The Apple/Adobe Smackdown!

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So, maybe you heard, Apple and Adobe are having a bitch fight.

Apple started it, essentially when they didn’t allow flash to run on the iPhone, iPad and iEverythingElse. There are good and valid reasons for this, but still, it smarted.

It got worse when Apple dissed flash in favor of HTML 5. Again, there are reasons for doing this, preferring HTML 5, but you‚Äôre kind of kicking a down man. 

Adobe thought it had figured it out. They were clever, see? Their Flash Professional CS5 could take native Flash projects and transmogrify them into iPhone-friendly apps, easy breezy!

Boy howdy, they had another thing coming.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball stumbled over the following clause, whilst perusing the iPhone OS 4.0 developer's agreement:

“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).”

In regular speak: cross-compilers (Adobe CS5, for instance) or any compiling process that goes outside the approved Apple work flow, won't be tolerated or approved for App Store sale. Even more succinctly; you can’t use flash to make iPhone Apps. We don’t want them.

Mind you, Adobe is not directly mentioned, but you can almost hear someone, somewhere saying, ‘This shit just got REAL!’

John Gruber writes a clarification, Why Apple Changed Section 3.3.1

His bottom line, though more nicely put, essentially is, it’s our platform, we feel this better suits us and our users, and keeps the quality at a higher level, i.e. its our sandbox, you play with OUR toys.

It gets better.

Then an Adobe employee, Lee Brimelow write’s a post telling Apple, ‘go screw yourself’. Literally. IKR?! You can’t make this stuff up.

Here: Apple Slaps Developers In The Face

He’s angry and that’s all well and good but Adobe has its own history of trying to control it’s own platform. While they don’t own a distribution outlet like the App store, and who does? They surely would be singing different tune if they did. Would Adobe really want someone using tools other then CS4 to build apps for their platform? Would anyone? Is Apple EVIL because it is behaving like a business?

The Adobe product license agreements page is here. One has to wonder what kind of restrictions Adobe place on it’s developers. There have to be some, after all. There always are. Care to help us find them?

In response to Gruber‚Äôs treatise, developer Greg Slepak emails Steve Jobs, Apple CEO about the situation. 

Steve Jobs’ response on Section 3.3.1

Steve refers back to Gruber’s page. Slepak doesn’t buy it and says Apple is stifling creativity.

“From a developer’s point of view, you’re limiting creativity itself. Gruber is wrong, there are plenty of [applications] written using cross-platform frameworks that are amazing, that he himself has praised. Mozilla’s Firefox just being one of them.”

Steve’s final response is, “We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.” Simply; allowing everyone to write whatever they want, in whatever code they want, will bring down the quality of the apps.

Slepak still isn’t buying it. He mentions Firefox several times, and we get it, he likes Mozilla. He does point out that, ‘Apple is free to write whatever absurd rules they want for their SDK,’ thanks. I’m sure they appreciate it.

The simple fact is that amazing things have been done, and are being done, even whilst following rules and structure. Subversive films were still made during the height of Hollywood‚Äôs Hayes Code (it‚Äôs on Wikipedia, look it up). Taking the position that Apple instituting rules for how they want things done in their own playground is stifling creativity, is hardly accurate. 

Ultimately it's not about developers, technology, or creativity. It is about control, and control = money. Anyone who doesn’t like Apple’s way of doing business, is free to go create their own playground. That is what Google, is doing after all, and it is to the betterment of us all, including Apple.

The rundown:

New iPhone Developer Agreement Bans the Use of Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone Compiler

OS 4.0's Developer Agreement Slaps Adobe, Flash 

Why Apple Changed Section 3.3.1 

Apple Slaps Developers In The Face

Steve Jobs’ response on Section 3.3.1

Pop the popcorn and watch the fun!

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