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Adobe Founders On Flash and Internet Standards 515

Posted by kdawson
from the where-wizards-go-to-bed-early dept.
An anonymous reader points out an 18-month-old interview with the founders of Adobe (and creators of PostScript) Charles Geschke and John Warnock, and highlights three interesting quotes from the book Masterminds of Programming that seem very timely now. "'It is so frustrating that this many years later we're still in an environment where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox. The whole point of the universality of the Web would be to not have those kind of distinctions, but we're still living with them. It's always fascinating to see how long it takes for certain pieces of historical antiquity to die away. The more you put them in the browsers you've codified them as eternal, and that's stupid. ... With Flash what we're trying to do is both beef it up and make it robust enough so that at least you can get one language that's platform-independent and will move from platform to platform without hitting you every time you turn around with different semantics. ... You can see why, to a certain extent, Apple and Microsoft view that as a challenge because they would like you to buy into their implementation of how the seamless integration with the Web goes. What we're saying is it really shouldn't matter. That cloud ought to be accessible by anybody's computer and through any sort of information sitting out on the Web."
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Adobe Founders On Flash and Internet Standards

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  • by Rikiji7 (1182159) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:34AM (#32333500) Homepage
    I'm not against flash, but i would like to be able to opt it out without losing any feature of the website i'm browsing. As i don't need/like flash based games and bloated intros, at the moment i got it installed just to watch embedded videos. One feature to go.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:34AM (#32333504)

    We'd like you to buy into OUR implementation. That cloud ought to be accessible to anyone's computer - as long as they're running Flash.

    Adobe wants a monopoly on content, and wants the OS to be commoditized. I want the whole platform to be commoditized - and that's why I support truly open standards.

  • by flnca (1022891) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:35AM (#32333508) Journal
    If they really want to boost Flash adoption, they should make it open-source!! Or at the very least make cheap authoring tools that everyone can use. Flash isn't really all that multiplatform, b/c the authoring tools exist only for Windows and Mac ... where are the versions for Linux, BSD, Solaris?
  • by Tei (520358) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:43AM (#32333532) Journal

    "It is so frustrating that this many years later we're still in an environment where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox"

    You mean, like these pages that say "To watch that, you need Flash 10"?, I have found loot of these. Your propietary extension is not better than some people doing a XUL remote webapp. (full disclosure: I have released a few xul apps, look for Tei in sf)

  • by dingen (958134) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:45AM (#32333538)

    With Flash what we're trying to do is both beef it up and make it robust enough so that at least you can get one language that's platform-independent and will move from platform to platform without hitting you every time you turn around with different semantics.

    *sigh* another company claiming that what they're doing is "platform independent" because they've created versions for a few platforms. Just like Microsoft with their Silverlight technology, Flash isn't platform independent at all. Sure Adobe has created Flash for a few different platforms, just like MS has created a Mac-version of Silverlight, but at the end of the day, Flash only works on the platforms Adobe have decided to create a binary for.

    What platform independence is all about, is that the platform is completely irrelevant. You know, like the web is supposed to be. Javascript doesn't care if it's running on an Intel chip or an ARM chip, it doesn't care if you're running it in Windows or Linux, it doesn't care which browser you are using. THAT is platform independence. Loading the approriate binary for your platform is not, especially if you can't create these binaries yourself in the case Adobe doesn't support your platform.

    This is why Flash is terrible for the web. When websites rely heavily on Flash, it basically turns the web into an Adobe-only platform. That's terrible for everyone, no matter how Adobe is trying to sell it to you.

  • by jprupp (697660) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:48AM (#32333560)

    I'd rather be forced to use Firefox to view certain content, than Flash. At least Firefox is Open Source and WORKS FINE on all platforms it runs, and follow standards very closely without misinterpreting them. Neither can be said for Flash. Moreover, if it works with Firefox, it will work on pretty much all browsers that respect standards, unless you use XUL to develop the application, but then you're pretty much conscious you're doing a Gecko app, and not a standard web app.

