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Adobe exec: Apple's fight against Flash is a 19th century tactic

post #1 of 178
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Kevin Lynch, Adobe's chief technology officer, compared the Web standards war between his company and Apple to the expansion of U.S. railroads in the 1800s, when different railways were incompatible with rival trains.

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco Wednesday, Lynch said Apple was engaged in a "legal game" in fighting Flash, suggesting the iPhone maker is more interested in playing politics than improving technology. He said Apple's approach embraces the walled garden, while Adobe wants to see software be written once and run on multiple devices.

"If you look at what's going on now, it's like railroads in the 1800s," Lynch said. "People were using different gauged rails. Your cars would literally not run on those rails."

Lynch said Apple's philosophy is "counter" to the Web, and forces companies to write software for a specific operating system, which results in higher costs for development.

The comments from the Adobe executive were influenced by a letter Apple co-founder Steve Jobs issued last week, in which he blasted Flash as technology unfit for the modern era of mobile computing. Jobs suggested that Flash is old technology better suited for mouse and keyboard PCs.

Jobs also alleged that Flash does not work well, and is responsible for most crashes on Mac OS X systems. On Wednesday, Lynch said he doesn't think Apple's issue with Flash has to do with the software's reliability at all.

"The technology issue I think Apple has with us is not that it does work, but when it does work," he said. "We don't want to play technology games when Apple is playing a legal game. We're focusing on everybody else. There's a huge wave of innovation, there's going to be a wide range of devices."

Lynch went on to mention the Open Screen Project, which he said has more than 70 partners working with Adobe, and he believes great innovation will come from it starting in the second half of this year.

"All the innovation coming from all those companies will dwarf what's coming from the one company that isn't participating," he said.

Lynch also said that Adobe has big plans for HTML5, even though the Web standard and its inclusion of streaming video technology are widely viewed as a competitor to Flash. He said Adobe would create "the best tools in the world" for those looking to make content via HTML5.

"It's not about HTML5 vs. Flash," he said. "They're mutually beneficial. The more important question is the freedom of choice on the Web."

Apple has embraced HTML5 in its mobile devices powered by the iPhone OS, which include the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The exclusion of Flash from the platform has been a matter of considerable debate, but many major Web sites have turned to HTML5 since the release of the iPad. And last week, following Jobs' public letter, the head of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the most popular browser in the world, declared that HTML5 is "the future of the Web."

While Apple has kept Flash off of its Web browsers, it also recently changed the iPhone developer agreement to ban third-party tools that would allow software to be ported from other formats, like Adobe Flash, to native iPhone OS software. Jobs said such tools would result in substandard applications on the Apple-controlled App Store.

This week it was revealed that Apple's changes to its developer agreement could result in an antitrust inquiry from the U.S. federal government. The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have reportedly begun looking into the matter after receiving complaints from developers and Adobe.
post #2 of 178
Adobe's arguments are becoming more and more bizarre.

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post #3 of 178
Apple is the trendsetter here, it's their call wether Flash is a go or not. Too bad for Adobe.
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post #4 of 178
yeah you gotta use 19th century tactics to fight a 19th century technology , common Adobe get over it .
post #5 of 178
Quote:
"If you look at what's going on now, it's like railroads in the 1800s," Lynch said. "





That's GOLD Jerry!
post #6 of 178
Message to Adobe: FYI, running off to ask the FTC to fix your problems and provide protection for your business is a 19th century tactic. Protection only delays the inevitable whilst insulating your business from reality.
post #7 of 178
I'm so enjoying sitting back in my chair watching Adobe about to get face-smacked when Apple is cleared of the investigations.

Bunch of whiners trying just trying to keep the status-quo.
post #8 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Adobe's arguments are becoming more and more bizarre.

Yea... they are really starting to grasp...

Apples iPhone = 18 century train tracks?

Ummm...

- INTERNET = Train Tracks
- iPhone = One (of many) different trains you can use to ride the tracks

Oh and to take this point to the bittersweet end... To be an upstanding web developer people SHOULD use the 'technologies' that the W3C (or whatever the current name is) endorses to build proper web sites OR if you want to totally go AGAINST the standard you develop a browser plug-in that lets you do whatever you feel like doing without caring WHAT the standards are.
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post #9 of 178
Wow! I used to think lynch was a smart dude.
post #10 of 178
Sounds more like Adobe wants everyone on THEIR train tracks.
post #11 of 178
Adobe is sounding more and more desperate every day. Stop sitting around crying and fix your stupid products.
post #12 of 178
In the end, it's not a legal battle; it's a profit battle. Adobe has a lot at stake so of course they're going to say everything and anything they can to protect it. Neither company's tactics should be fooling anyone.
post #13 of 178
Like in any war innocent bystanders are always caught in the crossfire. In addition to consumers being forced to choose sides, developers are also penalized if they have customers on each side of the conflict.

