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Is Apple's Attack On Flash Really About Video? 595

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the makes-a-lot-of-sense dept.
jamiegau writes "Here we have a long and in-depth blog post analyzing the faults in Steve Jobs's Letter about Flash. The writer concludes with an interesting idea that it is all about online video."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is Apple's Attack On Flash Really About Video?

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  • Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:50AM (#32098192) Journal

    It also makes sense with Flash games. Apple has tons of games it sells in the market place. If people could just play free Flash games (and there would be a lot more of them created), Apple wouldn't get so much $$$$$.

    I know someone comes to say that most Flash games require mouse and keyboard, but that doesn't make any sense. Obviously the games would be created specially for iPhone and iPad. Just like theres such Flash games for Wii [wiiplayable.com].

    • Re:Games too (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drachenstern (160456) <drachenstern@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:54AM (#32098250) Journal

      I think the primary complaint (at least for me) for most flash games is the on hover effect. How do you replicate that with a touch interface? Now we have all sorts of wild gestures, so it reduces the simplicity.

      If you can resolve that, I might reconsider my personal stance.

      • Re:Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:57AM (#32098314) Homepage Journal

        I think the primary complaint (at least for me) for most flash games is the on hover effect. How do you replicate that with a touch interface? Now we have all sorts of wild gestures, so it reduces the simplicity.

        So Apple hasn't already solved this for the billion or so webpages that use hover effects? That must suck.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Doesn't seem to be a problem for most sites I encounter. Any decent web dev should be developing sites that still work without hover, the same way they should work as much as possible without CSS or JS.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Jaxim (858185)
            There are many HTML/JS only sites that do not work for these new touch devices because the developers are still stuck in the mouse click/hover mindset. Same holds true for Flash sites/games. Like HTML/JS developers, Flash Developers also need to be mindful to ensure that their creations work on these new touch devices. Developers need to make tweeks to existing code. There shouldn't be a need to rewrite a site/game from scratch just because one individual deems it so.
        • Re:Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cowscows (103644) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @11:58AM (#32100664) Journal

          The solution that they have is that the first tap reads as a hover, and the second tap reads as a click. And yes it does suck. It's a pain, but it's just barely useable for browsing through menus or whatever. But as for a low latency input such that a game might require, it would not work at all.

          This isn't just a problem inherent to Apple, it's inherent in the differences between a touch interface and a mouse driven interface. The reality is that websites/applications/whatever that want to work on both types of interfaces are going to have to come up with a design that doesn't rely on the hover effect, or settle for the fact that it'll be cumbersome and crappy on a touch screen.

          • Re:Games too (Score:4, Informative)

            by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @11:52PM (#32108116)

            The solution that they have is that the first tap reads as a hover, and the second tap reads as a click

            No,

            Tap and hold counts as hover, tap counts as click. Android has implemented this system from the start and is is quite easy to use. Amongst Android users it's known as "tap and hold" or the "long click" and is often used in lieu of a second mouse button (Android really is a phone sized computer, so it requires a "Windows XP" level of literacy to operate).

            Is this level of sophistication beyond the Iphone?

            But really, anyone who still claims the war on Flash is anything else then Apple maintaining dictatorial control over what runs on their Iphone is beyond deluded.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GameboyRMH (1153867)

          In Maemo's MicroB browser you just drag from the left edge of the screen to get a cursor, then you can do pretty much everything you can do with a mouse.

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        It really wouldn't be that hard (from an interface standpoint) to modify/create flash games that are designed specifically for a touch interface.

        Take a game series like Diablo, or Torchlight. Different gestures could be used as a shortcut for different things (such as switching weapon configs, hotkeys for different spells, etc), or you could just make the interface conducive to two-handing it (one hand for movement and fighting/magic, the other for interface manipulation)

        Obviously, there are certain genres

    • Re:Games too (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:55AM (#32098276) Homepage

      Not sure why you got modded down...games are a huge part of why Apple won't allow it. Places like Newgrounds, Kongregate, etc...they would be filled with games that worked on the iPad and iPhone, yet would be free...meaning Apple wouldn't get their cut.