    Flash sucks, let it die, spit on it's tomb, for it's the biggest oppressor of the open web.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:55AM (#32333582)

    Exactly. What an absolutely disgusting, hypocritical piece. The standards are there, no reason to re-invent them, just follow them. But no, another vulture looking for a lucrative death grip on our beloved internets...

    Just say no to flash.

  • by drx (123393) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:56AM (#32333590) Homepage

    So i "need Firefox for this to work" and that's worse than needing Flash? Well, Firefox works on more platforms than Flash. Problem solved, not by Adobe tho.

  • Got it in one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:59AM (#32333610) Journal

    Adobe wants web content to just run anywhere? When the plugin they sell doesn't run everywhere and in places it does run, it often runs poorly?

    Where is Flash for BSD? For AMD64? Oh, wait, when Adobe speaks about the net, they mean IE.

    Adobe, the reason Apple hates your guts is because you never ever supported their OS properly until you absolutely had to.

    Oh and I hate your guts too, just a little bit more then Steve Jobs in fact, so I hope he rapes your stinking rotting corpse and eats your babies. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is worth cheering on.

  • Re:Got it in one (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:14AM (#32333668)
    Remind me what devices iPhone OS runs on?
  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:21AM (#32333688) Journal

    Yep. And it's been completely licence-unencumbered for 2 years now.

    Apple and other corporate controllers of the W3C want a monopoly on specifying how the web is delivered. That's all this is about. And no matter how poorly Flash runs, it can still deliver applications or 3D gaming experiences or whatever (hell, as can Java applets!) while the 30 year old Pacman clone on Google's homepage stutters like a bitch.

  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:26AM (#32333718) Journal

    The hippie OSS developer sold out about a decade ago, kid. OSS license choice is now mostly a pragmatic engineering choice for service delivery businesses, which are also by far the majority contributors to significant open source projects.

    It doesn't matter what you'd like it to be, only what it is.

  • all this trying (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:40AM (#32333784)

    His reasons are fine, but they've been "trying" for too long they need more doing!

    If he's serious about content being accessible on any platform then they need to start treating all platforms equally and with decent performance too.

    it's ridiculous that a stupid flash game takes as much resources as a full on game. using the same technology for advert banners is insane

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:43AM (#32333794) Homepage

    Choice by businesses != choice by engineers.

    My work on open source projects is not motivated by making my employer rich -- it just happens to do that anyway, so no one is complaining. Adobe, on the other hand, creates deliberately convoluted, nearly impossible to reimplement, products, plays favorites in OS support, promotes DRM, and does pretty almost everything a software company can do to make everyone's life harder.

    "Almost" because as far as I know, anti-open-source propaganda against their competitors ("Gimp does not support CMYK!" and the likes) originates from Microsoft marketing people, Adobe just gets windfall from it as Microsoft is too stupid to make a graphics editor.

  • by brillow (917507) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:51AM (#32333828)
    Don't give me BS about OSS developers wanting to enrich anyone. They enrich themselves by pursuing a hobby. They only self-aggrandize by saying its about a cause. You act like these people are saints. An OSS developer is no more a saint than people who put their own apple-pie recipes online. OSS as it was can never really dominate, its impossible for less-organized, unpaid people to outperform highly-paid professionals at the same game. The only cases where I see OSS possibly moving into a dominant system is with Chrome/ChromeOS/Android and thats because Google puts huge amounts of resources into them (because they make money for Google).
  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:53AM (#32333844) Journal

    My work on open source projects is not motivated by making my employer rich -- it just happens to do that anyway,

    If it didn't make your employer rich, your employer would not have any money to pay you. So unless you're a volunteer, your work on open source projects is motivated by making your employer rich.

    Adobe, on the other hand, creates deliberately convoluted, nearly impossible to reimplement, products

    Like the W3C. I'm still looking forward to a browser which actually fully supports any of their mainstream standards produced over the past few years. Also good would be a standard written sufficiently well that two best-effort implementations are equally acceptable when provided with any standards-compliant HTML/CSS/Javascript.

