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jayfaker

In other news, Apple bans Adobe's new Flash compiler....

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Seems spiteful to me, and unnecessary. I don't care much either way about Flash apps on my iPhone, but I'm not looking forward to the repercussions, where Adobe decides what to drop next on OSX...

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I liked the comment he linked to in the end. That in my mind, justifies apple in what they're doing. Flash-compiled iPhone apps would be much lower quality than native apps. In my mind, flash is the new java (java, not javascript). It is becoming less relevant every day. I think flash has grown as big as it will ever get, and it's all downhill from here. Flash lets you develop for every platform (web/osx/win/linux), but in a crippled way. If Adobe really wanted to own a platform, they should have built a phone/device/OS that used flash, instead of trying to make flash invade other platforms. That would have given flash developers a reason to exist. As it is now, if you're a flash developer, you're stuck making sub par apps because there's always a better alternative.

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Apple is actively trying to kill off Flash, and I don't think there's much Adobe can do about it. Jobs made a point to mention that the iAd animation samples in his demo of the new iPhone OS were done using HTML 5. This is more than saber rattling. Apple feels like they have enough influence in the industry to move on without Flash, and that probably means that they do. Flash has widespread adoption, but nobody seems to like it very much, and who wouldn't rather have an open standard like HTML 5 (assuming it is indeed a better solution)? Adobe can start to kill off Apple products in response, but what does that really buy them other than decreased market share and revenue? I don't see Apple blinking on this one. The spat between these two companies goes way back, but Apple is now a big enough gorilla to call the shots. I'm no industry expert but I don't see much choice for Adobe here other than to succumb to the inevitable.

 

I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of people who get their hands dirty in Flash and HTML 5 (I don't) as far as possible impacts to the industry if Flash were to go away.

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I'll just add that I think there's an easy way around this for Adobe. Apple may not allow flash to compile for iPhone, but flash can still have an IDE for iPhone, and all it has to do is spit out the code and elements in a way that the iPhone compiler could build it. There would be no way for Apple to block that, because it would be like blocking Photoshop images or After Effects rendered video. It's just a tool for building your elements...

 

Again, this would be good for those familiar with flash, but I think you'd be better off learning how to use the iPhone SDK if you were building an iPhone app.

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Makes you wonder how much Adobe discussed the Flash CS5 compiling with Apple. Or maybe Apple are just being dickish. I don't really care about the lack of Flash in Mobile Safari, but this seems a shame, learning XCode is too high a barrier to entry for me but I might have given Flash a go to put together some games, I assume that's true for other people too. Not that I've actually programmed anything since Director MX, but still, I might have..

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None of this is new really.

 

Apple doesn't hate Adobe, Apple hates Flash. Jobs claims it's because it's too buggy and responsible for a large volume of crash reports sent to Apple. Apple's position from the very first Macintosh was "we're going to give you a better product by removing your choices". In exchange for having fewer choices you get stability. You only get to choose 1 of 3 basic options, but a monkey could plug it in and it will work. Some people are down with it... some people aren't. People have been naysaying it for years, but I would argue that without this attitude the iPod/iPhone wouldn't have come around for another 10-20 years.

 

I remember when Flash first came out and was the raaaaggge. I was waiting in some doctors office and was flipping through some computer mag that had a DARING article about why HTML won't go away. I thought... "Bullshit. HTML has maybe 5 years before everything is Flash." Cut to today... nearly 13 years later and HTML is not gone and I have truly come to see the negative sides of flash. It has become bloated like every other Adobe product (I just did an update for Acrobat that was over 500MB... yes a FIVE HUNDRED MEGABYTE update). Lets face it... Google's behind HTML5, Vimeo is switching to HTML5... big NY clients have no idea what HTML5 is but are now asking for it.

 

If you want the freedom you can build your app on Linux... many people do.

If you want money (i.e. a piece of Apple's empire) you're gonna have to play by their rules.

That seems totally fair to me.