      They don't want you gardening outside of their walls, especially if the plants are "given" to you for nothing. They can claim security and stability (which are valid points), but it all comes down to money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheKidWho (705796)

        This argument fails because Apple makes barely any profit on the App market itself.

        They make all of their profit on selling the Devices themselves.

        • Re:Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:01AM (#32098392) Homepage

          This argument fails because Apple makes barely any profit on the App market itself.

          To paraphrase Dr. Seuss (and subsequently send him spinning in his grave), a profit is a profit no matter how small.

        • by jaymz666 (34050)

          The lock-in to the app market makes the devices harder to move away from.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by uglyduckling (103926)
            Can you explain how that's any different from the other smartphones, or indeed any general-purpose OS? I bought a bunch of apps for my Palm TX, guess what - they don't work on my new (non-Palm) phone. Very few software companies support free cross-grading of apps from one OS to another - about the only large company I ever remember supporting that were Macromedia who usually put Windows and Mac executables on the same CD, but that's stopped since Adobe bought them up.
        • Re:Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:16AM (#32098710)

          So why not sell the apps without a cut?

          http://gorumors.com/crunchies/how-much-money-does-apple-make-from-app-store/ [gorumors.com] - suggests they make anywhere between 240-440 million dollars a year off the app store. Vs. Zero if people just played games on Flash websites.

          Many app-store games are former flash website games too...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nine-times (778537)

            Apple still needs to run the app store. That requires a datacenter for the servers and a lot of bandwidth. It requires an IT staff to maintain those servers, and designers and software engineers to maintain the store itself. It requires customer service reps to answer complaints, another team to analyze and approve apps and service developers, and a legal team to analyze all the legal implications of all of those things. Then it requires some management time to keep all of those people working together.

        • Re:Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:38AM (#32099100) Homepage

          Apple benefits from lock-in.

          The more you buy from them that's Apple-only, the more you will be forced to by another Apple product.

          Vendor-lock in games, video and books prop up future iSales.

          Old DRM Music files probably help do the same since many people probably don't care to pay the ransom.

          The less tied my Apple experience is to Apple-only elements, the more free I am to dump them when it's time to upgrade.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by dc29A (636871) *

        He got modded down because he is clueless. Apple App Store was never intended to be profitable [appleinsider.com]. That said, the high markup on iDevices makes up for it. Yes there are a huge number of games on App Store but its there to fuel the iDevice sales so that people won't have any incentives to switch to Android or WM7 (when it's out). Apple can say: Hey! We got 200k Apps! Buy our iDevices because if you go with Android they got only 50k!

      • Re:Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

        by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:04AM (#32098434)

        They can claim security and stability (which are valid points), but it all comes down to money.

        And maybe a touch of sour grapes. Adobe treated Apple like a second class platform back in the 90's when Apple was at its weakest. Now that Apple is on top of this market I think Steve Jobs is handing out a little payback. Loyalty, or the lack of it, is hard to forget.

        • Re:Games too (Score:5, Insightful)

          by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:47AM (#32099254) Homepage
          And maybe a touch of sour grapes. Adobe treated Apple like a second class platform back in the 90's when Apple was at its weakest.

          You mean, back when it WAS a second class platform?

          Now that Apple is on top of this market I think Steve Jobs is handing out a little payback. Loyalty, or the lack of it, is hard to forget.

          Apple owes a tremendous amount to Adobe; without Photoshop Apple would even today be in a weaker position.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            And maybe a touch of sour grapes. Adobe treated Apple like a second class platform back in the 90's when Apple was at its weakest.
            You mean, back when it WAS a second class platform?

            Actually, you're both a little off base. Adobe through the '90s treated Apple as its first-class platform. Illustrator, for example, didn't get a syncronized port for Windows until 1997. Adobe had no problem making the technically backward Classic Mac OS a first-class platform for its software.

            It's only more recently that Adobe has been neglecting OS X. Starting, I suppose, with the decision (later reversed) to discontinue the Mac OS version of Premiere, but continuing with the latest versions of the Creati

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dogzilla (83896)

        This argument makes no sense to me. HTML5 can already replicate pretty much anything these Flash games do and is also outside of Apple's control. Are you suggesting that Apple somehow doesn't realize this?

