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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 178
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,860member
    Adobe's arguments are becoming more and more bizarre.
  • Reply 2 of 178
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,822member
    Apple is the trendsetter here, it's their call wether Flash is a go or not. Too bad for Adobe.
  • Reply 3 of 178
    riderrider Posts: 31member
    yeah you gotta use 19th century tactics to fight a 19th century technology , common Adobe get over it .
  • Reply 4 of 178
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    Quote:

    "If you look at what's going on now, it's like railroads in the 1800s," Lynch said. "











    That's GOLD Jerry!
  • Reply 5 of 178
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 178
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,500member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 178
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 178
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    Wow! I used to think lynch was a smart dude.
  • Reply 9 of 178
    studiomusicstudiomusic Posts: 598member
    Sounds more like Adobe wants everyone on THEIR train tracks.
  • Reply 10 of 178
    btblombergbtblomberg Posts: 63member
    Adobe is sounding more and more desperate every day. Stop sitting around crying and fix your stupid products.
  • Reply 11 of 178
    woofpupwoofpup Posts: 31member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 178
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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
  • Reply 13 of 178
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 178
    gwklamgwklam Posts: 17member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 178
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    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....
  • Reply 16 of 178
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    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."
  • Reply 17 of 178
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    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."
  • Reply 18 of 178
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    I'd say it's less like the railroad wars of the 1800s and more like the automobile vs. the horse and buggy.
  • Reply 19 of 178
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 178
    dualiedualie Posts: 331member
    "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.
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