  • Re:Got it in one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mangu (126918) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:53AM (#32333848)

    Adobe, the reason Apple hates your guts is because you never ever supported their OS properly until you absolutely had to.

    Ironically, Adobe owes its existence to Apple adopting PostScript [wikipedia.org] as the standard for the Apple LaserWriter printer.

  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:55AM (#32333860) Journal

    Yeah, I've seen more IE than Firefox too. But that's irrelevant to this particular straw-man.

    They are basically washing over the fact that they are causing the same issue, except they are adding an additional layer that it can occur on. Although, in this case competition is limited.

    Still, a decently written page with a cross-browser javascript library and/or plain HTML will work on more platforms than Flash.

  • Re:Got it in one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by A12m0v (1315511) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:04AM (#32333892) Journal

    It is amazing how much support Adobe gets online and how much hate Apple gets for badmouthing Flash, when Adobe itself has a shoddy history of supporting many OSes, Apple is not to blame for their attitude towards Flash. The web is meant to be universal, but with some OSes lacking Flash support, and there are thousands of Flash sites, it'll never be. Adobe never cared about any OS other than Windows and Mac, so I'm glad that Jobs made it his mission to kill Flash.

  • This is hilarious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bartron (772079) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:12AM (#32333938)
    I love it how if it a story about flash when concerned with iPhone/iPad everyone is full of hate and woe and spit venom towards Apple for daring to exile the chosen one.

    However when you take Apple out of the picture (despite this being filed under Apple for some reason) no-one can think of a kind word for the Adobe wonder child. Oh how flash isn't open, only works on Adobe approved systems, Firefox runs on more systems etc etc....you can't have it both ways people.

    I'm no fanboy but at least I'm not a hypocrite...Flash sucks, always has, always will....regardless of who choses to support it and who doesn't. FFS people, one would think you'd be happy that a company (in this case Apple) is trying to champion an open standard (HTML5) to free you from the shackles of requiring a compiled binary made especially for your system.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:13AM (#32333944) Journal

    If it comes down to Adobe Flash or HTML V5 H.264 I'll take Flash any day and twice on Sundays! At least Adobe doesn't act like douchebags and make you pony up $$$ just to have flash support in Linux distros. And SD Flash plays beautifully on this 1.8Ghz Sempron I use for a low power netbox, and with the latest Flash I can add a $50 AGP card and go full HD. From what I have seen HTML V5 is frankly a dog, and even in a window it runs like a slideshow.

    And let us not forget the real enemy here is MPEG-LA, who unlike Adobe really REALLY [mpegla.com] likes to sue...a lot. Old Steve may like having only H.264 on his iStuff ( and why not? Apple and MSFT are a part of MPEG-LA [techrights.org]) but I prefer having a format I can run just about anywhere WITHOUT having to write a check. MPEG-LA has made it clear [betanews.com] that even just using a browser plugin to view H.264 means you WILL pay up.

    So everyone can go "poo poo Adobe, poo poo" and I'll be the first to say their past versions of flash left a lot to be desired. But at least it seems they are trying, and aren't going around trying to lock up the web with an AV paywall like MPEG-LA. Why anyone not drinking the iKoolaid would actually want MPEG-LA with their major douchebag behavior to win over Flash is frankly beyond me. And please don't claim the H.264 paywall is a "standard" because it doesn't matter if it is all locked down behind a paywall of patents. I mean, do you REALLY want to help lock web video into a legal minefield [cnet.com] that benefits Apple and MSFT while screwing Linux?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:14AM (#32333946)

    Vote with your feet. If a page does not offer you an option to skip their flashtastic crapfest, close the window, go elsewhere.

  • Book Burning? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:14AM (#32333954)

    Whether you like Flash or not, the fact remains that for a long time it was the only way to do all sorts of things that are only just becoming viable with other methods, as so was the de-facto standard.

    Things like Joe Cartoon, RatherGood.com and Fly Guy would never have existed without Flash, and there is all sorts of information stored in SWF files going back to the 90s. You may argue that this information is now in the wrong format, but there's lots of things that will never be updated to HTML5 or JavaScript equivalents.

