So, maybe you heard, Apple and Adobe are having a bitch fight.
Apple started it, essentially when they didn‚Äôt 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:
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‚Äôt use flash to make iPhone Apps. We don‚Äôt want them.
Mind you, Adobe is not directly mentioned, but you can almost hear someone, somewhere saying, ‚ÄòThis shit just got REAL!‚Äô
John Gruber writes a clarification, Why Apple Changed Section 3.3.1
His bottom line, though more nicely put, essentially is, it‚Äôs 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‚Äôs a post telling Apple, ‚Äògo screw yourself‚Äô. Literally. IKR?! You can‚Äôt make this stuff up.
He‚Äôs angry and that‚Äôs all well and good but Adobe has its own history of trying to control it‚Äôs own platform. While they don‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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 refers back to Gruber‚Äôs page. Slepak doesn‚Äôt buy it and says Apple is stifling creativity.
‚ÄúFrom a developer‚Äôs point of view, you‚Äôre 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‚Äôs Firefox just being one of them.‚Äù
Steve‚Äôs final response is, ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.‚Äù Simply; allowing everyone to write whatever they want, in whatever code they want, will bring down the quality of the apps.
Slepak still isn‚Äôt buying it. He mentions Firefox several times, and we get it, he likes Mozilla. He does point out that, ‚ÄòApple is free to write whatever absurd rules they want for their SDK,‚Äô thanks. I‚Äôm 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‚Äôt like Apple‚Äôs 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.
Pop the popcorn and watch the fun!