        You should really take some time to look over what's currently possible with HTML5. Quake2 has been ported as a proof of concept, and the first level or so of Out Of This World.

        http://web.appstorm.net/roundups/browsers/10-html5-games-paving-the-way/ [appstorm.net]

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jonbryce (703250)

          Problem is that you aren't going to develop your website for HTML 5, when the browsers accounting for about 60% - 70% of the market don't support it at all, and you have to support two different video codecs for the browers that do support it.

          Remember the days when online video meant installing plugins from Real Player, Microsoft and Quicktime, and there were different types of Java plugin? HTML 5 at the moment seems to be a return to those days.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cyberax (705495)

          "This argument makes no sense to me. HTML5 can already replicate pretty much anything these Flash games do and is also outside of Apple's control."

          Not. Even. Close.

          Adobe Flash is right now one of the fastest implementations of vector graphics animation. HTML5 has NOTHING close in capability to SWF format - canvas is a frigging joke.

          Sure, you can run Quake2 with software rendering in JS drawing on canvas. But the same Quake2 in Flash would require many times less of CPU time per frame.

      • by Jugalator (259273)

        Places like Newgrounds, Kongregate, etc...they would be filled with games that worked on the iPad and iPhone, yet would be free...meaning Apple wouldn't get their cut.

        Can Flash games support touch input and touch gestures well? :-/

    • Re:Games too (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:19AM (#32098772)

      That doesn't make sense on several levels.

      -Apple said that it was still breaking even on music in the Itunes store. (Not sure if to take their word for it, but still.)
      -There are plenty of free games in the app store
      -pushing HTML5 is opposite of the walled garden people argue. There is a hulu, Netflix, pandora and Rhapsody apps where people can get videos and music outside of Apple's itunes.

      I don't think this is about making money directly. My guess is that Apple's real money will come from selling them new and shiny iPhones every 2 years that perform better and better and have that perpetual upgrade path.

      I think the whole flash thing is because is for the reasons Apple says, basically on a 3 inch screen without mouse, you can't offer a satisfactory flash experience and having to rely on Adobe and flash developers to consider mobile devices in their coding -- basically a losing gamble.

    • by catchblue22 (1004569) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @11:11AM (#32099714) Homepage

      After reading Steve Job's very logical list of reasons for not supporting Flash, and the tit for tat response of the Adobe executive, I suspect that Adobe is trying to create an astroturfing campaign to "refute" Steve Job's claims. I found the Adobe executive's points were similar to the Monty Python "Argument Sketch", in that they were mostly just contradiction, with little evidence or logic provided.

      On my mac, Flash just sucks. It is plain awful. I use ClickToFlash to avoid flash applets, so I am very aware of the effect of opening Flash. When I open a Flash web video, after a short period of time my CPU cooling fan comes on, and gets faster and louder. Even after the video is finished, my CPU fan continues and continues. Only after quitting the browser does the CPU cool back down and the fan stop. My laptop is almost always nearly completely silent. The only other apps that rev my CPU fan up are video editing programs such as Final Cut Pro. And even then, this only happens when I am rendering movies.

      Before Safari started separating the browser processes from the Flash processes, I used to have many browser crashes. When I explored the crash reports, I would inevitably see that Flash played a prominent role. And browsing crashes were the only crashes I was getting on my system. Thus Steve Job's assertion that Flash is the main cause of OS X crashes gybes with my personal experience.

      For the Adobe executive to assert that Flash's poor performance is due to OS X is a patent absurdity worthy of a global warming denier. And I find it suspicious that after hearing the Adobe executive sound off on his opinions, that we are beginning to see blog postings suddenly appearing that support his assertions. The timing of this makes it seem that a corporate decision has been made to counter Apple by paying or influencing bloggers to tow the Adobe line.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Drakino (10965)

      *sigh*. Can we please kill the myth that Apple makes tons of money off the App Store? I know it's hard to keep up with accurate info when Apple releases financials 4 times a year that show that the iTunes Store is purely a break even operation.