 

-m

Edited by the_Monkey

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None of this is new really.

 

Apple doesn't hate Adobe, Apple hates Flash. Jobs claims it's because it's too buggy and responsible for a large volume of crash reports sent to Apple. Apple's position from the very first Macintosh was "we're going to give you a better product by removing your choices". In exchange for having fewer choices you get stability. You only get to choose 1 of 3 basic options, but a monkey could plug it in and it will work. Some people are down with it... some people aren't. People have been naysaying it for years, but I would argue that without this attitude the iPod/iPhone wouldn't have come around for another 10-20 years.

 

I remember when Flash first came out and was the raaaaggge. I was waiting in some doctors office and was flipping through some computer mag that had a DARING article about why HTML won't go away. I thought... "Bullshit. HTML has maybe 5 years before everything is Flash." Cut to today... nearly 13 years later and HTML is not gone and I have truly come to see the negative sides of flash. It has become bloated like every other Adobe product (I just did an update for Acrobat that was over 500MB... yes a FIVE HUNDRED MEGABYTE update). Lets face it... Google's behind HTML5, Vimeo is switching to HTML5... big NY clients have no idea what HTML5 is but are now asking for it.

 

If you want the freedom you can build your app on Linux... many people do.

If you want money (i.e. a piece of Apple's empire) you're gonna have to play by their rules.

That seems totally fair to me.

 

-m

 

Well put. I think it's easy for anyone this side of the fence to forget the larger target for all of this. Your average person doesn't give a shit about Flash or HTML, they just want their content. I checked out the iPad last night at the Apple store and there were people bemoaning the lack of this and the lack of that, but I think the only reason they do is because everyone likes to bitch about something that they hear about, albeit tertiary and uninformed. Apple has and is turning the computer into an experience, much like a movie, or a video game, etc. The only way to do that is to control it as much as possible without stifling growth and content. I don't think anyone that picks up a Windows laptop will think of it as an experience the same way as a Mac or an iPhone, and now, an iPad. The ability to do anything is also the ability to ruin everything. Flash is guilty of this. Websites, apps & games, videos, interactive media, ads, etc. I think Apple gives people the ability to do what they want, even if some people don't realize it yet.

 

Not a fanboy, just an observation…

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Apple is not the only company that makes mobile devices...

 

So in other words, who cares?

 

Frankly, I'm not looking for flash on any mobile device. Even the iPad. I'll never buy that anyway.

Edited by hyp3

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Everyone is making this sound like it's purely an Apple vs. Flash thing, and that Flash is the only casualty. I wouldn't care at all if that was the case. Apple's right -- Flash is buggy and temperamental, and it's not well-suited to mobile devices. But this isn't Apple vs. Flash. This is Apple vs. third-party application development and, perhaps more importantly, cross-platform mobile applications. Flash wasn't the target. Flash, Unity, Titanium, and PhoneGap were the targets. Any tool that could be used to build an application for multiple platforms has now been banned. Apple's sending a very clear message: you either develop your applications for the iPhone and the iPhone alone, or you don't develop for the iPhone at all. It's a bastardly move. And it's a move I likely won't forgive them for.

 

So to answer the question of "who cares": every mobile developer who targeted more than the iPhone, as well as any developer who wanted to develop for the iPhone in anything other than Obj-C and xcode. Among developers, this is huge.

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Apple's sending a very clear message: you either develop your applications for the iPhone and the iPhone alone, or you don't develop for the iPhone at all. It's a bastardly move. And it's a move I likely won't forgive them for.

 

I think in some cases, this could be good for developers. It takes a lot more people (and budget) to develop separate apps for every platform than it does for someone to build it in flash and export a bunch of ports. This would either split the work up between multiple shops, or the shop would need enough specialized staff to do it all. If things went in the direction of "do it all" platforms like flash, then your eliminating a lot of jobs.

