Apple vs. Adobe – Hero’s Perspective

After reading Steve Job’s dismissive stance on Adobe’s Flash technology, I felt compelled to add my two cents on the subject by penning my own letter to Steve.

Dear Steve,

After reviewing your recent comments regarding Flash and the recent amendments to the Apple Developer TOS, I decided to share with you my response to a few of your positions. First, with regards to 3.3.1, Apple should only do QA based on app quality and NOT on app origin. Are we to seriously believe that an iPhone app built with Unity, Flash, etc. pails in comparison technologically to one built via Xcode? Are we to further believe that there are ABSOLUTELY NO poorly written Obj-C apps in the app store? If so, where are the benchmarks and metrics to support these claims?

Logical decisions are typically made based on data collection in some form or fashion. In the absence of such information, those “logical” decisions are eventually revealed to be more subjective in nature vs. being purely objective. Again, if there is data to support the claims against iPhone apps developed in Flash and compiled to *.ipa, please point us to that data.

Now, as to your assertion that Flash is the #1 reason Macs crash, again, we’d like to see empirical data that supports this claim. Having used apple desktop and laptop computers for more than a decade, I’d have to respectfully disagree with you. I’ve personally experienced kernel panics resulting from locked up processes with non-Flash applications (eg, iTunes, Safari, etc). To my knowledge, iTunes makes no use of Flash but yet it has caused my system to enter into a kernel panic on several occasions. Are we still to believe that Flash is the only big bad wolf lurking in the OSX forest? I seriously hope that’s not your intention. Will your position change when Adobe produces a Flash Player version that takes full advantage of hardware acceleration? I certainly hope so because then we’ll know that you’re truly the visionary tech leader that we all hope you to be.

Does this absolve the Flash development community from doing our part to improve the situation? NO!!! Unfortunately, many Flash apps are created by would-be developers that have no clue about memory management, garbage collection and the like. It is far too easy to create Flash apps that consume all of a browser’s memory, don’t close properly and eventually obstruct a user. But, I submit that this same fact holds true regardless of the language or platform used to create said applications. In other words, sloppy coding is the problem not the technology. This is from the perspective of a developer fluent in several languages including Obj-C and ActionScript.

I understand you have your business goals and a board of directors to please, but I implore you to work with Adobe rather than against them. Work with Google, Facebook and the like to make the future of technology truly open which benefits us all. Ultimately, we MUST support a free market economy in order to achieve this technological utopia, the results of which will be exponential growth that lasts for a millennium. Yes, it truly can be that explosive. The only thing standing in the way is our present day greed for money and power.

I sincerely hope that you soften your stance and work with the other technology leaders to usher us into that state of tech bliss… 😉



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