      Apple makes their money ($$$$$) off the hardware. It would actually save Apple money if they allowed Flash, and didn't have to pay for the bandwidth and server hosting costs from delivering apps (including all those free ones) to people.

      Apple is heavily pushing HTM

  • Apple is a secret sponsor of Betamax, its making a comeback!

  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:56AM (#32098306)

    Advice from someone who requires horizontal scrolling to read the text they're quoting? I don't think so.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bwalling (195998)
      Oh, please. Your discussion of the scrolling text boxes is what this article's author would call "a very good example of miss direction[sic]."
      • Granted his grammar is poor and he does ramble but his main point (which he takes forever to get to) is simple and worth taking note of:

        Apple wants to dominate on line video the way they've come to dominate on line music - through iTunes/iPods/iPhones/iPads. For this to happen, Flash must die, since it is currently the #1 means of on line video delivery.

        This also explains why Apple have resisted putting Blu-Ray drives in their desktops and laptops even though Blu-Ray won the format war two years ago. Apple

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by the_B0fh (208483)

          err, no, according to apple, it's the crazy licensing requirements.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Thanshin (1188877)

            err, no, according to apple, it's the crazy licensing requirements.

            It makes no sense to use as counter point that the subject said otherwise.

            Obviously Apple wouldn't say "We don't install blurays because we plan to destroy flash and monopolize online video.".

  • No it's not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dc29A (636871) * on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:56AM (#32098308)

    It's all about keep selling high markup iDevices. To achieve that they need to make sure to have a lock-in. Lock in is achieved by making sure developers only code for your platform. Ballmer's "Developers! Developers! Developers!" might have been funny, but that is exactly what Apple is aiming for. Video lock-in won't work because it's H.264 and other big players can/will just as well sell H.264 format videos.

    When 40% or so your profit comes from iDevices, and a fraction of that from AppStore and/or iTunes, you want to protect your iDevice markup. If Apple allows cross compilers, guess what? People won't be 'loyal' to Apple and will migrate to Android, BB or WM7 devices because their apps are on those platforms as well. The iPhone becomes a commodity, and Apple's profits crater. It's about software lock-in and not about content lock in.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:57AM (#32098320)

    Seriously, since I disabled plug-ins Safari doesn't crash or freeze every day. In fact it's now so rare that I'm actually shocked when it happens. Adobe let all their non-Windows software rot away and can't be bothered to code properly, so screw them.

  • by Kagato (116051) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:59AM (#32098352)

    Why develop an app with XCode for one platform when you could develop it in Flash and have it run on multiple devices. Flash represents a threat to the App Store. Jobs can say it's about the power and crashes, but he could have set expectations with Adobe when the iPhone first came out. It's all about money and controlling the market place.

    • by Graff (532189) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:11AM (#32098586)

      Why develop an app with XCode for one platform when you could develop it in Flash and have it run on multiple devices.

      Because you can develop an app with XCode and have it run on multiple devices. It really isn't that difficult.

      Flash is just another layer of middleware which is not necessary and ultimately just gets in the way. It gives quick results but the true headaches are borne by the users and also by developers down the road once you are locked-in to using Flash and want to do something that it doesn't yet support.

      Apple's stance helps all of us. It promotes an alternative to Flash which forces Adobe to clean up its act and open and improve Flash even more. Perhaps it will even get them to come up with some nice HTML5 authoring tools and technologies. We all win.

  • Oh, Jamie, oh Jamie (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zeromorph (1009305) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:59AM (#32098360)

    Either a strange coincidence or an badly disguised case of self-promotion:

    jamiegau writes:"Here we have ... The writer concludes ..."

    and the blog's name is "JamieG Analysis".

    If you submit your own article why not say it?