 

For this to be good though, clients would need a basic understanding of this concept, that apps don't magically port themselves to every platform, and for every platform they want to be on, it will probably cost a little extra to make it work on that platform. Some clients don't understand stuff like that, and the worst clients refuse to listen when you try to explain. But good clients I think understand that, and they are usually the ones with the best budgets and the most focused project goals anyway.

 

To offer a quick real-world example, I just got off a long list of projects from a network, and we did apps for every blackberry, iPhone, palm, and android device. They were all separate projects because that was the only way to do them really. Each one had its own design, features, etc. That was a big part of my income last year, so I mean, all the different platforms, while kind of a pain, ended up being a lot of paying work for me.

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Flash wasn't the target. Flash, Unity, Titanium, and PhoneGap were the targets. Any tool that could be used to build an application for multiple platforms has now been banned.

You have a source for this?

I own Monospace, a game which was developed with Unity and it's still available from the iTunes store.

 

-m

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You have a source for this?

I own Monospace, a game which was developed with Unity and it's still available from the iTunes store.

 

-m

 

It's still available because when you made it, the terms of service allowed it. I highly, highly doubt that Apple's going to make this retroactive -- and hopefully, they aren't going to police the new TOS too strongly. But Apple now has the right to reject any game made with Unity. Here's the exact text from the TOS:

 

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

 

I don't think there's any question about Unity being a "intermediary translation or compatibility layer". That's the definition of an engine like Unity.

 

I think in some cases, this could be good for developers.

 

A case can certainly be made that this has some positive effects -- it's always better to have native apps. But it also really, really heightens the bar for iPhone development. No engines, no other languages, no helpers. Again, this might help keep the quality of apps high -- and prevent the amount of apps Apple has to approve jump from thousands to millions -- but I also hate it for that very reason. I'm a firm believer that people should have a degree of control over the devices they use, and Apple's continuously stripping that away.

Edited by Aaron Scott

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It's a bastardly move. And it's a move I likely won't forgive them for.

 

Hey Aaron, do you remember Adobe's PC Preferred Ad campaign? Where you outraged?

Edited by jazman

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If you want the freedom you can build your app on Linux... many people do.

If you want money (i.e. a piece of Apple's empire) you're gonna have to play by their rules.

That seems totally fair to me.

 

-m

 

Absolutely!

 

What's actually funny is all the bitching going on. Especially when all the people bitching are the ones who thought they were going to get a piece of the pie by using a get-rich-quick iPhone translator. Now with no code necessary! It's all coming from these new "apple/cocoa/iPhone Developers" who want to build iFart apps. A few years ago no one gave an iota about developing for the iPhone/Mac and now Apple is costing them their lively hood! I just don't buy the whole "Look what Apple has done to all these startups". If you used up all your life savings, invested all this time to start up a business based around the Apple dev platform, you surely knew there was risk involved.

 

Why are people surprised. Apple is no different from any other company. They are trying to make sure they keep their competitive advantage. No different than any other company. It's business whether it's right or wrong, ethical or not. If you decided to build for the iPhone platform, you knew the rules from the beginning. You make iPhone apps using objective-c. What? Nintendo doesn't allow me to build games with jquery? How dare they tell me what to do! Where is the freedom?

 

People are mad because now they can't build their million dollar app using x language. Seriously?? If you want to play you learn the rules of the game. Very simple. You want to learn Maya. You learn Maya. You're not going to learn it by using microsoft word and bitching about how it should be possible. Not sure if that's a good analogy but you get the idea :D

 

Too funny really. I feel bad for Adobe because they made such a big deal about developing iPhone apps from within Flash CS5. It's similar to Palm featuring how their phone could sync using iTunes.

But for all we know, the new EULA changes once the new OS ships. So it's all speculation and don't we just all love to speculate and fuel the fire.

 

As Monkey said it, you want freedom, there is Linux. There is also Android, Windows, and Nokia if you want to develop mobile apps. There is a choice.