    I can understand a lot of the complaints about Flash, but if goes, we lose a large chunk of internet history with it. The battles between Adobe and Apple is all about their own self interest, but may result in people losing lots information for idealogical reasons (as has already happened to iPad and iPhone users).

    This seems a little bit too much like book burning to me.

  • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:16AM (#32333970) Homepage

    One more time: Apple has a single patent in the h.264 pool. Microsoft has something like sixty, and they still pay the MPEG-LA twice what they receive in royalties. And Apple gets pocket change for their patent. Neither have an economic interest in promoting h.264, beyond sunk costs.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:23AM (#32333994) Journal
    I'm honestly not sure, at this point, if they are just self-serving whiners or if they have been wrapped up in adobe so long that they've acquired a capacity for sincere delusion on par with the guy outside 7-11 who rants about the Second Coming...

    "Gosh, it sure is terrible that some sites only work properly in Firefox. And other demand IE. There are even a few that only work in Safari. Wouldn't it be better if every site just required Adobe Flash 10? Things would be so simple!"
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:31AM (#32334032)

    you can't have it both ways people

    You can and you must. The point of contention is closed versus open platforms. Condemning both Apple and Adobe is the only philosophically consistent, unhypocritical course of action. The decision only becomes hypocritical when you view the problem as "I must side with Adobe or Apple" which is precisely what the corporations want you to do.

    People might say they would like the option of avoiding Flash, or that the Flash omission is symptomatic of the larger issue people are opposed to. That doesn't mean people endorse Flash's closedness or welcome piss-poor attempts to pass it off as an open platform.

  • by Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:46AM (#32334158) Homepage Journal

    You go ahead declaring whomever you want enemies.

    Personally I feel the internet has to be based around free non-patent encumbered standards. Yes it's currently a lofty goal and we can't do it overnight (we should never have let it get this far, but people like shiny toys, don't they.)

    This does means that Flash and the MPEG-LA just smell wrong. I couldn't care less about demonising them - the techs wrong, plain and simple.

    You presented a false choice - I choose neither.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:56AM (#32334212) Journal

    At least Adobe doesn't act like douchebags and make you pony up $$$ just to have flash support in Linux distros.

    Most nvidia cards come with a hardware H.264 decoder, which the Linux drivers support, so that's one way of getting it free. I bought a Dell with Linux preloaded, and it had the Fluendo codecs preloaded, so that's another way. Oh, and you could always just ignore software patents, or use a format other than H.264.

    From what I have seen HTML V5 is frankly a dog, and even in a window it runs like a slideshow.

    From what I've seen, it still beats Flash in that regard. Of course, none of that is required by the spec -- see, unlike Flash, if you have a problem with HTML5's performance, you can actually fix it!

    And let us not forget the real enemy here is MPEG-LA... Old Steve may like having only H.264 on his iStuff ( and why not? Apple and MSFT are a part of MPEG-LA) but I prefer having a format I can run just about anywhere WITHOUT having to write a check.

    Well, let's see: First, you can't actually run it anywhere, including iStuff, and of course Linux distributions on odd architectures.

    Second, H.264 is included and widely used in Flash, so I don't see why you're assuming you'll never have to write a check. That's entirely at the whim of Adobe.

    MPEG-LA has made it clear that even just using a browser plugin to view H.264 means you WILL pay up.

    So apparently, you will. Thanks for explaining why Flash solves nothing.

    Why anyone not drinking the iKoolaid would actually want MPEG-LA with their major douchebag behavior to win over Flash...

    How would that work, again, given that Flash includes H.264?

    And please don't claim the H.264 paywall is a "standard"...

    No, but HTML5 is.

    benefits Apple and MSFT while screwing Linux?

    Yes, Flash does. Their Linux player has always sucked, even more than their Mac player, which has always sucked. It's one of a very small number of pieces of proprietary software which are essentially required -- software patents aside, I can build a fully-functional HTML5 player with H.264 support using entirely free software, and I can even avoid the legal minefield by simply avoiding countries where software patents are respected.