  • What makes the Internet so threatening to incumbent companies is the way in which it's layered and platform-independent. New protocols can be deployed on the existing network as long as they conform to its rules. Flash is different, in that it is not as open as the Internet's underlying layers, but the way in which it threatens Apple's vertically-integrated hold on everything from the user to the bandwidth provider operates in the same way. It's a mistake to focus on the killer app -- the real threat is a p
  • God save flash! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Crobar (1143477) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:07AM (#32098516)
    Before Apple sunk their teeth into flash, a lot of the posters here also bashed it. It is ironic that as soon as an 800 lb gorilla attacks it, taco and dawson rush to defend it as a superior alternative. Does everyone remember what a pain in the ass it was to get flash support on linux systems? Now that it is available, it is just another user-approved attack vector. H.264 is not perfect, or "free" at all but every criticism Jobs has made of flash is spot on: flawed security, resource pig AND THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR for cross platform development. For God's sake, can we please just flash die for a more modern alternative?
    • Re:God save flash! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:22AM (#32098828)

      For God's sake, can we please just flash die for a more modern alternative?

      Which is?

      And don't say html 5 - have you played with that? I doesn't really seem ready to deliver RIA's like Java and Flash have been delivering for years because its buggy (what do you know - its an unfinished standard). I think this video illustrates it best:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbZkqORX4 [youtube.com]

      My own experience with html 5 video btw was buggy at best - anytime you paused you couldn't resume and had to reload the entire clip. His experience in that video above was it didn't work - because the video he tried to view was Theora/OGG - which the iPad/iPhone don't support.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      It is my perogative to be "tasteless".

      Of course the blithering Apple fanboys can't tell the difference between the individual choosing to dump a product and a Tyrant imposing that choice.

  • Apple's post was anti-adobe. This post is Anti-Apple, and pro-Adobe.

    How about just putting them where they belong? Apple makes computers. Adobe makes software. We are talking about standards and the web. Any standard on the web should be completely free, period. The best free standard we have so far is HTML5 + Ogg + Theora. Period. The fact that a huge patent troll is saying they've got something against Theora doesn't make Theora any less free. The same thing was said against virtually all Free Software. And to this day, noone has ever been able to remove a Free Software project from us based on patents. Every single patent troll out there has said that they have patents covering everything from drinking water to clicking buttons for 20+ years. And Free Software is still there. Free standards are still there.
    The has been cases of Privative software stealing code from GPL projects, where the GPL won and this guys had to either arrange a settlement or release their code to be GPL compliant.
    But there has not been A SINGLE CASE of infringing GPL code loosing a legal battle. So, why are we taking MPEG-LA more seriously than we took SCO? It's the same crap, different smell. Just another troll that we need to ignore until it goes away.

    So, Apple, Adobe: Sell your shit and STFU. Regardless of how much you pretend that standards, and the whole industry revolves around you, it doesn't. You're just another company trying to succeed in this market. We will buy your stuff, or we'll buy somebody else's stuff. What you say is not important. And what you pretend to be standards, are NOT. In the meanwhile, we will continue developing Free Open standards, and Free Open software that uses them. We will eventually prevail. We always do.

    • by pkphilip (6861) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:31AM (#32098966)

      All this discussion about Flash vs HTML5 seems to miss the point that Flash isn't just video - there are tons of apps and interfaces out there written in Flash - not just slideshows and ads. There are games, presentations, demos etc.

      There is not a SINGLE content creation tool for HTML5 which can hold a candle to Adobe's flash authoring environment.

  • video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J-1000 (869558) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:09AM (#32098556)

    videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained.

    This is really good SPIN. Steve is right in that the very OLD verion of flash before 2007 (3 years in internet time is a VERY LONG TIME.) version 9, did use a CPU based codec. But as stated above, H.264 is now the standard and all sites using flash are now using the same H.264 files in flash as is compatible with the Hardware accelerated decoders. As such, Flash 10.1 is as efficient as that can possibly be on these mobile devices. Steve implies Flash cannot do this. Again deceptive and untrue.

    But lets get into the OSX story here. Apple like to blame Adobe for the poor video performance on OSX. Unfortunately, again, Steve has failed to supply the full story. The reason Flash on OSX is so slow and buggy is as follows.