It's a lose, lose situation.

Worst case scenarios:

Adobe quits updating CS5 for Mac.
Microsoft never supports the canvas tag
Firefox does not support H.264
Every other smart phone supports Flash
Apple get sued by Feds
iAd become the nuisance that is now Flash banner ads
AAPL crashes

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post #14 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... "The technology issue I think Apple has with us is not that it does work, but when it does work," he said. ...

This sentence makes no sense at all. I'm not sure it's even a sentence. Anyone got a guess as to what he's going on about here?

Whether you agree with Steve Jobs or not, at least he was crystal clear in regards what he said.
post #15 of 178
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbZkqORX4 html5 fail and slow. flash 10.1 really needs to be done soon. html5 canvas is too taxing to the cpu. other than that html5 is good lol.
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post #16 of 178
OK, I'll buy into Adobe's train analogy and run with it...

Apple's train, which requires a more closed-system track gauge, is the TGV. It requires those special tracks to run so fast and smoothly.

Adobe's train, which works on existing tracks, is a steam locomotive. Clickety-clack.

(This is directly analogous to why we don't have high-speed trains in the U.S.--our tracks are not able to handle more than about 125MPH which is why the TGV kicks Acela's butt.)

I know which one I'd rather ride on....
post #17 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Wow! I used to think lynch was a smart dude.

More Lynch quotes:

"We have already done a great job - technically - of getting Flash applications to run on the iPhone," Lynch said today during a question and answer sessions at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. "There are already a bunch in the [Apple App] Store that have already gone through the approval process. The technology issue that Apple has with us is not that Flash doesn't work on the iPhone, but that it does work. You can actually make a great Flash app that runs across operating systems, and they don't like that."


"We are not going to play technology games when Apple is playing legal games," he said. "Apple changed their legal agreement to block what we did...that's a different game. We're not going to keep doing technological work when we're being blocked like that."


. "The...important question right now is about freedom of choice on the web. You should be able choose whatever technologies you want to choose and create whatever you want to create," he said. "The web has been very successful because it's been a really open environment for content and applications...

"We're facing a time now, though, where there are some who would like to wall off parts of the web and make it so that you need their approval to make content and applications. From Adobe's point of view, we don't express judgment on what people make...I don't think it's the role of a company to exercise that judgment on what people are making. That's the role of society and law."

Asked if this was a reference to Apple, Lynch didn't hesitate to say that it was. "Yes," he said. "Apple is playing this strategy where they want to create a walled garden around what applications they can use."
post #18 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This sentence makes no sense at all. I'm not sure it's even a sentence. Anyone got a guess as to what he's going on about here?

Whether you agree with Steve Jobs or not, at least he was crystal clear in regards what he said.

It was badly misquoted. He said:

"The technology issue that Apple has with us is not that Flash doesn't work on the iPhone, but that it does work. You can actually make a great Flash app that runs across operating systems, and they don't like that."
post #19 of 178
I'd say it's less like the railroad wars of the 1800s and more like the automobile vs. the horse and buggy.
post #20 of 178
Adobe' is losing the PR war here. Their only chance is to execute well on Flash for Android and Apple will be forced to include it in Safari. All this talk is getting them no-where. They need to create a working product.

Check out Daring Fireballs link to the new mobile device that plays flash. Just as presenter says he is glad he didn't get ipad because it doesn't have flash ... he clicks a utube video and crashes out of the browser

Adobe shut up and get it to work!
post #21 of 178
"He said Adobe would create "the best tools in the world" for those looking to make content via HTML5."

Oh? Where are these tools? Is it going to take five or ten years for Adobe to produce them? Will it be too little, too late by then, and will a whole new standard supersede them, causing this whole debate to be repeated?

