the new SDKs
    • by mgblst (80109)

      I still hate flash, but picked up the iPhone sdk very quickly.

      Of course, this is not the point, the fact is that there is now an extra way to produce apps for the iPhone, which is a good thing.

      Of course, someone dissected the app, and it is a horrible binary. But that can be improved.

  • Compiling Flash for iPhone isn't about replacing existing tools for experienced developers. What it will do is lower the barrier for entry and ensure that a new flood of crap will now be available to run on iphone.
    • I got a iPod touch for free and let me tell you, Objective C and Cocoa requirement doesn't stop people from releasing crap anyway.

      I was wondering why there are so many iPhone app review sites, catalogs while I didn't have the device. Now I understand, it is worse than J2ME in signal to crap ratio, that is why you need some people to hunt down good stuff for you.

  • techinically have a problem with this. As far as I understand the reason apple does n't allow virtual machines is because it allows a "back door" allowing you to potentially bypass the App store by loading new programs into the VM and there is no possibility of that with this as there is no VM. The only other issue is that these were not directly developed with the Apple SDK in ObjectiveC.

    As a move by Adobe I think is actually a very, very good idea and would be even better if they created options for Sym

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 10, 2009 @09:21AM (#29703061)

    "A tough sell." Really? Lets see. Write the same app for 4 different phones, then one for general web, or write it once with flash via a great toolset.

    Not noted above is Adobe's announcement that flash 10.1 will be out in a few short months. The speed improvements and memory management are astonishing. Also most if not all smart phone OS will be using it except iphone. They demo'd watching movie trailers, playing games and video conferencing directly from android and existing web sites. Being able to save down to iphone app is great, and lowers barrier to entry (who wants to do objective C?) but the larger topic is how iphone was leader of pack and is about to get outpaced by Android (as per many reports predict). Hell even RIM is getting on the flash bandwagon.

    The holy grail is for us to not have to worry about what the damn phone is. Instead we can write great apps and they can be used anywhere the screensize makes sense. Computers (in browser and desktop app), phones, set top boxes for TV's, netbooks, appliances, etc. This is what Flash is about to let us do. Theoretically anyway.

    And no HTML5 can't do everything Flash can do YET. Least not write once and run on many OS, platforms and browsers. HTML5 will be great when it is a viable option no doubt, but it isn't. Not yet and not in the next few years due to fighting amongst the browser decision makers.

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      One must add that people calling themselves a "pro" or "advanced" developer must install Adobe Air to their OS (all supported) and run some non trivial application such as the stuff Adobe advertises. No worries, it is easily uninstalled later.

      While trialing those apps, they should imagine what if the same application can ship for anything, down to TV set top boxes with couple of tweaks and the time people asking for a lite version of their game, app on their smart devices.

      It is just some small download I ta

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Being able to save down to iphone app is great, and lowers barrier to entry (who wants to do objective C?) but the larger topic is how iphone was leader of pack and is about to get outpaced by Android (as per many reports predict).

      Call me when this becomes reality. I heard the same swooning over Android over it's mediocre release. And the Zune for years.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Adobe is claiming that a few apps already on the store were built this way. Here's a guy that disassembled one of these apps and did a writeup:

    http://devwhy.blogspot.com/2009/10/flash-on-iphone.html

    • by jcr (53032)

      The author of that blog, BTW, is an ex-Apple engineer, and one of the smartest people I met when I worked there. He's one of the people I'd go to if I need help with Shark or other performance tools.

      -jcr

  • Recently, Mono was ported to Apple iPhone claiming to carry Apple requirements. That is "almost" .NET for iPhone, a framework which has nothing to do with Cocoa and if you ask me, it is the perfect trojan of MS for iPhone.
    http://www.mono-project.com/Mono:Iphone [mono-project.com]

    If Apple says "but this is workaround", they will simply show dozens of .NET apps ported via Mono. Also Novell has a little to harm Apple on Pro Desktop but Adobe can do real evil things without Apple able to do anything against it. They can say "We h

  • Any decient game engine should be using the GPU by default, but it seems that Flash for iPhone has some sort of problem with that:

    http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Applications_for_iPhone#Can_applications_take_advantage_of_hardware_acceleration.3F [adobe.com]

    "Can applications take advantage of hardware acceleration?

    Yes. In some cases, the rendering of Flash content will be hardware accelerated.
    We will publish more information on this when we release the public beta. "

    "In some cases"?
    There shouldn't even be any discu

  • Why does Adobe have to stay "relevant" in the iPhone market?

  • last-ditch effort on Adobe's part to remain relevant in the quickly evolving smartphone market.

    The real question is how long Apple will remain relevant in the quickly evolving smartphone market, given how its "smarts" are limited by Apple's controls.

    • Sadly, they are achieving ever greater relevance.

      While consumer demand can sometimes drive great things (consumer demand for porn brought us the cheap vcr)it can also be a very reckless driver.

      Apple fanbois will always exist, just as will the carbon copy "alternative" crowd.

      The larger danger is Apple becoming the defacto smart phone standard, while dragging it abusive business practices along.

      I don't really blame Apple - just like MS they're just a squirrel trying to get their nut.

      I blame the other smart ph

      • by jipn4 (1367823)

        I don't see Apple becoming the de-facto smartphone standard; I think they're going to remain stuck in the single digits worldwide. Not only is the iPhone hugely expensive, it has too many limitations: no keyboard, proprietary protocols and lack of interoperability, limited software offerings, no interchangeable batteries, non-standard connectors, etc.

        • by Smurf (7981)

          I don't see Apple becoming the de-facto smartphone standard; I think they're going to remain stuck in the single digits worldwide.