    1. Video, Apple has refused to, until recently, supply the API required to implement it. Flash 10.1 for OSX will have Hardware acceleration as, the API has only just been made available. Steve conveniently failed to mention this. (See Adobe will accelerate Flash video using new Apple API)

    That's a pretty dang good point.

    • Re:video (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @11:22AM (#32099938)

      Steve didn't mention it because its bullshit.

      I've had HW accelerated video for ... 5 ... 6 years ... I donno, whenever I started writing that particular app.

      There were NEW APIs introduced recently to make it so even the Geico cavemen could figure out how to do it, but anyone who hasn't been capable of playing h264 video in a hardware accelerated window in the last 5 years should not be called a developer. Hell, there are freaking xcode examples on Apples website dated 4 years ago.

      Like I said ... been playing hardware accelerated video on my mac for years in my own apps.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)

        I had a GPGPU example running on a web page in Safari (for giggles) about four years ago. If you can get full GPGPU access through a web page writing a little video decoder shouldn't be a big deal.

    • Re:video (Score:4, Informative)

      by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @11:26AM (#32100006) Homepage Journal

      That's a pretty dang good point.

      No, it's not. [flickr.com].

      Oh, that's right: VLC is developed by a megacorporation with close knowledge of Apple's secret internal APIs, and not a small team of Open Source developers [videolan.org]. That's why their software can play back the same MP4 stream with 1/3 the CPU of Adobe's.

  • Hard to Believe (Score:2, Informative)

    by whisper_jeff (680366)
    Is it really so hard for people to believe that Flash on a Mac is so poorly implemented as to suck, Flash on mobile devices is poorly suited (due to touch interface) and is a significant memory drain, and that Apple really does not want to be at the mercy of a 3rd party developer when providing features to their customers. Why are people so intent on find some alternate reason when the reasons that have been outlined are actually valid and true? When Flash doesn't suck on a Mac (including iPhone OS); when F
  • From his rant:

    For Apple you have to purchase expensive iTenchnology. For Adobe, you get a free Flash Player.

    What kind of rubbish is this?

    Is he comparing a free software plugin to manufactured hardware? What's going on here?

    AFAIK, Apple provides free access to H.264 movies, since Safari is free as well.

  • by CondeZer0 (158969) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:18AM (#32098756) Homepage

    It is all about control.

    Apple's control over users, over developers, over content providers...

    • by bobmax48 (1804950) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:28AM (#32098918)
      Do you really believe that it is about control? I am not sure why there is so much animosity on this subject. None of the phones are now using the newest Flash and so why is everyone bitching? I know that every time I go to a Flash site I can watch my laptop battery running out of a charge and the fans on the processor are running at full speed. I use Flash in most of the video work that I do only because the students do not want to upgrade to Quicktime or any other players. Personally I don't care if Flash is used or not although I do know that anything in H.264 is much more efficient then Flash when it comes to the use of the processor.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:35AM (#32099044) Homepage

    Flash only has three big uses on the web.

    The first is video. Flash is not needed for video. It became the standard because it could do things the object tag couldn't, but it's not needed. The video tag does what most users need, and people will figure out ways to do the rest. For most users (who just want to see Hulu/Vimeo/YouTube/whatever), the video tag will be all they need. Flash isn't necessary here for most users (especially mobile).

    The second is animations. There are some very impressive things done in HTML5 and JS, and most of the stuff I see on the web done with flash could be done in HTML5 (or really just needs a redesign). Very few sites do more than make objects show and hide and move around. iPhone users don't need a special plugin to use terrible interfaces, they should be made in HTML5 or have a simplified version available. So Flash isn't necessary here for most users, especially mobile.

    Games are the best argument for flash, it's the standard and works well (when the programers know what they're doing and don't code an idle loop to use 100% CPU). Steve Jobs is right that a great many of these wouldn't work on the iPhone because of the keyboard and mouse expectations that can't be translated. Native code would work better, and being able to get to farmville but having a horrible time trying to play it would make iPhone users mad.

    Games is the best reason Adobe has, I'd like to be able to play 'em on my iPhone some times. Steve is right that it's better for most users that the games get made for the device instead of trying to rejigger the interface.