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In my mind, flash is the new java (java, not javascript). It is becoming less relevant every day.

 

Oh please, no such nonsense. Have you had a look lately at how many apps run in Java? Entire bank accounting and CRM systems are written in Java. This may not be much relevant to the end user market, but clearly, in the B2B markets Java is alive and kicking. Or why else do you think Oracle would have bought a company like Sun (that is still only generating losses)? Without Java, Oracle would have to trash half of their apps...

 

Mylenium

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Latest from Adobe CTO: http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2010/04/cs5_countdown_is_on.html

 

...First of all, the ability to package an application for the iPhone or iPad is one feature in one product in Creative Suite. CS5 consists of 15 industry-leading applications, which contain hundreds of new capabilities and a ton of innovation. We intend to still deliver this capability in CS5 and it is up to Apple whether they choose to allow or disallow applications as their rules shift over time....

 

So this will NOT delay CS5 shipment.

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Now with no code necessary! It's all coming from these new "apple/cocoa/iPhone Developers" who want to build iFart apps.

 

I think you are oversimplifying this. This will affect developers of "serious" apps just as much as it will limit their ability to provide apps on multiple platforms or use specific third-party tools and libraries as well as their own cross-platform APIs. In a way it's stupid of Apple to do that. It will only drive away more of those serious developers that use those middleware solutions and attract more of these lo-fi kiddies trying to make a quick buck. Especially outside the North American market this might cost Apple greatly, as market penetration of their gadgets is a bazillion times lower, seriously limiting the market for anyone developing apps and committing himself only to Apple. Ultimately it may not be worthwile anymore. And no offense to the kiddies, this Flash-bashing is getting nowhere. I've written up a ton of reasons on my blog, but let me just say that you have to differentiate between the base technology and specific implementations. Flash won't be dead soon just because of HTML5....

 

Mylenium

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I'll just add that I think there's an easy way around this for Adobe. Apple may not allow flash to compile for iPhone, but flash can still have an IDE for iPhone, and all it has to do is spit out the code and elements in a way that the iPhone compiler could build it. There would be no way for Apple to block that, because it would be like blocking Photoshop images or After Effects rendered video. It's just a tool for building your elements...

 

Again, this would be good for those familiar with flash, but I think you'd be better off learning how to use the iPhone SDK if you were building an iPhone app.

 

Just make an "Adobe Air Lite" for Flash Lite, perhaps?

 

 

 

About all of the above... Look, Apple is very outspokenly,and proudly, against anything which they cannot guarantee the user experience. While it's always been the case, there seems to be a sudden surge in advancing their front in this area.

 

For instance, Apple announced that they are supporting multi-threading in their next iPhone and iPad updates, right? Answer: Kinda...

Only Apple-developed applications can have multi-threading support. Why? Because they developed the multi-threading to make the core apps and functionality smoother, and if they let who knows how many apps multi-thread, it kinda defeats the purpose.

 

 

So, my speculative bet would be on that Apple doesn't feel that the potential problems + licensing fees outweighs just not supporting it at all. Not much out there is all that 'flash'y these days, except some of our portfolios maybe. jQuery / Ajax is making a HUGE splash right now - and is dwarfing Flash in the web development world. Maybe Apple is betting on the fact that if something isn't going to display on all platforms, developers will not create content in that particular medium. Actually, more like they cannot in order to satisfy the customer.

Edited by AromaKat

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Apple is very outspokenly,and proudly, against anything which they cannot guarantee the user experience.

 

Na, I don't think so. If they were all about "user experience", they'd better fix OSX... Even if they don't like Flash at all, why should they care if a third party uses and runs it? I mean, these lame ass excuses about stability, not allowing multithreading etc. and so on to me just sound like poor excuses. There seems to be a subconscious fear that Flash crashing might reveal some of their own fundamental software design flaws. If they really were that concerned, they could have designed it around a sandboxed model from the start, but apparently they haven't and are only now beginning to....