Adobe needs to put up or shut up.
post #22 of 178
Please, please, please use your noggins for some thinking. Adobe would NEVER quit their main products for the Mac which make up an ever bigger slice of their revenue. They would be killing themselves...a company losing more than 50% of its market in one stroke. I'm sure shareholders would love that. And as other more nimble thinkers here have pointed out, others would step in.
Like losing Premiere was a loss to anyone? All it did was allow FInal Cut to take over the industry.

Adobe just needs to shut up about it and move on. If they are right, they have NOTHING to worry about because Apple will fail. They will win because everyone in the world needs to have Flash....which seems a bit of a reach when millions don't have access on any non-beta platforms now and seem to do very well.

Adobe's corporate higher-ups may want to Think Different soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Like in any war innocent bystanders are always caught in the crossfire. In addition to consumers being forced to choose sides, developers are also penalized if they have customers on each side of the conflict.

It's a lose, lose situation.

Worst case scenarios:

Adobe quits updating CS5 for Mac.
Microsoft never supports the canvas tag
Firefox does not support H.264
Every other smart phone supports Flash
Apple get sued by Feds
iAd become the nuisance that is now Flash banner ads
AAPL crashes
post #23 of 178
How can Adobe call it a standards battle when flash is in no way a standard.
post #24 of 178
They can win in one fowl-swoop...(foul soup?)

Just ship a great product and show everyone how great it is and the argument is over.

But perhaps...perhaps they can't?


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Adobe' is losing the PR war here. Their only chance is to execute well on Flash for Android and Apple will be forced to include it in Safari. All this talk is getting them no-where. They need to create a working product.

Check out Daring Fireballs link to the new mobile device that plays flash. Just as presenter says he is glad he didn't get ipad because it doesn't have flash ... he clicks a utube video and crashes out of the browser

Adobe shut up and get it to work!
post #25 of 178
The reason why Adobe want 19th century Flash to run on the iPad is that when they heard the iPad is a tablet, they thought it's a stone tablet.
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post #26 of 178
Both just need to come together and fix it once and for all. It can be done, but egos are always going to get in the way. No matter what anyone thinks, Flash isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
post #27 of 178
I bet Apple ends up quoting this guy to the FTC. He just argued that Apple is but one of many players in a competitive market, and that Adobe can do just fine without Apple. If that's true, then how is there an anti-trust concern?
post #28 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

More Lynch quotes:

"We have already done a great job - technically - of getting Flash applications to run on the iPhone," Lynch said today during a question and answer sessions at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. "There are already a bunch in the [Apple App] Store that have already gone through the approval process. The technology issue that Apple has with us is not that Flash doesn't work on the iPhone, but that it does work. You can actually make a great Flash app that runs across operating systems, and they don't like that."

This is a good one. Flash already runs great on the iPhone, but Apple won't let us deploy it because, like, you know. I've yet to hear any, logical reason from Adobe why Apple would not deploy Flash if it performed up to Apple's standards. What is Apple protecting other than performance standards? Are they promoting their own competing product? No. So then what, Kevin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I bet Apple ends up quoting this guy to the FTC. He just argued that Apple is but one of many players in a competitive market, and that Adobe can do just fine without Apple. If that's true, then how is there an anti-trust concern?

Bingo. You win a cookie.
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post #29 of 178
If we want to use the 19th century railroads as a metaphor for the current "delivery system" wars," the tracks and trains would represent the various hardware that can deliver the "goods" -- web pages, ebooks, music and various other deliverables.

The containers that held the products in the 18th century could be likened to the various software programs that hold the deliverables and ensure their safe delivery to the users.

No one expected a "standard" gauge track and a narrow gauge track to use the same trains. It was left to competition (and a little chicanery) to let the market place decide which trains would be used in the long run. (note: all track is still not the same gauge; there are special uses for unusual gauges).

The packaging had a part to play in the competition too. RR lines that delivered the products on time and in good condition were likely to beat out lines that did not comparable delivery records. In our modern struggle, we might one "line" chooses not to allow one packaging method on its "trains" while others embrace such a method, then competition should select which "line" provides the best service to its customers.

In this case Apple is choosing not to use the "Flash" packaging, while, apparently other platforms will. Instead of complaining, we should be embracing real competition.

Just as the 19th rail barons could choose how to store good & people on their rail journeys, todays smartphone, pad/table manufacturers and computer manufactures have the freedom to select their own method(s) of information delivery. That is called competition.
post #30 of 178
All that bickering back and forth; two years from now, Flash is just a distant memory. My two cents.
post #31 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmalloy View Post

If we want to use the 19th century railroads as a metaphor for the current "delivery system" wars," the tracks and trains would represent the various hardware that can deliver the "goods" -- web pages, ebooks, music and various other deliverables.