  • But it's just as black.

    Flash is a despicable disgrace. Most of the time when I talk to a Flash developer, the thing they're the happiest about is the control they get over my computer. This is directly because the Flash player is a piece of garbage closed source tool that purposely caters to developers over end-users. The Open Source gnash (not ganash) player has an option to pause a Flash program. The Adobe player will never, ever end up with that option, ever. Giving me control over my own computer is against Adobe's best interest. Adobe's Flash player is little more than a widely deployed trojan horse that, IMHO, is little better than spyware (Flash cookies anyone? Where's my control over those?).

    I wouldn't complain so bitterly about this if the gnash player were actually a decent drop in replacement for the closed source Flash player, but it isn't. I have to either choose my freedom and Flash that is broken most of the time, or Flash that works while giving up my freedom. I will choose my freedom, thank you very much, but I will be bitter about the stupid choice I'm forced to make.

    So, when one maker of a closed, proprietary platform that steals people's freedom purposely does things to the detriment of another closed proprietary platform that steals people's freedom, I can't help but cheer. And I hope Adobe finds a way to play nasty games with Apple too. The more these two companies can find ways to hurt eachother, the more the rest of us benefit.

  • Couldn't be worse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nilbog (732352) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @12:29PM (#32101298) Homepage Journal

    I can't imagine someone misunderstanding the issues more than the guy who wrote this. I don't even know where to begin, but I'll point out a few problems with his "in depth analysis." But if you don't read my comment, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the concept of a straw man argument and a red herring before reading the article, because this guy LOVES them.

    First, everyone loves to point out that while Jobs claims flash is proprietary, his own app store is the most proprietary thing ever! The flaw with this argument is that we're not talking about Flash vs. the app store. We're talking about Flash vs. HTML 5. There are not any tools, as the author claims, required from Apple to use HTML 5 video on your site. HTML 5 is an open standard (h.264 is not, flash is not, the app store is not.)

    Second, the author's arguments about performance and how Flash performs better than HTML 5 are moot. He ignores the fact that Apple includes hardware decoders for h.264 and compares software decoding to software decoding. Ignoring any negative feelings you have towards Apple (I have plenty), it's not hard to argue against H.264 direct to the browser being a better experience that h.264, wrapped in flash, to the browser. Even with hardware acceleration Flash video uses massive amount of CPU on my computer - watching an HD video will almost always kick my fans into high gear. Watching the same video on an iPad or something is a much better experience - no fans, no heat, no lost battery performance (note: battery life is the iPad's killer feature).

    The rest of the article accuses Jobs of misdirection while picking out really specific and uncommon examples where he might be wrong. Flash games aren't just bad on the iPad because of mouseovers, they're bad because they were designed from the ground up for keyboards and mice. There is usually some keyboard input required - how are you going to get around that? There are mouse hovers, but also mouse movements, etc. Think of the page itself - how would the browser know if you are trying to scroll down the page or trying to move something in the flash game? The whole experience doesn't make sense. Sure, 1/10 flash games might work well with touch, but it's not worth it. Games are not even a question here - video is the only thing seriously in question.

    I have problems with Apple as much as the next guy, but not supporting Flash in their mobile devices is one of the best things they've done in a long time. As a web developer I have been looking forward to newer technologies taking over where Flash has continually failed. Change will not come gradually - it will only come if a big player in the market forces it, and that is what Apple is doing. They're not saying HTML 5 is going to take over tomorrow, but they're willing to make sacrifices to move the transition along.

    I hate Apple, but I hate Adobe even more. At least Apple has a vision and gets their vision right. Adobe has been a mess for as long as I can remember.

  • Fixed some typos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @12:51PM (#32101748) Homepage Journal

    Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole
    authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely
    available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and
    available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

    Here is the corrected version

    Apple’s iPhone products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Apple, and Apple has sole
    authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, App availability, etc. While Apple’s iPhone products are widely
    available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Apple and
    available only from Apple. By almost any definition, iPhone is a closed system, and so are iPhone applications because Steve Jobs prohibits open source apps from being offered via the app store.