 

Mylenium

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No idea if this is just an Apple excuse or legit concern but I read the following:

 

"The primary reason for the change, say sources familiar with Apple's plans, is to support sophisticated new multitasking APIs in iPhone 4.0. The system will now be evaluating apps as they run in order to implement smart multitasking. It can't do this if apps are running within a runtime or are cross compiled with a foreign structure that doesn't behave identically to a native C/C++/Obj-C app.

 

"[The operating system] can't swap out resources, it can't pause some threads while allowing others to run, it can't selectively notify, etc. Apple needs full access to a properly-compiled app to do the pull off the tricks they are with this new OS," wrote one reader under the name Ktappe."

 

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/04/09/fallout-from-apples-exclusion-of-flash-to-iphone-export-continues/

 

I was curious and skimmed through the keynote QT. Apple says multitasking in 4.0 offloads a lot of common services that 3rd party apps use onto the (optimized) system to keep the battery and resources from draining as fast. If this is indeed true and not some draconian Apple ploy, then even though this policy may reduce the number of developers that end up developing iPhone/iPad apps, having a phone that doesn't slow down and drain itself in an hour is worth the trade off IMO.

 

http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1004fk8d5gt/event/

(11:00 and 16:10)

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too much to read, but who ever mentioned that adobe will drop apple support:

 

*fingers crossed* Adobe drops support for osx on all its products and development will be faster, software will be cheaper, and plugin developers won't have to worry about mac support. And maybe cinema4D will also drop it in following suite and implement directx viewport functionality and we can have game quality viewports *prays, even though not religious*

 

 

ah.. dreams...

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"The primary reason for the change, say sources familiar with Apple's plans, is to support sophisticated new multitasking APIs in iPhone 4.0. The system will now be evaluating apps as they run in order to implement smart multitasking. It can't do this if apps are running within a runtime or are cross compiled with a foreign structure that doesn't behave identically to a native C/C++/Obj-C app.

 

"[The operating system] can't swap out resources, it can't pause some threads while allowing others to run, it can't selectively notify, etc. Apple needs full access to a properly-compiled app to do the pull off the tricks they are with this new OS," wrote one reader under the name Ktappe."

 

A runtime environment is just another abstraction layer that in itself needs to provide resource management. They could just as well provide API hooks and achieve the same. And then again, since all apps must be distributed via their system after their so-called quality checks, they could catch any misbehaving app, but apparently since they can't even catch iFart clones, their QA can't be that good. I also think they are selling it the wrong way. There is sense in providing features as permanently running, highly optimized services, as it may allow to use simpler function calls, but, and that's the whole point, in the same instant they are using it as a means of shutting out others and that is not particularly smart.

 

Mylenium

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Oh please, no such nonsense. Have you had a look lately at how many apps run in Java? Entire bank accounting and CRM systems are written in Java. This may not be much relevant to the end user market, but clearly, in the B2B markets Java is alive and kicking. Or why else do you think Oracle would have bought a company like Sun (that is still only generating losses)? Without Java, Oracle would have to trash half of their apps...

 

Mylenium

 

Yes, I am aware of that, and one of my good friends is a very busy java programmer, but my point is from a client perspective, java apps are rare. What I am specifically referring to is Sun's push to make Java a universal platform, not their core business of server-side programs. I can see you are aware of that as well, and I should have made my comment more specific, but the client side app world is really what I'm referencing.

 

Java has one holdout in the client-side market in their relationship with Blackberry, but compared to what I think was their grand scheme of java having a big presence on every platform, they never got there and will never get there.

 

Flash is on its way to the same fate, and I think their core may be web games. All the video and dynamic interaction stuff is getting gobbled up by h.264 and ajax. I'm not predicting the end of flash at all, I'm just saying they will retreat to a much smaller market if ajax and h.264 keep marching forward. At the moment, it seems like they offer a superior solution in a lot of cases, so I don't see why they wouldn't keep taking market share away from flash.

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