    I honestly can't see why you're wanting to trade an open, transparent standard which you may have to pay for (but probably not -- every major OS either bundles the codecs or offers them for an under-$100 fee), for a closed, proprietary standard you also may have to pay for.

  • bitmap-oriented (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ndixon (184723) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:00AM (#32334260)
    What does Charles Geschke mean when he says HTML is "basically a bitmap-oriented representation of information"?

    Has he forgotten about SVG ? Adobe still distributes a viewer for SVG, and there's native support in Firefox.

    I think they're basically saying "We don't want open standards - we want only our standard".

  • by ahankinson (1249646) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:05AM (#32334296)

    No, but Javascript and HTML renderers are getting more efficient.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:21AM (#32334424)

    "w3c a monopoly on specifying how the web is delivered"

    wtf does that even mean? Are you 14 years old?

    "30 year old Pacman clone on Google's homepage stutters like a bitch."

    Is your computer also 14 years old?

  • Utter Rubbish (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:30AM (#32334502)
    The only way to ensure cross-platform capabilities is open standards (unencumbered by patents). If we have learned anything from the age of the Internet, it's that building on an open standard, even if inferior in many ways, allows for an amazing array of applications that could never be imagined. Anyone can impliment a HTML browser for any piece of hardware (to a point). Flash's cross-platform capabilities are entirely dependent on one company. One public company who at anytime could choose to not port their "Internet viewer" to your platform (or just drag the chain, or do a poor job). Who in their right mind would want to be beholden to that? Adobe holds the Internet to ransom! Yes we need flash like capabilites, but we need them an an open format that anyone can impliment. I am not beholden to firefox, if I wanted to get off my arse, I could contribute to add whatever feature I so desired. If I had enough capital I could make a browser from scratch. No, flash is the antithesis of the open web, it must die, and the only way achieve this is to replace it with an open standard that can do as much (or close).
  • by Smallpond (221300) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:30AM (#32334512) Homepage Journal

    I really love going to a site and being told my software is out of date, but please click on this link (as Administrator of course) and install new software that we promise is just the new version of Adobe flash. Sure. I trust you.

  • by riegel (980896) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:40AM (#32334600) Homepage

    the Web designers are told to design to make IE work first, Safari on iPhone second, Firefox or Safari third, and worry about the rest of the pack when time permits.

    If the web designers are smart they will make it work first on Safari, or Firefox, or Chrome, or whatever they believe to be most compliant. Then that arduous process of getting it to work with IE will be easier. You have to start with a level or a plumbline when building a house and that is how you should start when building a web application. IE can be coaxed into working correctly but trying to do it the other way will only cause major problems.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:50AM (#32334662)

    Another reason Apple is so dead-set against using Adobe Flash on their iPhone/iPads is because they would lose their exclusive development platform of XCode on their custom Mac hardware. And if Apple is anything, they are a hardware company.

    I'm trying hard to understand what you're trying to say here. Apple makes piles of money selling iPhones. They make next to nothing selling Macs to iPhone developers. There simply aren't very many app developers compared to iPhone users. You'd have to be dim to make architectural decisions about the iPhone with that tiny amount of profit as a motivator instead of iPhone profit. I agree Apple wants to control the dev tools, but I think that's because they want to be able to sell more iPhones. They sell more iPhones by making the iPhone platform better for end users and part of that is adding new features other phones don't have and getting developers to use them. Third party dev tools are a tollbooth run by another company in this process.

    Basically what they are saying (after they changed their licensing agreement for iPhone/iPad developers) is that if you want to write software for us you will type in code in XCode and compile it using that compiler and submit it to us for approval.

    Yeah, pretty much... unless you want to write HTML5 apps, of course.

    If they allowed native compiled code from other software developers, then anybody with Adobe's latest CS5 Flash (even on Windows!) could create native iPhone binaries using the well-known Flash dev environment.