    • by Drakino (10965) <d_slashdot@minii[ ].net ['nfo' in gap]> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @01:17PM (#32102218) Journal

      "because Steve Jobs prohibits open source apps from being offered via the app store."

      Odd. Why am I able to download the source code for Doom iPhone version then?

      Besides, the point of that part of Steve's letter was because Adobe keeps throwing the open word around, Apple isn't. "Open screen" this, and "open flash" that. Wheres the "open" flash player, and other bits needed to allow someone to play back Flash 10.1 content without any Adobe involvement?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by droopycom (470921)

      While true, it may not matter.

      Why ?

      Users dont buy Flash, they buy iPhones. Obviously most users dont care about iPhone being proprietary, and in the end, Apple will do anything to please the majority users enough so that they will buy more phones. That include keeping a tight control on the platform.

      Users want to buy iPhones and Apps. They dont really care about how the way the apps were programmed, or if its open. They may care about the price and the quality.

      Apple will occasionally switch their stance whe

  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:24PM (#32106498) Homepage Journal

    These stories are becoming a daily (or more often) thing here on Bashdot. After reading more than a few of these thinly-disguised anti-Apple pieces I'm starting to see some common themes. They're all using half-truths and outright lies to promote their point - but what point are they trying to prove?

    Among the first to get involved were Adobe employees. They started by identifying themselves but they're still at it and working more covertly. Read the messages carefully and you'll see the Adobe party line being espoused. What they're after is to keep people dependent on Flash - it's partly profit motive but more of a control thing. Adobe wants to control the market for web video and other fluff. As long as they're on every machine they can attract developers to target their player. But their control is slipping and they're fighting back in any and every way they can. Here's a tip for the less well informed: Flash plays H.264 video; keep that in mind.

    Next we have the so-called developers who can slap together an "application" in Action Script and put it on the web. We've all seen the results of their "efforts" and once again, it's pure self-interest - they can't compete with real programmers and when they're facing that possibility they're kicking and screaming. The iPhone and iPad are a significant deal and there's big money to be made in coding apps - those Flash "codere" are not going to get a piece of that pie and they're pissed off.

    Then there's the "big software company" representatives enjoying the furor and tossing in their little barbs to stir things up a little more. If you think there aren't paid shills for this company posting here you're not paying very good attention. Their music player failed - yeah, they sold a few but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really count. And they have been in phone operating systems for several years and - well, they might as well have stayed home. They don't see these market failures as being their fault; they prefer to blame the competition and anything they can do to take the market leader down will improve their fortunes - or so they think. Remember "Plays for sure" and MSN music? What happened there? Consider this carefully before trotting out complaints about lock-in and DRM.

    And then there's the usual cast of trolls who delight in mayhem - here's a hot topic, let's jump in and spread some half-truths and lies just for fun.

    Let's not forget the open source zealots who hate anything that's proprietary. They make quite a noise but fail to recognize that they represent a very, very small slice of the population. They'd like to control Apple and make them conform to their idea of what the software world should be like. That's a valid opinion - but only an opinion. They can kill a few days trying to get their box to play some audio file and feel it's worth it because it's FREE - but the rest of us just want to listen to a tune and don't want to have to recompile the kernel before we can get the music to play.

    Recently, we're hearing about antitrust concerns because Apple insists on certain compilers to compile apps for their mobile devices. Oh noes, that must be a proprietary lock-in, right? Has anyone ever looked at what that requirement actually says? It's not as restrictive as you might think. No, I'm not going to tell you - go look it up and be better informed.

    That brings me to the one thing that all of these groups have in common - they've never owned or handled the devices they're talking about. They're having so much fun with their trollish day in the sun that little things like truth or knowing what you're talking about aren't important. I've got to say that my opinion of some people has been readjusted after seeing what's been written over the last month. If you have an opinion - that's valid and every bit as important as anyone else's opinion. But it's not a fact - and this is where so many intellectually dishonest people reveal their true nature: there are opinions, and there are facts. Try not to confuse t

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