          Hummm.... 14% of the worldwide market share and 23% in the US [businessinsider.com] is not single digits....

          Perhaps you are thinking about the overall cellphone market share? In that case it is certainly in the single digits.

  • There are already compiled-from-Flash iPhone OS apps available in the app store. Apple has a deserved reputation for being hyper-controlling in many areas around the iPhone, but this isn't one of them. They don't care about the history of your code, as long as the final compiled version meets the iPhone requirements. Flash isn't the only language that's been ported, either -- there are tools that will turn your Java and .Net code into iPhone apps as well.

    Of course, the ported apps tend to suck, because th

  • if Apple lets Adobe get away with it, no small feat given how protective Apple has been about its app market.

    There are already application made in Flash in the app store(list [adobe.com])

  • Let's face it, Macromedia's (Director, Flash, etc.) products have always been clunky and inefficient. Even on the desktop platforms, it takes a lot of processor power. The Flash plug-in can be pretty flaky, I think it's the cause of most of the browser crashes I experience. Usually scroll boxes implemented in flash don't recognize the mouse scroll wheel.

  • This could result in the merging of a lot of things and much saved pain in porting for programmers. Windows sidebars/gadgets, iGoogle gadgets and phone aps all supporting the same format? That would be genius. You could have the same todo list and clock and w/e anywhere you go. All this has lots of lovely standards and with a little effort all phones could implement them. The merging of markets would be a GREAT thing for aps because the quality (of the best) would rise dramatically. It would also allow for
  • I can't see how this would solve much. Sure, you could easily port Flash Apps to the iphone, but I don't think this addresses Flash that's embedded in web pages. For example, I've built several websites that have embedded flash. There's no way I'm going to go to all of the trouble to make an iPhone-compatible website which presumably would involve compiling flash for the iphone and editing the HTML.

    Even still, it seems improbable that there'd be a mechanism to execute iphone apps imbedded in web pages.

  • by cybereal (621599) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @03:54PM (#29705617) Homepage

    There's a major misinterpretation of the situation regarding interpreted languages on the iPhone. Apple has absolutely no qualms about interpreted languages used on the device. In fact, a huge number of games are built around lua-based game libraries. It's a no-brainer! All you have to do is ensure a user can't add and execute arbitrary scripts by way of downloading them later.

    The issue here is getting the right balance to make it through the review process. See, your game could allow for added levels for free down the road, a totally acceptable (and relatively common) occurrence. It's entirely okay if those levels are composed by your scripting language. What isn't okay is if the game will execute arbitrary scripting, to essentially distribute a target platform as an app. That's about where the line is drawn. This could be seen with the final result of the commodore 64 emulator app. They couldn't enable basic but they can allow for delivery of additional games, which are obviously interpreted. A developer might choose to use an encryption scheme or signing scheme to ensure they only execute gamescripts that should be, for example.

    This relates to flash because there's nothing stopping adobe from porting the flash engine and making it possible to export individual iPhone apps that include it and execute some flash game that is packaged in with the app so long as that game can't randomly pull in more flash to execute. Of course, if you could compile the entire flash application to native code that would be more ideal in the general case assuming you have no consistency of execution problems. But that's not always the best idea. Take java, for example. Its design causes a complete native compilation effort to result in worse performance and lower reliability because the runtime optimization of the JVM is more effective than static code optimizations.

    Anyway, I guess my point is that the limitations about virtual machines and script languages aren't quite what is popularly regurgitated. The issues with the iPhone and these technologies is one of post-app-install delivery of arbitrary code execution. It's not a problem with the use of VM/Script itself.

    • Take java, for example. Its design causes a complete native compilation effort to result in worse performance and lower reliability because the runtime optimization of the JVM is more effective than static code optimizations.

      Can you give any examples of specific Java features that cause worse performance in AOT compilation compared to JIT?

      Note: please don't explain how HotSpot works, I know that already. But all optimizations it applies, like escape analysis, are equally applicable to virtually any other statically typed imperative language out there, so claiming that Java the language is somehow designed for JIT, and would work slower with AOT, is, IMO, rather disingenuous.

  • You know, the iPhone is old stuff. The new phones with Android and especially Maemo will soon surpass it in usability and features. The Maemo browser is something terrific: Mozilla-based, and just as functional as a desktop browser. check out this impressive demo [youtube.com]. BTW, I'm not in any way affiliated with Nokia. I'm just very enthousiastic about the Nokia N900. Finally something that blows the iPhone away!

  • There are already apps available for purchase or download from the App Store that hae been made with this technology:

    The applications are: Digg Pics, South Park Avatar Creator [apple.com], Chroma Circuit [apple.com], Just Letters [apple.com], Trading Stuff [apple.com], Red Hood [apple.com], Fickleblox [apple.com], and That Roach Game [apple.com].

  • Some devs will develop apps in Flash and compile them for the iPhone, and other developers who care about efficiency, speed and elegance will code native apps. There are a lot of crap apps on the App Store and this possibly lowers the bar to getting a quick app up there. Now that the goldrush seems to be over, an explosion in crap apps will probably not be noticed amongst the noise that's already there.

    I'm sure we'll see some good apps made with this technology that possibly wouldn't have made it to market

  • Made up words for things that aren't standards. At least Flash and AS3 have published specs. And for anyone who thinks writing Javascript is better than using Flash Builder 4.. you should really try it.

    FWIW: Don't work for Adobe, have no stake in their products success. I just like Flex Builder/Flash Builder.. It's the least painful web development environment yet except for RTMP/et all.

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. -- Errol Flynn Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. -- Errol Flynn

Working...