    Yup, that was Adobe's plan. Apple doesn't want that to happen. Think of it from Apple's perspective. You dump a few million into doing something cool for the iPhone, say just in time compiler improvements and a battery saving architecture. Suddenly apps use 20% less battery and the iPhone effectively has a 20% longer battery life than competitors with the same hardware. Score! But wait, while this is built into the iPhone and Apple's developer tools, requiring just a recompile for app developers to make it happen for their app, what about third party tools? Suddenly you've got thousands of apps made with Adobe's tools and those don't get the improvements until Adobe gets around to implementing them in their Flash suite, if they ever do. Apple already has this problem on OS X, with many major cross platform apps completely failing to support the cool features offered by the OS. So now, despite spending millions on R&D to differentiate their platform from other phones and make something better, Apple is waiting on Adobe to get around to doing work before their investment pays off. And meanwhile other companies are copying Apple's improvements. Will Adobe even get around to implementing it until it is on pretty much every platform and is no longer a differentiator to drive sales? Will they ever get around to it? They sure don't have a great track record so far, with Flash apps performing abysmally on OS X and Linux. So what is Apple to do? Clearly, they ban third party dev tools that can be blockers.

    And porting Flash games over would take work, but not nearly as much as buying a Mac and re-writing everything in Objective-C.

    This is true and is a detriment to Apple and their platform, but they seem to think it is worth it to deal with the problem above. The market will decide in a few years if they were right.

    And all those annoying Flash banner ads! I'm glad they're gone... I mean being replaced by Apple iAd so they can control the entire advertising "experience" for your online devices.

    Umm, I don't think Flash ads and Apple's iAd program are really comparable. It's more like an adwords competitor aimed at the mobile market.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:01AM (#32334786)

    I'm sorry, were you under the impression that PHBs actually care about that sorta thing? Or more importantly, that boffins could second guess them?

    You are in IT, you do what management tells you.

  • by Uncle Rummy (943608) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:20AM (#32335026)
    For the love of God, why do people insist on build entire websites in Flash? Sure, it's pretty and shiny, but it also breaks navigation, as anybody who's ever made the mistake of hitting the back button from 4 levels deep into a Flash-only site knows all too well. And good luck bookmarking an internal page for future reference, or God forbid, trying to explain to somebody else how to get to said internal page, especially if the idiot designer decided to make his links shaped like bunnies and rainbows because standard buttons with text labels are just too utilitarian.

    This is why people learned to hate Flash-heavy sites. Flash is fine if used appropriately, but site navigation belongs in standard HTML that provides a predictable user experience.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:31AM (#32335140)

    I'm not saying proprietary is a better way to go but current standards don't cut it. Design by committee doesn't work.

    Isn't that kind of like saying bars not owned by the mob suck because they always have shattered windows, light on fire regularly, and the bartenders all have broken fingers? Design by committee can work well, unless all progress is halted for a decade by a single monopolist who illegally leverages their position to prevent cross-platform Web apps from being viable. Web standards and progress stalled because MS outright refused to implement any of them in IE and IE has an artificially inflated market share from being bundled with a desktop OS that has monopoly influence on the market. Several different Web standards were put forward and a reference implementation created over the years but they all died because developers couldn't use them because 60%+ of users were on IE and MS refused to play ball.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:48AM (#32335372)

    My problem with it is that it's hard to determine the difference between useful flash and useless flash.

    Most snazzy flash UI's on websites are just slow and bloated. ANY page with a "Skip Intro" button I can guarantee you should have never had the damned intro there in the first place. On the other hand, flash based video is very useful. Flash games can be amusing if you're into that sort of thing.

    I think Flash would simply be much better if it was used more sparingly. The old addage comes into play though ("When all you have is a hammer the whole world starts looking like a nail."). To too many web developers Flash is their hammer.

  • Gnash (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:03AM (#32335610) Homepage Journal

    Where is Flash for BSD? For AMD64?

    Just about everything in Flash except for the legacy H.263 video codec is documented, and Adobe dropped the restriction against writing your own SWF player two years ago as part of the Open Screen Project. Have you donated to the Gnash project yet?

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