The railroad metaphor isn't inherently flawed, but only applies if someone owns enough of the railroad tracks that competition is limited. This same argument was used against Microsoft for good reason because in fact Microsoft does own most of the railroad tracks in the PC market, so what they allow to run on those tracks can have a significant impact on competition. As blastdoor pointed out, by Adobe's own admission, they still have a big market for Flash without access to Apple's mobile devices.
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post #32 of 178
Simply put, they are protecting their lead in the battle. Allowing third party code generators means that applications created with such generators are no better on the Apple platform than on the Nokia platform, than on the Google platform. etc.etc.

Which part of least common denominator computing don't you get?

If you have a product that kicks ass, do you want programmers to use a tool that can't kick?
post #33 of 178
One problem with Adobe's argument is that they forget, these are Apple devices. Apple created them, did the R&D, spent the money, etc. They have every right to decide what is on these devices, and how they are written to be sure they get the most effective return on their investment. (Not only that, they supply the developers with the tools to create programs for their device.)

Part of the problem with Flash is that you can export from too many programs, creating code that is messy, bulky and crash-prone.
post #34 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

"He said Adobe would create "the best tools in the world" for those looking to make content via HTML5."

Oh? Where are these tools? Is it going to take five or ten years for Adobe to produce them? Will it be too little, too late by then, and will a whole new standard supersede them, causing this whole debate to be repeated?

Adobe needs to put up or shut up.

This, for those of you confused about the usage of the word, is good old traditional FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Adobe is trying to a) keep content providers on the Flash train, b) discourage others from investing in the development of competing HTML5 tools,because Adobe will be coming out with them real soon now, and c) discourage content creators from investing in HTML5 tools not from Adobe.
post #35 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The railroad metaphor isn't inherently flawed, but only applies if someone owns enough of the railroad tracks that competition is limited. This same argument was used against Microsoft for good reason because in fact Microsoft does own most of the railroad tracks in the PC market, so what they allow to run on those tracks can have a significant impact on competition. As blastdoor pointed out, by Adobe's own admission, they still have a big market for Flash without access to Apple's mobile devices.

You don't understand the metaphor. The goal of the railroads was to have freight shippers and passengers PAY for their service. To do so the rail roads CHOSE how to ship good and transport passengers. Apple is choosing NOT TO USE Flash & third party code generators.
It is their choice. They are competing with Google, etc. etc. and have a large (though not dominant market share). They are choosing -- they are the consumer in this case. If their product is inferior, then the consumer of digital information will choose another method.
post #36 of 178
And didn't I read somewhere that there are already a few hundred apps that were compiled through the Adobe app? That's a pretty small percentage of the over 200,000 apps on the store already. Seems as if a few programmers were able to create their apps without the help of Adobe.
post #37 of 178
They only talk about getting the desktop version of Flash working on the iPhone. What about the security issues and the battery life and performance? It is a three part situation here Adobe and that's why it should not be on the iPhone now. Also Steve Jobs never said that it would never be used it's just that the problems he talked about have never been fixed yet (plus there still is no mobile version).
post #38 of 178
they don't have a flash to work on a touch device....true?
its about selling not flash but their expensive software to end run develope apps for the iphone.
adobe is trying to control the development of the apps using their overpriced big dollar software.
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post #39 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmalloy View Post

Simply put, they are protecting their lead in the battle. Allowing third party code generators means that applications created with such generators are no better on the Apple platform than on the Nokia platform, than on the Google platform. etc.etc.

Which part of least common denominator computing don't you get?

If you have a product that kicks ass, do you want programmers to use a tool that can't kick?

Are you responding to me? If so, yes, I get "least common denominator computing." I also get that Apple doesn't want that to be the user's experience with their products.

Adobe can't very well complain about Apple trying to protect the market for their own products, when that's exactly what Adobe is doing.
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post #40 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Both just need to come together and fix it once and for all. It can be done, but egos are always going to get in the way. No matter what anyone thinks, Flash isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

This whole farrago is getting embarrassing for Apple and Adobe and they need to stop this idiotic back and forth. I've been a fan of both of these companies and think they should work together to amicably settle the matter.
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